The number of home-based food businesses is growing in the U.S. and abroad. Everyone thinks that they have what it takes to run a successful self-made business, so you must learn how to compete with other entrepreneurs. Here are 5 tips to help you run a successful food-based business.
Learn the Rules and Regulations
There are strict food business regulations that pertain to your country, state, county and city or town. Learning every rule is necessary to avoid having your restaurant or store shut down due to health code violations. Also, know the rules that pertain to some states but not to others. For instance, some lenience is provided to owners of home-based food businesses. In Texas, a permit is not required by the local health department.
Target Your Market
Target the specific customers that make up your clientele because you cannot market your ads to the entire population. Every business owner notices that the most frequent customers fit specific demographics. A gourmet catering company may have a clientele that consists of people between the ages of 25 to 60 with an average annual income of more than $50,000 a year. Knowing these details is important to create an effective marketing campaign.
Know What Your Targeted Market Likes
Once you know who your regular customers are, build a menu around their favorite selections. Do not continue advertising foods that no one or very few people choose to buy. Every now and then, change the look of your menu. If you’re running a traditional bakery, add a unique item like pastila or Kaiser buns to see if they’ll like it or not.
Know Your Limitations
A lot of companies are optimistic without being realistic, which is a common business mistake. Predict your future success based on your past success. Never make assumptions about how successful or unsuccessful your products and services will be. If you’re running a grocery store, purchase your inventory based on past sales. This prevents surplus that leads to spoilage of food and a significant waste of money.
Hire Additional Professionals If Needed
A business owner cannot expect to know everything about running a food-based business. There are additional resources available in the form of consultants, food safety experts and retired business owners. Hire an auditor to monitor the work of your employees if you’re suspicious about how they are doing on their own. In addition, you can get the help of food safety auditors to get you the certifications that are needed for your food business, which helps gain more of your consumer’s trust.
Most people in the food industry are passionate about what they want. However, working as a cook and following a recipe is not the same as running a business that receives hundreds of customers a day. In addition to being a great leader, you should build your advanced knowledge of business management to succeed in the food industry.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.