How a lot do you wish to know what you don't know?

Catherine Sayer

It is a well-established fact that a significant proportion of food and beverage business failures occur at the point of scaling up after an early success. The root of the risk is that we don't know what we don't know.

By Catherine Sayer, CEO of Food South Australia.

What we do know is that a) there is a lot of data in companies that is not being collected but could be aggregated to provide useful information, and b) there is a real risk in not going to the trouble of making sure that You get it and use it.

If we haven't aggregated the data that creates meaningful information, we cannot use that information to expand our knowledge. Too little knowledge harbors risks in decision-making and planning processes. You can't take “gut instinct” with you to the bench.

There is a pain point here. If you don't have these data ducks in a row, it can take some effort to chase them out of the reeds and into sight. Pulling out the data can feel like hard work because it is.

Food South Australia has helped dozens of companies go through what some of our teams refer to as the "groan zone" in our business growth programs. Inevitably, at some point, business owners will be asked specific questions about their financial system, their production, their sales activities, and their customers and consumers.

Many companies know a little, few really know a lot, and even fewer sit down regularly to consider what their information is giving away and how that knowledge can be applied.

Getting this right can be really transformative. It can even help you consider some strategies for the unforeseen, Covid-19 is certainly a case in point.

We have worked with companies that have gone through this process and have seen how they use this knowledge to take a deep breath and start over because it has become clear that their existing strategy, product range or business model is currently incapable of doing so are to achieve the desired growth results.

By working hard to evaluate their data and produce useful information, they have obtained a real-time knowledge base. Leveraging this knowledge has given them a foundation to regroup, implement evidence-based strategies and goals, and grow with confidence.

There is simply no getting around this moaning zone if you want to get into the growth zone.

About Catherine Sayer

Catherine has headed Food South Australia since its inception in 2010 and is passionate about leading the development of the industry's top board with a focus on industry growth and advocacy. She is also a member and chairman of several committees.

About food South Australia

Food South Australia is the government's umbrella organization for the food and beverage industry, dedicated to supporting and sustaining the industry in South Australia and helping companies of all sizes develop their markets, capabilities and industry connections. Food South Australia is independent, industry leader and membership based.

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