While starting any business in today’s competitive business environment is challenging, the food business appears to have an advantage over all other types of ventures as of late. People always have to eat and have different diet desires and tastes, so there’s always a demand. The interesting part is offering a product unique enough to stand out so that what you have on offer gets chosen above the rest to meet that demand.
Availing to consumers’ needs presents a chance for you to start and grow your food business. Here is a comprehensive guide to starting a food business in London.
1. Research and plan your business idea
Having a great idea for your food business is one side of a complicated equation, and market research is the other. Starting a business based on guesswork and simply hoping that people will love your products won’t work. You may target the wrong audience or launch the business in an inappropriate location, and that means business losses and serious financial losses.
It’s therefore, essential to take the time and research your competition, clients, business profitability, and funding options before you start the business.
2. Know your target audience
Define who will be your potential clients, where they live (or work), and the amount of money they can spend on meals. These details will help you to determine whether or not there is demand for your food business idea. There is no point in having an excellent business idea or a classy restaurant that avails products that no one is interested in or cannot afford.
3. Define your brand: what makes you stand out?
Great client service and high-quality food are important elements that encourage your customers to revisit your food business, and your brand is equally important. Branding is more than just an attractive, easy-to-remember business name; it covers everything from your signage and business logo to your website, interior décor, and menus used in your business.
The power of an experience that your food brings shouldn’t be underestimated. Think of it as more than just food. Focus on creating an experience that allows your customers to feel comfortable and enjoy every moment they spend with your food or interact with your business. The packaging design, personality, extra details, food presentation, menus, and all points where your clients will interact with you must all reflect your brand and what your stand for.
Define this well, stick to it, make it strong, and you’ll provide a consistent experience that clients will return to again and again.
4. Rent the right kitchen in the right location
While it’s possible (though not easy) to start a food business from home, the strict hygiene laws and requirements in the UK have made it challenging. In most cases, you may be required to construct an entirely new kitchen in your home. Thus, it’s more cost-effective to look for a in London particularly from a reputable company such as FoodStars, with low overhead costs and no long-term contract.
Remember, the freedom of not being in a contract when renting a kitchen means that if things go wrong, you always have the contingency that you can get out without falling into a lot of debt.
What's more is that in a rented kitchens, the equipment is already set up and the space will meet the necessary regulatory requirements such as good ventilation, correct wash-hand basin height, drying equipment, fire-safety, insect prevention, and waste management.
Finally, consider that your home might not actually be in the best location in terms of the size of the local market. It’s much better to have your food kitchen set up in a densely populated area like London. The capital is full of great zones, with areas famous for fantastic food such as the East End, or the bustling lunch breaks on the streets of Vauxhall in Central London.
5. Financing options
Not every business, especially small businesses, requires investors to get started. However, it’s wise to plan in time and use your business plan and the knowledge you have to determine the most viable financing option.
6. Find support from family and friends
Your family and friends can support you in terms of guidance and financially as well. For instance, you can borrow part of the initial capital from a friend or relative. These people can also guide especially when choosing a business location, name, and more.
7. Put your business plan in action
Putting your business plan in action simply means ‘launch your business.’ It’s important to get as many prospects as possible through your restaurant doors in the early days. You can also plan and advertise a launch event.
8. Promote your business
The food industry is very competitive, and for your restaurant to attract customers and maintain them, you need to do . You already know the power of special promotions and discounts such as purchase one and get one free. It’s wise to get your clients’ contact details so that you can always be in touch with them.
9. Don’t stop researching and planning for the future of your business
Business environment keeps on changing, and new things come and go. Market research will help you keep up with the changing business environment, take advantage of opportunities that show up, and planning for the future reduces the risk of unanticipated things.