How to kick start your food business

food It’s a funny old time to start a food business, the horsemeat scandal is still a hot topic among the nation and a recent survey by Which? revealed that 60% of those surveyed have completely changed their shopping habits since the incidents, which is good news for the independent start up.

Conversely, in a saturated market you’re going to need more than honest beef to make a lb; a viable business idea, impressive marketing strategy and a heap of common sense are paramount to making it work. So, put down that apron, put your thinking cap on and read our tips on getting that dream food business off the ground.

A marketable business strategy

Even if your speciality lasagne puts Nigella Lawson’s to shame, it’s not worth a dime without incredible business acumen to boot. Instead of spending weeks agonising over a thorough business strategy, use PEST and SWOT analysis to get a quick idea of whether or not your business is marketable and sustainable in the current economy.

Consider your target market and how best to reach the people who may be interested in your business – if you want to tap into the student market, don’t set up shop in the wealthiest area of the city etc.

Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box is one sure fire way to get people talking about your business. One butcher from Royston displayed the tongue in cheek banner ‘Only Fools Eat Horses’ in front of his shop front window and later reported a 20% increase in sales. Create a personality for your pizzeria/American diner/bakery and you’ll fare much better than a generically branded business.

Equally important, a great USP can set your business apart from the competition; quality is integral to a successful food business, for instance, if you use organic produce, shout about it in your menus and social media marketing.

Are you a people person?

If you’re just starting out, the chances are you’re going to be the star of the show and you know what that means – dealing with the great British public. You’ll be serving the public 24/7 and will need tenacity, charm and charisma to deal with every eventuality.

If your immediate reaction is to thrash anyone who rubs you up the wrong way, catering might not be the right industry for you. Conversely, if you put your heart and soul into producing good food, value and service, you’re unlikely to receive too many complaints.

Halve start-up costs

Starting your food business on a shoe string? Street food is the latest phenomenon to hit the food industry and with cheap overheads, few restrictions and little specialist knowledge required, it’s easy to see why.

One of the best things about street food businesses is the flexibility on location, for example, if you head to an area with low footfall, it’s easy enough to move on, whereas with a building based business, it’s far more complicated to up sticks and leave.

With a street food business, you’ll have the ability to be your own boss and generate instant profit, however you’ll need to be an extremely passionate and self-disciplined individual to make it a success.

No food business would be complete without a handy dose of business insurance at the ready, just in case it all goes a bit Pete Tong. At ConstructaQuote, we’ve got a number of competitive insurance policies on offer including small business insurance and liability insurance. Request a quote to learn more.

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About ElWood

Hi readers, Elwood here, business guru and founder of I have created this blog to keep my readers up to date with the latest business news, information and advice.
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