Category : Food Business

Food Business

How to Start Event Food Vendor Business

Food Vendor Business

Food vendor business is growing in popularity in Nigeria. Although, anyone can be a food vendor, yet not everyone can have a successful food vendor business. So, in this article, I want to show you how you can have a successful food vendor business and sell anywhere in Nigeria.

One of the unique truths about food vendor business is that you don’t have to be the cook or know how to cook or even have an office or restaurant where you cook. That means what you need is management skills, rather than cooking skills.

That takes us to the next point which is how to really get started in this business? What kind of foods are popular and successful with food vendors? How can a startup food vendor business compete with existing vendors? And what does it really cost to get started?

How Food Vendor Business works

Interestingly, food vendor business is also restaurant business but with a twist. Therefore, a restaurant can also be engage in the services of a food vendor. In other parts of the world, they may mean the same thing. But in Nigeria, food vendor business is a different class of restaurant business.

So, to clarify the difference, it means that Food Vendor Business is regarded as a restaurant business that cooks food on demand – but for a large group of people. This ‘but’ is what also differentiate it from home restaurant business, which is also a food on demand business.

That means, a food vendor is not the same as bukka joint or what Lagosians call ‘Iya-gutter’. That’s a group of food vendors that sell food at street corners or in shanties. However, a home restaurant business also engages in food vendor services. Don’t let the classifications fool you. They are all the same with just different approach to their business model.

A food vendor business takes bulk orders from customers to prepare food on demand. It could be for events like birthdays, weddings or burials – or bulk personal order for home use.

Learn The Business As A Beginner

If you haven’t been in the food business before, take your time to learn how it will all work out for you. You should even use a mentor to learn the ropes. Don’t assume it’s just food business that you will figure things out on your own.

What you learn from someone who’s already in the same business will save you lots of time and money you could have spent wrongly.

Moreover, it’s also a way of learning what your competitors already know that’s making them successful. So, don’t just think it’s about you learning how to cook, rather how to run a successful food vendor business.

If you wondering what kind of Nigeria food sell more in the food vendor business, my answer is rice is every form and recipe.

What Qualifies You to Start This Business?

The beauty of food vendor business is that you don’t even have to know how to cook. So, anyone can start this business if they have passion for food business. However, not knowing how to cook doesn’t mean you can just cook bad food.

No! But you can hire chefs or local cooks to help you out when ever you have orders to fulfill.

Anyone who wishes to Start Food Vendor Business can do so simply by learning how to manage a business. If you can run the business, know how to get customers regularly, and manage the people that help you, then you can run a successful food vendor business.

And the cost of startup is determined by you. It’s best to define your food business structure first, to enable you decide what you are offering and what you would need to offer it. That way, you don’t stock cooking gadgets you may hardly use.

How Lucrative is Food Vendor Business?

One thing you can’t take away from Nigerians is the love for good food. Nigerians love to eat. That’s why one of the requirements of a wife material is knowing how to cook.

Food business is amazingly lucrative. You cant do food business and lose, unless you don’t know what you are doing. It’s a high profit business – where you invest little and your profit margin is insanely awesome. And Nigerians love lavish parties.

However, according to Research and Markets website, the Nigerian food and grocery retail market had total revenues of $45.7 billion in 2020. That’s just for the main raw materials used in making the foods. Now, imagine how much cooked food made in the same year.

Challenges of Food Vendor Business

Before you decide Food Vendor Business is for you, also understand the challenges. The major challenge food vendors face is low patronage because of the target market or lack of proper marketing.

You will also have to deal with low quality Foodstuff. Imitations and low grade foodstuffs are all over the market. Don’t learn the hard way. It’s either you accept some apprenticeship or stick with buying only from major grocery stores.

Another challenge is bad referrals. Food vendor business thrive on referrals from customers who have bought your food or event guests that tasted your food. You should avoid bad referrals at all cost.

While you can deal with these challenges by making adjustments to market well and improve on the taste of your food, you cannot really avoid this last challenge. Travel risk is one challenge you may have to deal with.

