Food Business Plan Step by Step

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Starting a food business of any kind takes planning. If you want to be successful you need to have some sort of plan. I know from my experience learning as you go is always best. You should write down some type of plan on paper and know that it is ok to update and change direction later. 

Here is the Outline of a great Food Business plan and what goes into writing one that will be useful.

Building Your One Page Business Plan

The one-pager as it is called forces the budding food entrepreneur to think clearly about the idea for your business and has a framework that forces you to put the essentials on one page. The thinking behind this is if you can't get it to one page you will not be able to clearly articulate your opportunity to other stakeholders such as business associates, potential investors and banks, and a buyer from retail  Here are the essential elements that go into your one-pager.

  • Business Plan 
  • Management
  • Customer Problem
  • Product/Services
  • Who are you selling to 
  • Customers
  • Sales/Marketing Strategy

Rather than give you generic details regarding the essential elements, we have created a hypothetical company to show you how an o-pager is constructed. Here are a few notes:

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    •  Fill in your company name or if more appropriate, the brand name of the product(s) you will be selling.
    • . This is a placeholder for you to fill in your product or company-specific information.
    • Customer Problem. In marketing, we refer to opportunities as problems. A problem could be "fixing" something to make it better for your target customer OR on the positive side, a gap that you see that no one else is addressing.
    • Note. You may not be able to complete each area of the plan on your first attempt. It is more important for you to get this first draft done as completely as possible before you spend more than a few dollars on your business.
Business Plan Outline

One Line Pitch: Feel good about satisfying yourself and family from your freezer any time of the day from the recipes you love. Heart-healthy, delicious foods to achieve a sustainable lifestyle … and [XXXX]! [YOUR COMPANY] brand focuses on [XXXX] meal solutions with the scalability of a modern, multi-market, e-commerce and retail distribution business:

    • Business Summary: This will include a culmination of the following  Company name  provides a direct-to-consumer [XXXX] organic and natural single serve and family-sized portions. Customers enjoy these products based on familiar comfort foods recipes, facilitates [WHAT DOES THE PRODUCT HELP THE CONSUMER WITH] with a wide range of products.
    • Management: With [XXXX] we believe that the [YOUR COMPANY] Management team includes more consumer products food experience than any company in the plant-based protein segment. [YOUR COMPANY] has added general management strength with start-up partners such as [XXXX].
    • Target Market:  With a total population of approximately 4.2 million and an average household size of 2.59, these markets produce a total addressable market of approximately 1.6 million households. Assuming 19% of those homes are interested in organics, our targetable market is 307,000 households, and current market penetration is 3.9%.
    • Customers: We currently sell approximately 7,000 boxes of produce/groceries per week to about 12,000 active customers across all three regions.
  • Sales/Marketing Strategy:  (1) internal sales force drives geographic expansion (by adding new community drop sites), (2) direct marketing efforts to in-fill Seattle and Anchorage markets, and (3) increase average order size by adding grocery items. Starting in [YEAR], we will begin exporting the business to new markets. We plan to add one new market in [YEAR] and one per quarter thereafter.