October 20, 2009

Eight reasons you're not Growing your business!

Food Execs-here are eight reasons you’re still losing marketshare.
“Don’t kid yourself: growing your food business is not a cents-off solution." When was the last time you implemented a program to attract new consumers outside of the retailers programs? That many, huh? You probably think you’re trying as hard as you can to build your business, but you’re probably trying to run up and down the escalator. Here’s why your still slugging it out with the competition with no results and what to do about it. 1. You’re not sampling enough. The most successful companies in the food world get their products into the mouths of possible consumers. Why is Costco one of the largest sellers of food in the world? They sample all the time and used it as a basis for their company growth. How can you get more samples into the mouths of your potential consumers? KFC is giving the stuff away by the millions of pieces? How many samples did you give out last year?
2. You think finding new consumers is the retailers job. If you think you are going to avoid responsibility for your products success or shelf-takeaway, then think again. If you are putzing around, implementing six sigma or sap, working on the factory floor, visiting equipment tradeshows, or handling personnel issues in the office, you aren’t going to find successful growth in this economy. Make time in your schedule for consumer growth programs. Continually monitor trends and products impacting your core consumer. Visit retailers and investigate new items in your category and look for ways you can lead the charge to innovative new products that serve the needs of your consumers. 3. You aren’t marketing enough. Our clients reach out to new consumers and implement methods to achieve their market goals ongoing. Otherwise, they are not working our program. This is a numbers game. If you don’t invest in the consumers, you lose. Don’t think the weekly retailers flyer is getting you new profitable customers or WOM. When did you update your website? Are you using social networking sites? 4. You are totally product and taste focused. Buyers don’t buy because they like your recipe. Period. They are looking for products that can drive the category and answer the needs of their consumers. If you want to sell, deal with the rules of engagement. The buyer needs your special problem solving product more so than ever! Don't worry and serve the market. 5. You’re paralyzed by not knowing what to do. I’ve seen too many companies work on non-important issues because they just don’t know what to do to move their food business forward. Most executives and company founders don’t understand why everyone is not purchasing their far superior product to the competition. There are a ton of resources out there to help, some free and some (like me) definitely not free. Be sure to check out all the available resources to help you move the ball forward. You need help. Get it. 6. You’re depending on one method of growing your business. Don't count the wholesaler. Don’t count on food brokers. Don’t count on the internet. Don’t count on your friends. Don’t even count exclusively on your current customers though you spend the majority of your time dealing with their issues. Hit the challenge of growth from every angle and with every tool and trick known to the food universe and internet to grow. This is your livelihood, folks! Invest all the money, talent, time, resources, energy, or anything you have to in order to get new consumers attracted and hooked on your food product. 7. Your strategy stinks. Many executives decide to just coast and do ‘price discounting’ in hopes of growing their business. This is rarely necessary and even more rarely effective. When you drop your price you are actually competing with products that are inferior to yours in quality and price. Those customers rarely stay with you and help your build your business. Examine your strategy with someone who knows what they’re doing before pursuing it. 8. You think you have the best recipe and it matters. You don’t. If someone tasted your product and did not buy, it could be there exists a better tasting product. Also, it could be they simply are loyal to a food product that communicates to them in their language. You can feed your large ego about ‘how they don’t understand how good your product really is’ or you can feed your family, not both. These are some of the reasons you are not growing your business. You don’t have to be in this position. There are plenty of companies growing and getting new consumers excited, turned-on, and purchasing their product now in late 2009! They don’t just advertise in the retailer weekly paper with price discounts, they are effectively communicating with consumers and getting new trial usage of their food product by effectively making strong consumer connections. Use every tool available to grow your food business, work as if there is no tomorrow, and do things to get sampled and you will grow new consumers and your business. If you need results now, promotions that will drive new consumers and existing customers to purchase your products, and want to fix your market activity email me tim@timforrest.com
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