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How do I scale a business like this?

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sonny_1080

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Driving to work the other day I decided to get donuts for my coworkers. I wanted a healthier option. Fruit came to mind. Pre-packaged fruit at grocery stores is expensive and tasteless. There weren’t any fruit carts around. Any fruit delivered through postmates would be stupid expensive.

The only way was to buy fruit from a grocery store and cut it myself... so I did.

Then I thought... wouldn’t it be dope if at a certain frequency (daily, 3x a week, whatever), I could expect a container of freshly cut, in-season, delicious fruit to be delivered to me when I start my day? Opportunity ... the basic idea is to make fruit more accessible ad convenient for everyone.

I bought fruit from Walmart last night and made fruit bowls for my coworkers for the second time today. I did the math and it costs about $2.25 to make a solid serving size. That’s just the cost of the fruit itself... not taking into account any delivery fees.

The only way to minimize cost of fruit is wholesale purchasing. To make it worth while, I’d need enough people to want it. I can calculate how much fruit I’d need per serving and sell subscriptions to know when and how much fruit to buy at a given time to avoid any surplus or shortage. I can start by selling to other employees at the mall I work at, but HOW THE F*ck DO I SCALE SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND LEVERAGE MY TIME AWAY FROM OPERATIONS?

Hypothetically, a serving costs $2.25. I would pay $5 for a serving to be delivered to me any day of the week but I don’t know if other folks would.

Say I sell a subscription: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, at $5 a pop. That’s $60 a month. I feel like that’s too expensive to have a tipping point effect. But if I could somehow profit off advertising $29.99 a month gets you a fresh ready-to-eat container of fruit delivered to you 3 times a week... That would be dope.

So $30 a month for 3 servings a week (12 servings a month) that’s $2.50 a serving. So if it costs 2.25 I’m not making any money. Obviously I’d have to lower prices and work out the logistics.

Vision: people can go online at any point on a simple, easy to use interface. Specify order preferences, frequency, and schedule delivery. And because it’s subscription based, we can schedule the first delivery a week in advance to avoid fruit spoilage and know exactly how much we need each time we buy from our supplier. So we have all these orders in advance, starting with a certain trial area. We get a shipment from a farm to our warehouse in that trial area. Hire some folks to cut and prepare the bowls and then give to other folks to drive around and deliver.

If I’m not mistaken, the only way this could work is if the costs of the website/advertising, the fruit itself, the shipping to the warehouse from the supplier, the warehouse payments, the staff that cuts and packages the fruit, and the delivery costs are low enough to actually make a profit while still being able to advertise a low price. And I’m guessing that as long as EVERY F*ckING PERSON has a subscription, it might actually work.

Im gonna pitch it to my coworkers first at the end of this month. Fresh cut fruit bowls for 5 bucks a pop each week. Profit $2.50 a bowl. Hopefully at least 4 are down each week. I work in the mall so then I can network through friends at other stores. 4 people from 50 different stores at 2.50 a bowl... $500. I mean it’s a start.

If there’s anyone on this forum who has experience and in-depth knowledge about the fruit business... I’m open to any and all feedback!
 

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Bekit

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Does your local area have a meal delivery kit business, such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Purple Carrot? You might be able to negotiate a facility-sharing deal where you use their employees and their already-set-up industrial kitchen for the food prep.

Otherwise, it seems like a logistical nightmare. I've read about the costs that these businesses incur and the challenge to them of doing business profitably. (For instance, see this podcast by Green Chef founder Michael Joseph, which discusses "whether the meal kit space is actually a viable business or not." And see this article that says Hello Fresh was "close to breakeven in the US" in 2018, even though they were big enough to buy Green Chef.)

You'd have to set up all the same facilities and employees that would clone a Blue Apron-type service, taking into account (a) a perishable product (b) food sanitation regulations (c) delivery routes (d) payment processing etc. etc. etc.

Only - you'd be going to all that hassle and expense to JUST SELL FRUIT.

And if it does do really well, what's to stop Blue Apron etc. from copying you, since they already have the facilities, the employees, the customer base, the supply chain to acquire wholesale food, and the online interface?

If you go for it, I'd do a lot of in-depth research on the viability of that kind of plan before trying to scale it.
 
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sonny_1080

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Oct 30, 2019
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Does your local area have a meal delivery kit business, such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Purple Carrot? You might be able to negotiate a facility-sharing deal where you use their employees and their already-set-up industrial kitchen for the food prep.

Otherwise, it seems like a logistical nightmare. I've read about the costs that these businesses incur and the challenge to them of doing business profitably. (For instance, see this podcast by Green Chef founder Michael Joseph, which discusses "whether the meal kit space is actually a viable business or not." And see this article that says Hello Fresh was "close to breakeven in the US" in 2018, even though they were big enough to buy Green Chef.)

You'd have to set up all the same facilities and employees that would clone a Blue Apron-type service, taking into account (a) a perishable product (b) food sanitation regulations (c) delivery routes (d) payment processing etc. etc. etc.

Only - you'd be going to all that hassle and expense to JUST SELL FRUIT.

And if it does do really well, what's to stop Blue Apron etc. from copying you, since they already have the facilities, the employees, the customer base, the supply chain to acquire wholesale food, and the online interface?

