The online marketplace has facilitated the growth of various businesses and helped entrepreneurs start new ventures with a lot more ease as well.
The internet has also allowed us to work from any particular location in the world and save us the hassle of travelling to a particular workplace on a daily basis to work.
While these benefits have helped existing businesses expand and work more efficiently, what it has also done is to create a niche for new businesses that would have otherwise been relatively harder. Selling homemade food products, home baked goods or running an online food business is one such example.
Cooking may have always been a passion for you or something that you’ve always been good at and you may be looking to profit from it by staring your own online food selling business.
As with any marketplace and any field, competition is something every business has to do deal with and this goes for the online food selling market as well.
Competing for attention and a stake in the market is always a hard thing, especially if you’re up against the big players that have been in the business for longer than you have and already have an existing customer base and this makes it all the more important to keep in mind a few tips and tricks that can give you the kickstart you may need.
Some tips and tricks that have helped others to sell food online:
Know the law
Get in touch with the necessary bodies such as the department of health or department of agriculture to get an in-depth knowledge of the various food and safety laws you will have to comply with. Make sure the home kitchen meets health department and food safety requirements. Have a look at the various FSSAI compliance instructions.
Once your workspace is in complete compliance with all the necessary laws and regulations you will want to procure the right certificates and permits and then get started with the actual cooking.
Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients, the right recipes, the right kitchen equipment and required storage areas before you do start.
In order to stand out against you’re competitors you will want to make sure the recipes you are using and the food you’re serving is different from those of your competitors to a certain extent. What you would want to do is study the products that your competitors are offering, ensure there are points of difference between what they are offering and what you are and at the same time make sure you are cooking to your strengths and not just cooking for the sake of being different.
Making your menu
The menu is arguably the biggest source of information you can give the consumer about your food items before they actually taste your food.
Make sure you are offering a wide array of foods and beverages along with necessary information about the ingredients used in them as well as clear and accurate images of the food that the consumer can have a look at.
Getting your pricing right is extremely important. You want to make sure you are charging as less as you possibly can while also making a healthy profit.
Getting the prices of the food right is very important in the long run as no consumer likes to come back to their favourite menu only to see the prices much higher than what they were before.
Take into account all the overhead costs, efforts, packaging, shipping and re-shipping charges.
Marketing your online food business
Marketing your business is incredibly important and a good online store goes a long way in doing so.
Establishing a good website should be a big priority and can take a bit of time. local markets, food trucks, popular food delivery apps (such as Oota Box), social media and street fests are a great way of reaching a wide audience and getting the word out there.
Tie ups with gift basket companies and availing monthly subscription boxes can also help a great deal.
Packaging and delivery
Package the food well, label the products accurately, make sure you have a first class and reliable delivery partner. Safety and preservation of the food are always the top priorities while packaging and delivering your food. Nobody likes waiting for too long for their food so timely delivery is incredibly essential as well.
Be as transparent with your customers as possible. If you have received certificates of hygiene or maintaining other high standards make sure your profile displays these certificates.
Make sure your customers are completely aware of the ingredients used in the various dishes, the safety standards you adhere to, and how the food should be stored after arrival.
Explaining the delivery process can also help consumers put their minds to ease during the actual transit of the food.
Communication and feedback
Try to encourage feedback from customers as much as possible and make it as easy as you can for customers to do so.
Feedback from customers allows them to express any concerns they may have which can be used to further improve the business.
Feedback can also be used as testimonies for the business if the feedback is very positive.
Communication from your side to the customers is equally important as well as it helps you let them know of important details such as arrival time of the food, reasons for any delays and other information consumers may need to know
Click here to know more and get started as a home chef