If you live in a big city you might restrict your clientele within the city. But if your food is so good, you may not be able to do that, unless you have to disappoint some major customers.

Tips to Start Food Vendor Business

Now that you know you are qualified to Start Food Vendor Business, here are tips to help you get started. I have listed out the following tips for your consideration.

  • Start Cost Effectively And Upgrade As Your Grow
  • Brand Your Food Vendor Business
  • Model Your Food Vendor Business
  • Engage Commission Marketers
  • Build Strong Referral Strategy
  • Offer Professional Food Serving Bonus

You should also craft your food vendor business plan before starting out. If you haven’t done a business plan before, you can read the article on how to write a perfect business plan.

Start Cost Effectively And Upgrade As Your Grow

A lot of startups are primarily concerned about startup cost. I think that shouldn’t be a challenge if you think as a startup. Your first cooking job may not necessarily require high-tech gadgets to meet your order.

Start with what you can afford as a startup and probably upgrade as the need arises. Nobody is going to trust you to cook food for one thousand guests if you are just starting out. Honestly, you shouldn’t even jump to such offer if you haven’t handled 100 guest before.

Grow to meet up your cost. It’s a smarter way to start. You don’t want to mess up your brand by trying to prove you can do it when you know you weren’t prepared for it. Moreover, if you do a business plan, it will also take care your cost Plan for you.

 

 

Brand Your Food Vendor Business

One of the big factors of food vendor business success is branding. If your business would grow, branding will make it happen. Therefore, take branding seriously. I know the concern of most startups is usually the cost associated with branding.

But I don’t think branding a food vendor business should cost you much, unless you don’t understanding simple branding techniques. The whole idea of branding is to make your business visibly stand out, easily recognizable, and attractive enough to encourage regular patronage.

Model Your Food Vendor Business

Business models are often misunderstood by most startups. Some think it’s about ideas. A bit of it but more of process and strategy. I recommend that you take this food vendor business and remodel it in your own way.

A lot of us are still amazed at how brands like Uber and Airbnb created their business model out of already existing and age-long business models.

Interestingly, they didn’t do anything unusual or complex. Rather, they simplified a complex process. Taxi couldn’t be done any other way better than it was being done, not until Uber came along.

Engage Commission Marketers

Marketing can be difficult if you don’t know how. But you can leverage the power and influence of others to promote your business. Hire others who can help you with marketing on commission earning.

And there are many internet rats looking for opportunity to earn extra income you can explore.

Build Strong Referral Strategy

Having a strong referral marketing plan would attract more customers than you can possibly handle. But the secret to good referral is nothing but the following:

  • Amazing food taste
  • Your service packaging
  • Branding advantage
  • And marketing plan

I have attended an event where the food vendor, who happen not to have been there because they sent the food through a delivery service, attached a business card to every pack of food. After eating, most of the guests pocketed the card for future reference.

I also realize later that most of the guests used that vendor over and over. I got to know because I also attended their events.

Take advantage of every opportunity given to feed guests in an event to win more referral marketers. Party guests are your main target customers. If you can satisfy them, they will patronize you when they need a food vendor.

Offer Professional Food Serving Bonus

I know this is one of the services regularly offered by food vendors, but you can make yours exquisite. Recruited well trained waiters, and have clean uniforms to stand them out in every event. You can have different uniforms for different occasions. You can even bill high network customer for new uniforms for servers in their event.

Food serving can be provided as a special feature in your business. You can package this as another source of revenue as well.

Define The Target Customer

Even before you start out on your food vendor business, you must first identify all your potential customers. Your target customers shouldn’t be every customer profile for food business.

Be specific. The right way to identify your target customer is to first define your food vendor business model. Your business offer is a better way to determine those who would need your service and can afford the cost.

Let me classify some kind of food vendor customers:

  1. Event planners and managers
  2. Venue owners and managers
  3. Individual event owners

Event managers and venue managers can be your biggest source of attracting high net worth customers. You should target popular events places and approach celebrity event organizers to partner with them.

