This is a bodybuilding forum. Inventions for this site would be:
The Fart Sucking Machine -this machine immediately goes to work upon the expression of gaseous elements from one's anus and sucks it away releases a cloud of cookie dough scented aromas.
The Squat Rack Curler Destroyer -a rather large invention that resembles a bulldozer. This machine completely squashes, compacts and scoops away any fools in the squat rack. It also has a silencer for quiet flattening.
The Cell Phone Zapper -This machine sends an electric pulse throughout the gym disrupting any cell phone frequencies. It then causes immediate death for the person daring to use one while on a pec deck machine.
Even if you have the greatest candy bar since sliced bread (not an actual candy), it's going to be real tough to break into that industry. You'll need a ton of equity, capital, cash, etc. to not fail miserably in this market. It seems that most companies that succeed in this industry have great advertising and public awareness. The great awareness comes from millions of bucks on advertising as well as many years of being a market leader.
Have you sampled your product to the market? Are you just throwing a bunch of money into production because you and your buddies think this product tastes great?
I'd really like to see your complete strategic business plan.
I really know nothing about this industry and my post is just stuff off the top of my head. I hope you know what you're doing and good luck.
Why not just use waxed paper. I'd try and find a local bakery/candy store(s) to stock your candy (if you have it on a sheet tray next to the cookies and underglass, you won't even have to worry about wrapping them.)
Well I'm all alone. I have no partners. Most of the people my age just want to get a job and make money so they can buy cars and go out.
I'm currently formulating my business plan. Its tough, but I dont think I can plan for everything. I could take years to make a complete plan. I think at some point I just have to jump in and do it, and work out the details later.
I have no distribution system, nor potential customers. All I have is an idea. I have dropped it a few times already but it just keeps coming back into my life. I have to try to do it, if not will I sit in an office before my retirement to think what would have happened. I will set up booths in front of supermarkets and give out samples, and have the people demand that the stores carry the stuff, I will go to coffe shops, mom and pop deliys airports train stations any place to sell it. I however cannot sell it out of my kitchen. I have to have packaging to build awareness, and an economic moot so to say.
I greatly appreciate your comments though, that is why I write here, and keep them coming! what do you do if I may ask? I would like it if more people saw my plan so, I would appreciate it if you looked at it once is done. Any help and ideas are greatly appreciated. All perspectives are welcome (not to say potential investors:)
I want to build brand awareness, as well as, or a competitive advantage with a wrapper, that I want people to associate with my product. I want people to see a picture when they bite into it. I don't just want to build the next canoli or donut....I want to start the next Coca Cola.
Remember that it takes money to make money.... So the idea they gaved you about the bakery store ain't that bad, you have to start somewhere. Even working at the bakery/candy store could just give you the insight you need to seriously do this.
And to relate it to the bodybuilding site, you can dream becoming arnold/coleman, you can plan it all you want, research the perfect programs, but you can't push 300 if you didn't do 200 first.
My brothers company provides all the plastic for the wrappers for companies like Hershey.
The machines that do the actual wrapping are usually custom built, cost a fortune and are inredibly complex.
Probably not something you could do in your kitchen.
If you want to make the candy yourself you will probably want to find a different way to wrap it or if you think the wrapper is the key you might want to tie in with an established candy maker that has the equipment.
The key to candy sales is shelf space. You have to beg, borrow or steal shelf space. Any shelf space you get will be at the expense of another manufacturer. It is very competitive.
I take it that you're young. You said that most people your age want to make some money to just go out and have fun. I'm young as well. 25 years old. I've been studying business since I was 18. My concentration is more towards business operations even though I excel in organizational behavior and communication type roles.
A business plan needs to be a strategic business plan. You have to have a strategy...a plan for the future of your business. Majority of the plan is operations and finance. That does depend on the business of course. You'd be manufacturing a product, not selling a service.
You're right, you can't plan for everything. Sometimes you should be conservative (worst case scenario forecasting) and sometimes you should be aggressive with your strategy and implementation of the strategy.
