How to start a beef business

How to start a beef business

Starting a beef jerky business can be as easy as making jerky in your kitchen and selling it at a local farmers market. But it can also be difficult to be successful and earn well with it.

Here are some tips to help you see more clearly what to expect…

1. Government Inspection – By law, if you make beef for sale, your production facility must be state or federally inspected. If you plan to sell your jerky in the same condition it was made, you only need a state inspection. If you plan to sell to consumers in other states, you need a federal inspection.

Getting inspected is not as much of a challenge as maintaining the inspection. A state or federal inspector will visit your facility daily.

However, many small mom and dad businesses that operate beef jerky don’t bother to be inspected and never seem to run into problems. They make all their fried products at home, in their kitchen, and sell them wherever they can. Both state and federal government inspectors don’t bother looking for violators, the problem only seems to arise when consumers get sick and file complaints.

2. Private labeling – To get around state and federal inspection requirements, most small businesses hire an inspected and approved meat processing facility to make cuts for them. The facility can make fritters to your recipe or use their own homemade recipe. They can even source beef specifically for your requirements or use their own. The facility will then package the jerky with your label on it.

The problem most entrepreneurs find when they rent a facility is that the dry meat never comes out with the same taste and consistency as when they prepared it themselves in their own kitchen. The answer is to try several gears and find one that will produce something closest to what you are looking for.

Do a Google search on the words “USDA facility number” to find a list of federally inspected meat processing facilities.

3. Preservatives or not? – Most consumers tend to stay away from foods containing preservatives, artificial flavors and fillers. Sodium nitrite is a common preservative in beef and there are studies that suggest it causes cancer, although there are other studies that dispute this.

The problem for producers and retailers is that dried beef must be able to sit on store shelves for several months to maintain freshness. To do this, it must contain preservatives. Most distributors and retailers will not even consider storing dried meat that cannot guarantee freshness for more than a few weeks.

So the trick for a small upstart beef company if it wants to avoid preservatives is to find markets where long shelf life is not an issue. Selling dried meat at farmers markets, street fairs and trade shows is common. Selling cuttings online from a website is very popular. Some manufacturers have arrangements with smaller stores to come once a week to buy out old stock and replace it with new.

4. Distributors – The hyped brands you see in convenience stores and grocery stores were put there by distribution companies. Names such as Core Mark, Sysco and US Foods represent the largest distributors in the United States and are responsible for stocking the shelves of all national retailers. You can’t just talk to a national retail chain and have them stock your dry meat, you have to go through a distributor. And as things stand in the 21st century, distributors are reluctant to talk to small, upstart brands.

Instead, you can talk to smaller, niche distributors and/or small non-chain grocers. Look for those that focus on natural foods. Small independent health food stores in your area tend to buy raw bunch from local producers because of their desire to stock “locally grown and produced” foods as long as they are preservative free.

In order to get larger distributors to pay attention to your brand, you need to build that brand name recognition across the country. This means lots of social media, lots of sponsorships, mentions on TV and radio, etc.

5. Don’t partner – Starting a beef jerky business from scratch is a lot of hard work. It takes years of dedication just to build a loyal customer base and even then you will find that your life pretty much revolves around your business. Your business will become your life.

If you have a partner other than a spouse, you will often find that your partner becomes your enemy. Even if it’s your brother, your best friend, or your mother. You will always find that your partner is not doing their job or telling you how to do your job. It will appear that your partner is not working enough, but still gets half of the profit. You may find that your partner works more than you, and you may feel guilty for not doing your part.

If you need a business partner, talk to your spouse and get him involved in starting a beef business. If you can’t find a partner and you think you need one, then maybe it’s not the right time to start. Otherwise, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and be ready to do it all yourself.

That way, the rewards are greater.

#start #beef #business

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *