The launch of food mentor – a new career!

 karen green at desk

I have spent many years in the food industry, developing new products and growing profitable sales. I have worked with Ichiban for 3 awesome years, helping grow the business, turn it profitable and reduce the stress. It’s a great company and I continue to work with them. I also work with Princes Trust mentoring start-ups and delivering their sales and marketing programmes. And I guest lecture on Food management courses at Nottingham Trent University underpinning my practical experience with academic theory.

But I am driven by a passion – a passion to help other food businesses redress the power balance that seems to be so strongly in favour of the retailers. To take all my knowledge and experience to enable them to grow their sales, increase profit and most critically make the role as fun as when the business was first conceived.

So I have developed the Power Principles TM - the 5 step plan to build the power of an organisation and enable it to maximise profitable sales without stress.  

The concept of power is an interesting one – there are many definitions –“ the ability or capacity to do something in a certain way” or my favourite and most relevant to the power principles – “a person or organization that is strong or influential within a particular context”. The basis of the five Power Principles is how to maximise that power and ensure that the business becomes the strongest and most influential it can be thus deliver better more profitable sales through better negotiating position with retailers and more desirable products.

So let’s look at each step in turn:

P               Product – the bit that we are all passionate about but sometimes that passion clouds our commercial judgement. This is a rigorous examination of the current product offer whether it be own label or brand. It assesses the customer base, the competitive position and the key drivers that can make this product heads and shoulders above anything else in the market.   It also looks at how to future proof using future trends data and long term planning.

O               Organisation – an organisation grows organically – very few people sit down when they are creating a new brand and plan out what that organisation structure and roles will look like. The people in your company are critical to its success and how they are organised, supported and rewarded will ultimately make your food business more powerful than anyone else’s.

W             Wellbeing – I began this article talking about my health and how it begins to tell you when work isn’t going well. The reverse is significant as well. If we do not focus on the well being and health of our teams and ourselves, then we are susceptible to below par performance. In this step, I also address the concept of mental toughness and how we can measure it within our teams and teach them to be stronger and more powerful individually.

E                Evaluation –when I went to write this section, I did some research and found the famous Harvard study that took students and got half of them to write down their goals and the other half didn’t. They followed their progress and found that the ones that wrote them down were much more successful. However according to the search – it’s an urban myth!! However as part of the same search, I came across this fascinating article about BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals – once a favoured term of Tesco) and the concept of catalytic mechanisms and how to drive results in a non-linear way - https://hbr.org/1999/07/turning-goals-into-results-the-power-of-catalytic-mechanisms.

Whatever the academic research, setting and reviewing targets enables you to know your business and to continue to grow.

R               Results – do results come at the end or the beginning of the process? As the Cheshire cat said to Alice – if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there! So you need a vision of the future to know what results you are going to want to get so that the other 4 steps are effective. So this step is addressed twice in the Power principles – once at the beginning as a visioning exercise to understand where you want to go and then at the end to see if the business has arrived!

To help assess your business’ Power Principles TM quotient, I have devised a simple online test with 12 questions to assess your current position. This provides a top line report identifying the key areas that we can work on with you to improve your power and therefore position in the market place. CLICK HERE to go to the test or contact me for more details as to how I can devise a focussed power principles plan for your business. Please do get in touch with me by email or call me 0115 714 1965



Last updated: 1st April 2016