One day, there was a little jam company you loved, and the next day—poof! Disappeared, and gone from the shelves at your local store. But it was doing so well, right? People loved their products!
As I interviewed the founders of fast-growing food and wine businesses for my book, Cooking Up a Business, I found that there are common mistakes even the most promising start-ups make. Here's what many wish they could have avoided—and the genius ways a few successful companies bounced back and grew.
1. Forgetting that cash is king. Cameron Hughes and his wife, Jessica Kogan, had the idea of making their own wines from excess stock from nearby California wineries. They poured their savings into creating the blends, then loaded up their car with bottles and went selling from store to store. But when promising new bulk buys of wine surfaced, they couldn't afford to buy them—all of their limited cash was tied up in the cases of bottles sitting in their Volvo. Without cash, they couldn't expand their business; "It was a classic case of getting buried under the cash flow snowball," says Hughes.