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Starting up as a Food Entrepreneur does not equal get rich quick.............

by Claire Martinsen on Mon 30th Apr 2012 07:37

There was a brilliant article in the Independent over the weekend entitled ‘Gourmet Gamble: Could you make it as a Food Entrepreneur‘, written by Charlotte Philby.  It gave an honest insight into the world of being a start up food and drink entrepreneur.  Must-read for any would-be start up entrepreneur.

With the recession, and many people leaving corporate jobs, there is a big movement towards starting up a food business.  I am sure many enter with a romantic notion that it will be a life of making products on the kitchen table, roses around the door, sunny days etc etc.  In reality running your own food business is great [I still absolutely adore every single day], but its also blooming hard work, and takes dedication and perseverence.

I spoke at a very smart Business event in  London last year  It was specifically targetted towards women who wanted to start up their own business based on a craft or food idea.  The audience was about 250 very smartly dressed women [they’d all come from the office], the majority of whom were frustrated in their corporate jobs and wanted to branch out and do their own thing.  At the time I spoke I’d been running Breckland Orchard for about two years.

One of the questions I was asked was ‘How many months did it take you to earn the same salary as you were on before?’.  I was a bit taken aback by the question – the business plan I built had me not taking a salary for at least 2 years – did she really think that setting up your own business was that easy?

The reality of setting up your own food and drink business is that it needs a lot of re-investment into equipment, labels etc.  Any profit gleened needs to be put back into the business to grow it further.  There are definitely businesses that are cheaper to set up than ones that involve physical product…………you have to go into it with your eyes open.

So would I put anyone off setting up – no………my advice would be go for it!  It can be the very best of times.  But if you expect it to earn you a fortune overnight then you are probably barking up the wrong tree.






Posted in: Starting out Tips for running a food business Women and Business


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