While today’s competition in the food and beverage industry remains fierce, there are steps your manufacturing company can take to foster success. It starts by addressing many of the industry’s challenges, such as managing cash flow, assessing some of the hottest trends in the industry, focusing on your business offerings, and utilizing networking and social media to help your company increase sales.
1. Manage Cash Flow
As growth opportunities emerge, so will restrictions on cash flow, as creditors often demand payment before you see cash from your customers. Have a plan to manage this gap—talk to your lenders and investors in advance of expected needs. Other opportunities to free up cash include hedging raw material costs and taking advantage of tax incentives.
2. Know What You Do and Do It Well
It sounds simple, but this is often overlooked. Manufacture your products to the highest standards of quality and taste. Begin this objective with a few products to build credibility before expanding your offerings, and strengthen market share by focusing on a competitive advantage.
3. Tap Into the Hottest Trends
Ethnic foods, gluten-free products, certified organic, and natural foods are all rising in popularity as they enter the mainstream. It’s a trend ripe for profits, especially if you capitalize on products that are unique in the category.
4. Utilize Your Network
Remember the old Hollywood adage, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”? The same principle applies here. To get your product on shelves and expand sales, you must connect with customers and prospects, and meet key contacts. Expand your network and share best practices by attending relevant meetings and conferences, joining local food and manufacturing groups, and leveraging the power of social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
5. Seek Advice From Professionals
Recognize your limitations (often time and experience) and build relation- ships with trusted advisors. Critical qualities include a passion for technical excellence, a genuine interest in your company’s success, and a deep understanding of your industry. Advisors should possess the ability to grow your business ecosystem by offer- ing key introductions to people such as regional manufacturers, grocery chains, and venture capitalists.
To learn more, contact Sensiba’s Food and Beverage Industry team.