When starting a spice business your responsibilities will include purchasing spices and herbs in bulk and then breaking them into smaller quantities and packing them for sale. A great thing about the spice business is that spices can be bought cheap and sold at a good mark up. However make sure you do your market research to ensure there is enough demand. The job includes putting together tasty combinations of herbs and spices and selling them. It could also mean that you grow and make your own spices at home and sell them directly to consumers.
Choosing a location for your Spice Business
When starting a spice business you can decide to locate your business from home (if zoning laws permit) or find a facility or store where you can package and sell your spices. Your spice business will be targeting restaurants, caterers, or personal cooks. Locally grown fresh spices are very appealing to professional chefs and personal cooks. Food shows and farmer’s markets are more options. Since this is a consumer product, you could opt to sell it through retailers. You could choose to go for retail distribution to large stores and supermarkets, however they may have strict guidelines and terms that may be very difficult for small businesses. You could also choose to do your sales through the Internet, by creating a website and selling it directly to consumers. Another approach is through cook books and recipe guides where you can increase your consumer awareness of your spice products.
If you opt to grow your own herbs and spices, then one of the most obvious costs will be the purchase of seeds and seedlings. You will also need land to grow your herbs. Another cost will be the equipments required for gardening. Not to forget, you will need pesticides to keep plants from pests and diseases. It is a good idea to research tips and advice on gardening of herbs and spices to enhance your gardening skills. Instead of planting your own herbs and spices, you can can buy them in bulk pretty cheaply. A computer and a printer will come in handy especially in making flyers, brochures and labels for your packed spices. You will need packaging material for your spices which must be food grade quality.
Tips on starting your spice business are offered below:
- Do it legally– You can find out what license and permits you need to run your business by calling your local and state government offices. If you plan to start your spice business from home, you will need to find out if your local zoning laws permits it. Since you willing be handling products for consumption your place of business will probably have to pass inspection. When you go in to get your license you can ask about this process.
- Decide which way to approach the business-Whether you will go with growing your own spices or buying in bulk and repack them in retailer quantities. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both.
- Design labels– A good looking label can be a good marketing tool. Look at your competitors’ labels for inspiration, but remember never copy. You can decide to print your own labels or hire someone to do it. Have your contact information on the label. Your state may require certain items to be displayed on your food labels, be sure to inquire about this.
Advertising a Spice Business
Try out the following techniques to advertise your business:
- Cold calling– Try selling directly to chefs and restaurants. Look in your local phone book or online and call different chefs and restaurants and tell them about your product. You can hire telemarketers to this this for you.
- Advertise in Cooking Magazines and Books-You can advertise in specialty cooking magazines and books.
- Contact Local Cooking Schools-Find out if there is any way to advertise in local cooking schools. Perhaps they have a bulletin board. Perhaps you can provide a free cooking class to show how to best use your spices.
- Posters and placards: These may be applied once your business has expanded. Place posters at different locations in the area where you are operating.
- Newspaper Classifieds: This is also beneficial once your business has expanded.
- Farmer’s market and food shows– locate local farmer’s markets and food shows where you can sell your spice products.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Website: You can decide to create a website to inform consumers about different spices and make it possible for them to purchase it online.