Top Tips For Food and Drink Start-Ups

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food drink startup

You’ve spent months honing your recipe and now you’re sure that it’s perfect. Your product, whatever it may be, is ready to sell. But there’s a huge difference between making small batches yourself, and producing your product on a commercial scale. Getting the product right is just the first step, there are a whole host of logistical hurdles you need to overcome before you are ready to launch your business.

Financing

You’ll need to decide on how you are going to operate as a business and where the money is going to come from. If you are financing yourself, then make sure you have assessed your situation thoroughly to determine whether you can actually pay for this. You will need to factor in money that you can set aside for business development and growth at a later stage.

If you are relying on investors, you need to ensure that your pitch is airtight. When meeting potential investors, you will need to sell your product on its strengths. What makes it stand out from the competition? Investors will also like to see that you have a handle on the finances, so go prepared with projections on earnings and profits, so they feel comfortable that they will eventually see a return on their investment.

Manufacturing

Once you have sourced the funding for your new business, you need to decide how you are going to manufacture the product. This raises a lot of issues that you might not have thought about yet. You obviously won’t be able to do it from home, so you will need to find manufacturers that produce similar products, and get some quotes.

From here you will need to decide how many units of your product you want to manufacture initially. It is not a good idea to start manufacturing until you have secured deals with retailers agreeing to sell your product.

You will also need to think about the shelf life of your products, and how you will store and ship them.

Market Research

Before starting any business, market research is vital, and food and drink start-ups are no exception. Analyze sales of similar products and identify which ones are most successful and why. This can help you to decide whether there is a gap in the market for your products as well as directing your marketing campaigns toward certain demographics.  

Packaging and Marketing

Most food and drink products will sell mainly on the strength of their packaging. Think carefully about the design of your packaging. Make it eye-catching and try to appeal to your target demographic. Employ the services of a graphic designer to make your packaging as professional looking as possible.

Once you have chosen a design, you will need to find somebody to manufacture it. Look for companies that have injection moulding training, as this is the cheapest and most efficient way of manufacturing packaging.

Although most shoppers will choose products based on the packaging when they are in the supermarket, it is important to employ other marketing techniques. In the early stages of your business, you will not be able to afford expensive advertising campaigns. Instead, make use of social media as it offers a wide reach but does not require very much investment at all.   

An engineer by education and an entrepreneur by choice. Asish is a TCS Best Student Awardee, NDTV featured student entrepreneur and International School of Entrepreneurship Education awardee. He also worked with many startups and big companies for their business development and strategical growth. Asish has been heading The Startup Journal since its inception in 2014.