You mentioned that a business plan can take quite a bit of time to formulate and that you think at some time you should just jump in and do it. Well, have you made a budget yet. As far as how much it will cost to produce a certain amount of product, how much it will cost to inventory/warehouse the product, how much for employees, etc.
I think that this aspect (finance and budget) should not be overlooked and should not be jumped into. This aspect of the business in my opinion should take careful consideration. Small errors at the begining could cost big bucks at the end. Also, by knowing how much a monthly/yearly production or operation budget will cost you, you will have a good idea what to look for in case of loans. LOANS CAN BE TOUGH TO GET. If you have a rock solid plan, banks still might not help you out.
That is where your rich uncle or whatever comes in. Seriously, rich family members are the ticket to obtaining small loans or even co-signing loans for your business. Even if they're not rich, established family members may be able to help in some way or another. Just a thought.
Again, I have to repeat that it's pretty important to not just jump into the business. Careful and thorough planning must be achieved. It won't take as long as you think. Organization is a key element in creating your business plan. Spend time at your local Barnes and Nobles in the business management section reading books on how to form a strategic business plan. The better the planning, the less suprising some things can be and vice versa.
You also have to figure that if your going to produce a product (your candy), you'll need suppliers. Not only will you need to find the suppliers to supply your demand of "materials", you'll need a good forecast of how much raw materials you'll need to purchase to get the right amount of candies produced.
Perfect or near perfect forecasting is key to a strategic plan. But so damn hard to predict. If you can forecast with in a few percent of deviation from your demand then you'll succeed. Also, shop around while purchasing. You'll get better deals by looking at every potential supplier, then you can find the best deal that way. I'm on a rant.
You mentioned that you have no distribution system. Figure out how you can get one going, or how you can run your business without a big distribution system. Shoot, it may even be wise not to spend all kinds of money on a big distribution system. You can start slow, start small, establishing your business. Establishing the companies niche, implementing the mission of the company. Some sort of dist. system may have to be set up, depending on your strategy.
What do you want out of your business? Majority of the market share, enough money to retire early, be big, be small. What? What is it that will stand out about your company, what is it that will make your business succeed? Is it the great taste of the product? Is it that good? How many people so far have tried it and said dayyyyummm.
Your mentioned that you'd probably have to start small and visit Mom n' Pops, deli's, etc. That sounds reasonable. This could help you get further into the industry. This will also give you a good idea if your product can succeed.
Feel free to keep telling us about your plan. PM if you'd like. I don't mind bouncing ideas back n' forth. I don't want a share of your profits, but Uncle Sam does.
How expensive are the machines is a very important thing to consider when starting. Joe, if you're going to start out trying to supply Mom n Pop types it's better to avoid automation until you have a bigger Demand Base. It's just a thought.
You don't want to spend 25k (estimated figure) on a machine when you're only going to wrap a couple hundred candies a month. Save the machine for when you actually are producing thousands and thousands of candies.
Also Joe, do you use machinery at this point to create your candies?
Fred Deluca Subway founder said, one should just jump in and sort out the details later. A great deal of businesses fail because the owners/managers fail to plan, so I've read. I went to a small business counseling session at SCORE, and they basically said i shouldn't even try. So much for that advice. They were a bunch of retired business people. I use no machines to make my candy, I do it all by hand. They turn out somewhat uneven, and the chocolate gets discolored too, because if you go above a certain temperature the molecules split and the cocoabutter comes to the surface. They are very imprecise right now. I think the bakery idea is quite good, however what if they revers engeneer it? I dont know if they can. I was also thinking that I should try to get a booth at a farmers market perhaps. I'm not sure if I can at all do this out of my kitchen. I'm not sure if I could get any health permits, so I will need to have a place where I can make them. How can I have budget forecasts for selling at first? If I sell a few hundred per month than I should pland for that too? Or when should my plan kick in?
According to my grandfather it is. During the great depression the only candy they had to eat was sugar on bread. I know this because he's told me at least a thousand times. This teaches us an important lesson: living through great hardship will turn you into a jerk.