Jacqueline Barleycorn founded The Great British Porridge Company in December 2017 after realising a gap in the market for natural, instant porridge. Here she gives us her top business tips and words of wisdom learnt on her business journey so far.

What would be your one piece of advice when it comes to product design and branding?

Don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s not right. Coming up with designs and thinking through your brand can be a daunting process, but if your branding isn’t up to scratch it won’t matter how good your product is, people won’t buy it.

See also: Healthy Eating Inspires Successful Food Business – The Great British Porridge Company

How did you ensure you were conforming to the necessary legislation associated with operating a food business?

I contacted Trading Standards and our local representative came out to visit us and the production site. They will be able to give you advice on what you may need to do.

Also, it’s important to remember that nobody ever gets it right first time so don’t be afraid to ask for help, people will be happy to answer your questions.

How did you tackle nutritional labelling?

There are tools online that you can use to calculate the nutritional value of your products by analysing your recipes which is where I started. They all have their own benefits so it’s important to see which one works best for you.

Resources include:

Your business has grown rapidly in a short space of time, how have you planned for this?

I have very much gone on my gut instinct and kept a keen eye on the business finances. There are so many great opportunities available and it’s easy to get carried away. You do need to spend money to keep moving forward but it’s important to keep tabs on your spending and set yourself budgets.

What have been your greatest successes so far?

I think the biggest thing is how well we’ve done so quickly, it’s exceeded all our expectations. To see our porridge on the shelves next to some of the big names has been unbelievable – it almost feels like we are an imposer stepping on the toes of the big brands, but it shows what can be done.

Over the next couple of years, where would you like the business to be?

It would be great to become a well-known household name alongside other big companies and introduce new porridge flavours.

Also, we’ve started selling in three other countries and I would like to push into others in time.

There is a lot of scope with the business, but these are business decisions that need to be phased in and thought through properly.

What would be your top three business tips for someone setting up their own food related business?

  1. Do your research to find out what’s out there, visit trade shows and also make sure you familiarise yourself with current sector trends
  2. Make sure your branding reflects your product and you love it
  3. Follow your instinct and go for it

To read the full story about The Great British Porridge Company, click here.

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