You make a killer spice cake and your family and friends are saying that you need to take that cake into the marketplace. But you have never had your own business much less a food business. Where do you begin? Experts like Larry Polhill, Café Valley VP, would offer the following tips to get you started in building your food business successfully:
Write a business plan:
Like and architect who establishes blueprints to ensure that his project will be sound, writing a business plans will help you to determine how you need to approach your business for it to be successful. Simply put, without a business plan, you leave far too many things to chance.
Although business plans vary in terms of length and scope, all business plans contain a description of your business, including details about how it will operate, a section on market research and marketing strategies, an evaluation of your main competitors, a strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threat analysis (S.W.O.T), your exit strategy, and several financial forecasts.
Find out Where Your Product fits into the Marketplace:
No matter how unique your spice cake is, there is a good chance that there are similar products in the marketplace. How do you differentiate yours from competitors? Does it use all natural ingredients? Is it less expensive? Do you deliver your products personally? You need to establish your cake in such a way that people will recognize and respond positively to the differences. You have to know why your cake is more attractive than all the others out there. You also need to find ways where you can use packaging and marketing to support your products uniqueness.
Build a Small but Active Group of Loyal Supporters
Based on why you started your business, you should have this already established. This group becomes very valuable to you because they represent advocates for your business. Use them to test your cake, and tell them to give critical feedback on every aspect from packaging to even the name of your product. Their excitement will often have them introducing more people to you, who you can be added to this list. There may even be enough for you to form a small and profitable customer base.
Master Cheap Advertising
- Learn how Google Adwords works and incorporate them on all of your online marketing efforts.
- Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, are a great way to let potential and existing customers know you’re only a click or phone call away, and to build your reputation and presence. It’s also an ideal platform for new, referred business.
- Having great customer service will keep existing customers and win new ones. Each time you gain a customer, is an opportunity to impress the customer so they’ll not only but from you again, they will tell their friends to buy also. This should also include discounts for those buying lots of your cakes and a loyalty program that gives away free goods.