In the wake of the pandemic, a slew of home-based food businesses had sprung up as jobs evaporated and movement curbs had confined people largely to their homes.
As the capacity restrictions persist, more avid home cooks and bakers have jumped onto the startup bandwagon. Fierce competition, it seems, is brewing.
But Mr Xavier Lee and Ms Karen Yuen, founders of hugely popular home bakeries Flourcrafts and Munch-Kins respectively, believe home operators have the ingredients for success.
In the 18 Dec 2020 askST@NLB video podcast, they told The Straits Times’ Food Editor Tan Hsueh Yun that these smaller players have an edge over bigger brick-and-mortar set-ups , and home businesses can adapt more quickly to changing tastes and trends as they interact directly with customers on the ground.
Ways to help your home business thrive
The first step to success is to figure out the unique selling point of your product, they advised. Business owners should also stay nimble and modify their offerings to suit evolving demands.
Canny marketing is another aspect that can turbocharge home start-ups. In particular, social media platforms like Instagram allow small operators to gain a wide reach at little to no cost. The key here is to put up tantalising images of your culinary delights to whet consumers’ appetite.
The proof, of course, is in the pudding, so make sure your offerings taste as good as they look. Once you get all the other important aspects like customer service and packaging down pat, word-of-mouth will take care of all your marketing needs.
Check out these valuable resources to help kick-start your home business:
1. Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business (2016)
By Mimi Shotland Fix
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/3710518
With over 30 years of experience, Mimi Shotland Fix is a veteran of the food industry. Her step-by-step guide covers everything from how to price and package your products to setting up your own bookkeeping and inventory systems. She also throws in tried-and-tested recipes and sample contracts so you can strike out on your own with confidence.
2. Not-So-Humble Pies (2012)
By Kelly Jaggers
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/1003684
If you are seeking to start a home bakery business and want to make your products stand out, look no further. Providing over 100 sweet and savoury pie recipes including Blood Orange Curd Pie and Bacon Tarts, this cookbook is sure to help you create uniquely delectable treats.
3. Specialty Food Business (2016)
By the Staff of Entrepreneur Media
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/2395262
This simple two-part guide spells out the demands of a speciality food business and helps you navigate changing consumer expectations in fresh flavours and convenience. It comes with detailed tips on how to start a home-based speciality food business so you can carve a niche in the market and build a business model that is solid and sustainable.
4. This is Marketing (2018)
By Seth Godin
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4022766
Regardless of what kind of company you run, a trusted brand is the key to success. Former dot-com business executive Seth Godin shares various strategies such as how to identify your target audience, go beyond traditional advertising strategies and, most importantly, build trust with your customer base.
5. Digital Marketing for Dummies (2016)
By Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/2410784
Digital marketing is a godsend for small players on tight budgets. Learn to market your home business and make it known to the masses virtually with this detailed guide. Covering everything from building a social media presence to creating effective digital marketing campaigns, Digital Marketing for Dummies is a guide for all aspiring entrepreneurs.
6. Plate to Pixel (2011)
By Helene Dujardin
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/664008
This comprehensive food photography guide is a must-read for wannabe creators of #foodporn. Styling, lighting, placement – pick up all the skills needed to show off your food in the best light as photographer-stylist Helene Dujardin shares the art of producing deliciously tempting images.
7. Living Bread (2019)
By Daniel Leader and Lauren Chattman
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4618117
Living Bread provides 60 artisan bread recipes for home bakers who dream of cashing in on their hobby. Nominated for the 2020 James Beard Award, one of the most prestigious awards for culinary professionals, this book offers delightful spins on classic baked goods such as curry tomato ciabatta and chocolate sourdough.
8. That Photo Makes Me Hungry (2019)
By Andrew Scrivani
E-book available at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4824815
Famed food photographer Andrew Scrivani uncovers the magic behind sensational food photography that makes your mouth water. Beyond the technical aspects of photography, Scrivani’s visual storytelling techniques and practical lessons such as food preparation and styling promises to elevate your food photography skills.