These are exciting yet daunting times for food and beverage entrepreneurs in Alberta. There is a lot to gain from the increased demand for health-conscious products as well as a shift towards sustainable produce. However, the economic uncertainty that has led to inflation, increase in interest rates and market volatility has negative impacts on business.
If you run a new or emerging food and beverage business, you’re very likely struggling to translate your initial surge in popularity to sustainable growth and profitability due to the economic decline. You might find profits are growing more slowly than anticipated, sales are dropping as consumers save more and spend less, or key ingredients to keep production steady are more difficult to source.
These and similar struggles are currently impacting every business in the sector and across the country. In times like this, it is important for you to build stronger business skills that will help you stand above the challenge and ensure that your business not simply survives the times but succeeds despite it.
Building A Recipe For Success
It’s no secret your food and beverage business is driven by a passion to share your family recipe, help people be healthy or fill a void in the marketplace. Your priority is to get products you’ve created with love and heart into the hands of customers.
That deep-seated sense of purpose is essential. But your business will only stand the test of time with a strong plan, clear strategy, and a solid understanding of key performance drivers. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your business for resilience and continuity:
1. Create a plan. The economic uncertainty has brought about a shift in your customers’ spending and buying habits. So, now is the time to plan for “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios. You must study their new behaviours and ask questions where you can. For example, what would you do if your restaurant traffic drops because people decide to eat more at home? Analyze all the possible impacts this could have on your business and develop a mitigation plan.
2. Evaluate your overall business strategy. Ask yourself important questions, such as how you will reinvent your business for survival in the event of a continuous economic downturn. Will you need to add a new product line? Or move your business completely online? Or improve on your distribution strategy? Whatever you do, ensure the strategy you choose is one that will keep your business on its feet no matter the outcome of the economic situation.
3. Build a trusted team. Your skills and passion may no longer be sufficient if your business is to survive and thrive. Consider bringing together friends and advisors with whom you will brainstorm ideas for growth and profitability. This team will be committed to your success and helping you develop the financial mindset and skillsets to match your expertise.
Your Secret Ingredient
You need a business advisor now more than ever. Like a mentor, they will help you navigate growth milestones and pinpoint areas for improvement. Unlike a mentor, though, a business advisor takes a far more invested role, embedding themselves in your business, getting their hands dirty, and helping you grow and do the right things well. They also bring extensive knowledge of the challenges in the industry — and in-depth expertise on practices, strategies, and techniques similar businesses have adopted to optimize their performance.
The goal of every worthwhile advisor is to ensure you become more confident in their ability to lead and create sustainable value even in periods of uncertainty.
The Icing On The Cake
There’s a common misconception that professional service providers cater primarily to large businesses. In fact, it’s often small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the benefit of large finance, risk, and operations teams who can often benefit most from working with a business advisor.
It’s why at MNP, we’re committed to helping small businesses in Alberta’s food and beverage sector overcome obstacles and maximize value. We do this in myriad ways, such as providing tailored services in Accounting and Assurance, Corporate Finance, Operations and Strategy, among others and supporting local businesses by sponsoring the Made in Alberta Awards. Read more about our work in Alberta.
For more information, contact Dean Voykin, CPA, CA, at 403.537.7651 or email@example.com.
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