Homemade food is synonymous with comfort after a stress-filled, over-scheduled day, a home-cooked meal can meet many emotional needs. However, not everyone has the time or talent to make their own meals, bake their own desserts or whip up a batch of homemade treats. This presents a great earning opportunity for people who love to cook and who are good at it. Making food for others can provide extra income or even turn into a full-time job.
Here’s how to start selling your edible products and make some money from your kitchen skills.
1. Choose your signature item
People have built successful businesses selling homemade fried goods, candies, snacks and even hot meals start with a product you already know how to make, perhaps something that you’re known for or that you always get compliments on – you can always add to your product line later. You can also put your own spin on a common food, for example, a gluten-free or organic version of a popular dessert, or selling a well packaged Ijebu garri mixed with groundnut and sugar to people. Calculate the cost of your ingredients and how much you can realistically produce in a day and set your prices accordingly.
2. Check the laws.
Once you’ve decided on what to make and sell, check your local laws regarding the production and sale of food products. Some municipalities require licenses and kitchen inspections for certain food items, especially perishable foods such as meat or dairy products, while other products may be exempt. For example, in some states, you can sell homemade baked goods, candy and preserves without a food service license or a kitchen inspection. Some entrepreneurs choose to have their own kitchens certified, while others rent certified kitchens from churches and community centers. Check with your state’s Department of Agriculture or Health Department for food packaging and labeling requirements.
3 Spread the word.
Marketing is critical to developing a steady stream of customers, so spread the word about your new venture. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to advertise, so tell your friends and family about your new business.
Create some brochures with pictures, a list of ingredients, some information about your products and a price list and some information about your products and a price list and ask them to spread the word. You can also create a Facebook page advertising your items – post some eye-catching pictures that highlight the appearance and quality of your products and invite your friends to like your page.
4. Grow your business.
When you’re ready to expand your business beyond your immediate circle, here are a few ways to take it to the next level.
Give away samples:
Pictures are important, but samples let people experience the taste and quality of your food. Contact local businesses and offer some samples for meetings, parties or even for the company break room. Be sure to include your business cards or brochures, and ask people to leave reviews on your Facebook page or website.
Market at community events:
Farmer’s markets, local festivals, fairs and trade shows attract hundreds of potential customers. Showcase your products with an attractive booth and creative packaging.
Provide delivery services:
Delivering your products can set you apart from your competition. If you can’t deliver the products yourself, partner with a delivery service to get your products to your customers home, business or event.
Offer attractive deals:
Specials such as buy one, get one for 50% off will attract customers and help you get repeat orders. Sales are psychological tactics that work, so use them to your advantage.
A successful homemade food business requires a high-quality, great tasting product and a bit of marketing.