Top 10 tips for starting a food business

Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Published in Blog


We have put together a top 10 checklist of things to do when starting a food business to help you succeed.




1.Nail your product and processes

Know your product well and be able to make it consistently. Work on refining the most efficient process in terms of ingredients you purchase (in bulk etc.) and production of the product to save you time and money.

2.Research your market

Find out what already exists in that area. Look at the successful and unsuccessful businesses and attempt to identify why they did well or what they didn’t do so well that determined their success. Find out who your target market is and what they are looking for.

3.Register your business

Register for an ABN and Business name. It is important to make sure you are handling the legal side properly so you do not run into trouble down the track. Find the government link here.

4.Create a brand image.

Pay someone to do your branding. Do not buy a $5 logo off a website, work with a graphic design firm or freelancer who will help you achieve the look you really want. This is the face of your brand, it needs to look good. It is essentially the difference between wearing a dapper suit or a pair of trackies and singlet when you meet your customers - you need to look your best. We work with Walker. for our own and our customers branding.

5.Get online

It doesn’t have to be a twelve page website with an in-depth history, gallery and extensive information about your business, just get a basic webpage designed that has some information about your business and information on how to contact you.

6.Have a social media presence

Particularly for food businesses, social media like instagram and twitter can be a fast way to spread the word about your businesses. Make sure to do some research or look at our post on "3 Essentials to Kickstart your Business on Social Media" on how best to approach this.

7.Network and use who you know

Get on Linked In and network with those who you already know to make connections and help build and grow your business. You can also network by attending food related events, and getting involved in the community.

8.Work out costings as exact as possible

Work out your costings taking everything into account. Ingredients, packaging, labour, kitchen hire, transport, market stall, marketing. It all adds up, from here, you can work out how much you will charge your customers as well as situating your price well within the market. It’s an important balance to get right but crucial to making sure you succeed. The best price is when you as the seller sees more value in the customers money than the product, and the customer sees more value in the product than the money they are handing over.

9.Set up your finance or get an accountant

Use a program such as MYOB or Xero to manage your finances. It is important that you keep an eye on your books to track your spending so you have a better idea of what you need to do to improve and what seems to be working. An accountant can be great, and if your budget allows for it, I would definitely recommend it, but don’t hand it all over to them. Make sure you keep an eye on what is going on.

10.Get licensed

Register through the council for your Food Licence. You will need to be registered to a premises or commercially licensed kitchen. If you are using a kitchen hire company such as ourselves, we will often have a contact within the council or a reference number that allows you to get your licence approved faster. By completing these steps, you will be well on your way to your first production of your product and getting out to the world.