Do you want to start a chocolate making business from home or on small scale? If so, read this detailed business plan guide on the different steps you need to follow including cost, equipment, licenses, and much more.
The demand for chocolates is on the rise. As per industry experts, the people of the United States alone will consume more than 1,600 million Kg in volume by the year 2023.
The chocolate and candy industry remained strong through the recent recession. Considered a luxury, chocolate surprised many industry observers with continued sales strength over the last several years. But one thing you must remember, there is stiff competition in the chocolate industry.
Chocolate Making Business Plan Guide for Beginners
If you want to be successful in this business, you must plan it carefully. Find below a list of 12 steps to start a successful chocolate making business.
1. Learn the Art of Making Chocolates
The taste and trends of chocolate making are always in a changing mode. You must be always be updated with the latest technology and recipes to run a successful chocolate-making business.
It is better to attend and learn from experts if you are looking to run it from home. Check locally if there is someone providing coaching classes on making chocolates.
Most successful entrepreneurs in the chocolate industry created a unique recipe for their chocolate items. If you have one, give it a test-run with people you know and take feedbacks.
If you are a newbie and do not have the knowledge of making chocolates, it is a must to learn the techniques. You can attend classes with someone who teaches the process. If you don’t have one, search the internet, you will find plenty of trainers conducting online courses on chocolate making.
2. Research the Market
Before you start a candy or chocolate making business, it is extremely important to understand the demand of the immediate market you will be targetting. Go for extensive research on the local market and understand the taste of the local chocolate loving people.
If possible, talk to local distributors and retailers and take feedback regarding which kind of chocolate items are in demand. In addition, have a look at the online market and read stories of successful chocolatiers.
3. Create a Chocolate Making Business Plan
Based on your findings after researching the market, start writing your own business plan for the business. A properly written business plan is a very important document for your venture, as it will guide you in running your business in expected lines. Additionally, if you are looking for a fund, it will come in handy.
While writing your chocolate making business plan there are certain aspects that must be documented with clarity. Some of the most important topics are the following:
- Startup and recurring costs
- Your target customers
- Pricing Strategy
- Where & how you plan to sell?
4. Name Your chocolate/ Candy Making Company
Though otherwise ignored as a not so important factor in starting a chocolate-making business, it is mostly found that most successful businesses have relatable and easy to connect business names.
Search the internet for profitable chocolate companies, you will find the answer. Check this guide to learn more about different steps in naming a business.
Find below some popular chocolate company name ideas that can help you brainstorm to find the perfect name for your coffee shop:
- Cocoa Connoisseurs
- My Favorite Chunks
- The Sweeter Side of Life
- A Choc a Day
- Built with Chocolate
- Treats for Sweethearts
- It All Starts with Cocoa
5. Cost of Opening a Chocolate Making Business
The cost of launching a home-based chocolate manufacturing business on a small scale is not much. An initial investment in the range of $4000 to $10,000 should be enough.
However, if you plan to launch on a higher scale with an exclusive storefront, the cost will rise significantly. The investment in that case can be more than $1,00,000.
6. Equipment for Chocolate Making
To make chocolates from home, you will need some pieces of equipment. Some of the basic tools are listed below:
- Melanger (Wet stone grinder)
- Chocolate Moulds
- Kitchen scales
- Tempering Machine
- Microwave to melt chocolates
7. Register Your Business
Every state and country has different sets of rules for forming a company. Check with local relevant authorities and form a legal company. If you are from the United States, for example, forming an LLC will provide you with certain extra benefits.
8. Procure Licenses & Permits
If you are into the business of making or selling chocolates and candies, you will need to acquire certain licenses and permits from local authorities. Since you are dealing with food items, check with local authorities, and get those permissions from the competent authorities.
For example, if you are from the United States, you can find the types of licenses required to open a chocolate making business from the official site of SBA(US Small Business Administration).
9. Choose a Location
If you have extra space at your home, you can consider starting from there only. But, you need to ensure the chocolate making kitchen space is always cleaned and properly handled. You can also rent commercial kitchens in a nearby location. For selling your chocolate products to a wider audience, consider renting retail space.
10. Fix Pricing
Pricing will play an important role in making your business profitable. There are many pricing methods you can apply like mark up pricing, value-based pricing, etc. Check this article to know more about fixing pricing for a product.
11. Set Proper Accounting Systems
To run a profitable business, you need to have a clean and hassle-free accounting system. It is no different in running a chocolate or a candy company. Choose proper accounting software to set up a proper bookkeeping system.
12. Promote Your Chocolate Making Products
If you are starting with a low budget, a carefully planned marketing strategy is critical. There are many low-cost ways of promoting your chocolate making business. You need to decide which ones will work best in your locality.
In addition, set up your distribution network with distributors and retailers and offer them benefits so that they are enthused to sell your chocolate products.