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Top Tips on How to Start a Successful Food Business

We rent food production kitchens in London and people often ask us how to become a successful Food Production Entrepreneur.

There are always exceptions to any rules, but in general there are certain essential elements and key actions required in order to be successful in this industry and some of the most important of these are: -

- Do your research! Make sure there are enough paying customers out there in your niche, remember, food has a shelf life, so it’s essential that you’ve done your homework to make sure that the food you are producing is in demand.

- Make sure your business is profitable, it’s easy to ‘buy’ sales with discounting and acquisitions. Sales are vanity, profit is sanity. Always keep testing and experimenting with new food ideas but focus on the ones that are the most profitable.

- Be sure, no matter what your production levels are, that the taste of your product remains consistent. Taste is your most important asset, so be mindful about adjusting recipes and changing ingredients as your customers will want the same taste they become used to.

- Have a process for everything, wherever possible and as soon as possible and wherever you can, automate. This doesn’t mean outsourcing everything, you need to decide what critical elements of your business you want to retain control over but there is no scale without automation. So, for example, automate your marketing, your deliveries and your book-keeping.

- Take the time to hire the right people. Don’t just hire on skills and knowledge. Think about if that person fits into your culture, how they match your values, and will they do a great job at representing your business in front of your customers or working within your team.

- Look after the people you hire and they will look after your business.

- Keep on top of health and safety at all times and wherever needed, reach out for help especially when it comes to SALSA Standards and HACCP.

- Always be selling, get out there, promote yourself whenever you can and acquire any skill sets needed in order to achieve this and if you feel that you want to stay in the kitchen then find someone who will do the promotions for you. Remember that obscurity is the biggest killer of business.

- Be true to your purpose, add value and give back. Remember, food brands that clearly define their purpose and give back are the one’s most likely to penetrate the market and grow. Authentic purpose is what will help us differentiate ourselves from the bigger brands.

- Know your numbers, make a point of learning everything you can about the numbers so that you can keep your business in control.

- Learn fast, fail fast, pivot fast. If something isn’t working make sure you realize this quickly and adjust, follow the market trends, listen to what customers really want and adjust quickly to deliver on these needs.

- Don’t tie up large amounts of capital in long-term leases and expensive equipment until you’ve proven your business model. That means not only until you’ve proven demand, but until you’ve also proven that the business is profitable and viable in the long term.

RUN THE BOX provides kitchen production units for hire in central London with monthly contracts and very little capital outlay so you can grow your food production business without committing large amounts of cash up-front.

If you’d like to arrange a viewing or if you have any questions just reach out to us.

We champion food entrepreneurs and if you need support when taking the next step in your food production business then you’ll be pleased to know that we have a number of business support and business strategy services available from a team with a vast amount of experience in this industry and we’d be delighted to help.

Image credit: Brooke Cagle

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