Make the most of your team to grow your business.
It’s not possible to set up a food business by yourself and still get some sleep. So it’s important to know the people in your team have the skills and experience your business needs.
1) In the beginning
When you are getting started it’s usually yourself – with family and friends helping out. They might be free, but make sure an experience person manages each task for you. For example a friend who is a web designer develops your website – but doesn’t set your RRP. And avoid the rookie mistake of not factoring in your/family/friend wage costs as you get going, so you can afford to pay staff as your business expands.
2) As you start to expand
Sales have started and you’re growing your team. It’s still yourself, family and friends – but you may have found a business partner or be starting to employ people or be purchasing expert advice. Remember, when paying for advice – make sure the advisor has the relevant expertise and skills, as you can’t afford to waste money on getting inaccurate or incomplete advice.
3) Maximise your time
As your business expands and your team grows, balance the things/skills you are confident in or can learn on the job and ‘purchase in’ expertise when you need it.
If your team can’t deliver on the key functions of your business, you will need to seriously look at how you will fill those gaps – for example through contractors or hiring suitably skilled staff. When choosing new team members, check they have the skills and experience your business needs or if they can easily learn on the job or through some professional development.
Check out this article for inspiration on how to focus on your personal skill set and build your team of people matched to your business ethos https://recruitloop.com/blog/carolyn-creswell-founder-of-carmans-kitchen/
4) Remember your customers
Your customers are a critical ‘team member’. Establish a Customer Loyalty program; actively seek out customer feedback, thank them for it and listen to all the constructive feedback (i.e. not just a random complaint) – and then do your best to incorporate their feedback into your business operations.
Your retail stockists or wholesale distributor and also effectively your customer, so an important team member. Get their feedback on a regular basis and ask for suggestions on any changes you have planned for example new products or packaging.