Many food and farm entrepreneurs know their way around a kitchen or carrot crop, but when it comes to the financial stuff, they feel out of their lane. For some, numbers have never been their strong suit so they’re intimidated by it all. Others grasp the basics and even do a fine job of tracking sales, expenses, profits and losses but then have a hard time seeing what to do with the data. Others actually know way more about money than they think they do, so when talking about it, they sell themselves short. Do any of these people sound familiar?
Without question, in order to grow their companies, food and farm entrepreneurs must gain a decent understanding of the money-related aspects of their business. Beyond just keeping their ventures afloat, having a firm grip on money matters allows them to have confident, productive conversations with retailers, brokers, distributors, suppliers, banks, accelerators—and especially investors. All too often, entrepreneurs go into meetings with potential partners confident about their branding, product attributes or founder’s story, but they gloss over the money stuff or speak about it timidly.
This is especially common among female business owners, especially when attempting to raise capital. While the investment world has become more diverse in recent years, it’s still dominated by men, which can be intimidating for women pitching their companies. Sometimes outdated stereotypes linger about what women can and can’t do and how much they can really know about money. And sometimes it’s the female entrepreneur—not the table full of men—who is casting these doubts upon herself, potentially hindering her chances of scoring an investment.
Our latest podcast features an excellent discussion about this. Tera talks with Sacha Dhanjal, founder and president of Saffi Foods, about why it’s crucial to not just know your numbers but also to talk like you know your numbers. Sascha admits to being intimidated about the financial side of her business at first. But through Tera’s mentorship, she learned the importance of going into a room with confidence and showing that she knew her numbers inside and out.
Sure, there may be a learning curve in understanding the money stuff, bigger for some than for others. But the good news is nobody has to go it alone. There are plenty of excellent resources available to assist entrepreneurs in financial matters—including the Food Finance Institute—so they can pitch their awesome company without fear.
And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…
Business Model Insights
- Upsizing, shrinkflation, premiumization: What’s the best pricing and packaging strategy for your brand? (Nielsen Insights) Most CPG manufacturers face pressure to find new growth opportunities, but market disruptions and self-inflicted wounds often tank their progress. Rising prices, premiumization and downsizing can all spark growth—but not if these strategies are applied randomly.
- 3 tips to break through your brand’s growth plateau (New Hope Network)
- 8 Keys to Scaling the Business After Initial Traction (Startup Professionals Musings)
- The 5 Cs of Credit Analysis: How Banks Evaluate Potential Borrowers (Investors Community Bank) Most entrepreneurs know that adequate cash flow is a primary element of small business success, so what criteria do banks assess before issuing loans?
- Lessons from the Tank: Ka-Pop! founder offers practical advice (New Hope Network)
- The role of impact investors in early stage agtech investing (AgFunder News)
- Derailed by Coronavirus, a Corner of the Food Industry Questions the Future of Its Biggest Event (Forbes) Mounting industry pressure prompted New Hope Network to postpone Natural Products Expo West over coronavirus fears, but the company’s delay in doing so sparked allegations of putting profits above consumer safety.
- Preserving the nutritional quality of packaged foods (Food & Beverage Insider)
- 8 tips to successful shelf appeal (New Hope Network)
- More Than Half of Americans Are Daily Snackers, Cargill Reports (Food Industry Executive) Based on a survey of more than 1,000 consumers, Cargill names three snacking trends to keep in mind when formulating new food products: functionality, emotional support and personalization.
- U.S. Plant-Based Retail Market Worth $5 Billion, Growing at 5X Total Food Sales (Plant Based Foods Association)
- GALLERY: Trendspotting at (the virtual) Expo West … from chia pasta to butternut squash chips (FoodNavigator-USA)
Farming and AgTech
- Farmers and nonprofits sue Trump’s USDA over organic soil-less loophole (Center for Food Safety) New lawsuit challenges USDA’s decision to allow hydroponic operations to be certified organic, claiming they fail to build heathy soils.
- Mother nature rules. So why not follow her lead? (Successful Farming)
- With agreements in hand, fewer farmers expect trade war payments (Successful Farming)
- Global agri-foodtech funding reaches $19.8bn in 2019 (AgFunder News) Though the $19.8 billion figure signals a 4.8% drop in funding and 15% decline in deal activity year-over-year, it also marks a staggering 250% growth in five years and proves that the huge scale of investments in 2018 was no outlier.
- JBS, Hormel Foods Make Purchases (Food Processing)
- How two years of changes in dairy led to two major bankruptcies (Food Dive)
- North American Farm & Power Show: $, 3/19–3/21, Owatonna, MN
- Food Safety Summit: $, 5/4–5/7, Rosemont, IL
- Food Edge: $, 5/6–5/7, Boston, MA
- American Farmland Trust 2020 National Conference: $, 5/6–5/7, Washington, DC
- BioAg World Congress: $, 5/11–5/13, Sacramento, CA
- SAVOR™: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience: $, 5/15, Washington, DC
- The Future of Food: $, 5/27–5/28, Minneapolis, MN
- Plant Based World Conference & Expo: $, 6/5–6/6, New York, NY
- IFT20: $, 7/12–7/15, Chicago, IL
- Digital Food & Beverage: $, 7/20–7/22, Austin, TX