Imagine how amazing it would be to launch a food business based on your amazing cakes, bakes, jams, chutney, cookies or other delicious makes!
Starting a food business can seem overwhelming and daunting, not knowing what you need to do and in what order. Use my 12 step checklist below to help you get started.
1. What’s the food product you’d like to bring to market?
All great food businesses start with an amazing product. Maybe its your Mum’s famous plum jam, a recipe you’ve created or a gap you’ve spotted in the market.
2. Identify your ideal client.
Not everyone will like or buy your product but that’s okay. You just need to find the loyal customers who do love your products and will buy again and again. Getting clear on your ideal customer will help you to find and market to them.
3. Get sampling
Get your product in front of many people as possible. The idea here is not to sell but to find out if people actually like your product - and get as much feedback as possible on your product.
4. Get testing *
Get making. Test the recipe to check it is scalable and can cope with being produced in large quantities without affecting taste or quality. Get your product shelf life tested.
5. Packaging *
How will you package the product so it looks great, protects and keeps the product in tip top condition? Well designed, well branded packaging is key for a food product to have ‘shelf appeal’ so take the time to get it right.
6. Decide who will produce your food product and where *
You can either make the products yourself or find someone else to make them for you. Deciding on which way to go will be a personal decision and very much depend on your specific circumstances. If you’re making the product yourself, where will you do this in the early days? Your home or premises?
7. Check the numbers stack up *
This is crucial to make sure that ultimately you have a viable, profitable food business that does more than just cover costs. Writing a business plan will help you work through the fundamentals of the business. Pay particular attention to the financials - if the costs don’t stack up then go back to the drawing board until you have a viable business proposition. If this seems daunting, get advice from a food business coach or accountant.
8. Establish your brand *
You’ll need a company logo and branding assets, but a brand is so much more than that. It’s the experience your customers have when buying from you and should reflect and articulate your values and aspirations. Again get help from a professional to get this right first time.
9. How people will find out about your brand and product? *
What methods will you use to repeatedly and consistently market your product to potential customers and grow sales?
10. How will people buy from you?
Will they be able to purchase your products both online and in person at events or in bricks and mortar stores? How will you ship the product to customers and take payments? You’ll need to set up a separate bank account for the business.
11. Get registered.
Before you go any further, there are few basic ‘legal’ type things that you must do when starting a food business and definitely before you start selling.
12. Get started Above all get started today so your food business dreams don’t end up left on the shelf. Check out the ways I can help you to launch your food business here:
You might not have the skills, experience or time to do all of these yourself. Depending on your budget and capability, you might look to outsource some of the steps or get professional help. I’ve indicated which steps can be outsourced, and which in my opinion, you should do yourself, at least in the beginning.
In my experience of launching my own bakery business and helping other entrepreneurs to launch food & drink brands, you should be able to get all the basics sorted within around 3 - 6 months. If you decide to outsource production or do a big packaging design project, this may take a bit longer in the beginning to nail everything down.
So there you have it! Take that great food product and bring it to market with my 12 Step checklist.
Don’t waste any time - take action today!
You can get a downloadable version of this blog post as a handy checklist that you can print off and refer back to here:
Other blog posts you might like to read:
Hey I'm Nila. I make beautiful iced biscuits and I'd like to help you launch or scale your baking business. Welcome to my blog.