Busy people struggle to find the time to prepare fresh and healthy meals at home. For many, a home-cooked meal has become something of a luxury. An increasing number of people are therefore choosing to use food delivery services which, for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, is a potential gold mine. There are some obvious giants in the industry already, but there are still lots of opportunities for the small-business owner.
Research the Market
Before starting a business, you should always explore the market. First comes identifying your target audience. Who are they? What are they going to want to eat? Is there any competition in the local area? Look for a gap in the market and plan for your business to fill it.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
How is the target audience going to find out about the business? Is it going to be word of mouth or digital marketing that spreads the news of the food delivery service? Putting up posters or leaving fliers in offices, schools, or residential areas are good ways to spread the word locally.
Find Your Premises
To start a food delivery business doesn’t have to be hugely complicated, but there are certain things that are needed. Premises, equipment and packaging are essential. Consider renting a fully-equipped kitchen to start with – you can always find your own premises later.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is essential, whether your business is big or small. Particularly if you intend to source funding, your business plan should include:
- Ingredients required and the cost
- The selling prices for the prepared meals
- Any other costs that have to be paid such as rent and utilities
- The wages of any employees
Create a Menu or Meal Plan
To be successful, meal plans and menus have to appeal to the target audience. They might include:
- Office employees – healthy lunches and snacks
- University or college students – light meals and filling snacks
- Residential area – family-friendly meals and desserts
Menus and meal plans can be changed on a weekly basis in order to keep customers interested, but try and keep the most popular choices available to build loyalty. A small amount of variation is a good thing and specials allow you to utilise unused ingredients.
Get All the Necessary Licenses and Permits
Before a business can start trading, there are certain licenses and permits that have to be acquired. For example:
- Food handling certification
- Business permits
- Insurances, including cheap car insurance
Cheap car insurance is essential if delivery is part of a fresh food service. When contacting insurance companies it’s vital that the purpose of the business is explained as there may be rules for using a vehicle commercially.