Cooking Business Niche – Defining Your Target Market
One of the first steps in creating a cooking business niche that you can be successful in is defining your target market. This is also the first step for your business plan, to see if you even have a market to enter; therefore, you must define your target market.
There are two markets that you can sell your service or product to; you can sell either to consumers or businesses. For example if you are entering the restaurant business, you can serve customers in your particular restaurant or you can sell supplies to restaurant owners without being an owner yourself.
It is not good to try and do both, it is generally a good idea to define your market very narrowly to give yourself the greatest chance for success, since it’s not always realistic to take on too many tasks when starting a business, you have to create a niche, a segment of the market. In business smaller is better and more highly focused.
In the past it was possible to market to an age group, today that is a thing of the past. Today there are a vast number of markets other than age that you can market to. Today you can market to a lifestyle group, socioeconomic group, region, gender, or some other group such as a technologically savvy group if the niche that you are seeking to create is based on technology.
Regarding age groups, these groups can no longer be relied on to just like what you think people their age like, age groups are all over the place now with what is important to them and that includes food. For instance my generation baby boomers don’t look old, act old, or think of themselves as being old; in fact we often like some of the same things that those of other age groups like, so age is no real hard and fast marketing gauge anymore.
There are some steps that you can take to create your particular cooking business niche.
1. Make a list of those that you want to do business with. It’s important that you are as specific as possible, determining the geographic area and the type of customers that you want to target. For example, just saying that you want to open a restaurant is too broad. You have to ask yourself what type of restaurant I want to open. What type of food will I serve? Will it be a family oriented restaurant or upscale? These are just a few of the considerations to creating a successful niche business.
2. Determine the focus of your business, what do you want to sell? Once again, will you sell food to customers who come in to dine in your restaurant or will you sell food stuffs and supplies to restaurant owners. It is also important that a restaurant is not a niche, it’s too broad, and a restaurant is really part of an industry. If your restaurant is a seafood restaurant or a soul food restaurant, then this would be considered a niche.
In order to really make your cooking business niche focused, there are some things to consider:
• Determine what you do best and the skills that go along with what you do best
• Make a list of your achievements
• Identify your life lessons that you have learned
• Determine the patterns that reveal your approach to solving problems
Your idea for your niche should come out of your interests and experiences.
3. What are your customer’s needs and wants? Talk to perspective customers to find out what they need and want.
4. Putting your data together, and by now you should have a good idea of what your niche will be.
A good niche meets five criteria:
• It conforms to your long term vision. It takes you where you want to go with your business.
• It is something customers want.
• It has been carefully planned.
• It is one of a kind.
• It evolves allowing for growth and development of other profit centers.
5. Evaluate your cooking business niche idea against the five criteria of what makes a successful niche. It must meet all five criteria. If it fails to meet just one, then move on to the next idea.
6. Test market, in the case of a restaurant it isn’t really practical to open a restaurant which gets to be a very costly proposition just to see if people like it, but it can be practical to offer free samples of your food on a small scale to see if your potential customers would like what you’re offering and would want to come into your restaurant.
7. If your test is successful, then you are ready to implement your idea.
Once your idea is implemented and your business is established and well received by your market, you must continue to adapt to a changing environment to stay current and to stay successful.
Once you have designed the cooking business niche for your business, the next thing that you need is to create a mission statement. What is a mission statement and what does it do? The mission statement helps to clarify what business you are in, your goals, and your objectives.
The mission statement as they say should be short and sweet, just the facts, capturing in a few sentences the goals of your business and its underlying philosophy.
The mission statement tells your customers, employees, suppliers, and the community what your business is all about, and reflects every aspect of your business:
• The nature or type of products offered
• The range of products offered
• Product pricing
• Product quality
• Level of service and quality of service provided
• Market positioning that you are seeking or already have
• Potential for growth of the business
• Use of technology
• Relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the community
Laying the ground work for your cooking business niche will save you problems along the way and give you a better chance for being successful if you plan carefully instead of blindly jumping in with both feet.
For some other tips on creating a cooking business niche click on the link to wilsonweb.com
• Conducting market research
• Choosing a business structure
• Obtaining financing for the business
• Hiring employees
• Establishing an online presence
For some great information on starting a cooking business including a cooking business niche a great reference is:
• Restaurant and More by Entrepreneur Magazine
Cooking Business Plan
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