Setting up a new business is an amazing combination of fear and excitement. But it isn’t for everyone. While you may love baking cakes and friends and family are keen for you to make more, there is a plethora of other things that you will need to do to have a sustainable business that is bringing in the income you need.
I am an avid reader of other blogs and belong to a couple of facebook groups where bloggers support each other, share information and advice. One sentiment that you often see in these groups is the loss of the love of blogging when people attempt to turn their blogging hobby into a business. It can seem like a great idea to make doing something you love in to a business but in reality, people can lose the enjoyment of what they love doing as they get caught up in the more mundane aspects of running a business. For blogging this can be finding the best advertising network, working out how to set up sign up forms, accounting for income and expenses and writing about things you think might earn you money rather than what you love.
For those looking at setting up a food business, you will need to not just create great food, but will also need to sort out where you are going to sell, meeting food safety standards, packaging and looking after your finances just to name a few jobs. If you get your business successfully off the ground then many of these jobs can be outsourced but initially you will probably find yourself doing a lot of them to keep costs under control.
But if you are willing to accept these necessary evils, which you may actually find you enjoy, then setting up your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. It won’t be easy and you will probably find yourself working more hours than you would in employment, but the joy you can find from creating your own little niche in the world can well outweigh any of these negatives.
Before setting up a food business here are some of the ducks I think you should have lined up before you get started:
- Have a great support network. Going it alone can be lonely so it is important that you have a network of people to cheer you on when things are going well and listen to you when hiccups and dramas occur. This support network can be family and friends but if they haven’t set up their own small businesses they may not understand what you are going through and may project their own concerns about the insecurity of owning a business on you. If this is the case you may want to find a business coach, join business groups such as the local chamber of commerce and look for online support networks such as private facebook groups. I personally have used a business coach and she has been worth her weight in gold especially in terms of acting as a sounding board and offering support and accountability that is honest. She tells me if an idea is not going to work and listens to my concerns and worries but is also there as my own private cheer squad when things go well.
- Do your research. Work out who your competitors are and what they are charging, look at what you need to do to meet legislative requirements around food safety and labelling, calculate how much your product is going to cost to make. Look at possible markets for selling your product. But get the balance right. You could probably go on researching forever. If you aren’t careful it can be a great procrastination tool. You are never going to have all the information you need, there will get to a point when you need to make the leap.
- Work out why people should buy from you. In the food sector, there are not many totally new products coming out. But just because someone else is already selling a great marmalade that does not mean you can’t make money out of selling marmalades. But you have to work out what it is that makes your product special. Why should people buy your marmalade over one that is already on the shelf. Maybe you have a unique flavor combination like orange and olive marmalade or you only use organically sourced produce or you have a secret new production method that makes it last longer. Whatever it is you need to clearly articulate this story to yourself and your customer – you need to develop a brand and be consistent in your message.
Here at The Ingredients of Business, I am here to help you with some of these worries and concerns. Take your time and look around. You can sign up for my blog posts to receive information on running a food business, follow the Ingredients of Business on facebook and ask questions there or sign up to join the Food Incubator.
I am so looking forward to you sharing your stories of success and eating your amazing food!