I work as a business coach and mentor to entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses but the majority supply food to UK retailers.  I am also the author of the book Recipe for success – the ingredients of a profitable food business 

Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success

I was talking to someone the other day who said – “there is no, one, recipe for success” – otherwise everyone would be following it and be successful in their business whatever that may be.  Well that does make sense to some extent but then maybe it is thinking beyond the recipe to the other elements that makes cooking so successful…….so think of the following:

Who are you making it for?  In this day and age when everyone is conscious of what they are eating and may have allergies, specific diets or even just particular likes and dislikes, it is imperative to ask about restrictions before you choose the right recipe.

And it is the same in business.  Knowing your customer is absolutely imperative when creating successful products and services.  I specialize in mentoring food businesses who create and supply brands into UK retailers.  When I first meet a client, I will ask them “who is your product aimed at” – and more often than not they will say –everyone!  Well that may well be true but to create success, you need to create, research and truly understand one or two customer avatars.  Then it is easier to create the product, design the logo and focus the marketing direction

Can I make it? How many of us have started a recipe and then discovered we have no idea what it means to deglaze a pan….I remember asking my husband to whip some cream and found him 30 minutes later, still trying….with a fork!! The business owner has the same challenges – do I know how to deliver my product or service – can I make it or do I know someone who can do it for me.  How do I run the business as a solo entrepreneur when I am expected to know how to do accounts, sell, run social media campaigns etc etc.  The successful business owner (Richard Branson is a great example of this) knows how to surround themselves with the right people to enable them to make it happen

What’s the budget? Choosing the right recipe means looking at the ingredients and thinking can I afford this (ie do you use lobster and truffles or tuna and sweetcorn?!) and it’s the same with business.  Much has been said about having the right goals and targets and it is important to know your budget for investment in marketing, business support or

How can I make it look good on Instagram?  I started cooking long before social media and this would not have been a consideration but now how does my recipe look once I have cooked it, is important.  And how your business is received by  your customer either via the retailers, online or indeed through your social media marketing is really critical. 

Do I love making it? I have recipes that I love eating – for example spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna but both take about an hour to make.  I don’t love making them as much as I love eating them so don’t do them as often as I would like!!  The same goes for your business – you may be able to do it but do you LOVE it?  Do you love the elements that are critical to making it happen whether that is running the factory, leading a team or doing speaking gigs to raise the profile of your company?  If the answer is yes, then you have the best recipe for success especially if you can make money.  If not do not despair, you can outsource the other elements!

So there you have it – there IS a recipe for success, you just have to choose the right one for your business – happy cooking!!