I love working with food. Many of us have thought about turning our passion for home cooking into a business. This could include starting a baking business or setting up your own meal delivery service.
You don’t have to rent out premises to do this. In fact, you can easily run a food business from home. This could save you money and allow you the freedom to cook from the comfort of your own kitchen. Below are a few steps detailing how to run a food business from home.
Register your business
First, you need to register your business in order to make it official and legal. This includes acquiring a tax ID and registering with your state revenue agency. You can find lots of guides online on how to register a business.
Get your kitchen into shape
Your kitchen needs to be suitable for running a business from. First, you need to make sure that it’s a practical workspace. This could include getting rid of any clutter and investing in some professional cooking equipment.
Second, you need to make sure that your kitchen meets legal standards in terms of hygiene and general food safety. In some states, an inspection of your kitchen may be required to make sure that it’s suitable.
Running a food business from a small kitchen could be challenging – in these cases it may be better to hire out space. Alternatively, you could consider converting another room in your home into a commercial kitchen or buying a food truck/trailer which you can park on your driveway and cook from.
Decide where to store your food and supplies
You’ll need to find space for all your ingredients and equipment. Having a spare room such as a garage in your home to use as a storeroom could be useful, allowing you to bulk buy ingredients if necessary (you could even place some extra refrigerators in here if you need to chill lots of ingredients).
Another option could be to use a shed in your yard. This will need to be kept cool and made pest-proof in order to preserve your ingredients.
Find the right courier
If you’re going to be delivering your food to customers, it’s essential that you find the right courier. If you’re running a local take-out service, consider a service like Uber Eats or Doordash. If you’re delivering food over longer distances, you may have to look into specialist long-distance food delivery services.
It’s usually better to outsource delivery than to hire in-house staff to do it. Outsourcing is likely to be cheaper and you’ll have access to more delivery drivers at once, which could be useful if you need to make lots of deliveries in a short space of time.
Invest in digital marketing
Investing in digital marketing will help you to attract customers. There are lots of different ways in which you can market your business. This is likely to depend on the type of food business you’re launching. Bakeries and cake-making companies can often benefit from promoting themselves through sites like Instagram. Takeaway restaurants can meanwhile get a lot of business by signing up to third-party delivery platform apps like GrubHub.
Whatever type of food company you decide to set up, it’s essential that you have your own website. You can hire a web developer to build you a website or you can try building your own website. It could also be worth setting up a Facebook business page and running some ads through this site. Digital marketing services like SEO could also be worth looking into to help you generate business.
Protect your privacy
You may not want customers knowing your home address. For the purpose of business mail, it could be worth outsourcing a virtual address from a company such as Physical Address. This provides you with an address that you can display on your website – any mail can be directed to this outsourced address and then redirected from here to your real address.
Adopt a schedule that suits you
When running a food business from home, you get to set your own hours. It’s worth still creating a work schedule rather than working when you feel like it. This could be essential if you run a takeaway service so that customers know when your opening hours are. If you’re doing food projects with deadlines (such as making wedding cakes) it could be similarly important. Make sure that your personal life doesn’t suffer.
So what are you waiting for! Start planning your business now!