How to Market Your Food Vendor business

So far, I have shared some referral marketing ideas for your food business, but let me share some direct marketing tips you can use as well. However, your food variety and taste should be the key to your marketing plan.

Also, the best time to market your food vendor business is when ever you are providing food services to your customers. If you do this well, every customer you serve will be a contact point for more customers in the future. And you will never run out customers to serve.

Here are tips to explore:

  • Use your branding so well to promote your business. Make sure everyone who attended events you were hired to cook becomes addicted to your brand.
  • Deliberately give out souvenirs that guests can take home for use
  • Make some take away food packs customized for your clients with your brand
  • Get the master of ceremony to announce the company that made the food. You can achieve this in two ways easily – by making a special food pack for the MC and presenting it to him during the events. You can also request the MC to announce the cook of the event during the program.

Conclusion

Don’t pass over an opportunity when you see one. Even if you don’t like to cook, you like to eat. Let your love for eating drive you to start a food vendor service.

Moreover, your food taste is your signature brand. Carefully craft and maintain the best food recipes. When you are not serving customers, be experimenting on new food recipes you see online.

Finally, your ability to adapt to new food recipes would endear you to more clients. Event owners and organizers are looking for something new and appetizing for their events. You should give them options they didn’t know is there.

Read More
Food Business

How to Start Your Own Home Restaurant Business

Home restaurant business is the new way of offering food delivery services in Nigeria. Restaurant business in post Covid-19 era is changing the way we buy and eat home cooked meals. The demand for home food is very high across the country.

And if you are desiring to start your own restaurant business but has been hindered by funds, here’s your key to starting one right away, even without startup funds. I will show you how other smart entrepreneurs has started their own home restaurant business.

You will not only learn how they did it but also how you can do it yourself. This is like the Uber of restaurant business. Yes, it has been perfected and believe me people are loving it this way.

But let me give the main key success factor – it’s knowing how to cook sweet and delicious meals people can’t resist ordering from their homes. If you offer anything short of it, your desire for home restaurant business will fail.

How Home Restaurant Business works

Home restaurant business model is not entirely new. It’s just a cost saving way smart food entrepreneurs discovered for starting out their business on small budget. They cut off cost of office space, hiring many staff, and cutting food wastage as well.

This model caters for customers who preorder food on a daily basis. Business is done from the kitchen in their homes – and they only cook for specific number of customers who have preordered their meals. Most times, even a day ahead.

Another key thing to consider is your meal packaging. Apart from the fact that your meals must be unique choices, not readily found at an affordable rates, it must include varieties.

For example, if you are offering stir-fried rice, you can include peppered goat meat or chicken or turkey, etcetera. It should also include some free options to go with the menu, like free bottle water and fruit juice. Think out of the box to create each days menu and make it a huge value proposition.

Who Should Start A Home Restaurant Business?

A home restaurant is ideal for entrepreneurs who can cook mouth watering meals, and desire to run their own restaurant from their home kitchen. You should also know how to cook unique meals customers crave for but not readily found in most conventional restaurants.

This idea is not for everyone who wants to start a restaurant. Its unique and should only be used by professional chefs or someone who desires to learn how to make sumptuous meals that are irresistible.

Nevertheless, a non professional chef with passion for food can also use this idea successfully. All you need is to create your own testy food ideas from existing food menus or just recreate good foods.

If you ask me, I think anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit can do this, even if you don’t know how to cook. You can hire a good chef to work for you.

 

 

How to Calculate Your Profitability

Even before you start this business, you should Calculate your profit potential. I must also advise that if you don’t have customers before starting, then don’t start. Home restaurant business is not a wait and see customer kind of business.

The customers won’t be coming to you. It’s you who would be going to them. If you don’t own customers before opening your doors for business then don’t open.

You can hire a smart marketing consultant to help you build your customer base before starting out. However, for your profit analysis, this is what I think you should do first. Define the cost of your pack of meal, and define your markup. Whatever you decide as the right percentage for markup, multiple that by the number of customers you will be serving daily.

