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Is Your Business Ready to Hire a Small Batch Co-Packer?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |small batch co-packer |Is Your Business Ready to Hire a Small Batch Co-Packer?Your food products may be gaining traction in the marketplace. Now is the perfect time to scale, but you have to find out the best way to do that.

It can be difficult to know if your business is ready to hire a small batch co-packer or not. What does a food co-packer do and how do you know if it’s time to hire one?

Keep reading to find out.

What Does a Food Co-Packer Do?

A food co-packer is also called a food contract packer. They are an existing food manufacturing plant that you contract with to produce your food product.

Many small consumer packaged goods companies will use food co-packers as a way to outsource food production.
This can be a game-changer for small businesses because it allows them to focus on the operational side of the business, and marketing and sales.

The fees for a food co-packer will depend on a number of variables. The size of the order, the ingredients involved, the co-packer’s labor and production costs are the main variables.

When you work with a small batch co-packer, you will have several advantages. You’ll be able to maintain high standards of quality. You’ll also have lower minimum order standards to meet.

This can be a great step if you want to move your business out of your small kitchen and you’re not at the point where you need to place a huge amount of orders.

How to Know if You Need a Food Co-Packer

A food co-packer can be a great asset to have if you are ready to scale up your business. How can you be sure that this is the right time to create a partnership with a food co-packer?

Here are some signs that you’re ready to take the next step in growing your food business.

You’re at Capacity

Have you taken your own manufacturing capabilities to the brink? You’ll find that you can only support a limited number of sales.

If you’re at the point where you have more demand for your products than you can handle, then it’s time to find a small batch co-packer.

You Can Scale Your Recipe

You may have initially developed your recipe in a tiny kitchen. You were able to scale it to satisfy more customers and still retain the quality of the final product.

Consumers are demanding healthy food. If your product falls in this category, you need to make sure that your recipe can handle large production runs with healthy, natural ingredients.

When you created your recipe, you may have used approximate measurements and still had great results. It’s much different working with a food manufacturer.

You have to give the manufacturer precise measurements to ensure quality. You have to do the same with cooking times and temperatures. Your recipe should deliver the same exact result no matter who the manufacturer is and which employee is managing production.

Sales Demand

You may be at capacity right now. Do you expect your sales to grow over time? Are your sales seasonal? Co-packers require a minimum run to make manufacturing your product profitable for them.

You may be able to try a test run of 1,000 units with a small batch co-packer to see how fast you sell the product.
That’s only a viable option if your product has a long shelf-life. Keep in mind that you’ll need to absorb storage costs if your sales slow below your projections.

If your product has a short shelf-life, your sales projections have to be as precise as your recipe.

You Have Capital

For businesses that have a significant amount of cash set aside, you can afford to take a financial risk and hire a co-packer.

There are other costs involved in co-packing that can make it challenging. You may have to pay research and development costs to the manufacturer. They will improve the recipe and give it a longer shelf-life.

There may be additional costs if your co-packer supplies the ingredients. At the same time, you may be able to save money if they provide the ingredients because they get a better volume discount.

A food co-packer requires significant investment. You want to make sure that you understand the risks involved before you hire one and you have enough capital on hand.

How to Find a Co-Packer

Do you think that your business is ready to work with a small batch co-packer? You have to find the right food co-packer to work with.

You should start by researching co-packers in your area. Talk to other food producers in your area and ask them how they manufacture their products.

You need to make sure that you find a co-packer that’s the perfect size. A co-packer that’s too large will be difficult to maintain. You’ll outgrow one that’s too small.

You’ll start to understand how food co-packers work and what you need to look for in a co-packer agreement.
The most important thing to know is that you cannot rush the process. Expect to invest at least six months before making a final decision.

A Small Batch Co-Packer Helps Your Business Grow

As a food business, you have to walk a very thin line between having enough inventory and having enough sales to move inventory.

That makes growing a food business a challenge. If you grow your capacity too fast, you don’t have the sales to support it. Grow your sales to fast, you have customers waiting for your product.

Both options can cost money. The best way to grow is to use a small batch co-packer, which gives you more capacity, but not too much. You also maintain quality as you scale your recipe up.

Finding the right small batch co-packer is a big step. You have to know what questions to ask and understand how co-packers work.

