How to Start a Food Business

The following steps are taken into consideration when starting a business, particularly a food business:

Business Planning

A good business plan should include the following: Operational Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Performance, Financial Pro-Forma and A Time Table of the Key Events. An operational plan describes the type of business, organizational structure and the business approach to undertake. A marketing plan is a description of the market and how one plans to approach the market place. A financial performance entails a five-year financial history to include balance sheets, income statements and financial analysis. A financial pro-forma includes a financial plan that addresses one year and five year financial expectations, including capital requirements.

State and Federal Regulations

The following steps are suggested by the Michigan Department of Agriculture in starting a new food business: 1) Evaluate the food to be prepared; 2) Plan the food process involved, from purchasing through the sale or service of the product; 3) Evaluate the food process, taking into consideration the following: food safety, employee, equipment, physical facility, packaging and distribution needs.

The reviews for plans and specifications are mandatory for food service operations and retail grocery stores with food service operations, but are voluntary although highly recommended for all other food operations.

Legal Issues to Consider

Identification and protection of the business’ intellectual property is of major importance, whether it be trademark, copyright, patent or trade secret.