Seven steps to get you on your way to achieving your goal of breaking into the snack industry and starting your own business in no time.
When you’re first starting out, the snack industry can seem like an impenetrable behemoth. There are so many brands already in place, and so many well-known names, that it can seem impossible to make any headway without those kinds of resources. But that’s not true! It is possible, and here's some helpful tips to get rolling.
1. Get Educated
Starting a small business is no easy feat, but it is definitely doable with the right amount of planning and execution. The first step to starting any business is getting educated. There are a lot of resources available to help you learn about the snack industry and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. You can attend trade shows, read industry publications, and talk to other small business owners to get started. One important tip for starting a new company is to do your research and start with something that you know people will want. One way to figure out what people might want in their snacks is by looking at trends in the market.
2. Learn From Experts
One of the best ways to learn how to start a new company and become an entrepreneur is by asking experts for tips. They can often give you valuable guidance and real-world advice. This can help save you time, avoid pitfalls, and potentially give you a leg up when getting things going. Most often, experts are usually willing to share some of their wisdom and help budding entrepreneurs in their early learning stages.
3. Develop Quality Products
When you’re starting a new snack company, it’s important to develop quality products. After all, your products are what will make or break your business. At the end of the day, you can use every gimmick in the book to make a sale, but if you don't have a quality product to back it up...your customers will be unsatisfied. Take your time, do market research, and give your products the time they need to evolve into something you feel completely confident in. At the end of the day, it will pay off!
4. Create A Strong Distribution Network
If you want to be a success in the snack industry, you need to build a strong distribution network. Investigate your target market and what they're looking for from their snacks. Get out there and talk to your potential customers if you can. When you speak to them, ask what snacks they would like to have available and even how often they eat them.
Once you've gathered demographic information to work from, you can then decide on your approach. There are several things to think about when deciding on how to distribute your snack food or product. Are you hoping to sell on a regional basis, nationally, or internationally? If you're going to try to reach outside of your regional area, you can research and contact distributors. There are many types of food distributors, so find one that specializes in your type of snack. Many times they will ask you to send samples if it's something they may be interested in...from there, expect some follow-up meetings and hopefully a partnership!
5. Work On Promotions and PR
Before you start your snack business, make sure you have a solid business plan in place. This will help you map out your goals and strategies for success. Marketing and PR are extremely important for any business, but especially for a new one. You may have the greatest snack on earth, but if no one knows about it, that's a problem! You need to get the word out about your brand and what you have to offer. Create a website and social media channels. Make videos, create ads, and market to your ideal customer base. Contact local blogs and media outlets, as well as offer coupons on social media channels.
There is quite a bit you can do these days on your own, but in addition, there are many incredible Marketing and PR companies that you can contact to see if there's a good fit. Take your time, and find one that shares your same vision!
6. Don’t Limit Yourself To Existing Channels
Surely you've heard the phrase "think outside the box"! As you begin to think about tips to start your new company, don’t limit yourself to existing channels. Instead, become an entrepreneur and identify a new way to get your product in front of potential customers. Not only will this help you stand out from the competition, but it will also help you tap into a new market that may be untapped by your competitors.
One great example is how Rachel O'Connor used her family's Irish heritage to start her own line of authentic Irish Soda Bread. When she couldn't find any soda bread mix that tasted like what she remembered from Ireland, she created her own version and now sells more than 5 million loaves each year!
7. Make Sure You Have Realistic Expectations
Becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business is a lot of work. It's not all fun and games, so it's important to have realistic expectations.
In the early stages, you will have to wear just about every hat there is. You'll need to do everything that comes with running a business: daily operations, setting a budget, writing marketing plans, generating sales, doing business development, creating and maintaining a website, etc. That's why it's important to make sure you're fully prepared before you take that first step toward becoming an entrepreneur.
Most importantly, give it everything you have, and enjoy the process...knock em' dead!