Planning is never a pretty thing.
But, if you want to start a food business in Nigeria—like a bakery, a restaurant, or a catering outfit—it’s a bullet you’ll probably have to take at some point.
If you’re thinking of building a brand for your food business in these climes, read on for some of the biggest how-to of the process.
1. Think long term – Have a business plan
Like any other business, the food business is no joke. You will need to think long term—you know your business now, but what does it look like five years from now? So, it’s really important you know what you’re getting into by having a business plan. What do you need in terms of startup finances, space, and staff?
Some of the questions the business plan will help you answer include, how much startup capital will I need? Who are my target audience? What will my menu look like? How do I intend to reach out to my customers?
2. Register a business name
First off, register your business either as a business name or a company. Either of these two options is fine. One other thing you should consider is your business name. Go for a unique and easy-to-remember name.
To register your business in Nigeria, there are some steps you need to take.Visit the official page of the Corporate Affairs Commission to register your business. This particular step should not be treated with levity as it will go a long way to sustain your business in the future.
The demography of your food business is key. What class of people reside there? What is the development in the region like? Consider locations that are accessible, and with a lot of human traffic.
Never assume customers will find you. A good location is an added advantage.
Let your customers determine what food is prepared. McGarry (2010) asserts that a successful concept is the one that adapts to local tastes and cultures. In Nigeria, certain foods are generally accepted, but there are some peculiar to a particular tribe or region.
The trick is to start with a food menu that is generally accepted anywhere in the country. Subsequently, you can spice it up with the local delicacies of the area or region, if need be.
5. Hire the right staff
Just like every other businesses, a good team is necessary for success. Of course, you need a lot more, but a great chef makes a great restaurant. Get a trained Chef who is proficient in the preparation of different kinds of food.
You also need service attendants or waiters, cleaners, security, etc. So, be sure to employ and set up the right team to achieve optimal result.
6. Create awareness
How do you intend to get customers to your business without creating the needed awareness to get started? The strategies you employ to do this is immaterial, as long as you reach your customers. But in Nigeria, the most effective strategies include: social media and other online platforms, fliers, TV ads, and partnerships.
Hopefully, you may not need to do that for long, but for a start, advertise.
Launching your business is a big deal in Nigeria. So launch your food business with as much fun fair as it is possible for you. Invite family, friends and in fact, everyone. Get some free gifts, give discounts to new customers, and other affordable incentives you can come up with.
Remember, most people already have their eating spots. Make them ditch others for yours!
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