You have dreamed of starting your Cold Pressed Juice Business for months, if not years. You know how beneficial cold-pressed juice is for your health and you want to share that with others. You can picture your beautiful shop and you can’t wait to open the doors. You maybe even found the perfect location. But what have you missed? What needs to happen before you sign the lease on the shop, buy all the furniture and decorate it with your colors and logo?
As a newbie in the cold press juice business, there is a lot of information to soak up and sift through before you begin to produce your own cold pressed juice. It is hard to know where to start and what to do, and there are so many ways for it to all go wrong.
We work with many cold press juice businesses, and they tell us what they’d do differently if they could start over. Here are the three most common mistakes that people make before they even start their business. And their biggest regret.
Mistake #1: Paying Yourself Last or “Like, Whenever”
You may have a brilliant business plan and a solid product with a growing customer base. But if you don’t include paying yourself in your fixed costs, you are in trouble before you start.
Too often we see owners have the “I’ll pay myself when it’s possible” mentality. Then they struggle to put food on the table at home, dip into funds just to survive and eventually resent their own juice shop. It stops being a dream and turns into a nightmare.
So don’t just optimistically calculate the cost of the shop, employees and other expenses while leaving yourself out of the picture. Your fixed costs include paying YOU – because you’re worth it!
Mistake #2 Not Building a Strong Food Safety Plan
It’s challenging to keep up with the latest food safety and health regulations. That’s true in any food industry, but especially true in juicing. In the USA, the FDA has very particular regulations regarding the production, storage and sale of juice products, all of which you must be compliant with.
HACCP is a US food safety program that relies on identifying and addressing hazards, taking steps to prevent their occurrence, and establishing procedures for monitoring where they are present. There are very specific rules for Juice Production within the HAACP guidelines. These plans become strict blueprints that provide guidance in preventing the introduction of these hazards into your facility.
The short of it? We highly recommend you do the research and set your food safety guidelines up solidly before opening your cold press juice shop to the world. Get familiar with HACCP (if it applies) and your own local health department guidelines. Then create your own system and educate your staff on all the specifics of food safety.
Giving good attention to your food safety compliance within your own juice production goes a long way to being ready when the health inspector comes knocking on your door.
Mistake #3: Not Setting up Your Employees
It’s tempting to view the employees in your shop as just another expense. The service industry is known for offering low wages and holding low skill expectations and cold press juice shops are rarely an exception.
Minimum wage employees are not career employees. Rarely do they approach their positions as opportunities to learn and build job skills. When your press operator and even counter employees are viewed this way – they act this way. And they don’t stick around to help you fulfill your dreams.
One way to help your people view their work as career oriented is to offer them a living wage and benefits. Yes, this is more expensive – initially. But is it really more pricey than constant turnover? If you really dove into your numbers, you would find that rehiring every 4-6 months creates a bottleneck of cash flow and slows your profits dramatically.
Time. Having employees that value their work and stick with you for the long haul doesn’t require the hiring, HR set up, training and newbie growing pains over and over and over again that high turnover does. The extra expense can present itself as waste too. New employees are not as efficient with time and materials, they don’t understand the processes and often make mistakes – sometimes costly mistakes.
Long term employees already know their stuff (you taught them when they first came on!). And the longer they stay with you, the more opportunity they have to HELP you improve your business instead of becoming a costly weight in your production.
We believe that setting your employees up to view their positions as careers goes a lot further than just creating workers who want to build skills. They take pride in their work and you end up with a reliable employee that does the work right the first time and does it efficiently. But better than that – you get someone who becomes part of the family, who believes in you and your mission, and who will treat your business as their business.
The Biggest Regret: Forgetting You are Going to Grow!
When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to remember all the details, all the things that will change as you grow. But one we know for sure that has become the biggest regret for so many of our customers is:
Not starting with the right-sized machine from the very beginning.
Starting with a smaller, cheaper machine seems like the responsible choice. Sometimes it feels like your ONLY choice. But, in fact, it could be the BIGGEST mistake yet.
You’d think it would be the other way around – but surprisingly, a machine that is too small for your needs will be a constant drain of your time and resources. Costing you more than money in the long run.
The smaller the machine, the more expensive it will be to operate because you need to run the machine longer to make the same amount of juice. In an effort not to lose sales, you’ll end up struggling through your days and lose time juicing till 4am to meet production on a tiny machine.
A smaller machine also sucks up the time it takes to prepare the produce as you have to prep smaller batches more frequently. This longer prep and press time absolutely eats into your day and disrupts all the other things you need to do for your business.
Every hour your improperly sized machine is running it is costing you.
So, don’t set yourself up for regret. Buy the right size machine that matches your aspirations. Don’t put a toe in the water, commit to your business. Actually buy the machine to meet your goals. Don’t just make do with what you have, or you won’t have the ability to grow.
Your Dreams Can Still Come True
These newbie mistakes and many more can stop you in the tracks of your dreams. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it all alone.
We’re here for you and would love to help you, with answers to your questions and to get you started on your journey to fulfilling your dreams.