Business Mentor: The secrets of running a successful food startup

Armando Bartolome

Posted at Nov 16 2019 08:00 AM

I am often asked: When is the best time to start a business?
I would answer that there are several factors that need to be considered.

Having money does not always mean that you are ready to start a business. You also need to have the right background in building the kind of business that you want.

Most of the people I help want to start a food business. This is because this seems less risky since everyone needs to buy food.

However, if you think about it carefully, improperly handling food can cause health issues. This is one thing I always emphasize: street food in the Philippines are sometimes not properly stored and handled, which is why there are cases of food poisoning.

If you want start a food business, here are a few tips.

Choose the right kind of food product. There are hundreds of food stalls that you can see in malls. Which among them do you think would be more profitable?

It may be difficult to sell something different, but with your creative mind, you can turn common food into something extraordinary. Create a little twist on how the food tastes by incorporating additional ingredients.


Test your products prior to offering them. Seek other people’s opinions so that you can make adjustments on how it tastes and how it is presented. Innovation is the key.

Find the right market for your product. If you want to play safe by serving fishballs or barbecue, make sure that the price that you offer is reasonable. Can you charge P75 for a stick of barbeque? That depends on the location of your business.

Focus on a single goal. New entrepreneurs may get distracted by a lot of new ideas and lose sight of the concept of the business. Be clear about what you want to achieve and keep the other ideas for a different time.

There is no perfect business plan. You need to create a business plan which will act as your guide when running a business.

However, you should also keep in mind some things may not go according to plan. Always prepare a backup so that you won’t feel lost once you hit a bump. Be open to the idea that you may commit mistakes even if you don’t want to.

Build a culture of hard work and perseverance. An entrepreneur must set the pace and be the role model in the workplace. Your behavior reflects on the business.

When your employees see you as an industrious, smart, strong-willed, creative, and determined boss, they are likely to imitate these qualities, as well. When employees feel their boss’ compassion, they are also more motivated to give their best.

You must clearly define all your plans to your investors. Inform them on what to expect, let them understand why you need to keep the business and what makes it stand out.

Never cease learning new skills. Join seminars and workshops. In our ever-changing world, there is always an improvement in technology. An entrepreneur must always make himself open in learning new things and embracing the changes so that he can offer up-to-date products.

Find the right people who can guide you. Seek professional advice. A mentor may be able to help you with different scenarios and provide you suggestions on how you can run your business.

Do not be afraid of your competitors. Business is like a game. Instead of worrying about your competitors, make your business much better than theirs. Sometimes, it’s not just the products and the location of the business, it is also how your staff treat the customers.

Therefore, teach your employees to be always respectful and to offer help all the time.


For more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome
by email:
FB Page: Butz Bartolome