Common Growth/Development Stages for Start-up Manufacturers

Wet SeedlingThrough the decades that Results! National Sales has provided Natural Channel manufacturers with brand management, we have identified the three crucial growth stages that a brand experiences between start-up and breaking their first million in annual sales.

Often start-up manufacturers are completely unaware of the linear importance of each stage and the action steps contained within them required for successfully moving their business forward to the next stage of growth.

In support of maintaining innovation in the Natural Channel, we are sharing this vital information.  Please find the Common Growth/Development Stages outlined below.

If you are interested in learning more about how Results! National Sales can assist you with any of the below action steps necessary for reaching your brand’s sales objectives, please contact us!

First Stage Action Steps:

  • Clearly define the “Why” of your Brand/Product  (Why does it inspire you?)
  • Demographic Market Research:  Who will benefit from / be inspired by your Brand/Product
  • Product Development: Recipes, Formulations, Research & Science
  • Ingredient Sourcing: Sustainable supply chain, reducing cost of goods
  • Product Pricing: Wholesale, Distributor, Direct to retail and direct to consumer
  • Product Margin Analysis
  • Brand/Product Messaging: Establish clear and consistent Brand/Product communication
  • Manufacturing Product: Industrial Kitchens, Sharing Co-packing alliances
  • Labeling: Get legal support for USDA approval
  • Establish Company & Product Insurance
  • Determine how the product is unique, improved and innovative
  • GS1 Compliant Bar Codes
  • Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property protection


Second Stage Action Steps:

  • Create sales policies and procedures
  • Determine Brand/Product viability through local/regional sales (i.e., Farmer’s Markets, local independent stores)
  • Review viability of Brand/Product duplicating its success regionally and nationally
  • Develop multiple regional markets
  • Develop a short term, mid term, and long term sales expansion strategy/plan  (Includes reviewing best initial distributor options)
  • Prepare for distributor partnerships
  • Seek funding for packaging upgrades, bulk ingredient purchasing, product launch expansion, etc.
  • Source larger Co-packing opportunities to facilitate sales growth expansions
  • Review and update Product Margin Analysis


Third Stage Action Steps:

  • Develop product promotional schedules
  • Create a promotional dashboard for tracking
  • Product sales expand from regional to national via retail & e-commerce
  • Expand human resources: hiring general managers, operations, accounting, sales & marketing teams
  • Expand inventory storage and finished product warehousing
  • Upgrade or increase in manufacturing equipment
  • Forecasting for product production and retail growth
  • Establish an ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) for business management & tracking
  • Establish a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) for product sales tracking
  • Data Analysis for data based decision process
  • Build Brand/Product community outreach via “cause marketing”, social campaigns, & newsletters
  • Product line expansions for continued sales growth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *