If you have a passion for food and are ready to turn your hobby into a lifestyle and business, what better way than to organise it from home? You will not have to pay any premises costs, you can use all your own equipment you know and love, and what’s more, you can simply get out of bed, go into the kitchen and start work.
Running a business from home is one of the most convenient, cost effective ways of doing it, however the skills involved are often underestimated. Starting out with your dream of running a food business is also an extremely exciting time; the opportunities are endless!
However, being successful in running a food business from home isn’t as easy as it looks, but just to help you out, we’ve comprised a list of top tips to help you when you’re just starting out.
- Learn the regulations and requirements
There are certain rules and regulations as to what you can and cannot do at your premise for food. In order to determine whether or not your kitchen is fit for purpose of running a food business, you will need to get in touch with the environmental health agency. They will be able to come round to inspect the kitchen, and tell you what you do and do not need to do in order to run your food business from home.
On inspection, you will need to show that you have considered food hygiene requirements, health and safety, and fire arrangements. There are also specifics on labelling; you can get advice for this from the local trading standards officer.
Kitchens in Northampton and other locations may need some adjustments such as wipeable surfaces and adequate sinks before you can start running your business.
- Do your research
Before starting up your business, it is important to plan meticulously before you invest everything into it. This includes researching everything you need to run the business, such as registering as a business premise at least 28 days before you open, and drawing up a business plan.
There are a few things which will be difficult to plan before you get up and running, for example you may not know exactly how many order you will get at first, so obtaining stock will be a bit of a guessing game at first.
If you are unsure, it is always worth seeking advice from anyone who has already tried a similar business venture; they will be able to give you a good idea as to what you need to plan before starting.
- Market research
As well as researching aspects of running the business itself, you will also need to conduct market research to obtain knowledge on whether or not there is a market for the food products you are planning to sell.
Your market research does not have to be extensive, but simply asking a few people local to you will give you a good idea of what people are after. Ask people if they would consider purchasing your products, how often, and what they would expect as a reasonable price for the products. You can even administer tasters for people to test, and ask people for what they prefer between a few recipes. Blind tasting is always a good idea to test people on what they prefer; this way they will not be able to see what you have changed on the food.
- Use your lack of experience to your advantage
Running a food business is at first daunting, and if you have never endeavoured in this market before, it can seem like there is a lot to learn all at once. Your lack of experience can be tough in some ways; it will be a steep learning curve at first and you won’t know the industry way of going about things.
However, in some ways your lack of experience can work to your advantage. For example, you can really look at things form a fresh perspective, and having always been on the other side of the table, you can think from a client’s perspective in terms of what they will want from your services.
- Keep your passion
Running your food business will be a massive achievement, and there will be times when you feel lucky, and other times when you may feel overwhelmed and stressed by everything. During the harder times, it is highly important to make sure that you remember why you started the business in the first place, and make sure your passion for your products continues to shine through.
Part of keeping your passion involves coming up with new ideas as often as possible to keep things fresh and staying motivated to continue improving your business.