Be as realistic as possible. For example, you can be cooking food for only 20 target customers daily. While your markup is N1,000 per meal. That also means once you hit 20 meal packs you are done for the day. If in some day you get group orders that pushes your limit and you cannot accommodate it, refuse the order or cancel early if you took it by mistake.

How to Price Your Meal Package

Pricing your meal rightly is important because of your target customers. It’s not just cheap meals that will attract them, but great meals will. It’s not an excuse to make your food costly. If you buy your food items in bulk it might help offer a competitive price.

However, don’t just focus on doing cheap food. It can piss-off your target customers. If you price your meals well, it will help you sell off fast everyday.

Your daily menu should help you in the pricing. Please don’t price everything together. If it’s rice you are cooking for the day, show the price for the rice, and the price of others like chicken, goat meat, salad, turkey, etcetera separate in your menu. It will help customer make their choice and decide quantity as well.

Key price index:

  • Food price
  • Meat price
  • Appetizers price
  • Delivery price
  • Free prices

I included free prices because there should be things you are offering for free to your customers. Like water, fruit juice, snacks, etcetera. This free things work on your customers in a different way. Always include it in all your daily menu.

Learn What Others Are Doing Well

Let me share with you want you need to learn about home restaurant business model. I’m your online business mentor now. But if you can get anyone whose successful in the restaurant business to mentor you that would be a plus for your dream.

here’s what those who are already making it big in home restaurant business are doing right.

They target high-end customers. Don’t try to attract every kind of customers. Know from day one who your customer is. You should make a mental picture of the profile of your target customer. And don’t compromise it for any reason.

Furthermore, they offer mouth watering testy meals. It’s not those type of junk fast food restaurant meals. The foods are excellent in every way. If you don’t know how to cook the best meals this idea won’t be for you. I’m not talking about I can cook people. It’s not an ego trip.

They brand their business and their packaging. Don’t settle for less. There’s something about branding food business. It gives a whole lot of impression about how sweet the food can be.

Tips to Start Home Restaurant Business

If starting a home restaurant business is your thing then follow this guide religiously. And there’s no better time to start but now. This model eliminates the challenges of having a large space to serve your customers. You don’t also have to worry about huge startup fund, or even hiring many workers.

All you may need to start cooking delicious meals and serving your customers might be right there in your home kitchen. Almost 80% of what’s needed to Start is already available with you.

But you will still need to go through some bucket list to be well prepared. I have done one for you. Help yourself by creating yours or modifying this one. I’m only focused on what’s key to starting up. You should find other things you may require that’s not listed here.

The listed guides are in no particular order. You can reorder the ideas in your own perspective.

  1. Go For Special Kind of Cuisine Training
  2. Get Top-Notch Kitchen Equipment
  3. Setup In-House Delivery Service
  4. Build A Customer Database
  5. Plan Your Daily Food Menu
  6. Define Your Delivery Locations
  7. Partner with reliable Foodstuff Supply

Go For Special Kind of Cuisine Training

I have this as one of the steps aspiring home restaurant entrepreneurs need to do. But I have a better way to do this with awesome result. You should already have your Menu plan to work together. If anything is more important, it should be your priority in this business.

There are tons of chef videos online, especially on YouTube. Find the Menu you want to offer and learn different ways you could make it mouth watering for your customers. When you are done studying, go practical. Follow the videos and start practicing how to cook them.

Get Top-Notch Kitchen Equipment

One of the important reason for getting your top notch kitchen equipment is to help you make meals faster and better. Moreover, kitchen equipment are your main startup needs.

So, get the best if you can. If the funds are not available now, start with what you can afford and upgrade later as the business begin to take shape. But by no means, don’t play with top notched kitchen gadgets.

A food processor may be costly but a food process can handle most of your kitchen gadget needs. It will also copy less space and minimize time waste in cleaning kitchen gadgets. Avoid buying everything once. It’s better to keep buying more as you need them than buying things you may never need.

Something else that may look little but it’s very important is measuring cups and spoons. Cooking is science, and science procedures must be accurate. For example, keeping your salt and pepper taste accurate at all times is important to achieving that tasty meal.