Be sure to visit this site often for more business and leadership insights.

Bootstrap your online business – Top tips to stretch your start up budget

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Bootstrap your Business| Bootstrap your online business - Top tips to stretch your start up budgetStarting up an online business in today’s economy is no easy feat, as you’ve already got hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of other businesses already established and have the upper hand on you. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible by any sense of the word. You just have to be clever with your process so that you don’t blow your budget, you stand out from the crowd and most importantly, you hit the ground running. Check out these top tips to stretch your start up budget.

First thing’s first, you’ll need to build your website and the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is what kind of hosting to go for. There are pros and cons with each, so here’s a handy piece on VPS hosting vs dedicated hosting. From there you can choose which will suit your needs and your budget best.

Do the marketing yourself – it will save you tonnes of money

Marketing is a huge part in raising a business from the ground. After all, how else would people know you exist?! A dedicated marketing team can really help boost the online presence of a business but unfortunately, that’s also a rather expensive option. Doing the marketing yourself will help keep back a lot of your budget.

There are a few things that you may want to consider spending a small amount of your budget on:
Marketing books to improve your knowledge and skills. Amazon is loaded with books for each platform and yes – all of them are important!

Remember to spend a little of your budget on Google Ads campaigns – Google can really help boost your reach!
Pay the monthly fee for programs such as Adobe to create graphics and mailers for your marketing – it will make a huge difference to the quality!

Outsource rather than hire

You will undoubtedly need a team of people to help lift your business from the ground, but when you don’t have a large budget it can be difficult to employ people for long periods of time. That’s where outsourcing comes in, and it can be a very effective way of having work completed without the dedication of an employee you need to pay every week/month.

You can list the jobs you need fulfilling on websites like Upwork and Fiverr, and let applicants come to you with their skills, history and also their price demand. You can then choose the right price and skillset for your budget. The beauty of outsourcing is that once the work is done, you can go your separate ways. However, that’s not to say that in the future you won’t collaborate again!

Use influencers

Influencers play a huge role in purchase decisions on the internet, and that’s why they’re so effective for new businesses like yourself to use. Think of your favourite influencer. If they were to say, talk about the latest gadget that’s well within your interests, you’d at least check it out with a possibility of buying, right?

Browse Instagram for influencers within your business niche and contact them for their price list. Sometimes, a simple quid pro quo situation is all that’s required for an influencer to promote your business. For example, if you’re selling a particular product online, why not send them a sample pack to test, review and keep? It’s an extremely effective way of getting your name out there for a minimal cost.

Work from home rather than rent an office space

Another expense that you could eliminate is the rent you’d spend on an office space. The beauty of an online business is that you have the option to work from anywhere in the world. Load up yours and your colleagues (if any) computers or laptops with all of the necessary programs you’ll need and save your business’s budget by working from home!

Working from home can be difficult as it’s easy to become distracted and neglect your working duties. Creating a space in your home dedicated to working will help eliminate this issue. Why not check out these fantastic ways of making your home office the perfect place to work.

Starting an online business with a very minimal budget is hard work but very doable! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an online business that everyone thinks of!

4 Services Small Businesses Can Outsource

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | 4 Services Small Businesses Can OutsourceRunning a small business requires wearing a lot of different hats. You don’t have to do everything yourself or hire full-time staff to take care of all the daily tasks needed to keep your business going. Here are four services to consider outsourcing.

1. Technological Support

If you use any technology to operate your business, even if it’s just website maintenance and email, you need some type of IT support. It may not be cost effective to have your own team on staff, though. IT outsourcing can help you manage your technical infrastructure and keep everything running smoothly.

2. Janitorial Services

When you have a brick-and-mortar location, you want to keep it clean to protect yourself, your employees and your customers. You can ensure that regular cleaning happens when you enlist the help of janitorial services Minneapolis. You can set up a schedule that works best for your business.

3. Accounting

You hope that all areas of your business run well, but one area you need to be as close to perfect as possible is accounting. Accounting helps you keep track of payroll, revenue, expenditures and taxes. You can use payroll software for basic functions, but hiring outside experts can help you avoid costly mistakes.

4. Marketing

Analyzing the marketing strategies that will work best for your particular business can be time-consuming. That’s why it makes sense to outsource your marketing to a team of professionals. Marketing specialists can focus on finding the best way to reach new customers and keep your current customers informed. This releases you to have the time you need to focus on what you do best.