If you go for it, I'd do a lot of in-depth research on the viability of that kind of plan before trying to scale it.
Thinking about it more you are absolutely right. An idea like this just doesn’t seem fastlane.
 

broswoodwork

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Send a fruit cup to the front desk worker of every business in your local business park every Monday morning for a month along with a business card menu? Soon everyone will probably want one on their own desk every morning. Just handle it like a cash coffee delivery service or something.

Alot of morning prep work and deliveries to do though...
 
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sonny_1080

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Oct 30, 2019
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Send a fruit cup to the front desk worker of every business in your local business park every Monday morning for a month along with a business card menu? Soon everyone will probably want one on their own desk every morning. Just handle it like a cash coffee delivery service or something.

Alot of morning prep work and deliveries to do though...
Exactly! Which brings back the original question... how do I scale something like that and make it make “CENTS”?
 

Strategery

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Exactly! Which brings back the original question... how do I scale something like that and make it make “CENTS”?

This comes to mind. There is also a progress thread on here somewhere (I'll try to find it) where the CENTS commandments weren't present at the start, but were ticked off one by one as time went on.

I'm not saying to do it, just that there may be merit to the idea that you won't see unless you get more involved with it.

Edit: I found the progress thread, and sadly it's on the inside:frown:
 
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Brewmacker

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Driving to work the other day I decided to get donuts for my coworkers. I wanted a healthier option. Fruit came to mind. Pre-packaged fruit at grocery stores is expensive and tasteless. There weren’t any fruit carts around. Any fruit delivered through postmates would be stupid expensive.

The only way was to buy fruit from a grocery store and cut it myself... so I did.

Then I thought... wouldn’t it be dope if at a certain frequency (daily, 3x a week, whatever), I could expect a container of freshly cut, in-season, delicious fruit to be delivered to me when I start my day? Opportunity ... the basic idea is to make fruit more accessible ad convenient for everyone.

I bought fruit from Walmart last night and made fruit bowls for my coworkers for the second time today. I did the math and it costs about $2.25 to make a solid serving size. That’s just the cost of the fruit itself... not taking into account any delivery fees.

The only way to minimize cost of fruit is wholesale purchasing. To make it worth while, I’d need enough people to want it. I can calculate how much fruit I’d need per serving and sell subscriptions to know when and how much fruit to buy at a given time to avoid any surplus or shortage. I can start by selling to other employees at the mall I work at, but HOW THE F*ck DO I SCALE SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND LEVERAGE MY TIME AWAY FROM OPERATIONS?

Hypothetically, a serving costs $2.25. I would pay $5 for a serving to be delivered to me any day of the week but I don’t know if other folks would.

Say I sell a subscription: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, at $5 a pop. That’s $60 a month. I feel like that’s too expensive to have a tipping point effect. But if I could somehow profit off advertising $29.99 a month gets you a fresh ready-to-eat container of fruit delivered to you 3 times a week... That would be dope.

So $30 a month for 3 servings a week (12 servings a month) that’s $2.50 a serving. So if it costs 2.25 I’m not making any money. Obviously I’d have to lower prices and work out the logistics.

Vision: people can go online at any point on a simple, easy to use interface. Specify order preferences, frequency, and schedule delivery. And because it’s subscription based, we can schedule the first delivery a week in advance to avoid fruit spoilage and know exactly how much we need each time we buy from our supplier. So we have all these orders in advance, starting with a certain trial area. We get a shipment from a farm to our warehouse in that trial area. Hire some folks to cut and prepare the bowls and then give to other folks to drive around and deliver.

If I’m not mistaken, the only way this could work is if the costs of the website/advertising, the fruit itself, the shipping to the warehouse from the supplier, the warehouse payments, the staff that cuts and packages the fruit, and the delivery costs are low enough to actually make a profit while still being able to advertise a low price. And I’m guessing that as long as EVERY F*ckING PERSON has a subscription, it might actually work.

Im gonna pitch it to my coworkers first at the end of this month. Fresh cut fruit bowls for 5 bucks a pop each week. Profit $2.50 a bowl. Hopefully at least 4 are down each week. I work in the mall so then I can network through friends at other stores. 4 people from 50 different stores at 2.50 a bowl... $500. I mean it’s a start.

If there’s anyone on this forum who has experience and in-depth knowledge about the fruit business... I’m open to any and all feedback!

Hint: frozen pre-cut fruit in a supermarket is often as fresh as the day it is picked. Picked-Prepped-chopped-LN2 frozen-packaged and distributed. Has more active vitamins and flavor than the fruit and veg in the stalls.
 
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sonny_1080

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 30, 2019
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Hint: frozen pre-cut fruit in a supermarket is often as fresh as the day it is picked. Picked-Prepped-chopped-LN2 frozen-packaged and distributed. Has more active vitamins and flavor than the fruit and veg in the stalls.
Ouch. That changes things.
 

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Boychamp

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Regardless of what you decide, this might be a good listen for you.

It's the episode about edible arrangements - which is obviously a similar business to you.
The other thought I was having which would reduce logistics, is either trying to pitch the company that operates the offices or require office "group buys" wherein you're delivering say 10-30 servings to the same building. This would dramatically lower the costs you'd have trying to service a mass amount of places.
 

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