Food business ownership requires commitment, hard work, and most of all, passion. If you’re considering owning your own food business you probably already have a healthy serving of passion. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if you should make the leap.
The Pros of Owning Your Own Company:
You could make a lot of money
You have the potential to make more money working for yourself than you do for someone else.
Looking at the most extreme end of the spectrum, the 50 richest people in the world run businesses.
According to PayScale, most small business owners in Canada make between $25k to $132k, with a median of $59k. And while the lower end of the spectrum is below the national median of $27k, most small business owners will be making more than the national average (median).
If you’ve got some experience or ideas you’d like to try out, then starting your own business gives you the freedom to put those ideas to the test.
Controlling every aspect of the business can be an incredibly freeing, but it also means you need the confidence to take risks and accept responsibility for the decisions you make.
You may have heard the old adage, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” And while that’s not strictly true (some days, your business is going to feel like work), on average, you’ll be spending 50% of your day at work, so it’s worth doing something you’re passionate about.
At OAFVC, our clients (like Pasta Tavola) tend to be passionate about making good food, and their businesses allows them to share that passion with others. We believe, if you care about what you’re building, your job will be more meaningful in the long run.
When you’re the owner of a small food business, you’re more than just a chef making recipes and food products. Along the way, you’re also going to be part business person (making successful business plans and strategies), part advertiser (creating and marketing your brand and products), and part lawyer (understanding all the food safety laws and labelling regulations around your products).
All the learning will make you more well-rounded, and while it’s daunting at first, you can always find mentors to help you out. At OAFVC, we have a number of networking events and meet-and-greetgreet nights where you can learn from experienced food business owners who are willing to teach you what they know.
When starting a business there's financial risk involved, and failure could impact your personal savings. So before you start on your new venture, it’s important to first research your industry thoroughly and then create a business plan (we’ve provided a free business plan below).
You might not be able to fire yourself (that's good) but your income may not be steady either. When you start out, getting a steady stream of income is hard work, as you’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
And while it depends on your product, your sales could also be seasonal. For example, if you’re selling ice-cream, you might find you’re selling more in summer and less in winter, but you’ll have to plan ahead to account for that.
So that old adage, isn’t completely true. When you run your own business, not everything you do will be something you love. Maybe you'll need to learn all about marketing, business strategy, and labelling law but inside you’ll be wishing the only thing you had to do was make your product because that's the part you truly love. Unfortunately, owning your own business makes you a Jack or Jill of all trades (and hopefully the master of them all as well).
Getting the Right Advice
There’s a lot to consider, but if you need more information you can also chat with experts who can help you decide if you’ll be suited to owning your own company, and help you plan accordingly.
At OAFVC, our advisory panel have helped new businesses with everything, from business planning to packaging design and legislation. As a non-profit municipal initiative, the business consulting provided is affordable and designed to help new food businesses succeed.
If you want to do more research first, download the FREE business plan below, for an introduction on how you can set your business apart.