June 6, 2010


For more than 25 years I’ve been helping companies grow, find new markets, and building success for the world’s top food brands.  This has been done even in a weak economy.  What have I learned and what methods do I apply to growing companies?

I have discovered and it should come as no surprise that companies that have an underlying advantage or significant improvement over existing products can grow wildly.  A small subtle slight improvement is not enough.  It needs to be a massive improvement in multiples over the existing product or service to jump the hurdles of success and take on the entrenched players.


Position your company to dominate and be the leader for your item for your customers.  You choose who and where you market your products.  Go where you have no competition and you are the only company serving the need.  You are the go-to product  for some problem or opportunity. Brand your efforts and own the mark. If you sell cola, don’t go to the biggest Coca-Cola customer and try to dominate their market.  Find the opportunity where there is no beverage and start selling your product.  Find a home where it is protected from the other players in the market and dominate that market.  The big guys know this and will sign contracts in every venue possible to be the ‘exclusive supplier’ of their company’s item.  Find opportunities to do the same with your products.

 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 use it as a basis for their company growth. How can you get more samples into the mouths of your potential consumers? A great example is KFC who gave by the millions of pieces earlier in the year.  How many samples did you give out last year?  More importantly, how many samples are you scheduled to give out this year?


Let someone else make your product and focus on finding new consumers and customers for your business.  The largest food brands outsource much of the production process to others so they can focus on what they know the best – the consumer.  When your company is sold to a larger enterprise they will most likely close your facility and roll volume into their existing plants.  Big Food Companies know where the value is in companies and that is the brand and consumer.  Are you investing in growing the part of your business that will bring the most rewards for your business?  Grow your brands and consumer awareness not the square footage of your facility.


Growth sucks cash out of your food company.  Construct a model of growth that fuels your growth without the need for outside capital.  How can you improve cash flow in your food business?  Gift cards, advanced payments, tighter billing, direct to consumer like the web and farmers markets, and shorter sales and delivery schedules are a few of the large number of strategies needed as you grow your business.


To find great customers, marketing programs, and success you have to work many things and call on many people.  Get out there, work, take action, and know that much will not payoff but is needed to reach the important few.  Find the opportunities that will payoff in huge dividends for your company.  Test different marketing programs with less than 10% of your budget. When you discover a proven successful strategy roll it into your overall marketing programs throughout your company and markets.


The companies that grew quickest had a pulse of what was happening daily.  The teams at the fastest growing food companies get together very often if not daily to review and adjust as needed.  How often are you getting together with your food team?  When I helped turn around a 4 plant division of Borden, we met on a daily basis. Have you had a meeting this week?  What about this month?  If you want to grow fast, you have to keep everyone informed and up-to-date on the necessary needs and actions that are happening.  For one company, I put together a food order that required 27 truckloads of product for the opening order.  The lack of communication inside the company from sales to distribution almost cost us the sale.  Fortunately, we set-up immediate changes and shipped the product.


These basic tactics work for the largest food brands in the world and they will work with your company too.  Enjoy the rewards of your efforts! Whether a mid-size food manufacturer or small restaurant you can find success and grow your sales even in this economy.  I wish you much success and if you have any questions, send me a note.

Keep up with Tim's Latest Ideas, Articles, and Reports! Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...