432 N. Lake Street Madison, WI 53706  608-890-0780

Great Food Entrepreneurs Are Always Learning

Many of the food entrepreneurs that we work with often reflect that their on-the-ground, sweating-making-payroll, down-and-dirty experience has been just as valuable as pursuing an MBA. All learning costs something, and both successes and failures in today’s marketplace provide a rich if harrowing educational landscape for today’s aspiring entrepreneur.

We have found that the best entrepreneurs are constantly seeking new learning experiences. This includes getting constant feedback from their customers, to reaching out to potential mentors for advice, to attending industry events and tradeshows to network with and learn from their peers and industry veterans. Sometimes, learning means “un-learning” something these entrepreneurs thought was essential to their business when they launched, whether their packaging or messaging or even their original business model. In short, good food entrepreneurs learn to adapt and know that some of their original assumptions will be proven wrong as they validate their products in the market.

Continuous learning is also essential to business success, due to an ever-changing consumer marketplace, funding environment and supply chain. Few imagined the emergence of the thousands of niche brands that now offer consumers an ever expanding supply of choice or what that would do to go-to-market strategies of up and coming brands, or even the viability of new brands seeking to compete with the players in big food. Because consumers’ preferences changed (and continue to change) faster than the big food companies have been able to react, new opportunities opened up to aspiring food entrepreneurs, but only if those food entrepreneurs have their fingers on the pulse of that change through seeking feedback from their customers.

On our most recent podcast, Ron Williams Jr. advocates continuous learning as essential to successful entrepreneurship. In his own business of running a successful, diversified food hub, he points to past classes about crab pasteurization, his training with FFI and current coursework with the University of Maryland Institute Of Applied Agriculture as helping improve his operational bottom line. In his experience, combining continuous learning with diversification of revenue and product sources has led his hub to increased success.

We encourage food entrepreneurs to constantly seek new learning experiences as they grow their business. When these entrepreneurs constantly learn about their customers and the changing marketplace, they are more likely to build a successful company and a culture of learning that can keep their business nimble and viable.


And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…

Food and Beverage Business Models

Business Model Insights

Raising Capital

Raising Capital

Grocery Store Shopping

CPG/National Brands

Grocery Store Produce Section

Market Trends

 Regenerative Agriculture

Farming and AgTech

Deals/M&A

Industry Events

Categories: Insights Newsletter