13 Tips for Mums Starting a Home Cooking Business
We all need to make extra cash to cushion us during tough times. Whether you are a stay-at-home mum or a working mum who can throw down in the kitchen, starting a home cooking business is a great idea to monetise your love for cooking and make use of extra time. However, much thought and consideration must go into starting this business to provide your clients with safe products that will keep them craving more. Here are a few tips for mums starting a home cooking business.
Conduct a market research
Keep in mind that the food industry is very competitive. Therefore, you need to research your target demographic to determine their needs and wants. You will then be better positioned to innovate products to satisfy customer needs. Connect with local business people to have a rough idea of what goes on in the food industry.
Formulate a business plan
Since you will be operating your business from home, you are not obligated to prepare a formal business plan. However, coming up with a comprehensive business plan will help you lay a concrete foundation for your home business and keep you on track whenever you stray away from your core values. A solid plan will also help you convince investors to assist you financially.
Identify your target market
All your hard work and planning could go to waste if there is no market for your food. Make sure you identify a group of people that could benefit from your product. For instance, you could identify a coffee shop that could potentially buy your baked goods or a focus group that meets every week and invest in some tea snacks during their meetings.
Formulate a marketing strategy
Please do not assume that your business will grow overnight, and your phone will be overwhelmed with calls from clients who want to place an order. Put your business out there by giving your mentors and friends free samples and asking them to provide honest reviews. Use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to spread awareness about your home business. Create an eCommerce platform with lots of high-quality photos of your work and include your contact details where people can place orders.
Familiarise yourself with legal requirements
Ascertain that the zoning rules allow you to run a home cooking business. Ensure that your space meets all the food cleanliness requirements and demonstrate that the utensils you use for work are separate from those in your kitchen. You will also need to acquire business licenses and permits so that your business can be allowed to run and make sales. Ensure you comply with regulations in your country.
Select your niche
Focus on a specific niche market and decide which foods you want to sell. You could opt to specialize in preparing baked goods, pastries, wedding meals, catering, or delivering foods to new moms. The food industry is very vast. How you choose your niche will depend on your market research and target market findings.
Organise your recipes
If you plan to expand your home business and hire a helping hand, it would be great to print out or hand-write some recipes they could follow. You can use Heart & Berry recipe boxes and binders to hold and display your recipe cards in a neat manner that will prevent them from damage or wear and tear. You could also use these recipe cardholders to pass down precious family recipes to your children and loved ones. That way, you will stay organized.
Form a legal entity
When you form a legal entity, you protect your assets by keeping them separate from the company liabilities. In the unfortunate event that you are faced with a lawsuit, you will not end up losing your assets. Forming a legal entity also entails opening a separate bank account to separate your finances from your business. Ensure you register all of your products as trademarks under your company name.
Create a professional image
Even though you are running your business from home, ensure your brand identity. Ensure your website is polished, has clear pictures, and maintains professionalism. Take time to create business cards, brochures and print out some fancy menus. Let your packaging represent your brand and your personality. Your customers will judge your business based on presenting yourself and packaging your products.
Set a competitive price
Compare the prices of similar products in the market and charge your customers according to the cost of ingredients and time spent. Be careful not to set your price too high as you will scare your clients away or set your prices too low that you fail to make profits. When setting the price, keep in mind that the prices of your materials might fluctuate and prepare accordingly.
Ensure everything is in writing
Your close friend or relative may have contributed a certain sum towards the startup capital. You may also have contracted vendors’ services, such as a web designer for your website. Involve all the participants in creating your business and have them sign a formal contract that will protect you and your business in the future. Ensure your relationships are clearly defined and that these individuals assign any ownership rights they may have to the company.
Purchase raw materials in bulk
You will save more money by buying everyday items in bulk rather than purchasing on order. If you specialise in baking, you can purchase ingredients like sugar, butter, flavoring, and flour in bulk for use in future orders. You can then buy the extras such as raisins and fruits according to the client’s wishes.
Invest in good equipment
The equipment you will require will depend on the type of food you will be cooking. If you are short on finances, you can start with top-priority equipment and slowly build up your inventory with time. It is easy to get your work equipment mixed up with your kitchen equipment since you operate from home. It would be best to store your business equipment separately from personal items.
We hope that this article has steered you in the right direction and motivated you to kick start your home cooking business. Do market research, identify your target audience, have a branding, have a recipe that meets your customers’ needs, and get started.