Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1220124

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 75

Specialty Food Association members: Discuss this topic in the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com 6 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM from the publisher CAN YOU REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE EQUATION? Chris Crocker Director, Media Development ccrocker@specialtyfood.com A cohort of specialty food businesses launched in the late 1990s and early 2000s with not much more than some good ideas and a lot of chutzpah. Some of them flourished, some folded, and some are now at an existential crossroads. Unlike newer enterprises that are built with an eventual sale in mind, these businesses were started with simpler aspirations: making great food and providing a living and a lifestyle for the founders. And the founders poured their heart and soul into their products, their marketing, and their relationships. They built a good customer base and brands with loyal followings. All very gratifying, but these businesses are decidedly of their owners. And now they are arriving at a point where future success—or survival—requires more than they have left in the tank, whether it's bandwidth, skill, capital, or creativity. Some are just worn out: weary with their employees, their vendors, their customers, and the daily hassle of operating a business of a certain size. They need to find a new gear or find a way out. If you haven't planned for it, confronting an exit can be disillusioning … especially when your business' value is so wholly attached to you. Investors don't like to acquire companies whose future depends on an individual who might be difficult to manage … or might be hit by a bus. If they do invest, the amount they're willing to pay may be far less than you might think it's worth. Even if you think your business is strong, it's worth asking yourself: If not for me, would my company succeed? Do I keep key customer relationships to myself? Is there someone other than me who can think up the Next Big Thing for my company? Would I let them? Can my business hold up against aggressive, head- on competition? Is my default survival strategy to lay off my workforce and try to make it on my own? The whole point of starting your own business might have been to see what you could build yourself. But if you want your business to succeed without you, it's time to figure out how it can. If not, you might walk away disappointed.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - Spring 2020