Boss Lady

4 Tips for women who want to start a food business


Your grandma’s secret chutney recipe. That barbecue meat rub that all your neighbours’ envy. The cupcakes you made for a friend’s baby shower. The kitchen is your zone of genius, where you whip up foods that amaze and delight your family.

‘When you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’

Whoever said that must have been thinking of food, for what could be better that creating, tasting and sharing delicious treats?

The food industry in Australia is growing by leaps and bounds and it is no surprise that more and more of us want to join the party. Setting up a food business can be hard work but the rewards are fantastic.

Here are my top 4 tips for women that want to start a food business.

Know your customer

Build a profile of your customers, even if you don’t have any yet! By identifying and understanding your customers, you can assess their needs and determine whether your food product will meet those needs. By identifying your target market, its demographics, and its buying and spending habits, you can focus your marketing and advertising efforts more effectively and tailor your product to increase the appeal to your desired customers. This information helps to drive your marketing strategy, promotional design, and sales process.

Solve a problem

  • Does your food product solve a problem in a unique way?
  • How does it solve the problem differently from your competition?
  • Do you convey that solution effectively through your branding and message?

For your prospective customers to purchase your products, they need to feel it’s solving a problem in some way. Broadly speaking, a food product solves the problem of being hungry; but that’s only scratching the surface. Let’s take comfort food such as biscuits or potato chips for example. They solve the problem of being hungry, but they also solve the problem of temporarily increasing a consumer’s well-being.  On many occasions, someone will seek out a product of that kind because they want to feel better.

So it’s important to determine which problems your product solves and how it does so in a different way to your competitors. Then you need to determine the best way of communicating that to your target market.

Start small and scale up

There are three ways in which you can manufacture food – at home, in a commercial kitchen or through contract manufacturing. Which method you choose will depend on your product itself and the stage of business you are in. Most food entrepreneurs will choose to manufacture at home or in a commercial kitchen initially before they contract out the manufacturing to gain efficiencies in cost and scale

Before you start, here are a few things to check

  • Is your home kitchen suitable for cooking and selling food? Tip – call your local council and find out what you need to do to be compliant. Your local council will send an inspector check your premises and
  • Protect your IP. Before you share your secret recipe with a manufacturer, make sure you sign a non disclosure agreement. If your manufacturer is developing the recipe for you, make sure you understand who owns the IP for the product

Don’t compromise on quality

Quality is KEY for any food business to succeed. Do you have a high-quality, top notch product that customers will return to?

Customer good will is difficult to acquire but easy to lose. For your food business to be successful, you need to have a great product. Continuously work on improving your product with the aim of giving your customers the best experience possible.

Starting a food business can be your ticket to a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle doing what you love and spending more time with your family. This course will help you start, grow and launch a successful food business.

About Megna Murali

Megna is a retail and customer analytics specialist who has worked for and with major retail, banking and transport brands. Megna's core strength is in helping businesses optimise their first party sales and customer data to increase revenue, improve marketing ROI and build loyalty. Megna works primarily with business owners and marketing agencies in ecommerce and retail. She is the founder of Arche Analytics.

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