Starting your own business can be rewarding and it is a great way to earn an income doing something you love. Any entrepreneur will tell you that setting up a new business involves plenty of planning and research.
It also comes with a fair share of excitement and anxiety as well. You want the business to succeed, expand and turn a profit but at the same time, you are gripped with anxiety that things might not turn out the way you want.
One of the best ventures you can start in the Philippines right now is your own ethnic food business. This is a good way to make money if you have a passion for food. Filipinos love to eat, as evidenced by the food tourism and the variety of food available during fiestas. Your ethnic food business is likely to do well as the foodie revolution has led to more people looking for different kinds of foods to try out. Furthermore, the Philippines offer a friendly environment to begin a new business, with low barriers to entry. As long as you have a feasible idea, starting a business should be simple.
Now that you are all geared up to launch your ethnic food business here is how to go about setting it up.
- Draft a business plan.
You need to write a business plan before launching your venture. This should explain how you intend to run your ethnic food business as well as the goals you hope to achieve. It should also detail your finance and marketing plans together with the type of business structure you choose (i.e. sole proprietor, partnership or a limited company). This document helps you plan your business and can come in handy when seeking funds from banks or the government.
- Conduct thorough market research.
The next step is to do thorough market research to see if your idea is viable and feasible in the Philippines. This will help you narrow down your target customers and allows you to discover what sort of foods they prefer, how best to sell it to them and the best pricing options. You will get to know what your competitors offer and how to get an edge over them. Combine online research with fieldwork for the best results.
- Scout out a suitable location.
Your ethnic food business will need a suitable location to operate from. You can choose to have a food stand or truck or you can start a restaurant. If you go with the latter, you will need to find a location with adequate space for your customers along with all the equipment you’ll need. You also need to focus on the ambience of the location based on the serving style you choose. For instance, will the restaurant have a self-serve buffet or will you focus on providing a fine dining experience?
- Develop a solid marketing and branding strategy.
In order for your business to take off, your customers need to find you. This means a branding and marketing strategy will be needed. Your business needs a logo to set it apart from your competition. In addition to marketing your business via social media channels, you can also pass out business cards, flyers and brochures during networking or food tasting events. You can easily source digital printing in the Philippines as most companies have an official website to help you design whatever promotional items you require.
- Finance your business.
There are many options available to secure business finance. These include bank loans, financing from government programs, cash from partners or your own resources. Whichever method you choose, ensure that your business will be profitable enough to break even and preferably make a profit.
- Acquire the requisite licenses and permits.
You cannot operate an ethnic food business without a valid health permit. You will additionally need a liquor and music copyright license if you are planning to serve alcohol and play music in your premises.
- Source for supplies.
A food business is as good as the meals it serves. You need to have fresh farm products if you want to give your customers the best food. Locally sourced ingredients from local farmers and food vendors are a good bet for your business, as they will likely be quite fresh and affordable.
- Hire employees.
You might need to hire employees, depending on how large your business is. For starters, you should hire chefs, food servers and a cashier to help. As the business grows, you will eventually need to hire a manager to take over some of the business operations.
As you can see, starting your own ethnic food business involves a great deal of work; however, with the right resources and help from the right people, your business can be a great success.