5 Secrets for a Successful Cottage Food Operator

What is a successful Cottage Food Operator? I interviewed a food entrepreneur and I walked away with some interesting insight. I was told a successful Cottage Food Operator is a survivalist. An entrepreneur who:
  • Lays the groundwork: learns the basics about small-batch food production.
  • Teach themselves all about selling local and setting realistic earning goals.
  • Uses different mediums to successfully operate their business.
  • Sets aside regular times for learning about the cottage food industry.
  • Develops relationships that will feed the wallet and not the ego.

A Cottage Food Operator is an entrepreneur. Someone who loves the process, the work, the engagement more than the money. Oh, don’t think they don’t enjoy the earnings, they do. The success comes in knowing the money is drive by skill, commitment, and an understanding of the marketplace. Knowing what is behind supply and demand.  If you are starting a home-based food business it helps to be in it to win it, totally committed. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I an entrepreneur?
  • How do I know?
  • What am I willing to do to take your product to market
  • How hard am I willing to work?
  • What am I willing to sacrifice?
  • Am I a marathon runner or do I prefer to sprint?
  • Do I consider yourself a patient person?
  • Do I give up easily?
  • How do I handle failure?

Success Secret #1 – Knowing who you are – A Cottage Food Operator

Knowing who you are and being honest about what you’re willing to sacrifice to get what you want is essential to your success. I am a firm believer that self-awareness and knowing your strengths is essential to being a successful entrepreneur.

Our first inkling is to focus on our weaknesses when we should be doubling down on our strengths.

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Success Secret #2 – What makes you the best Cottage Food Operator.

What makes you an amazing recipe developer when it comes to making barbeque sauce. Play to your strengths, and strive to be remarkable, operating with a level of excellence that is unseen in your niche.

  • Is this something you can do?
  • Is this something you might be willing to work at in an effort to become an entrepreneur?
  • Are you an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who

Success Secret #3 – Select a product not available in the marketplace

successDid you know 80 percent of the products and services being consumed today are different from those that were being consumed five years ago? And five years from today, roughly 80 percent of the products being used will be new, completely different from the products we are consumed today. We all know cupcakes are frosted, right? What would happen if there were mini-cupcakes beautifully glazed like petit fours from the 1950s? A thin glaze that engulfs the entire cupcake except for the base. Sound in boxes of 12 or 18. How might the consumer receive something totally outside the box?

Success Secret #4 – Become the Best

This success secret is my own. Years ago there was a guy on Phil Donahue, don’t judge, that said the key to success was “one thing.” No, that was the key. “One thing.” In other words, find one thing and you do it better than anyone else. What is the one thing you can do better than anyone else? Not sure.

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What is your specialty food product? What sets you aside from the competition? Start working on answering that question. Think of it this way. There are potato chip companies across the U.S. Which one is #1? You got it! Lays, for 75 years. What would you need to do to become the “Lays” in your community?

Success Secret #5 – Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business venture. Entrepreneurs are also seen as people who have a gift for seeing opportunities and developing those opportunities into profit-making businesses.

The debate is still out on if entrepreneurial characteristics are learned or innate. My thinking is that it is a bit of both. It’s no secret people with certain characteristics and personality traits are more likely to be successful entrepreneurs than others.

Genes don’t just influence whether a person will start a business. Nor do they determine how much money a person will earn. Hence, the number of suicides by those who apparently have it all.

Today, many are driven by the need to survive. Reaching outside their comfort level to learn more, surrounding themselves with mentors and wisdom. Learning from the successful and taking time to watch and listen.

​​​​​​​How do you know you’re an entrepreneur?​​​​ The quiz is not mandatory, however, you may want to test the waters. There are 21 Questions.

​​​​​​​Did the results of the Quiz indicate you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Do you think this is an indication of how successful you will be in your Cottage Food Operation? ​​​​

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