Essentials Of A Homemade Chocolate Business Plan
Do you love making chocolates? Are you a passionate chef who is always whipping up delectable chocolates? Are you always delighting your friends and family with your delicious homemade chocolates, always making them ask for more? Are your well-wishers always telling you to convert your scrumptious chocolate making skills into a profitable business? Well, then the time is right to turn your passions and entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.
Chocolates have been a sweet treat whose popularity will never cease. Made from cocoa beans, chocolates are the best mood-lifters and make every occasion a small celebration. And apart from being an all time favourite across age groups and an instant dessert treat, chocolates have certain health benefits too. Chocolates, especially dark chocolates, are known to lower blood pressure and have antioxidants and are also found to lower inflammation and thus lower the risk of heart diseases. And of course, chocolates are one of the best known aphrodisiacs.
But the market is currently brimming with the commercial chocolate bars which have been around for ages and there is very little in terms of variety and flavor. What the majority of consumers are looking for today is premium chocolates that are exclusive, healthy and locally produced using organic, safe ingredients and this need is fulfilled by the growing creed of homemade chocolate manufacturers. There is a steadily growing demand for homemade chocolates especially because they offer a lot of flavours and varieties and are made in clean, hygienic environments using standard, quality ingredients.
A homemade chocolate business is a rewarding business that does not require much investment, can be operated from the comforts of your home itself using the bare minimum equipment which is available at hand and with limited ingredients and raw materials too. Also, making chocolates is not too labour intensive and can be manufactured in a limited time period, thus providing you with the flexibility of time and effort. Additionally, the popularity of chocolates is never going to wane and therefore if you want to start homemade chocolate business, it is a great idea for aspiring entrepreneurs.
However, starting a home business, needs some preparation and planning in the beginning, even if the business is being operated on a smaller scale. A business plan helps in preparing for the business and ensuring that all the essential factors are taken care of, so that the business can make a smooth start, without any hiccups.
Homemade Chocolate Business Plan
A business plan refers to a written document which acts as a road map directing the business towards its goals and objectives by charting out the ways and methods to take in order to achieve them, along with an estimate of the time and investment needed to achieve these goals. A business plan is beneficial to every enterprise starting out, irrespective of its size as
- A business plan will help make the objectives of the business clear. Often entrepreneurs have a different image of the business and when they actually start the business, it is altogether different in terms of methods of working or the goals or the expected goals. Thus it is recommended to define the objective of the business clearly, by mentioning the targeted sales, the profits, the new products, etc, thereby defining the success of the business in objective terms.
- A business plan helps the entrepreneur stay on the business strategy, which might otherwise be forgotten in the daily routine and business related interruptions and tasks. The business plan acts as a written reminder of the strategy and helps stick to it.
- A business plan has written data about the market research conducted, such as the potential market, the market trends, the sales and pricing figures and strategies, etc which is important information but might otherwise be lost and be useless if not written in the business plan.
- A business plan outlines the milestones for the business and helps the entrepreneur or the team stick to these milestones. The targeted deadlines and important dates are adhered to thanks to a business plan.
- The business plan helps the entrepreneur to delegate the various tasks systematically since the tasks are outlined in detail in the business plan. Delegation helps get the job done faster and streamlines the various
- The business plan helps the business to manage its cash flow better as all the likely expenses are noted in the business plan.
- A business plan is also vital when applying for funding for the business as all the objectives, methods, financial requirements, etc.
These are just some of the benefits of having a business plan in place, for the homemade chocolate business too. There are some essentials that the homemde chocolate business plan must include in the format that is usually standard for all business plans. A business planning checklist will help understand the format and the essential details which need to be included in the business plan, regarding the business operations, the manufacturing process, food packaging and labeling of the chocolates, the selling of the chocolates, the marketing strategies applied for boosting the sales and various other details.
Essentials Of Homemade Chocolate Business Plan
The executive summary of the homemade chocolate business plan describes the entire business in a concise manner including the type of chocolates the business will be making such as chocolate candies, nutty chocolate and rolls, chocolate cookies, fudge chocolates, caramelized chocolate bars and many more. Along with the type of chocolates, the location from where the chocolates will be made and the areas where they will be sold is also mentioned. The summary mentions the structure, entity and operation of the chocolate business in short.