Part of running a small business is making sure everything is taken care of. Instead of trying to add a lot of employees to the payroll, try outsourcing as many services as possible.

How To Use Money Wisely For Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Using Money Wisely|How To Use Money Wisely For Your BusinessMoney goes hand in hand when it comes to running a business. For the most part, you need money in order for your company to continue to thrive and to tick along as it may have been doing up until now. However, mistakes can be made when it comes to money, and that’s really not something you want when it comes to your business. So here are some tips for using money wisely and to give you the best opportunities to have a thriving and successful business for years to come.

Be Wary Of Risk Taking

Risks are good to take for your business, but only if you can afford to do so. There are many risks that will come by throughout the course of the company’s existence. Some will be beneficial and work the risk, regardless of whether it pays off or not and some, not so much. It’s good to have a keen eye on which ones look good and then thinking about which ones are going to be the best option for your business at that time. Turning down these risks are going to set you back any more than where you’re at now. Instead, look forward to the opportunity to get that offer again, and perhaps next time you’ll be ready to front the risks. No opportunity is worth losing your business over, so always consider the pros and cons that come with each venture, whatever that might be.

Don’t Hire Too Soon

Hiring is necessary for many businesses to do, some a lot more than others depending on where your business is currently. Every staff member that is hired needs to be bringing something new and substantial, especially when you start creating new roles too. Think about whether your company needs that extra person right now or whether it can be covered by someone who is already within the organization. They might need a pay rise or promotion, but it’s not going to be as expensive as what it would be to hire someone completely brand new and have another responsibility to pay out for as a business. Try to not make rushed decisions when it comes to recruitment because it can often happen, and that ends up being a regret which might end up affecting the financial health of it too.

Get A Loan For Big Expenditures

Loans are a good way to spread the costs of bigger expenditures for your business that maybe you just can’t afford in one go. It might be for something fairly important and an opportunity that is too good or detrimental for your business to miss out on. When getting a loan, you want to make sure you’re picking the right one and that a fast business loan is what you want and can afford to pay back. Remember that this is not your money, and therefore, you need to be careful with how much you’re asking for and how quickly you can pay it back. Loans are good for short-term borrowing, but it’s important to not get tied into something for too long that you start losing more money than you intended through crazy interest rates and hidden fees.

Invest In Quality

Quality is going to save you money because most of the time, it’s not going to let you down. A lack of quality will, and it’s good to remember this when it comes to whatever you buy for the business. Whether it be your manufacturing process and the suppliers you use or the type of workstations you have for your employees. Everything needs to be something you invest your money into because it’ll hopefully avoid you having to pay any of it back in the future. Quality won’t let you down when it’s good, and when it comes to business, you don’t want that to be something that’s happening when it could potentially affect your clients or customers. The lack of quality you have in your business as a whole, the more you’re going to find yourself paying out in the future. When you’re trying to save money, that’s not what you want to be happening.

Outsource Where Possible

Outsourcing is considered to be a popular thing for all businesses to do when they maybe don’t have the space or financials to pay for an extra person to work at the company. At the same time, it’s also good to be able to find an alternative when the task or job that’s required, doesn’t need someone full-time. You might want to consider doing this if you were thinking of hiring someone. It’s a good in-between until you find that you do need them. When outsourcing, make sure you’re doing your research to find the right companies and don’t forget to keep tabs on them. It’s important to make sure that whomever you pick, is someone you can keep up communications with to ensure everything ticks along perfectly.

Do Regular Budget Meetings

Keeping tabs on your money starts with budget meetings. These are worth being quarterly to make sure that you’re keeping up to date with everything that’s changing within the company’s departments. Budgets can change, and although some departments may stick to their budgets, others might not, and so it’s also important sign-off is something you make a thing when it comes to dealing with the finances of the business. That means someone or more than one has to oversee those big expenditures that could cost your business thousands. It’s a safety net worth having so that your accounts team are aware of any big costs that might affect the business for the rest of the financial year.

Using money in your business is something that should always be monitored as your business changes and develops. Focus on regular budget meetings and not making rash decisions when it comes to recruitment or taking risks. Outsource where you can and make sure you’re investing in quality when it comes to your business, in whatever way that might be.

