It is a dream of many to one day own and operate a successful, home-grown food business. Whether you can cook up a killer cupcake, a delectable carbonara, or a to-die-for rack of lamb, these things often start out with talent in the kitchen, until one day you (or someone close to you) says "this is so good, people would pay to eat it!"
Building a successful business is possible, and it is entirely within your reach. While it is true that the majority of small businesses fail within the first couple of years, the reasons for this can usually be boiled down to own thing in particular: lack of proper planning.
While a food distribution business may seem simple in principle, the fact is that dealing with food can be a logistical nightmare. Here are a few key considerations that will make your life significantly easier.
Is Your Product Perishable?
First and foremost, what is it that you're cooking up? Chances are, your product requires refrigeration, and has a shelf life of only a few days. The longevity of your food is a key aspect of how you approach your business. If your food is particularly perishable, it may be better to make it to order, rather than pre-emptively making a batch.
Refrigerated Transport is Key
Ensure that your food remains refrigerated throughout the entire distribution process, from your home to your customer. In particular, this means employing a refrigerated transportation service. Many a batch of product can be lost because of an untimely traffic jam in a hot car. Keep your food cold to maximise safety by creating a game plan with resources like Iceman Transport Refrigeration Repairs Pty Ltd.
Can You Scale Up Effectively?
Here's a scenario. You've approached a number of local cafés about buying your chocolate cake. One café has had success with your product, your cake is a hit, and they've commissioned two cakes a week from you.
The café owners tell their friends and colleagues about your cake-making skills. All of a sudden, a larger retailer contacts you. They want 20 cakes, and they want them tomorrow. Now what?
Scalability (or lack thereof) is the downfall of many small businesses. You need to plan for the scenario where your product is demanded in larger quantities that you can currently provide, and figure out exactly how you are going to meet those demands.
For food businesses, most often this involves hiring a third party, whether it be simply a personal sous chef, or an entire kitchen service. Pre-empt the situation, have a solid game plan, and you won't have a panic attack when the large order comes in.Share