Vegan who loves to cook and excels every time at finding new ways to serve meat-free, vegetarian cuisine may wonder how to start an online vegan business.
The first to consider with any type of business is whether there is a market for your product or service. Analyze and conduct a market survey to discover the percentage of people who will be interested in buying vegan food. There are over 20 million Americans who are vegetarians and some of them live nearby. With an online vegetarian food business, your customers would constantly increase.
Looking for some vegan online business ideas to inspire you to start your food business? To help you, we will guide you step by step from how to start your business to presenting you the best business ideas to take advantage of.
Where to Begin
Aside from the fact that you will be selling healthy vegetarian food, your home-based business will be like any other. With a food handling business, there are many rules and regulations and you will have to meet all of them, signed by the Board of Health. It is best to contact your local Health Board to find out what is necessary to operate a food business from your home.
Create a plan of all the steps required to get your business off the ground. You still don’t know what type of food you are going to offer? You can think of extra avenues to involve such as gift baskets, catering, lunch delivery services, home-canned products, vegetarian cookbooks, etc. How will you package your products? What suppliers are you going to work with? What is the shelf life of the products you sell?
Start Your Home Vegetarian Food Business
Determine the products you are going to prepare. Make a market survey to see if there is a market for those products. If not, you will have to adjust your plan and come up with new products. Think of your sales – will you sell online, locally, will you offer catering services, will you deliver?
If you sell your products online, you are going to need a website with an option to accept debit and credit cards.
Starting a business online is easier because there are no big costs involved. You can create your website using an ecommerce website builder (Shopify is one of the best website builders), come up with a subscription plan (you can start with offering three subscription plans), add your products, and start selling.
Start a Vegan Catering Business
One of the best vegan online business ideas you can start from the comfort of your home is the catering business.
Before you go through the steps needed to start and market your business, there are a few things to do:
Step 1: Research the Competition
Take time to research other vegan catering services in our area. If you want to be able to compete with others, learn about them. Know which caterers are successful? What services do they provide? How much do they charge? What do people have to say about them? How far in advanced are they booked?
Step 2: Decide on the Type of Food
Next step is to narrow your offering. As a new vegan catering business, what types of foods do you want to produce? Deciding on your menu will help you define the scope of your home-based menu and the potential market. A few potential markets are birthday celebrations, graduations, anniversaries, brunches, receptions, weddings, etc.
Step 3: Add your Services and Products to Your Website
Use your website to promote your vegan catering business. Without a website today, you can’t operate a business. Your website can help you connect with potential customers and get the word out.
Step 4: Have a Marketing and Advertising Plan
Specific marketing and advertising plan must be created and followed. For a vegan catering business, besides a website, The Yellow Pages can be also a great avenue to let people know what services you offer. Your ad can be placed under the catering section, however, it will be way more effective if you are more specific, such as vegan caterers or vegan wedding caterers. You can also create a blog to highlight your professional services. You can add tips on what to look for in a caterer, how to hold a successful vegan party, and other relevant topics.
Step 5: Hire Help
If necessary, hire help. For a smaller business, family and friends may be willing to help at the start, however, to build a successful vegan catering business, the people that work with you must be capable and dependable.
A catering business is more than preparing delicious food people love. Caterers must be creative and develop a reputation as professional and courteous entrepreneurs. Show up on time and deliver the food as promised. If you deliver as promised, word of mouth will grow your business.
Other Vegan Ideas to Start a Food Business
Besides catering, here are other food business vegan ideas to start from home:
- Salad bar for vegans: When you think about vegans, you think about salads. Regular, green salads could have chicken strips or eggs so make sure to keep these ingredients off your menu. When it comes to dressing, try to make your own special, home-made dressing. If you do it right, the salad dressing can become the reason for repeat customers. Create a website and allow your customers to order salads online.
- Pre-planned meal delivery: It takes time to prepare vegan meals – from finding the right ingredients to preparing the meals and the truth is that not everyone has the time of it. Plan your vegan menu. You can take a few orders from your neighbors, friends or relatives so you see how this business really works. With your service, your customers won’t have to worry about cooking delicious vegan meals.
- Online protein store: Where can vegans get their protein? Your online store can be their source. You can open an online store that sells protein-rich alternatives to meat such as tempeh, tofu, lentils, beans, seitan, etc.
Ready to start?
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