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Help me help you
I sit on both sides of the food production equation. I work with manufacturer-producers who make finished goods, and I work with brands seeking to get their products made. More than that, I’ve forged investment relationships between brands and their manufacturers.
I sometimes have to go Jerry Maguire on clients that want me to find these types of partnerships for them because the work on their side isn’t being done.
For example, if you are looking for a turnkey manufacturing partner that will produce, store, and fulfill orders at a reduced charge per unit than you’re currently paying, and with small minimum runs to start – please be prepared to show why you are investable and what your immediate revenue and profit opportunities are.
Why would I say investable?
Because anyone taking a chance on you for a very small profit margin is essentially investing in you. The way you can help me bring these types of partners to the table is by having tangible evidence that you have a bright future and that you are in command of your business.
Case in point
I had a brand come to me recently looking to match with a vertically integrated manufacturer. They were hoping to reduce COGS and get favorable terms in exchange for equity in the business. Here was their situation:
· had declining sales
· did not have a product formula appropriate for a commercial manufacturing setting
· cap table showed they’d already given up a good chunk of equity, were not yet profitable, and were already out of cash
· were looking for someone to run the business but didn’t have the cash for hiring said person
· wanted to focus on other career/ life obligations, but would still be involved in sales and marketing
None of these things independently are immediate deal breakers. For example, declining sales could have a good reason – like discontinuing a product line for something better. Not having a proper formula could be solved though some R&D work. Needing cash to hire people is normal, etc…but these things coupled with the desire to spend less time on the business indicates they’ve stopped working on the brand. And when all you have is equity to give – from a place of weakness – means when things get hard it’ll be too easy to stop trying because you have less to lose.
No business is picture perfect. You will be best served by acknowledging and identifying your weaknesses and showing how you plan to overcome them. You have to be 100% committed and if you indicate you are interested in other pursuits, I’m sorry but this business is not for you. It demands too much emotional, physical and mental capacity.
I can help you make a case for being a good brand to work with and even invest in. But I need your help. I need you to:
· explain what you will be doing to lift/maintain upward sales trends
· be willing to pay for formulation and process development
· be open to giving something up (like equity) if asking for below market costs
· be reachable, available and committed
I can help you put together a P&L that shows good margins and a go to market strategy that will ramp volume. But you have to be willing to do the work to make it happen.
There are plenty of opportunities for brands and manufacturers to partner. Help me help you find a good fit.
All my best,
Things going on at Whole Foods:
like bringing more than 70 certified regenerative products into stores with another 200 that mention “regenerative” on the label, diverting hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from going to landfill, and more covered in their Impact Report.
Whole Foods also recently announced the new cohorts for the inaugural Local and Emerging Accelerator Program (LEAP).
And for existing suppliers, they’ve changed their Store Fee program, specific to Marketing, Promotion and Seasonal fees for US based stores. The biggest change is in how they bracket for fee groupings. Check with your merchandizing team if you did not get the email.