Here is a list of what you can start with:

  • Cooking equipment
  • Servingware
  • Storage containers
  • Sinks
  • Kitchen Display System
  • Point of sale system
  • Steam table
  • Washing equipment
  • Sharpening stone
  • Microwave
  • Ice maker
  • Gas or electric grill
  • Ovens
  • Ranges and ventilation
  • Food processors
  • Mixers
  • Slicers
  • Food prep counters and cutting boards
  • Freezers and refrigerators
  • Safety equipment
  • Storage racks and shelving

Setup In-House Delivery Service

Delivery service is key to successful home restaurant business. To get it right you must have a fast and efficient delivery service. At this point, depending on the city in Nigeria you are going to be operating in, you may need to have your own in-house bike delivery service.

However, the real issue here is managing the delivery service. If you have been involved in delivery logistics before you may have an idea of the huge challenges. The delivery guy is a bigger problem. But it can be managed properly.

You might need to hire a delivery logistics expert (consultant) to help you fine tune your delivery plan. Adopting the right delivery management model may keep you in business and help your bran deliver on its promises.

Note: some startups make the mistake of trying to earn extra income with their delivery service. That’s good but it might affect your core business. So, be smart and avoid extra income temptations.

Build The Right Customer Database

One of the fastest ways to build your first client database is to make them a free offer they can’t refuse. Everybody likes free food. But target the right customers who can afford your food. I can tell you that your first paying customers when you finally open up your home restaurant for business will be from this testing group.

This kind of marketing should be direct, and don’t complicate anything. Let the client know why you are doing it and what you are giving them for free. I will recommend you make a small beautifully designed daily menu list of the foods you will be serving and days you will be cooking them.

Moreover, if you haven’t done a service business before, I would recommend you hire a consultant to help you plan your home restaurant startup. Don’t assume you know what to do. It’s a smart move to use consultants to give you different perspective on the business.

Plan Your Daily Food Menu

Home restaurant business model has a little secret. It goes well with daily Menu. Everyday has its own different food menu. You don’t offer your customers same food everyday. You spice things up and make them look forward to Days their favorite meals will be on offer.

You can start out with your own menu plan and later make some adjustments to incorporate menu ideas from customers genuine feedbacks. One of the startup entrepreneurs started trying out list of exquisite menu ideas until she found the ones her customers can’t resist.

Define Your Delivery Locations

The issue with food delivery is timing. You cannot be everywhere at the same time, but you can be some place to serve some customers much better. Your location must be such you can cover within 2 to 3 hours with delivery.

One more thing that must be clear to you as a home restaurant startup is that you are in the business of serving lunch. Your customers are those who can’t do without lunch. If you find these set of customers you are in good business.

You can already see where it’s all headed to. That’s why your delivery must be top-notch. Lunch time is from 12 noon to 2pm. Your customers must get their food delivered within this timeframe.

Note: avoid all those delivery excuses. If customers can’t trust you to deliver on time they will start buying from another food vendor close-by.

Partner with Reliable Foodstuff Supply

You may not really think this mattered but it matters a lot. Foodstuff quality in the market now is under question. Finding the right foodstuffs to give you the right meal taste may be a challenge if you ignore using reliable foodstuff supply. 

Further more, most agricultural produce are chemically induced during cultivation. They don’t taste the same with organic produce. But organic foodstuffs retains not only there taste but also their colour when cooked. But its not so with non-organic produce.

Avoid buying from local markets unless you trust the seller. However, you may also find quality foodstuffs in major brand stores. It may be costlier than in local markets, but its better to get quality foodstuffs than but bad ones.

Target Customers for Home Restaurant Business

At this point you have already seen where this business is headed and the type of customers you should be targeting. But let’s take a look at them again more closely, incase you missed out something,

Here are possible target customers for your Home restaurant business:

  • Top business owners
  • Office executives
  • High end company workers
  • High income earners

You can reclassify this list based on your location. Some small cities may need to reclassify to suit their market. But don’t ignore classifying your target customers. This will help you start marketing.

