Lesson 2: Making A Plan

Every business should have a plan. Since you won’t be seeking financing initially, you don’t have to create a 30-page business plan. A couple of pages will do just fine.

In this lesson, we will walk you through the things you should pencil out as you plan your food business so that you have clarity and focus as you go from the drawing board to the cutting board.



Making a Plan

Plan Components (continued)

Key Activities

This is relatively straightforward. You want to articulate the activities you will engage in to ensure that you meet your value proposition, reach your customer segments and maintain positive customer relationships while generating revenue.

There are three basic categories to consider:

Production. These are the steps you take to standardize your kitchen routine while maintaining consistency, quality and quantity. Think in terms of a factory production line. You want to optimize your workspace to reduce steps, eliminate unnecessary processes and create efficiencies wherever possible.

Problem Solving. Things rarely run smoothly all the time. An ingredient may be temporarily out of stock, your vendor screwed up your order, a key piece of equipment goes on the fritz when you need it most, or a customer may have been unhappy with their order. You don’t have to have an answer for everything. That will just make you crazy. Instead, stay in a continual problem-solving mode and always be ready to adapt to what the day holds. Bursting into tears in the kitchen is not only counterproductive, but will require additional cleanup.

Network. Maintaining relationships with your vendors, appliance dealers and repair people is essential to keeping your production running on time. Things break, pipes plug, electric sockets fry. Keeping in contact with those who can help you out in a pinch is a good way to move to the head of the line when you run into a problem.


Value Proposition

We’ve already mentioned this a time or two, but what is it? This is the heart of your business model. It is your unique solution – your products or service – that solves a problem your customers face, or that creates value for them. It may free up their time, eliminate a worry, cater to a craving – you name it. It is what makes you unique and different from your competitors.

Here are some well-known ones. Short and to the point:

  • “Expect More, Pay Less.”  –  Target
  • “Save Money. Live Better.”  –  Walmart
  • “Music for Everyone.”  –  Spotify
  • “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”  –  Pinterest

Notice that the entire purpose of the company, product or service is articulated in just a few words. Value propositions can be quantitative (best price, fastest service) or qualitative (best tasting, greatest value).

From there, you can adjust accordingly and decide if you want to go bigger or are content with a side hustle that allows you to make up to $35,000 a year from your home.

We’ll go into more detail on this in Lesson 3: Pricing.

Wrapping Up

This type of business plan isn’t meant to end up on a bookshelf next to other books you’ve been meaning to read but never seem to have the time. It is a living document. It is meant to be a guide to running your business and keeping it on course. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day or suddenly want to shift to something else because you thought it would be interesting. This short plan will keep you on course.

More important, this plan will serve as a springboard for moving onto bigger things, if that’s what you want down the road. It will keep everyone involved in the business on the same page as you grow and expand.



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Academy Staff