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Business Plan Tips PDF Print E-mail

Q: Mr. DeWitt,

I began making and selling my own hot sauces about 6 months ago.  I am also working toward my MBA, and for my final project, I am writing a business plan for my business in the hopes of making a good grade, and more importantly, in the hopes of getting my business off the ground.  I would be eternally grateful if you could answer a few questions for me: 

1. What is the biggest challenge to a small hot sauce company becoming competitive?

2. What were total hot sauce sales for 2002?

3. Do you have any marketing strategies for a small company with a small marketing budget?  In other words, what is the biggest bang for the buck?

4. Do you see a leveling off or decline of the hot sauce industry in the next several years?  Why or why not?

5. How did you get started in the fiery foods business?

Thanks,

Mark & Carla Combs

Owners, Venom Hot Sauce Company

 

A: Hello Mark and Carla:

I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

1.  The biggest challenge is finding a unique selling proposition and marketing your product based upon that.  Although having a good product is important, marketing is essential for success.

2.  Hot sauce sales in the U.S. in all industry segments are estimated to be about $250 million.

3.  For a small budget I would say a combination of exposure in shows like our National Fiery-Foods & Barbecue Show plus strategically placed website banner ads would be best.

4.Hot sauces in particular and fiery-foods in general have been growing at the rate of about 10 percent a year.  This is because they are invading Middle America and are no longer just niche, specialty foods.

5.  I got started because of my media background.  I had been a writer and show producer long before I discovered chiles and fiery-foods.  Once I did discover them, it was only natural for me to focus on them as a specialty.

Good luck with your projects.

Best regards,

Dave

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