If you can, hire a smart marketing consultant who understands home restaurant business to help you build your customer base or do it yourself. You need to have customers before you can start a successful home restaurant business.

How to Market Your Home Restaurant Business

Meanwhile, marketing is key to the success of home restaurant business or any business at all. So, you have to put up the right marketing plan if you hope to succeed. However, your marketing should be different because you have a limited number of customers you serve daily. But doing marketing will help you keep filling this list daily and creating scarcity or waiting list.

Tips to keep marketing going includes:

  • Promoting your daily meals on social media like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Tiktok and Facebook.
  • Regularly sharing customers reviews on social media
  • Sending out daily meal menu for each day
  • Contacting your customers to ask them how they enjoyed your meal.

Don’t forget to equally use your packaging materials as marketing content. Branding your meal plate, spoon, cup, packaging is essential to your marketing. You may not start off with this level of branding but don’t ignore it when it’s time.

Your must important strategy will be how to get your first 100 customers to launch your business.

Conclusion

I was careful about the kind of home restaurant business I shared in this post. Knowing fully well of all the other options. The idea here is to serve lunch. You can explore other options if you want to. This idea is for those who want to operate a restaurant idea from their home kitchen.

Home restaurant is different from food vendor business. Even though a food vendor cooks food on demand like a home restaurant does, they don’t operate in the same way. I have equally written another post about food vendor business. You can also find that on this blog.

Finally, take the key points and explore on the opportunities. You can replicate this model anywhere in Nigeria. The demand for home food is high. Also, this model doesn’t work for lunch meals only. You can also explore it for breakfast meals. What may not fit in is dinner meals.

Read More
Food Business

How to Start Local Foodstuff Supply Business (2022)

Foodstuff is in high demand now, as consumers struggle to find ways of spending less and getting more foodstuffs. Starting foodstuff supply business can be a lucrative way to earn highly needed daily income in a recession.

Foodstuff supply doesn’t require high capital to Start. It’s also very easy to build strong customer base, especially from close friends, relatives, colleagues at work and online fiends.

You can also make your foodstuff supply business irresistible by offering only hard to find foodstuffs that consumers crave for but hardly find where they live. If you are already a farming some food items, you can also use this model to start selling it directly to consumers in bulk purchase model.

How Foodstuff Supply Business Model Work

For most people, they buy foodstuff in small quantity where ever they want to make a pot of soup or prepare their usual family dishes. But the prevailing economic situation demands otherwise. Consumers want to buy on bulk to save high cost of buying small quantities.

So, some vendors started forming WhatsApp groups and promoting their foodstuff supply business to sell to customers in group buy model. Some group buy would take customers money in advantage to purchase the foodstuff, which it shared according to each customers contribution.

While another model that’s gaining online popularity is the direct bulk sale model to consumers when they want it. While the group buy is good, some customers may not need foodstuff or have money to buy when it’s being advertised.

All that is solved when seller offers foodstuff to customers when ever they can afford to buy – just like they do when they go to the market but in bulk and at a reduced cost.

Tips to Start Foodstuff Supply Business

Starting this Foodstuff supply business be the simplest startup you maybe venturing into. Although, I will still advise that you write down a simple business plan to help guide your ideas.

Furthermore, you will be needing capital. If you are opting for group buy foodstuff supply business model, you may not need any startup capital. But you will need a lot of goodwill from customers who already know and trust you.

See a list of things you should plan for:

  • Startup capital to help you procure Foodstuff in large quantity
  • Decide the kind of foodstuff to supply
  • Create a WhatsApp group or Facebook profile page
  • Get images of foodstuffs you will be selling
  • Define your target market realistically
  • Make logistics arrangement for home deliveries

Note: your Foodstuff supply business will be as good as your customer group.

 

 

List of Foodstuffs to Start Selling

I recommend that you pick your foodstuffs carefully. Don’t try to sell every foodstuff out there. Pick what your target market would buy regularly. Another way to pick your foodstuffs is to pick what you can offer at a better discount than market price.

