This book, published by Alberta (Canada) Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, is available free online via http://bit.ly/FBRDH12 (the full url is http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex9977/$file/845-11.pdf?OpenElement). This book is from the large web resource developed and published by North American Federal Governments and the extension services of many universities. This is an enormous resource that is worth getting to know. The 61-page book is comprehensive with chapters on: Starting Out, Business Planning, Business Considerations, Food Processing Regulations, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Product Development, Processing and Packaging Equipment, Packaging and Labelling, Distribution and Sales, Promotion, Financing, and Sources of Assistance. Unfortunately the information on regulations and resources is focused on the needs of a start-up in Alberta, but the principles are still the same and the text serves as a checklist for other countries. The book starts out with three important questions: Is Entrepreneurship for You? Is My Idea an Opportunity? and Is the Idea Feasible – Will it Fly? These are often overlooked when someone loves an idea, or when a donor-funded development project offers an opportunity. The third question is then addressed in detail, identifying seven steps required to understand whether the idea will fly: Market Research, Can You Make Money? What’s Your Break Even Point? Will Customers Pay Your Price? Where Can You Sell That Much Product? The Marketing Plan, and Forecast Business Start-up Costs. The book is comprehensive but uncomplicated and will definitely alert the entrepreneur to actions that he/she may have overlooked – the pity is that some useful information is Alberta-specific. – Dave Harcourt
For previous book review in our series on Free online food processing information, search on www.foodprocessingafrica.com for ”Free online”.