The side job: the good, the bad, the ugly…

Reflection on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the side job of an entrepreneur as I am entering in the last week of a 4-month contract I accepted last January, when faced with a very real cash flow need:

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have been working on my business concept for a few months now, and came to a phase were I had to make a cash investment in order to move to the next step. I was presented in January with a very interesting opportunity to work for a very well-known supermarket brand, to drive the design project of private label products distributed through the store chain. It gave me the chance to learn more about the value chain, from the store perspective, and to be in touch with each actor of the chain, from supplier to store manager via sourcing. While I certainly benefited a lot from this experience for my entrepreneurial journey, I have also been through less than enjoyable moments, experiencing serious doubt on my overall vision…

The Good: With no doubt, the good was all I could learn: how this value chain works, what are the regulations in detail, how the product selection is made, people, jobs, processes…. Read the rest of this entry »

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In search of accountability…

accountability1I am dreaming of launching my gourmet food start-up….

Accountability: Somehow I have the secret hope that reporting my progress in my blog will make me accountable. And eventually I will be positively pressured to execute and move my project forward. I just want to feel the drive even when nothing happens!  What is my project? Well at the moment, I’ll be general:  like many entrepreneurs in early stage, I want

A/to refine my idea before bragging about it too much;

B/ I avoid throwing a possible good idea out there in the big nasty competitive world of gourmet food business. Having said that, I can now talk about my progress.

I had the chance to meet a team of great mentors via the non-profit SCORE and this really kicked my butts. Basically I committed myself to deliver a complete summary of my concept considering: What’s in it for me, what’s the market target is like, what’s the state of the art – competition wise, what are the overall cost breakdown, what are my challenges.

We had a great discussion, and even though there was a lot of “do you understand the hassles you go through in launching your own business bla bla bla“, there was also some great points from seasoned professional from inside the industry, that clearly helped me moving forward for the following 3 weeks.

Here I am now, figuring out how:

A/ How am I going to produce the stuff (already 15 emails sent out, and FINALLY 2 almost positive lead)

B/ How am I going to let the world know I have something great to offer – I am working on my social media here…

C/ How can I improve my great idea so food lover actually find it great too! – Hey, I distributed 7 samples out there and got 5 feedback so far… Now I am seriously considering the planning of a focus group.

And thanks to my great friends and supporters, I have tons of contacts.

Next step: how do I leverage all these contacts; how do I make this focus group happen, on a nickel; how and what do I deliver on the social media to stay on track with my objective…

Are you an entrepreneur in Food? Do you love gourmet food? Talk to me!