Growing Your Enterprise: What’s Next?

In our business, it’s safe to say we see our fair share of new concepts – a great idea that’s ready to be put into action. In some cases, the concept is totally original and in others, it’s a twist on classic. We’ve discussed the ins and outs of conceptualizing your foodservice enterprise from almost every angle. We know the importance of defining your product offering, conducting market research, and financially planning for profitability.

But what if, unlike a new concept, you’re already in business? Let’s say you have a great product or a single retail location that’s doing gangbusters. What’s next? The next step for any business owner is always met with some trepidation, as the subsequent move isn’t always clear. As a foodservice provider, there are a number of different routes to consider. In last month’s insight, we reviewed the importance of the four P’s – Product, Profit, People, and Process. The same theories apply here but maybe in a different manner.

A retail location is often the natural stepping-stone for any food business. It’s great in terms of showcasing your brand identity, providing guests with an in-store experience, and organic marketing through location and foot traffic. But a retail store is also heavy on start-up capital costs and operating expenses with less wiggle room in terms of profit margin. Perhaps your product can be delivered to consumers in another manner? This is where a deep dive into the business fundamentals should happen.

Taking a close look at the product offering is essential. Does the product need to be made on-site and is it best consumed right away? Can it be produced in larger quantities and packaged for delivery? Depending on your answers here, it could make senst to consider adding wholesale accounts in some form or delivering directly to consumer via online ordering.

Understanding your process and people in terms of operations and production is also vital. It could be that you need specialized equipment to produce your product or it could be incredibly labor intensive. Can production happen across all stores or is a commissary location necessary? What do logistics look like in terms of delivery and shipping long distances? Your organizational structure is also important here when looking at how many avenues of growth to pursue. We can’s stress enough how important it is to think through every aspect in terms of the “how” things are going to get done.

At the end of day, your business has to be profitable and have the capital means to support these different growth prospects. Access to proper funding, tight budgeting and financial controls are key. So when its time to think about the next phase for your enterprise – remember its always great to be a big thinker, but any growth plan needs a solid foundation to start.

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