Checklist: the Important Tool for Entrepreneurs in New Poduct Development

This session is the final step of all the seven steps you must pass to establish your business in food processing. On the following pages (Table 1) is a checklist that may be useful for entrepreneurs in new product development. Understand that new product development is not an exact science. There are always different ways of doing things but this checklist covers some of what I consider the most important elements in the development and marketing of a new food product.

Use of these elements should increase your odds of success. As previously mentioned, new product development is not an exact science but also a discipline that requires some personality traits such as passion, persistence etc. Therefore, we cannot guarantee success by the use of our suggestions. You still have to provide the personality and perseverance.

1 Have an idea 1) Just do it.
2) Think of something to do. It doesn’t have to be great. You will probably change your mind many times before you get to one you feel really good about.
3) Remember that entrepreneurs find a need, want or desire and fill it.
4) Flavor concepts in themselves are not very good for the long haul.
2 Conduct a “Reality Check” 1) Talk to some people in your area that are doing something similar.
2) Conduct internet searches on the subject. Find out what has been going on in the area.
3) Determine if you can apply some new technology to the processing.” courses
3 Attend some “Small Business Development” courses in your region. 1) I highly recommend that you take the following courses 1) Starting a Business in your region, 2) How to Write a Business Plan and 3) Guerrilla Marketing. There are other ones that may also be of interest to you.
2) Review the booklet entitled “Business Blueprints; Is your Business Idea Feasible”.See if you have the personality and the abilities to start a small business.
3) Review the booklet entitled “New Venture Guide”.The information contained in this booklet will help you to determine state regulations, understand marketing and how to write a business plan.
4) I'm sure that there are many other resources available from the Small Business Development Center in your region. Use these resources as needed.
4 Start developing a business plan 1) Write down your idea and think about who will buy your product and why. What need does it fill?.
2) Start writing a business plan with emphasis on describing your product (the product, sales channel, trend, who is the end user, etc), Who is the competition?, What does the market look like?, What is your cost to produce?, etc.
3) The process of developing a business plan will increase your knowledge of the industry and your passion for the business will build.
4) Work on it several times per week. Think big.
5) Talk about your product to people in the industry. Go where food people hang out. Successful people have a habit of helping others.
6) Use available assistance
7) Learn the business
8) Spend 3-6 months in this phase of writing a business plan. Call it “minimal risk taking”.
9) Define your marketing strategy. This is very important. It is how you will “go to market”. What promotional tools will you use? Coupons, advertising mode (TV, newspaper,). How will people know about your product? Use guerrilla marketing. What is your pricing strategy? Develop sales information and “point of sale” material. Make a sales target list. Conduct market research. etc
10) Learn more about federal, state and local regulations, permits needed, type of business, etc
5 Decide on your packaging option You need to decide how your product will be packaged. This may be dependent upon whether a copacker can package it the way you want.
6 Decide on a manufacturing mode ------
6A Copacker Mode CoPacker Mode;
1) Get confidentiality/ non- disclosure agreement signed
2) Give formula to copacker and discuss product
3) Get label and package designed. Get UPC code
4) Write process specification ( pack size, quality checks etc)
5) Get test batch made.
6B Self Manufacturing Self Manufacturing Mode; NOT RECOMMENDED
1) Acquire facility
2) Get inspection for facility for either "FDA" or "USDA".
3) Get equipment
4) Hire skilled people (sales, production, marketing, QA/QC, maintenance, finance etc)
5) Write process specifications, labeling, licenses, procurement of ingredients, packaging, etc, etc, etc.
7 Design package label 1) Decide how you want your label to look for maximum consumer appeal.
2) Make sure to include the 5 mandatory parts required by federal regulations and any other that may be needed.
3) Get UPC code if needed or desired.
4) Do a pricing on your product
8 Get Sales 1) Try to sell your product. Go everywhere. Doors will be slammed in your face. Live with it.
2) Continue to refine marketing strategy the rest of your life.
3) Sell to everyone, everywhere. Never stop.
4) Everyday, try to call on at least one possible customer.
9 Get more Sales 1) Refine marketing strategy
2) Continue selling
3) Remember – You are getting what you wanted. And you thought making money would allow you time for vacation? Ask Bill Gates about vacation. He took only 10 days over a 10 year period of time. "SUCCESS IS ALL ABOUT PASSION AND GOAL ACCOMPLISHMENT".

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