How to start a food business
If you’re passionate about food, hard working and love talking to people then starting a food business could be just the business opportunity for you…
- What is a food business and who is it suited to?
- What should you include in a food business plan?
- Are there any rules and regulations for setting up a food business?
- How much does it cost to set up a food business?
- How much can you earn running your own food business?
- Register a food business name with our preferred company formation agent (external site, opens in new tab)
- See if you can get a Start Up Loan to help you start a food business idea (external site, opens in new tab)
How much can you earn running your own food business?
Unless you’re planning on getting into major supermarket chains and expanding internationally, a food business is not something you’re going to be reaping huge financial rewards from. If you’re money driven, then this may not be the business for you.
Any initial profits are likely to be reinvested into the business and food products aren’t known for having huge margins when all is taken into account.
“Beware that most food businesses take a longer time to break-even”, explains Davolio: “This is mainly due to the nature of the products you will be selling which are ‘small-ticket items’ so you need a big distribution before your margins become large enough to cover your fixed costs and your set up costs, not to mention the marketing expenses”.
If you manage the growth of your business well “you should expect it to be profitable in the second-third year of trading”, she concludes.
Smith agrees that most of your initial profits should be reinvested into the business: “It depends on how much you pay yourself. And how much profit the business is making. During the early growth phases I would plan not to be able to take an income as you develop your brand”, he advises.
Mackenzie says that for many food entrepreneurs, “growing a food business is a longer-term investment”, rather than a quick way to make money: “You may not set out to personally earn money from it at the very start as you might want to be investing in growing the brand rather than taking profits out of the business”.
It may be worth considering seeing if you can get a Start Up Loan (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) to help you with financing, and mentoring to start this business idea. You'll also need to think about registering your business, either as a sole trader or as a company - if a company, then Smarta Formations (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) are an organisation that can help you set up.
Long hours, low pay and tough competition may seem off-putting, but for the determined and passionate, starting and nurturing a successful food business offers more than just financial rewards in the long term.