Putting up a small food business and operating it from your own home is not only a convenient way to make a living—no more commuting in horrible traffic every day; it also lets you spend more time with your family while you earn.
Thanks to the Internet and a market that is always hungry, running a food business is possible for anyone to do. Before you bake your first batch of cupcakes, though, better do some research first. Here, four owners of different food businesses share how they made it despite considerable challenges:
Chiclet Badoy, owner of The Chic Whisk, an online dessert shop based in General Santos City
Pastry chef Chiclet moved to General Santos City with her family just 18 months ago, knowing only her husband’s family and relatives. This proved to be a challenge when she put up The Chic Whisk, but Chiclet did not let this get in the way. Instead, she used avenues available to her to promote her business: her network of family and friends, word-of-mouth, and social media.
“Hindi ako sociable, kaya hindi ko alam kung paano ako makikipagkilala [sa potential customers],” says Chiclet. “So I started giving birthday cakes to my hubby’s relatives. Then, they ordered [cakes] to bring to parties and shared photos of the cakes on social media.” Soon, Chiclet found herself taking more orders, and her customer base eventually grew. “At first, my customers and I had mutual friends on Facebook. Later on, wala na!” she adds.
Buck Pago, owner of El Pago Sausages, an online sausage hub
As a family man, Buck divides his time between running his meaty business from home and raising his three young children with his wife. Time management is a constant problem for Buck, though, as he lacks the right staff to help him out. Buck, therefore, has had to master all the duties his business requires until he finds more help; and while looking for a brick-and-mortar shop, he runs a delivery and pick-up hub for his products in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. This can be tedious, yes, but the upside is that he knows all the ins and outs of his brand.
“You have to hire the right person to do the job,” Buck says. “But ‘yun talaga ang challenge para sa ‘kin: walang professionalism. So I end up doing everything myself while I look for the right people to work with me. And since I put my family first always, I have to sacrifice sleep in order to raise my family and run my business at the same time.”
Through selling homemade sausages, Buck wants to promote local meat and debunk the notion that imported meat is “better” than the more expensive options in the local market.
Patricia Paredes, owner of Nieta Preserves, an online store for handmade jams
Taught by her grandmothers about the science (and joy) behind making preserves, Patricia decided to put her own spin on jams with her homegrown business. Aside from spending a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up delicious spreads, Patricia also makes sure to keep herself updated on her market.
“Check the trade regularly,” she advises. “You have to know the market, the competition, and also be aware that people have different tastes so you can’t please everyone.” Quality is, without a doubt, also important, more so in the food business. Patricia relates, “Prioritize quality control so your product can speak for itself.
To help her market her bottled jams, Patricia relies on technology. She continues, “I use technology to stay visible on social media, develop my brand, and do my PR. I also use it to transport orders and receive payments. Tech also drives my research. I look at what food entrepreneurs are doing all over the world.”
Denise Motus-Dela Rosa, owner of a franchise of TFD food carts in Kalibo, Aklan
Denise runs a food cart that sells burgers, siomai, fried noodles, siopao, rice toppings, waffles, and coffee—like a one-stop shop for a Pinoy snack break. On the side, she also sells franchises to interested buyers.
“The main challenge is to find people who are into franchises, and to find the right market for your food,” states Denise. “You have to juggle managerial work with promoting your business everywhere. You really have to know a lot of people to succeed in this kind of business. With a lot of hard work—and trial and error—we succeeded eventually.”
If you plan on launching your own food business from home, do your research and equip yourself with the right tools. And remember: be ready to work doubly hard to achieve that sweet success.
For more business tips, check out Globe myBusiness Academy.
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