Progressing from the idea stage to testing, to trading, to growing your business is an exciting journey. It takes a fair bit of time and constant learning to move through these different business phases.
Breaking it Down
Whilst there are many things to consider and resources that need to be developed in order to start a food business, the process can be broken down into distinct ‘phases’ that make up the business journey.
Each person and each business will be different. The Recipe for Success course has been designed with the intention of giving you the information you need to get started, and then you decide how you will apply this new knowledge to your own unique business.
Starting a food business takes time, energy, focus and some money. It is a constant learning and testing process, and the time it takes you to reach certain milestones depends on your lifestyle and your other commitments.
We have outlined here four ‘business phases’ that take you through the typical business journey. It is a general outline, but hopefully, it will give you a clearer idea of what to expect going forward with the course.
Phase 1: Planning
You are in this phase right now! You are getting yourself informed about what you need to do to get started, and doing the essential things first and making a list of the other tasks you will need to complete in the future.
Usually, the planning stage is a bit chaotic for a new entrepreneur. It can easily start to feel like you have a million and one things to do and you might be wondering if the effort is even worth it!
This is a completely natural feeling to have. Most people end up spending a lot of time trying to get help from various sources, getting confused and wasting time. But if you’re reading this, you’ve come to the right place to make your planning phase as efficient as possible.
Phase 2: Starting to Trade
This period of time is when you will be moving from the planning stage to starting to sell to people for the first time. This process can take several weeks or months, and is often a scary, but exciting time.
This time of transition is a grey-area, test-trading phase. You want to give your business a go, but you still not sure about a lot of things.
You may have set aside a small amount of money to test the viability of your business idea. You may also be undergoing training, certification, conducting market research, drafting a business plan, and going through the Recipe for Success course.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 do not require a lot of resources to be completed on your part, and only a small amount of money is needed. Hopefully, this makes thinking about getting started a little easier and less overwhelming. These first two phases are essential for knowing whether you want to pursue your business idea or not, and you can’t know for sure without going through this process.
Phase 3: More Trading and More Resources Created
Making the move to commit full-time to your business depends on your circumstances and how long it takes you to come up with a sound business plan and to find start-up funding. You might also choose to start a food business as a ‘side-hustle’, something you do alongside another job. And that’s the beauty of a food business, there are so many opportunities to make it work for you.
You should avoid spending lots and time, energy and money developing the resources mentioned in Phases 3 if you haven’t yet gone through Phase 1 and 2. For example, there is no point investing in a website for your business before doing your first event. You might not like it or want to change your business concept completely! (which is absolutely fine to do!)
Phase 4: Business Development
Phase 4 comes when you have settled into your business activities and are actively trading. You will have all the resources from Phase 3 in place and wanting to keep your business at its current level, or perhaps moving from being a home-based food business to moving into premises. Finding help from employees, volunteers and freelancers become more important in Phase 4.
Common Barriers to Starting a Business
Starting a business can be a tough, but incredibly rewarding experience. It is a chance for personal and professional growth. However, there are a few common barriers people face once they embark upon the business journey:
- Negative mindset and lack of self-belief and self-doubt
- Lack of inspiration and role models
- Intimidated by business jargon
- Staying within your comfort zone
- Lack of confidence in numeracy skills
- Lack of confidence in language and literacy skills
- Lack of confidence in computer skills
- Childcare or Eldercare
- Physical or Mental Disability
- Lack of space to work or store equipment at home
- Lack of access to internet and laptop
- Red tape and bureaucracy with government schemes, for example, benefit changes
Identify which barriers you might be faced with when it comes to your own business journey. Start to think about ways you can overcome these barriers as you go through the course to ensure that you have the best chance of making your business a success.