Here are lists of just few of the foodstuffs to give you an idea of what to start supplying:

  • Palm oil
  • Garri
  • Dried fish
  • Tomatoes
  • Frozen fish
  • Fresh fish
  • Stockfish
  • Pepper
  • Onions
  • Crayfish
  • Life or frozen chicken
  • Yam
  • Coco yam
  • Beans

Note: this list is endless. There are so many local foodstuffs one can sell. In fact, the best sellers are not those common foodstuffs but the hard to find ones.

Target Customers for Your Foodstuff Supply Business

You don’t go far to find your customers, but you have to know who to sell to and target those customers. In a group buy, it’s easier to group those you know have average to high monthly income.

These people already buy foodstuffs every time. Your work is to give them discounted bulk offers and they will buy from you. If you do it well, they will start planning with you.

However, to avoid price challenges, you must be honest with your prices. Remember that these customers also go to the market. They will compare your prices and what they are getting. Only sell foodstuffs you are sure you can get better deals than market prices.

How to Promote Your Foodstuff Supply Business

In order to make your Foodstuff supply business work, marketing it regularly is important. While it’s good to promote your Foodstuff supply business, you have to utilize free marketing opportunities. Using paid advertising can equally impact on the cost of your foodstuff.

You have to realize that the first group of customers to patronize you are your close friends and office colleagues. Here are two best ways to promote your foodstuff supply business:

  1. Promote using WhatsApp status
  2. And with Facebook stories

Any other free promotional option is equally good. But these two are most common for the business and works best as well.

Conclusion

You cannot ignore certain truths about Foodstuff supply business model. It’s mostly based on trust. You have to build trust with your customers. And one of the ways to do that is using interactive platforms like Facebook profile page and WhatsApp groups.

Moreover, quality and good measurement is another way to enhance that trust. If your customers observe they are getting better deals from you, they will not only repeatedly buy from you, they will also refer their friends to you.

A farmer can start selling its farm produce using the same foodstuff supply model. Another big way to start earning money from foodstuff business is to Start an online foodstuff store. You will need eCommerce experience to make this work.

Read More
Food Business

How to Start An Online Foodstuff Store (2022)

Foodstuff supply business is thriving both locally and among diasporas. Starting an online foodstuff store could be one unique idea whose opportunity has come. If you are looking for an online business you can start, online foodstuff store is highly profitable.

There’s high demand for local foodstuff among diaspora Nigerians living in Europe, America and Asia. The cost of buying local foodstuffs in those countries are skyrocketing everyday.

There are over 203 million diaspora Nigerians. It’s a huge market for anyone who can provide them with their favorite foodstuffs in a most effective ordering system they can trust. That way Nigerians anywhere in the world can order a bowl of fufu and expect it in 24 hours anywhere around the world.

You can tap into this opportunity to sell foodstuffs directly to both Nigerians at home and Nigerians in diaspora using the internet.

How Online Foodstuff Store Work

This online Foodstuff model is not different from the regular foodstuff business model but it introduces the eCommerce model to make it 24 hours operation. You are simply using eCommerce as a platform to sell your foodstuffs.

The only challenge you have is that you need to build your own eCommerce store for it. There are no global eCommerce platform that’s offering Nigerian local foodstuffs you can leverage. If you can find one that would be good, and takes away the burden of creating your own platform.

Interestingly, it’s no longer a complex idea to build successful eCommerce store. Even if you don’t know anything about eCommerce website design, you can hire a web developer or simply create your Foodstuff store on Shopify.

Another way to start your online Foodstuff Store might be using Facebook marketplace or Google My Business.

Tips to Start Online Foodstuff Store

There are key things you should consider when starting an online Foodstuff Store. Let me list some of the most important once for a startup.

  • You need to find a niche Foodstuff idea
  • Partner with quality foodstuff vendors
  • Have a strong marketing plan
  • Have an affordable logistics plan
  • Create a strong social media followers
  • Start branding from day one

Niche Foodstuff Store Idea

For a start, don’t stretch your business too thin by trying to offer more foodstuff varieties. Customers may demand you to do so and even lure you with promises to patronize you. Pick your niche Foodstuff idea and start with them.

