Common Start-up Growth Stages

Listed below for your reference are the most common stages of growth and development for a start-up manufacturer.  Results! National Sales will help you with any or all of these crucial steps necessary for building a sustainably successful business.

Katie Coleman

  Common Growth/Development Stages for Start-up Manufacturers

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


Not sure where to begin? 

How about a Brand Assessment? 

We will walk you through the list of components vital to a brand’s sustainable success, providing our feedback and recommendations.

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