HOW TO START A HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE BUSINESS
Chocolate is the world’s most popular delicacy and rightly so. For many, chocolate is not just food, it’s a feeling. The taste, texture, and aroma of chocolate are so exquisite that is it is loved by all. It is not just a delicious decadent but also holds a cultural significance. In many parts of the world, chocolates are gifted to their loved ones and a major part of their festivities. In India too, we often share chocolates as gifts on birthdays and anniversaries. Chocolates are made from cocoa seeds and depending on the quality of the raw material, the cost of chocolate is determined. There are many chocolate companies that have established themselves in the gourmet industry and are now have a net-worth of hundred of billions. Most of these chocolate companies started as homemade chocolate brands and with their taste and quality made themselves huge! The chocolate industry in India is estimated at US$ 400 million and growing at 18% per annum. We sure know these figures are good and it is a fact that chocolate’s demand is never going down. People love chocolates like crazy and the varieties that are available, there is one for everyone. If you have the right skills and love to make people happy through your art of cooking and want to make people fall in love with your delicious business, you too can try your hand in this and start with a small scale homemade chocolate business.
Here are the steps to start a Homemade chocolate business for you:
Create a Plan
If you are manufacturing, you need to understand it is not an easy task and requires a good understanding of the science behind manufacturing your product. Your scale of homemade chocolate business will depend on it a lot. With that decide what will be your reach. If it is an offline store, will you be heading out for deliveries in your local circle or are you willing to extend your business to online mode? Will you deliver out of your town or within it? Decide the storage area you are going to keep your goods in, such as refrigeration.
The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market and the homemade business needs investment and time when you are creating a new brand. You will also need a workforce that will help in making the recipes for those chocolates. A team of researchers to check if the recipe is safe and a factory where all this can be manufactured. So plan accordingly.
Do your research
A homemade chocolate business although looks like an easy venture to open. You have to do a lot of research about how the market functions and what is the demand and supply chain in this business. If you are manufacturing your products you must have the knowledge of the ingredients you are putting in your homemade chocolates. You need to have a great shopkeeper’s skills and a compassionate personality. You must know how to attract customers to your shop.
Decide on product
There are different types of chocolates available in the market such as dark, milk, white, etc. Based on your expertise and according to people’s choice, decide what are the products you will be producing.
Make sure you produce chocolates in an optimum amount to avoid wastage. Always have a distributor who can provide you with the raw material for your product.
The business will expand and the list can always increase but decide first what is your introductory range and how influential it is and will it get enough attention.
Decide on the size of business
The business has a lot of scopes to grow. Make a plan for what is going to be the size of your business at first. The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market and the homemade chocolate business needs investment and time as the goods which are sold are perishable and cannot be stored for a very long time. One should always be ready for bad days and thus also take care of the amount that is produced on a daily basis. It is better to start small and develop as your customer base develops
License and Permit
To start any business in India, you need to have legal permission sorted beforehand to avoid any hassles with government officials. You’ll need to get yourself registered as a business person, get FSSAI approvals, and get all the documentation handy.
You are making your new brand, make sure you get a patent by your brand name so no one can copy your products.
The location of your homemade chocolate business matters a lot. Try to keep your shop away from a place where there are already several stores available. Open a store in a densely populated area so even if there are competitors around, you will always have people buying from you. Buy or rent a space that is big enough to equip all your chocolate making equipment and has storage space for your items.
It is a prerequisite. You cannot have a homemade chocolate business without having the proper equipment in which you will cook your chocolates. So, make a list of the equipment according to the items that you will be selling. Remember, this is not something that you can compromise on. From a big refrigeration unit to a simple mixer, all are of prime importance.
This is amongst the first things to do. You are setting up a homemade chocolate business at home. It will require a principal investment. Get yourself sponsors who are willing to support a local business and have your back
Create a brand name and logo
Although this sounds very common before opening a homemade chocolate business, understand that a brand name is very important in this industry. Decide for yourself a brand name that people, when hear, can relate with the homemade chocolate industry and there is no confusion in their mind about what the product could be. Make sure once you decide the name and logo of the brand, get a patent.
Setting up any business requires a strong local connection and communication so that the business can propagate but with the rise in the use of e-commerce, things have become a lot easier. Make a website for your homemade chocolate business and set delivery boundaries according to yourself. Arrange your products in different categories and use various models and tools which are available online to make your website catchier and more attractive.
Social Media presence and Marketing
Be ready to do a lot of marketing. Social Media is used by almost everyone around the globe. It is almost certain that at least one person in a household must be using any social media platform. Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and asking youth in youth in the locality to share it amongst friends, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your store. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you already have an offline store and most customers who have done business with you will keep your number saved, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one-to-one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
Help from Influencers
Take help from the local influencers of the city by sending them free products and ask for them to promote them for you online. People listen to the influencers they follow and this can help you build a popular base quickly.
It is exciting to see a lot of entrepreneurs working with full force and empowering themselves by setting up a small business. Most chocolate businesses started in the backyard so don’t let your morale down when you see those big brands competing. Keep the quality of your product high and enjoy the process of growing and learning. All the best!