It’s better to be known for something than to be known for nothing specific. Don’t be a jack of all trade from the very beginning. Start with just few and learn as you grow. Remember, mistakes will be made at every beginning in any business. Make yours in small sizes so you can recover from it easily.

Partner with Foodstuff Vendors

As a beginner, you may not understand some international standard requirements for exporting foodstuffs from Nigeria. Use good vendors who understand the business better than you. Learn from them before going fully to do it on your own.

Foodstuff Marketing Plan

Online Foodstuff Store is different from just running Foodstuff group buy on WhatsApp or Facebook. You need to advertise your foodstuff store since your main target customers are not your friends, colleagues and immediate family members.

Your marketing plan must be solid to work, and must be targeted at the rich customers to avoid wasting advert money reaching the wrong audience.

Foodstuff Logistics Plan

Since it’s an online store, you have to plan for logistics like delivery. You have to also know what the key selling point of your online foodstuff store really is. If you ask me, I would say “DELIVERY”.

Although, foodstuff remains your product, but that’s not majorly why customers may choose to buy from you. They can equally buy from any other foodstuff vendor. But an online Foodstuff Store would guarantee better logistics arrangement for international customers. That’s why they may buy from you.

Social Media Fanbase

Trust is one thing the internet doesn’t have in abundance. You need social media followers to help you build trust and referrals.

Work seriously on growing strong social media followers. But keep the growth within your target market. A strong social media will help you communicate regularly with your customers, build familiarity and increase trust level.

Start Branding From Day One

One of the ways to build trust online is by having a strong brand. Customers easily identify with brands. Keep your focus on branding your foodstuff store from day one. It will pay off eventually.

Branding will help you to set standards that would make your customers trust you more. It’s not just about logo but it includes your process, standard and communication.

Target Customers For Online Foodstuff Store

For online Foodstuff Store, your target customers would exceed beyond Nigerians home and abroad. You will find many citizens of other African countries patronizing most of your Nigerian foodstuff.

For a start and to help your marketing, just pick to target Nigeria customers. However, depending on your capacity and logistics provisions, you can pick either Nigerians at home or Nigerians abroad. If you can pick both target customers that would be huge for your business.

Selling to Nigerians abroad is the best customers to target with online foodstuff store. They have limited options of where to buy foodstuffs. But Nigerians at home may not offer good customer patronage because they have several places to buy.

What may attract local customers may be the quality of your foodstuffs. Since you will be exporting them outside of the country, the quality must be best and meets all international standard for foodstuff packaging.

How to Promote Your Online Foodstuff Business

There are several ways you can begin promoting your foodstuff store. Unlike foodstuff supply business idea, you have to make provision for marketing fund. The idea is to promote your store, which can pay for the advertising cost overtime. That way you are not under any financial stress to recover your advert cost from sales markup.

But you should only use mediums your target customers are frequently using. You should understand cost per customer when spending on advert.

Here are possible advertising platforms you can use to promote your online foodstuff store to reach the right target customers, whether they are locally or globally. However, the platform you decide to use for your store may have some advertising benefits as well.

For example, if you are using Facebook marketplace for your foodstuff store, Facebook advertising may benefit you more, it offers low cost per customer because its platform feature. While Google my Business marketplace would give you some organic search traffic benefits as well.

Moreover, building social media following is an important marketing tool. Instead of creating a page, use the normal profile page. This will ensure that every of your post is seen by most of your followers without restriction.

Conclusion

Online Foodstuff Store business is a lucrative opportunity. Many Nigerians in diaspora are already paying high cost for foodstuffs, and won’t mind buying it directly from a Nigerian online foodstuff store and have it delivered to them half way around the world.

But you must create a high standard services to match their appetite for high class service delivery.

Remember, starting well may include doing all the necessary planning – like packaging a business plan for your online foodstuff store. If you want world class business, start with world class mentality.

Read More