If you have thought about starting your own home business, they say there’s never a better time than the present. When creating a food business, whether it’s an online food business, food truck, catering business, or cottage food business, there are plenty of factors to consider.
You must follow specific regulations depending on the kind of food you are planning on making and selling.
So many factors go into making an excellent food product, like the quality of kitchen tools, air quality, proper packaging, and shipping. Selling food can be challenging but worthwhile if you’ve got a unique product that keeps customers coming back.
Many businesses have started from home, slowly building customers and clientele, and gone on to make their food products in a factory and distribute them to larger clients and retailers.
If you’re ready to start your business, here are some things to consider before starting a food business and how to expand later.
Define Your Unique Selling Point
With a crowded food market, it can be challenging to get your food business started. But don’t lose hope! A great start to your business is defining your unique selling point to make you stand out from the crowd.
Do your research and see what gaps there are in the food market depending on the product you want to sell. If it’s baked goods, are there any products in your region that aren’t being sold?
For example, a gluten-free bread or a smoked meat product that isn’t readily available at your local grocer. There may be a unique product that customers are asking for, and your business could supply it.
Sourcing your ingredients and understanding the entire supply chain is one of the most critical steps in food preparation. Trace the supply chain from start to finish to make the proper claims for a food license and product packaging.
The customers to whom you are selling with your new food business deserve to know where the food comes from and what conditions the food is grown or raised in. Also, developing a good relationship with your food supplier can help improve trust and create a collaborative working relationship.
Follow the Rules and Regulations
Before getting started on what food product you want to produce, ensure you follow the laws for your region. For example, meat and fish often require licensing to sell.
How you store and handle food needs to be considered and inspected by the proper authorities. While it is a small business, it should follow all the rules and regulations so that you can maintain food safety and food hygiene and avoid any headaches or bumps along the way.
Plan Out the Day-to-Day
Once you’ve got your first orders placed and food to prepare, it’s crucial to determine what the day-to-day procedures of your business will look like.
Are you working on orders in the morning, doing food delivery in the afternoon, and doing paperwork in the evening? Is there a schedule that works for you based on your productivity?
As a small business, it’s often a small team of one or a handful of people. Even if it is just one person managing the daily tasks of a business, planning out your day and creating a set schedule will help manage all the things that need to be done every day. The more planned you are, the smoother the process will be.
Have Your Paperwork In Order
This detail can often be overlooked through all the chaos of starting a business. However, having all your paperwork in order and ready to present to any food inspectors, tax regulators, or other officials is an essential step for your small business.
Consider what tax documents you need to complete to run a food business from home. This depends on your local area, so check restrictions and laws regarding food businesses. You’ll need to register as a business and claim any taxes.
Also, find an organization system that sorts your orders, income, and expenses. These are all essential but tedious parts of running a business.
Consider Sales and Advertising
You’ve done your food preparation (and followed good food hygiene for safety), and you’re ready to sell, but you’re having trouble finding customers and clientele.
It could be worthwhile to put some of your budget into advertising your business online or in person at local businesses. This could mean buying ad space online or going to local events and markets to sell your products.
There are also plenty of free or low-cost ways to advertise online. Having a social media presence and posting pictures of your products is a good start. Most social media platforms offer low-cost advertising that can boost your audience’s reach.
If you are posting your food online, make sure you have a way for customers to reach you. Set up a business email, an online store, a business phone number, or whatever works for your at-home setup.
Come Up With a Five-Year Business Plan
Just like making a daily schedule, any plans you have with your business should also be planned out. Drafting a five-year business plan could be something you do at the very start of your business, or it could be thought out once you’re a few months in. Having a goal to achieve will help motivate you to keep expanding and growing.
So, plan out where you want your business to be in five years, and determine how you can get there step by step. If you want to expand your business, plan how to grow your clientele and eventually expand your production. Will you seek out another production location or hire more employees?
Think as detailed as possible, even if you’re not sure of every detail at the time of planning. Come up with a few big-picture goals, and scale down to the minutiae of each goal to determine what you need to do to achieve your goal.
We’re here to let you know you can do it if you’re ready to take the plunge and start your own food business.
The home-based food business you’re looking to start can happen, and with some time, hard work, and resilience, your home-based food business can grow into an empire.
Our team of food consultants and experts here at the greater goods have industry-level advice and can help your business grow. Reach out to us for a free consultation.