How to Start Your Own Successful Food Business

The decision to start your own food business is an exciting one. But it can also be scary and overwhelming, especially if this is your first entrepreneurial endeavor.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available, like the Central Kitchen Craft Food Classroom, to help you turn your food idea into a successful food business.

As you prepare for the journey ahead, use our helpful Food Business Checklist to ensure you’ve got the basics of starting a food business covered.

Starting a Food Business: Your Checklist for Success

1. Create your life plan

While many successful food entrepreneurs begin with a business plan, your life plan is even more important. Think of it as a dynamic roadmap that reveals what’s truly important to you. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my personal and professional goals?
  • Why do I want to start my own packaged food business?
  • What do I want my legacy to be? How will friends and family remember me?

Once you write down these details, you can build a food business that uniquely fits your lifestyle and goals for the future.

2. Develop your food business plan

Spend some time learning about how to be successful in the food business, study your audience, competitors and the latest food trends. After doing this research, write your business plan. It should include:

  • Objectives and goals (What do you want to achieve?)
  • Target market and customers (Who will purchase your food product?)
  • Unique selling proposition (What separates you from the competition?)
  • Location, location, location (Where will you create your product? Where do you plan to sell it, and why?)
  • Pricing (How much will your product cost? How does this compare to similar food products in your market?)
  • Materials (What equipment do you need to create your product? How will you package it?)
  • Financing (What sources of funding will you use to launch your product?)

3. Look into licenses and permits

Whether you decide to run your food business out of your home or a rented kitchen space, you need to make sure your facility passes all zoning and cleanliness regulations. Each state has different laws, so it’s always a good idea to check in with your local regulatory office about health and safety codes when starting a packaged food business.

4. Evaluate labeling and packaging requirements

Look into your state’s food labeling laws. Many states have strict content and wording requirements, and you also need to follow particular size, color, language and location rules. Once you understand these important regulations, you can make some decisions about the types of equipment and materials you’ll need to successfully label and package your food product. 

5. Develop your brand and marketing plan

Think ahead about how you’ll promote your new food business. While word-of-mouth publicity always helps, consider other marketing platforms like a branded website, social media (think Instagram and Facebook), local advertising, or video. If you want to build excitement among your audiences, consider at least one or two of these channels for a successful launch.

6. Get support from a food business accelerator

While all of the steps above are essential to starting a strong and healthy food business, the BEST thing you can do for your food business and yourself is to get some support from fellow entrepreneurs and industry experts.  In fact, our Craft Food Classroom covers all of this information (and much more) to ensure you reach your fullest potential in business—and in life. We’re here for you!

A Successful Food Business Starts Here

Are you ready to take the next step with your food business? Learn more about the Central Kitchen Craft Food Classroom and find out how you can sign up for the upcoming session!

About The Craft Food Classroom from Central Kitchen

The Craft Food Classroom teaches you exactly how to get started and succeed in the craft food industry. Born out of food business accelerator Central Kitchen, this in-depth, five-week online course gives you the education, mentorship and resources needed to launch a strong, healthy craft food business. Learn more.