Local Food – A Solution for Vacant Buildings?

Traditionally, New Venture Advisors’ projects have been catalyzed by an individual or group passionate about strengthening their local food system. These community leaders often believe that market-based solutions might be the answer, and look to food hubs or...

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Positioning Statements: How a Carrot is More Than a Carrot

Earlier this month I spent a week in New England conducting sales and marketing trainings for the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program and the Carrot Project. They invited educators to offer trainings on finance, marketing and management to individuals that...

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Anatomy of a Positioning Statement

In an earlier blog post titled “Positioning statements: how a carrot is more than a carrot” I described how a business identifies itself to its customer vis-à-vis the competition through a positioning statement, and how a well-crafted positioning statement can help an...

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Let’s Get Feasible: 6 Exercises for a Great Feasibility Study

The term “feasibility study” seems to elicit a wide range of reactions ranging from skepticism to exhaustion to excitement. Where along this spectrum someone falls can often depend on the structure and execution of a study, as well as the initial motivation of the...

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4 Keys to Persuasive Business Plans (Part 2)

As mentioned in Part 1 of this post, these four aspects of a business plan can be the most compelling if well researched and presented: Value Proposition: a strong problem/solution statement Addressable Market: a realistic estimate of the size of your market Sales...

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4 Keys to Persuasive Business Plans (Part 1)

I was recently a panelist in a breakout session about financing food hubs. My segment was on the importance of business planning in effectively raising money. With only 15 minutes for prepared remarks, I wondered how to distill into a few key points all of the...

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Don’t waste a perfectly good failure

I was having one of those memorable group dinners last weekend that jumps from one fun topic to another, and has us sharing and learning new things about ourselves. One question that popped up for all to reflect on was “what accomplishment are you most proud of in...

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The One-page Annual Strategic Plan

It's December. Countless large organizations have been in the midst of planning meetings, data analysis, and presentations to boards. However, so many employees see annual planning as just a dog-and-pony show with little impact on their work the following year. At the...

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Rural Grocery Stores as Food Hubs — 2 Birds, 1 Stone?

Here’s a question we are hearing more and more from client teams and community planning groups: can a food hub work in a small, rural community? One might expect the result of a feasibility study for a food hub in this context to be “no-go”. The low overall population...

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