You know you have a passion for cooking and feeding. You’ve often thought about setting up your online food business. But the dilemma of ‘where do I begin’ has you shaking it off as a passing thought and dodging the idea each time it comes back. And the fact that it does come back every time you bake that perfectly crusty sourdough, cloudy dumplings, fluffy muffins or the creamiest dal makhani, is a reminder to do something about it. It’s never too late to turn a passion into a business, though it can be overwhelming. And step one is to have faith and confidence in your product. Let us simplify the rest of the process for you to begin your online food business.
Find your calling
You might be inherently great at cooking or baking, but what is it that you love to cook the most, and others love to eat the most when you make it? Pick your niche and build on that. It could be a cuisine or mix of cuisines, a twist on a cuisine, or simply your take on the dishes you love to make. Start with your tried, tested and trusted recipes to begin your online food business journey.
Food for thought
Think of innovative ways to stand out – what makes your lasagna special? What kind of ingredients do you want to use? Will you make small batches and only use farm-fresh produce? What sets you apart? Is it the technique, the exceptional flavour, the homely comfort one gets with every bite or the unique marriage of ingredients you bring forth? Research on global food trends to inspire the creative in you to create. The more thought you put into every step of the way, the more it will be noticed.
Build your brand identity
Think about your brand’s aesthetic and how you want to showcase your food to the world. Spend time thinking about your brand name – it needs to be authentic to what your food stands for. It needs to feel real – to you – so it can feel the same to your customers. Work on your brand logo and other visual elements that will be part of your brand identity. Remember to keep it all in-sync with your larger aesthetic. Your branding will play a large part in your online sales—you will use it in your packaging, design, website, and even the words you use to tell your story. Brand identity is the visual representation of your food’s taste. At MyEasyStore, you can customise your overall theme colour to fit your brand aesthetic, add your logo, have a separate ‘about’ page and more elements to let your customers know (and see) your brand story..
Your food needs to look good too
We’re assuming your food tastes great, so now we get to the part where we tell you that it needs to look as visually tempting and appealing as it tastes. When you sell online, your customer ‘sees’ your food before he/she decides to order it. So, make it look good! Research on ideas to shoot your food yourself, bring out the props, colour palettes and cutlery that go with your brand’s identity and have some fun!
Once you’re ready with your beautiful food visuals, spend some time describing your delicious creation. Talk about the ingredients and their benefits or taste, how to serve the dish, and other descriptive elements that will let your customers get to know your dish and all that went into creating it, a little more. Your MyEasyStore shop has the option to add descriptions to every product to make it easier for your customers to make a choice without having to ask any questions.
Be as transparent as possible
Remember, customer loyalty comes gradually and by building trust in your product. Be transparent when talking about your product and its production—let your customers know the heart, soul and effort that went into its creation. If an ingredient is organic and sourced ethically, reveal its source or certificates to prove its efficacy.
Pricing can be tricky—how much is too much? Am I charging too less? How do you decide? There is no foolproof formula to get your pricing right, but being clear in your costing and calculations and adjusting accordingly and every now and then based on your market research and demand will have you reaching the most appropriate price point. Test the waters. Believe in your product and its value.
Create your own online store
There is no better way to sell online than to create your own online store. It’s part of your brand identity, it’s yours to create, grow and sell. You will be able to build your own customer database, and market your digital business the way you want to. Your business will be independent of any third parties, and with some effort, research and creativity, you will see it grow and flourish. Be patient, but consistent. MyEasyStore has all the essential tools you need to make this happen, easily!
Once you have everything ready—from your menu to your visuals—expand your horizon. You already have your website and your product catalogue, it’s time to market it right. Build your social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube—figure out where your target audience is, and build content on those platforms to cater to them. How about snippets of your daily life as a food entrepreneur on Instagram stories? Or weekly recipe reels? The ideas are endless, you just need to put some thought into it. The more interactive you are with your customers, the more they’ll come back to your page and website.
Licensing and other fine print
Do your homework, ask your friends in the industry and attain the right licenses to run your business smoothly.