Elise Strahan was a flight attendant when she had the idea of opening her own cupcake shop. But when she crunched the numbers, the possibility of opening her own store wasn’t viable. But undeterred and driven by her passion for baking, she opted to start a small cupcake stall at her local market instead. But still bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, she quickly outgrew her market stall and started thinking of other ways to generate income; so she took to YouTube.
A few years after launching her YouTube channel My Cupcake Addiction in 2011, she became one of the most watched food personalities on the planet; at one point attracting more subscribers than Jamie Oliver. Her videos have attracted hundreds of millions of views and in the process, generated tons of revenue for her business and created a wealth of opportunities.
Elise and My Cupcake Addiction beautifully illustrate the potential upside when a food business owner decides to think outside the box and seek alternative ways to generate income. In a packed marketplace in which the consumer has both an unparalleled choice of products and unprecedented reach in acquiring them, it’s wise to differentiate your business and look to scale. Not only will you generate extra income for your business, but you’ll allow your business to stand out.
Here are our top food business tips on 6 ways to grow your food business income
Create a Story
Our first food business tip is to build a great brand story. Everyone loves to hear a great story. It captures the imagination and gives your customers something to latch on and relate to. Consider the difference between ‘I make cupcakes’ and ‘I make cupcakes using my grandmother’s secret, fail-safe recipes’. A well-crafted and authentic story goes a long way to help you stand out from the crowd
Another easy food business tip is to identify untapped markets in your niche. How can you improve on what you and your competitors are doing? It’s also a great idea to simply ask your customers what their pain points are and tailor a product that addresses those issues. Be the first to introduce something new to your target customer base through untapped markets
Partnering up with complementary businesses that are not in competition with you is another food business tip we recommend. You’ll have access to each other’s customer bases and will be able to create opportunities together that you may not have been able to alone. For instance, you could create food hampers with the ‘best of local produce’, bringing together the products from several local businesses. You could then partner with local hotels and guesthouses and offer your baskets as a welcome gift for their guests
One of the most important food business tips is to do your research. Continually carry out research into what consumers are looking for, what they’re responding to, who the market leaders are, and emerging trends within your industry. See if there’s a wave you can ride. Going back to Elise Strahan, she was fortunate enough to catch the crest of a wave caused by a surge in popularity in baking in general, cupcakes in particular, and on a platform still in its relative infancy. The more you know, the more likely you’ll be to can into alternative revenue streams
Tap into the internet
As well as being useful for learning more about your market, the Internet is great for reaching more people. That is why we have included it as a key food business tip to make more money. You could showcase your skills and products with a YouTube channel, offer live cooking demonstrations using YouTube or Facebook live, or even offer one-on-one cooking classes over Skype!
Share Your Skills
If you can share your skills in group events such as a cupcake making class or a tea blending ritual you could tap into the ‘experience’ market that caters to corporate team events, hen parties, and baby showers. It’s a lucrative market that offers an opportunity to generate serious revenue and to expose you to lots of new customers at once. One of the best food business tips we can offer is to share your skills and not just your products
Put your skills to action with all the food business tips and advice that is packed into the Everything You Need To Start Your Food Business course