Veganism has exploded in popularity over the last decade, and most of us are now used to seeing vegan shops and cafés on the high street alongside the more mainstream options. It wasn’t long ago that a vegan business would have been considered highly specialised and niche – but not anymore.
Launching a vegan business is still going to be a challenge, however you slice it. The following three tips will help you to launch your business with your best foot forward and with the maximum chance of success.
Write a Business Plan
What exactly are you planning on doing with your business? How will you do it? How long do you expect it to take? These are all questions that your business plan should address. If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, now is the time to find out. You don’t want to already be waist-deep in your investment before you’ve even started to properly think about the fundamentals. Ok, so you want to launch a vegan business, but will you provide vegan food, vegan clothes, or a variety of vegan products?
Your business plan should be a living, evolving document that grows and changes with your business. At any given point in time, your business plan should detail your current business strategy and your most recent projections for the future.
Work Out a Budget
Knowing what you want to do and how to do it is all well and good, but while you can make projections for the future, you can’t know ahead of time exactly how much money you will have available in the future. This is where budgeting comes in.
Budgeting is all about managing your money responsibly and efficiently. Whether you find yourself smashing all your financial targets or struggling to stay afloat, you will need to use budgeting in order to ensure that whatever money you do have is being spent wisely.
Any business is going to have expenses, both ongoing and one-off expenses. Sometimes, you won’t have much control over these expenses and there’s little you can do other than pay what is asked. However, when you do have control, you should take advantage of it.
Let’s say that you’re planning to open a vegan café. There’s lots of relatively expensive equipment that you need for a café – a coffee machine, an ice machine, cutlery, cups, mugs, an oven – the list goes on and on. Buying from the right retailers will make a big difference to your overall costs. In some cases, if you buy an ice machine from www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk, for example, you can take advantage of leasing to spread the costs over a longer time period.
Put Health First
It’s important to always put the health of your customer first. While veganism may be a burgeoning fad, what attracts people is the hope for a better future (for the world and our own bodies!) Encouraging others to listen to their body’s needs is a great way to show that your company really cares, and isn’t just looking for a quick buck. Cultivating a brand reputation or community around a holistic approach to health is the key to many vegan businesses’ success. You don’t even have to be a primarily vegan brand, but just a brand focused on health in the vein of veganism, like HealthLabs.com, who custom created a panel of vegan wellness tests. These tests were made just for vegans and they’re all about vegan health! This is an example of a vegan focused brand that’s not even necessarily providing a “vegan product,” but is still looking for ways to incorporate this lifestyle choice into their business plan.
Check Out the Competition
Vegan businesses are on the rise. As the lifestyle becomes more popular, it becomes a much more attractive target for businesses. Gone are the days when a vegan business was considered niche; it’s now bumping up against the mainstream. Before you launch your own venture, you need to check out the local competition and find out what you’re up against. Look for the things that your competitors aren’t providing, or aren’t providing very well, and swoop in to fill the gap.
If you launch your business the right way, you will be on the trajectory for success from the word go. Business is never easy, but if you can start as you mean to continue, then you will be doing well.