Building a Successful Independent Food Business

Independent Grocers is those who provide healthy, fresh food to customers without the endorsement, consent, or association of a traditional retailer. Many independent operators started in the 1940s as small stands or food carts in local markets and have grown into full-fledged food franchises that distribute their own brand of “ourmet” foods nationwide. The independent food market is growing and maturing every day with more consumers are demanding healthy, organic and local food. As a result, this segment of the restaurant and grocery industry is experiencing strong expansion.

One of the challenges of this expansion is reaching an ever-increasing number of people who live in a suburban or rural area. A local franchise may be appealing to a homeowner, but not so much for someone who lives in a bustling metropolitan area. While there are many independent grocers who operate on a national scale, there are also many “mom and pop” operations that have yet to reach that level. It is becoming increasingly difficult for independent food marketers to get a foothold in the crowded market.

There are some challenges associated with entering the independent food market. One of the largest obstacles facing independent food entrepreneurs is building a name for their company. An independent food business must build a brand and a reputation that will guarantee the company’s success over the long-term. Without a solid customer base, any revenue is going to be small.

Because of the increasing competition from national chains, it is becoming more difficult for independent food marketers to secure funding. Most conventional loan applications today require a minimum investment. For an independent food business, this isn’t realistic. The lack of a recognizable name is tough to overcome. The best solution for funding is to tap into a network of investors or partner with existing business owners. Creating a strategic alliance with an established company can be helpful, especially if they already have experience in marketing and distribution.

It can take years to establish a strong brand in the independent food market. While there is a lot of risk involved, there is also a great deal of potential for growth and profit. The key to a successful independent food business is to invest in advertising. Advertising represents the single most important cost for any food business. Although the independent food market is small compared to the national or even small-scale grocery stores, every dollar counts.

In order to reach an audience of any size, it’s necessary to utilize every available media. Advertising on television, radio and print is essential to the survival of any independent food business. Because of this, it is vital to find a way to maximize advertising dollars to attract the most customers. By advertising on television, newspapers and magazines, independent food marketers will be able to generate hundreds of potential customers daily.

Another way to build a strong brand in the independent food market is to create a solid website presence. Having a website allows independent food marketers to showcase all of their products and information at one place. A website is also a great way to showcase potential customers and advertise specials and new product releases. While not a requirement, it’s always nice to have one. If you want to build a strong customer base, don’t skimp on your website.

While the food industry can be daunting, it’s made manageable by the independent food business owner. With just a few hours of work and a little creativity, any business owner can get started on the right foot. With the right attitude and positive attitude, food business owners will be able to succeed no matter what they’re selling. Even better, the sky is the limit! The independent food business has the potential to reach millions of consumers nationwide; a massive market for any business with a vision.

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