Food businesses require a lot of planning and hard work. There are many laws and important safety rules that food businesses must follow. Knowing how to get started can help you set up your business for success. You’ll need to engage in proper planning and get help from a food business consultant. Here’s what you need to know.
Form the Idea
If you’ve never had a food business before, the easiest ideas are those that require little investment and planning. Candy and packaged snacks are common first-food-business ideas, because candies transport easily and require simple packaging.
Other relatively easy first-time food ideas include herbs, seeds, baked good ingredient kits, tea and coffee. Your food business consultant can help you decide whether your food idea is realistic given your start up budget and other resources. One of the resources you should familiarize yourself with during this process is the handbook from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Research the Supply Chain
Use healthy, safe ingredients, and if necessary, know the ingredients within the ingredients. This is important for proper labeling and food safety. It’s vitally important to be honest and truthful on your labeling. Are you labeling your pasta sauce as organic? Check your food supplier’s organic certification to ensure that you’re labeling your foods accurately. Get your foods from reputable, known sources.
Pick a Business Location
Small businesses, especially beginning businesses, can work out of just about anywhere, as long as you’re adhering to proper food safety practices. If you don’t want to run your business from your home, investigate shared commercial kitchens, local commercial facilities, or consider working with an existing manufacturer. All of these options come at different price points. Do your research and choose the one that’s right for you.
Choose the Right Packaging
Packaging is important. Attractive packaging attracts buyers. Food packaging is also important for food safety purposes, so it must be durable, it must properly protect and preserve your food, and it must withstand the shipping process.
Packaging involves more than just the actual package your food is stored in. It also includes any boxes you send through the mail. Buy samples of packages and experiment with options before making your final decision. Hire a graphic designer to create the label. Don’t make your own label unless you have a background in graphic design. Your food business consultant will know where to find good packaging options.
Contact an Experienced Food Business Consultant
There’s a lot more to starting an online food business than you might realize. Before you can start your business, you’ll need to make a budget, set a pricing schedule, make connections in the industry, know the laws that pertain to your business, find insurance for your business and start keeping business records. That’s a lot to do! Working with an experienced food business consultant can help you get off to the right start.