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The resources and tools below help consultants provide sophisticated financial technical assistance to food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses.

Divergent Business Model Path

Your Place Can Shape Your Business Model Path

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Different business models have paths i.e. divergent roads that entrepreneurs can choose to follow to achieve their business goals. Choosing one means saying no to another, at least initially, as each path has different scale requirements and requires different levels and sources of capitalization.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Rural Business Investment

The Capital Conundrum of Rural Economic Development

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

USDA programs serve not just agricultural producers but also rural businesses and rural people more broadly, including programs meant to incentivize and leverage private dollars for investment in rural areas. However, there is a big need to educate investors and entrepreneurs about realistic opportunities for investment and business development in rural America.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Big Idea

Execution Matters More Than Your Big, Brilliant Idea

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Entrepreneurship and the "Eureka" moment where the entrepreneur has their big, brilliant idea is often glorified in the media and American mythology. What is more difficult is figuring out how to execute on that idea by building the right team/processes and optimizing every aspect of the business for long-term financial success.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Midwestern BioAg

Midwestern BioAg and the Business of Biological Farming

45 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Midwestern BioAg is a company that provides farmers with consulting and products (mostly inputs) that help improve yields, resiliency and profitability by using biological farming methods i.e. treating the farm like an ecosystem and preserving the long-term health of the soil.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

FaB Wisconsin

New Product Development and Rollouts For National Food and Beverage Brands: A Process

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Big food and beverage companies start the new product development process by focusing on their target consumer and the value proposition they are offering that consumer through their brand promise. Discovering and defining a consumer driven product is much harder to do than making a food product.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Storytelling

What’s Your Story? Speaking To Your Audiences’ Needs

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

With consumers, entrepreneurs should develop in-depth personas about their target customer and use the language that speaks directly to their unmet need. When speaking to funders, entrepreneurs need to tell the story of their business model, their revenue model and their brand positioning i.e. the story they reinforce with consumers.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Direct Farm Sales By Region

Direct Sales of Farm Food – USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

44 pages of Free report content + lots of excel data by USDA

From the USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey: In 2015, farmers produced and sold $8.7 billion of edible food commodities directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and a variety of local food intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers that market and sell locally branded products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

CSA Changing Business Model

Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets

68 pages of Free report content by USDA

The CSA business model has evolved significantly. New products, season extensions, multi-farm collaborations, new shareholder groups, marketing collaborations, innovative aggregation and delivery strategies, new urban production connections, and health and wellness alliances are among the current trends reshaping the CSA business.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Paul Dietmann

Paul Dietmann on Setting Your Farm Up for Financial Success

1 hour & 15 minutes of Free audio by Farmer To Farmer Podcast

The single most important thing to do when starting a farm is to create a month-by-month cash flow projection. In the short term, cash flow is much more critical than profitability, because if cash flow is negative, the farm cannot survive once cash runs out. Profitability comes into play when the farmer is ready to retire or pass it on to the next generation.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Grocery Store Categories Growth

Define It: Categories In Action

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

What category means in the context of a grocery store is difficult to define. Categories could be defined as groups of products that meet a similar consumer need or that can substitute for each other. This allows something like snacks, as a category, to cover many different types of products and have a plethora of sub-categories (salty snacks, sweet snacks, etc.).

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups | Growing and Scaling

Pick Your Own

A Farmer’s Guide To A Pick-Your-Own Operation

28 pages of Free report content by University of Tennessee Extension

Producers interested in a Pick Your Own (PYO) farming business model should analyze whether or not market potential exists before developing the enterprise. Farmers should conduct a market analysis to determine if a potentially profitable market exists for their PYO.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Distribution

Pricing Through Distribution Worksheet

Paid tool by Edible-Alpha®

Food and Beverage producers should always work backwards from the selling price to determine the wholesale price. Sometimes both retailer and distributor margins can be lower in certain competitive product categories and in large scale conventional distributors and retailer. However, it is difficult to sustain at a Gross Margin Contribution of less than 35%.
Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

106 pages of Free report content by Wisconsin DATCP

How do you get started in local food production and marketing? What do you need to consider? Like any business venture, establishing the entire concept and developing the initial steps may seem overwhelming. You must learn a whole new set of skills and be proficient at them for your business to succeed.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Food And Tech

Innovation in Food Is Different Than Tech

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Big food companies realize that they need to innovate. Rather than innovating only in-house, many have been acquiring or strategically investing in new brands at a rapid pace. Innovation in food needs to be matched with an emotional and cultural connection to the consumer through relentless communication about food company's brand promise.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

WasteCap

Considering Manufacturing In-House? Waste Can Be A Resource That Improves Your Food Business’ Bottom...

1 hour & 15 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Zero Waste Facility Certification can improvea food business' bottom line while helping them meet existing standards for building design, construction and operations. LEED and Zero Waste Facility Certification also give them a framework to exceed standards where it makes business sense.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

On-Farm Weddings

Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism

16 pages of Free report content by NCAT/ATTRA

Small diversified farms are ideally suited to agri-entertainment. The chief qualification for the rural landowner who expects to make a living from the land through agri-tourism is the desire and the ability to cater to tourists and meet their expectations of a farm visit.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Disrupts Distribution And Presents Opportunities

20 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

There are many reasons why selling food online is difficult. When cognitive neuroscientist track our brain activity as it relates to food, they find that the pleasure centers of our brains light up when we eat and even when we shop. This acquisition opens the possibility that consumers can benefit without degrading their shopping experience.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

LBW Wealth

How Much Is My Company Worth? Company Valuations With LBW Wealth Management

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Company valuations should be done based on a rational justification of the future growth rate and future earnings of the company, as well as the fundamentals of the business model. For example, whether the company is defensibly unique and how long its competitive advantage can be sustained are both key drivers of company value.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Legal Documents

List of Documentation For Approaching Lenders and Investors

Paid checklist by Edible-Alpha®

Much of the difficult part of raising money is putting together the requested documentation for lenders and investors. This includes everything from tax documents to sell sheets to simulated proforma financial statements with realistic assumptions about the company's growth.

Tool or Template about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Organic Agriculture Wisconsin

Organic Agriculture in Wisconsin: 2017 Status Report

44 pages of Free report content by University of Wisconsin-Madison

According to data from the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), Wisconsin had 1,334 organic farms in 2015, nearly doubling over the last 10 years. Wisconsin remains the second state in the nation in total number of organic farms, second only to California. Wisconsin ranks third behind California and Montana in the number of organic acres.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

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