Do you know how to take your brand to the next level?

So if you’ve been following our last few blog posts, you may now be starting to tick some boxes – you are the proud owner of a great consumer led product and a strong brand with plenty of new ideas in the pipeline to keep your range interesting.

You know who your competitors are and what you are going to do to stay ahead of them, plus you have a good understanding of the retailers you want to target.

So – what’s next? Are you ready for your first big order?

Many producers will be happy to continue to supply small scale at farmer’s markets and local delis, and indeed that may be right for you. But if you would like to supply bigger stores and/or regional and national retailers, you will need to know the steps required to enable you to do this.


Tip 1 : Don’t worry that you will lose your artisan feel in taking this step – you can still maintain your traditions and specialities as a larger scale business.

So what are all the processes you need to have thought about to make sure the retailers will have confidence that you can supply them?

Have you already identified partners to work with in the different areas?

  • Scaling up – where will you manufacture – do you need to outsource?
  • Technical/Quality Assurance – a fully functioning HACCP system is necessary, but not usually sufficient for the major retailers; they may require a BRC or to audit your premises themselves. The SALSA is a good alternative for small food producers.
  • Legal – does your packaging have all the necessary info? Readable barcodes?
  • Distribution – retailers have focussed heavily in the last few years on reducing supply chain costs – the chosen method will be agreed during negotiations and you will need to have a clear idea of how this will impact on your costs.
  • Finance – retailers want suppliers who know their numbers and can talk confidently about them. You will need water tight forecasting of your costs, proposed margins, RRPs, timings, quantities, etc.

Tip 2: As Dragon’s Den has shown time after time, it is often the figures where the plan falls down! Make sure you factor in the costs associated with the above areas to ensure your P&L stacks up.

Think about the whole journey from Recipe to Retail –the more pieces of the puzzle you have got in place the easier it becomes for the buyer to trade with you and the faster you will be able to react.

Good luck with it all!

Look a bit daunting?

If you need some help with all this – don’t worry we’re here to show you the tricks of the trade. When Relish launches in March 2012 it will be packed full of useful actionable advice on how to navigate through this process, including choosing the right partners to work with, templates for putting a financial case together, guest interviews with experts in each field – and oodles of other useful stuff too!

If you can’t wait until March, do get in touch with us now at [email protected]