Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Successful Failure

My home-based business is officially a successful failure.

A couple of months ago I identified a business opportunity I thought I could capitalize on...and went about creating a marketing and business plan. Nothing too complicated, but I got all my ducks in order and quickly realized the potential.

Here was my starting premise:

After a long day at work do you wish you could send out a S.O.S for dinner?
Do you wish you could improve your diet by focusing on low calorie, low glycemic index foods?Are you on a tight budget and looking to stretch your food budget?
Do you wish you could provide your family with delicious, home cooked meals with wholesome ingredients?
Do you want out of the kitchen?

Introducing: Sensational Orders by Storrie - your dinner time S.O.S.

In only 2 weeks my delivers went from 3 meals 3 times a week to 10 meals 3 times a week. And the number kept going up. In my first three weeks I had to reject 5 prospects since I had no idea if the business would fly and I did not want to over-commit.

The idea was simple - make dinner for my family - following my new food and eating plan - and make a bit extra and sell it for profit.

I had figured my main clientele would be my fellow weight-loss patients. I was totally wrong! Yes, a few ordered weekly meals - but the bulk of my quick-start business was co-workers looking for either lunch or dinner alternatives. Then, through word of mouth of a neighbour, four families started ordering weekly meals for their elderly relatives in a local nursing home.

I became an over night success - and I was totally loving it! It was not much more work than preparing my own family meals - in essence I simply started buying in bulk and preparing double. I delivered fresh, wholesome, healthy meals Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. the menu usually included a chicken or turkey and a beef or pork and a fish dish. It was easy - and fun! I basically was putting into practice everything I had learned at my weight management program.

I enjoy cooking - and it was fun.

Was fun.

Was...fun. Was.

I quickly realized that yes, there was money to be made in this market segment. And, yes, I was making money. Good money. Some meals had a higher margin than others - but I was making a bit of money on every meal I sold. It was quickly apparent that if I grew the business just a little bit, then the margin would greatly increase, and the work load would increase a bit. The greatest impact would be the delivery, clean up and sanitizing of the re-usable dishes. An investment would be needed in the amount of containers required to grow the business. But I quickly realized the best profit margin was being about double the size I had originally thought to be acceptable.

I slowly expanded my client base and the fun continued. I saw great potential!

One of the main reasons I started the business was to help me remain focused on making and serving healthy, proper servings. Making meals for others forced me to plan ahead and organize healthy, creative, unique meals. It was great!

Very quickly I realized the major downfall of this business.

I wanted to ensure that the meals were tasty, and worth the money people were paying me. Without even realizing it old cooking and eating habits started to creep back into my routine. I started taste testing here. Taste testing there.

I became very frustrated, angry and disappointed in myself. How could I revert to old, negative habits? Why did I seem to have no control? Why did I insist on sabotage my wonderful weight loss success?

So, on one hand S.O.S was a great success. I identified a market - and boy, was (is) that market prime. This could have been a very productive and lucrative business.

Sadly, I cannot continue. I figure the only way to make this the success it can be is to grow larger - and by growing larger, I sacrifice more of my personal family time and I could sabotage my 64.5 pound weight loss.

So, my business S.O.S is a successful business - this week I have 18 paying customers - for an estimated profit of $87.00.

And, my business is a failure, and I am closing down shop.

If anyone is interested in a successful failure, please let me know - franchises licences are available!!!!

Full marketing and business plans available! Hardly used - just like new!

For your viewing pleasure - here are some of the meals I served over the last two months:

Apple and cinnamon stuffed pork with braised potatoes and veggies.

Three bean, veggie tofu chili with homemade whole wheat bread.

Moroccan spiced fish with wilted spinach and grilled veggies.

Lemon and ginger shrimp with jade rice and veggie stir fry.

Garlic and black pepper pot roast with carrots and cauliflower-mashed potatoes.
So, I guess I am a successful failure at a home business. Oh well - my priority is to keep loosing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle. I have no plans on becoming a personal chef or diet-planner! And now, I have no excuse for taste testing and no need to block off a few hours every other day to cook!
A successful failure...man, I am truly a oxymoron!!!!


Erin said...

That is fantastic! It is so great that you are staying on track with your goals. A little sad about your business but yay for you!

Anonymous said...

i am not at all surprised that demand was high!

The Veg Next Door said...

I have to ask...are there two or three of you? How do you work Mon - Fri (what the British would call anti-social hours), sleep, take care of your family and house, work out, have a hobby like scrapping and run a business? Do tell, what's your secret? :-)

Kat said...

I wouldn't put failure anywhere in this post. You did fabulously! And you are choosing to do the right thing now too, I think. Your health is the most important thing. And how can you not taste the food you are cooking for people? You have to know if it tastes okay. But I can see how that could be a problem.
Maybe someday you can start it up again. But you are doing the right thing!
Great job! :)

Millionaire Maker said...

Man !!! you are working like a machine...

How you manage your work.
Its fantastic to know that even cook do not taste his own food but the meal will be delicious.

forgetfulone said...

I don't know how you do (did?) it! Those meals look and sound so delicious. Plus you work a full time job! Wow! I would totally pay you to cook meals for me!