How to go from kitchen table recipe to profitable business
Setting up a business can be both exciting and overwhelming. From registering your business and designing your website, to scaling up and fundraising, there are many steps you may have to take in your business journey.
To help you on that journey to success, the Growing Kent & Medway team have pulled together some key pointers when it comes to launching your own food and drink products. Here are our top tips to help turn your business idea into a reality.
1. Understand the demand
Research your customers' needs and demands to ensure your product is solving a real problem, or addressing a new opportunity. You can do this by sending out questionnaires, attending networking events where you know your target market will be, or holding free tasting sessions to get feedback on your product.
“Make sure that you are solving a problem which your customer has, and not a problem you think or hope they have.” Rebecca Smith- Mentoring Programme Manager
2. Know your competition
Another way to research your target market is to study your competition. Valerie Pondaven, Food Accelerator Manager- suggests visiting three competitors websites and social media accounts. Take note of the words they use to describe their ideal clients, success stories, service packages and pricing.
3. Get your branding right
Through your market research, you should be able to identify and understand your customer and how you can stand out in your marketplace. Using this information, you can build a strong brand from the start.
“Make sure you have a mission, vision and values”- Laura Bevan, Growing Kent & Medway Business Mentor and Studio Director of Oak Creative.
Considering your customers constantly throughout each stage of your business development is key!
4. Have you got the proper licenses?
It is important to get licenses and qualifications to operate legally and safely. By law, anybody who works with food must understand the principles of food hygiene to protect their consumers from hazards.
The University of Greenwich are running free in-person workshops to develop your knowledge and give you the opportunity to gain food hygiene qualifications. Learn more here.
5. Working out accurate costs
“The launch of your product is exciting however this should be the last part in your building process”- Eddie Stableford, founder of Brand Clock.
Eddie Stableford advises you to figure out what success means to you and then work backwards to formulate what you need to do to make that a reality.
To learn more about how much it costs to launch a business, check out this Business Innovation masterclass here.
6. Considering sustainability
Consumer preferences are leaning towards more sustainable products and businesses due to a greater focus and awareness of climate change.
“Building a business from scratch provides you with the opportunity to focus on sustainability in the product, procurement and processes, right from the start,” says Robert Saville, Innovation Growth Manager at NIAB.
It’s an opportunity to consider your environmental impact across all areas of your business, including:
-Product development and sourcing ingredients;
-Design and packaging;
-Business logistics and transportation;
7. Invest, network, partner
There is a lot of support to help new businesses to innovate and start up. To scale up your kitchen table recipe to supermarket shelves, check out potential funding opportunities here.
Laura Simpson, Evaluation Manager, said, “Our members have told us that being part of a supportive network has made a significant difference to growing their business. Building connections with other people in the same boat can help you feel less alone and boost your confidence."
Sign up to our Growing Kent & Medway network and find new connections and sign up to our free business support services, click here.