Start with an Idea
Take the first step of your business.
Defining Your Business
Whether it's a new food truck at the plaza or a private label brownie at the grocery store, food entrepreneurs are bringing their cultural food traditions (or riffing on those traditions in a new way) and turning their culinary passion into a business. It’s important to define exactly what type of food business you are starting. Understanding what makes your business unique and where you need to make it happen is the foundation to creating a successful venture.
Understanding your market: Next, you’ll want to know what, if any, businesses are pursuing or have launched similar ideas. This will help you find your competitive advantage and turn your idea into a profitable business.
Demographics: Every business and service needs to understand the product preferences or buying behaviors of its customers. Most companies identify their key customers through the following traits: age, income, geographic region, and education. This information is invaluable in finding and targeting consumers who have characteristics that align with your product or service.
Research Market Opportunity
Define Target Market: If you've developed your business plan you should have a good sense of who your target customers are, who is the most likely to purchase your products or services, and who you want to reach. Use this information to your advantage and consider how you can locate your business to most effectively serve your target customer base.
Find gaps in the market: Consider factors such as age, spending habits, occupation, and household composition.. For example, if your product is a prep meal kit designed for busy families and there are no current products or services that match this need, you may want to think about using targeted keywords on social media, selling at grocery stores in neighborhoods that are family-friendly, and advertising in magazines for parents.
Research Competition: Next, you’ll want to conduct market research to see if other businesses are pursuing a similar idea. This will help you find your competitive advantage and help you turn your idea into a profitable business.
The Small Business Administration lists several resources containing free small business data and trends to guide your research. If you would like this market research done professionally, you can hire an independent research company to assist you, although this may be an expensive option for small businesses. Green Book has a directory of market research firms in Philadelphia to outsource this work to.