To Outsource IT Services or Not? 8 Reasons a Business Should Outsource IT

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |outsource IT|To Outsource IT Services or Not? 8 Reasons a Business Should Outsource ITOutsourcing has become a standard part of business today. If you’re looking for a function to start with, there’s no better option than IT. It’s the most commonly outsourced position in the business world.

Do you want to learn more about what benefits you will get when you outsource IT? Keep reading to learn eight reasons why working with a managed services provider is worth trying.

1. Save Money

It isn’t a cheap process to hire a new employee. You have the cost of sending out job postings and the cost of spending time in interviews. Even after all that work, there’s no guarantee that you find the right person for the job.

Then you have the cost of a salary. One employee is expensive enough. If you have a lot of IT needs, your entire IT budget can go up by a lot.

You can save a lot of money by working with a managed services provider. You only pay a retainer based on the needs of your business.

2. Focus on Your Core Business

Getting the things done that you’re good at is challenging enough at times. If you decide to manage an IT team yourself, you’re going to run the risk of spreading yourself too thin.

By working with a managed services provider for your IT needs, you can keep your focus on your core business. They will handle the planning and hiring for your company. The only thing you need to do is approve what they want to do.

3. Secure Your Business Online

If you haven’t been following the news, you probably aren’t aware of all the recent data breaches. Even large companies are getting compromised. Nobody is immune from cyberattacks.

You must protect your business from these types of attacks. The bare minimum isn’t going to cover you.
When you work with an IT provider that has a security expert, they can help you put an internet security system in place to protect your company network. It will watch your network at all times and block anything that shouldn’t be there.

4. Backup Your Data

You can’t afford to lose your data in the data-driven world we live in today. Your data is what allows you to make the most informed business decisions. Without it, you’re going to be going into things blind.

Unfortunately, you aren’t going to know ahead of time when an accident will happen. It’s vital to have a backup system in place for when this happens.

Your managed services provider will help put a backup system in place that will do backups regularly. If you do ever lose data, all you need to do is log into your backup system and restore your lost data.

5. Get Help With Compliance

You need to handle a lot of regulations and compliance issues in business today. Consumers won’t stand for companies taking shortcuts anymore. The problem is, it can be hard to keep up with everything you need to do.
Being compliant is even more critical when you deal with technology. You’ll need to invest a lot of resources for staying up to code. An IT company can help you do that.

If you work with a provider that is experienced in your industry, you can count on them to know all the regulations your business needs to follow. They will audit your business to make sure there are no problems that can get you in trouble. After they find the issues, they can start getting them fixed for you.

6. Find Vendor Support

You work with a lot of hardware and software companies to keep your business running smoothly. Things work well most of the time. However, you can run into problems if something you use breaks.

If you don’t have reliable IT support, you’re going to spend a lot of time digging through your contacts to figure out who you need to call. Once you find the right person, it’s a matter of finding the right questions to ask. If you don’t have a background in tech, this can be a complicated process.

Your managed services provider can handle this process for you. They already have relationships with all the prominent vendors in the tech industry. They’ll be able to track down someone to fix your problem and get things fixed before you know it.

7. Scale Your IT Team

It’s hard to grow a team when your business is unpredictable. Sure, hiring people will save you in the short-term, but then you have to find something for them to do when business calms down.

You’ll either need to create new positions for the people who don’t have things to do or start laying people off. Either way, it will create frustration for you and your team.

If you use a managed services provider, you can use them to supplement your team during busy times and not need to worry about what to do when work returns to normal.

8. Get Access to Experts

Technology is making its way to every part of business. The problem is, hiring the experts to help your business use this technology isn’t cheap.

If you use an IT provider, they can provide you the access to the experts you need. They have done the work of finding the top talent in the field. If you need help with something, all you need to do is reach out to your provider, and they will send the person you need over.

You’ll be able to work with people who know big data, A.I., and how to set up remote working capabilities.

Things Get Better When You Outsource IT

Don’t underestimate the benefits you’ll see when you outsource IT. Working with a professional IT business will help you get the infrastructure you need while being able to focus on your core business. Talk to someone today to figure out what they can do for your business.

If you’re looking for more tips that will help your company succeed, go back to our blog and read our latest posts. They will help you figure out ways to take your business to the next level.