Food Entrepreneur Forum

Hi Everyone,

I am happy to come back after months of being inactive on this forum with some good news: business is going strong, and the first initial market tests are very very positive. I am producing all-natural, hand made beef jerky in a non-saturated market.

I have reached a critical point however: too much demand, not enough supply. A nice position to find oneself in, but now when i see orders come in instead of getting excited i go: Oh shoot, i dont have enough!

That said, this next stage is critical and 2015 will be very important for the business. It's time to look at scaling production! In the country I am in, there aren't really "co-packers" for something like beef jerky that I have found. However there are butchers with proper equipment and staff to produce my jerky. I am looking at this as my first option, in short: a production partner.

So my questions are:

1. What is a fair revenue or profit share/split for a production partner? So far he would be producing the product, we have not discussed packaging yet.

2. He has two butcheries, smoker, etc. and is willing to buy whatever equipment I need. He is VERY enthusiastic and excited and loves the idea. I have sort of trained myself over the years that things that seem too amazing, means something is wrong. Should I be worried about his enthusiasm to jump in after his first conversation with me?

3. How do I protect myself? He acknowledged that he has the equipment and the production, but he needs a partner to help him with marketing. This is my specialty, and exactly fits the division of labor - he handles production, I handle sales and marketing. My thoughts are building a big and succsessful brand as fast as I can is the best way to protect myself from him going out on his own.

4. Should I keep my marinade separate from the process so he does not have my recipe? Do you think this could cause trust issues down the road, meaning he would resent the fact that I dont trust him with the recipe? Or should I not even care about this?

5. What other pitfalls should I be careful about taking on a production partner?

Sorry for the loads of questions, but this is a BIG moment for me, and I want to go into it as knowledgeable as possible! Any feedback will be rewarded with praise and thanks :)

Cheers,

-M

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