The company description is a detailed description of the entire homemade chocolate making business. It outlines the entire plan for the business such as the exact location of the place of manufacturing, which might be the home of the entrepreneur in this case or the workshop or place the entrepreneur might have taken as a manufacturing centre (such as a kitchen on rent or any other location), the detailed description of the type of chocolates the business will deal in, such as dark, white, milk and the various innovative concoctions in terms of flavors, fillings, shapes, etc., the list of ingredients (compound chocolate bars, flavourings, nuts, cocoa, fruits, etc), utensils that will be used for the chocolate making process (pots, pans, moulds, spatulas, gas, thermometer,etc), packaging details and other details regarding the business. Along with the business details, the company description also mentions the –
Vision of the business- what the business aspires to achieve over the years- for example how much the chocolate business wants to grow over the years, supply to which locations, have a certain turnover, all of which is mentioned in the vision of the business.
Mission- the mission of the business is what the business currently is achieving and aims to achieve in the present. The objectives of the business are also elaborated in the mission statement.
Further the company description also mentions the target audience they wish to reach out to with their chocolates and products.
Additionally, the homemade chocolate business too requires certain licences and registrations such as a Shop Act registration and an FSSAI registration along with a sole proprietorship registration or a partnership deed registration, depending on the type of business entity the entrepreneur wants to go ahead with for the business. This information and the details about the application status must be included in the business plan too.
Market And Competition Analysis
The market research and analysis is also an important part of the chocolate business as it helps understand what the audience likes, which chocolate flavours and types have more demand, what are the competitors offering, what is the pricing of the products in the market, how the other chocolate brands packaging their chocolates, and how are they marketing it. All this will help the entrepreneur decide the pricing, packaging, marketing techniques and chocolate varieties that the business must introduce into the market for the products to find an instant audience and liking for their products. The competition analysis and market analysis are essential factors that influence the sales and growth of the chocolate business and must be included in the business plan.
Management & Operations
The homemade chocolate business plan must also include the business management and operations details. This refers to information regarding how many employees or helpers will the entrepreneur need for the homemade chocolate business, maybe a worker to help with the cleaning and organizing of the kitchen and ingredients. Additionally it will include details regarding who will handle the sales of the chocolates, who will carry out the actual production of the chocolates, who will keep a tab of all the accounts and expenses, who will procure the licences, who will handle the daily tasks such as purchasing of the ingredients and materials, etc. In a single owner business, such as the homemade chocolate business, all of these tasks will be handled by the entrepreneur itself but a helper can be hired for some of the tasks or some activities can be given to external agencies to handle such as the accounting, procuring of licences, marketing and sales. The terms of working for the employee such as the work hours, the salary, the duties, etc must also be specified in the business plan.
Marketing and Sales
Another important aspect of a business is the marketing and sales, the details of which must be included in the homemade chocolate business plan. The sales can be carried out by supplying the chocolates to various department stores, grocery shops and supermarkets who will display the chocolates and aid the sales. Or the chocolates can be sold through participation in various food events and fairs such as farmer’s market or the entrepreneur can sell the chocolates via the online food delivery services or through a website or exclusively from their homes.
Marketing is vital for the sales to increase and for promoting the business and various marketing strategies such as promotional discounts, special occasion hampers, advertising through flyers and posters can be carried out and mentioned in the business plan. Additionally, the business can employ digital marketing strategies too such as have an Instagram and Facebook page to showcase the products, and a website to carry out the sales and a blog to interact with the audiences and share recipes and experiences. The marketing strategy decided must also be mentioned in the business plan.
A homemade chocolate business can be started on a minimal budget as the ingredients and equipment required for making chocolates are less and reasonably priced and the chocolates can be made using the utensils and equipment available at home too. However, the procurement of the licences might require paying an application fee and the marketing also might require a small expense. The financial summary of the business, including the investment required for starting the business, obtaining the ingredients, equipment, marketing costs, license application fees and day to day miscellaneous expenses such as packaging costs and delivery expenses must be included in the chocolate business plan. Also, how these expenses will be met must also be mentioned in the business plan, whether the entrepreneur’s savings will suffice for the business or a small loan will help the business, especially while expanding the operations, must also be included in the homemade chocolate business plan.
These are the essential factors which form the crux of every business plan and must be included. Entrepreneurs starting a homemade chocolate business might feel overwhelmed by the business plan structure and information to be included but they can always take the help of deAsra Foundation for preparing a comprehensive business plan for their homemade chocolate business.