HOW TO START AN ONLINE FOOD STORE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
In recent times, online businesses have quite become the main focus for many entrepreneurs. An online business, not only removes the option of having a location for your business but it comes with a couple of benefits that makes starting a business online very comfortable. Many people today spend time on their smartphones or computers and the social media world is becoming even larger, making business thrive easily in the space. The online space is also welcoming for typically almost all businesses and one of such is the online food business which is still a pretty much new business and one with a huge prospect for future entrepreneurs to try
The same way a restaurant can be operated in a physical space, a similar thing can be operated online except you can’t have people sit and eat online. The online business allows individuals to make orders for food made by experts and get them delivered to them without having to go out. Some restaurants run this kind of method of operating but again, with the business being online, you don’t need to get a place, instead you can make the food from your home and send it to your customers who are willing to buy.
For online business owners, it eliminates the option of having to get a location where the business can operate. Food is very essential and everyone eats. While cooking might be an extremely complex and stressful chore for some, others are sometimes in positions or places where they can’t cook, work maybe and with this, an online food store becomes a good option to get food especially if they can’t leave their work place. All they’ll need to do is to make an order and the food can then be delivered to them.
One of the main advantages of starting the business, just like every other online business, is that it can be operated from the comfort of your home. Like I’ve mentioned severally, you don’t need a location. The online food store idea even comes when individuals don’t have a huge amount of capital to get a place and still run the business successful. It provides a good business idea without having to set up anywhere to be successful. The food can be prepared from your place and then it can be sent out to customers. The business doesn’t even totally involve just making food and delivering them, it could also be by getting ingredients or food stuff for customers who might not have time to get it themselves.
Another thing is that you don’t really need a huge amount of capital before you can start. Most of the things needed for the business are regular things you will definitely have in your house for cooking and as such no need to get another one. Asides that, you don’t really need money for other things except the ingredients and things needed to actually make the food that will be prepared and sent out for delivery. The cost of getting location which always takes a huge chunk of the capital is cancelled as it is not needed here. You also don’t need any special skills or qualifications to run the business though having experience as a caterer, for instance, can be a huge plus for you starting the business.
Starting the business is not a difficult thing to do. It’s online and as such not too many things are required and you can get started after your capital is available. After that, the food just needs to be prepared and then you’ll need to market your business so that you’ll have a good chance of getting customers and making profits. In the next sub heads, I’ll be discussing the steps involved in starting the business and also factors that might be useful during the course of the business and to ensure you’re successful at what you do.
The benefits of research to any business can not be overestimated. There are many things to be learnt about a particular business when one starts it. Mostly, they are things individuals are not aware of or things not common during the practice of selling the product and since it’s strictly online, the model of operation will definitely be different from the usual store business. A proper research helps you review your business and the different options you might have to select from. The study is not only important for the starting stage of the business but it also gives insights on how to manage and sustain the business for several years to come.
Most times, research helps individuals come up with a better written business plan. The business plan, of course, needs no introduction. It contains all the information about the business and everything you have planned to help bring the business to light including ways you chose to spend capital, plans to operate and also projections for the future of the business. A well written business plan is not just there for writing sake and it also comes with its benefits especially for individuals who have to look for ways to secure funds to kick start the business.
A good, well detailed and thorough research will most likely help in writing a very good business plan, thereby helping to win over investors, if need be. Research is highly important and not something individuals or rather, future entrepreneurs should take lightly. The internet is available for all kinds of research and if you choose to meet up and discuss with experts in the industy, it is a huge plus to your research based on their level of knowledge about the business. Never ever skip the research stage especially if you’re a self starter and someone who has never been involved in the business before.
- SELECT A SPECIALTY
This is where you decide the kind of meals you will like to prepare for customers. Since it’s an online business, you can’t just select almost every kind of meal you can prepare and put out for the business. You’ll need to select one or a couple that are quite common foods people would like to eat at specific times of the day. One thing that will ensure you’re successful in this business is picking the right food. It will go a long way in actually helping the business. Like I’ve mentioned, other aspects of the business like getting food supplies for homes and also making large scale food production can also be explored.
- CREATE A BUDGET
One of the most interesting and impressive things about this business is that it can be started with a relatively small amount of money. Like I’ve mentioned, you don’t need a place since its all online so all that the capital is needed for is getting the ingredients for the food you’ve decided to make and some other things. After that you can choose to dedicate some money to be used for marketing. It’s not neccesary but if you have it you can run paid adverts on your social media pages or get social media influencers to help you market your products.
- GETTING THE INGREDIENTS
It is at this point you’ll get the ingredients and things needed for making your selected meal for the business. It is also quite the same for if you’re helping customers to get food stuffs. Visit the market and ensure you get fresh supplies to either make your meal or deliver to customers. If they’re products that you can get suppliers for, it is advisable to get them. You should also have more than just one supplier and then you can alternate them from time to time. Also, the food doesn’t just disappear to your customers. Since you’re working online, you’ll need to get a way for your food to reach customers. You can hire a dispatch rider or get someone who can help with delivery.
- MARKETING AND SALES
This is where you’ll set up an online location for your business. You’ll need to set up a social media account for your business. There are different available social media platforms and some are effective than others. Ensure you’re using the ones that best suits your business like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From there you’ll advertise your business. Social media influencers can help with running your adverts too. You can also visit companies or workplaces and advertise your business to them. Make sure your price is cheap and affordable and also you can give discounts and find ways to encourage people to buy from you. Packaging should also be good. You don’t want the food to get to customers in a poor condition. Word of mouth and referrals also play an effective role in getting you customers.
The online food business is a good innovative business idea. It provides individuals with ways they can get quality meals delivered to them. It is a business that can surely get individuals good amounts of profit when set up well.