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    6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2009 8:02 AM by corwinpaul

    Future Business

    Tiffany Newbie
      My husband is in the military and currently overseas. I have noticed from his comments as well as from some of his soldiers that they really miss home cooking. I have always loved cooking with a passion. I came up with a concept that would suite both our needs. I am creating a business that provides take and bake meals. Meals that are ready to go right in the oven or microwave. There are going to be three sizes available. Small, which is big enough for an individual serving, great for single soldiers. Medium, which serves 2-3 people. Large, which serves 4-6 people, great for families. I have a variety of entrees, side dishes, and am considering desserts. I ask for some feedback on if people think that this is a good idea. I am still in the planning stages and am looking to start in early February. My target audience for now is military only as I am only one person and I don't want to get too big for my britches, so to speak. Please give me some feedback.
      Thank you for your response
        • Re: Future Business
          DomainDiva Ranger
          There are a couple of concepts like that around the DFW area, one is Super Suppers. The food is wonderful and the portions HUGE however it's not always on my list if I am in a rush.

          However...since you are going into a 'niche market' there is certainly room to make a boatload of money by servicing your niche market. It it were me..I would contact my husbands' commanding officer at the base where he is normally stationed and set up a meeting. Start from square one and move forward. Best of luck.
          • Re: Future Business
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Tiffany, Great idea. This is a winning combination, helping the military and your love of home cooking.
            You say "that you are still in the planning stages and am looking to start in early February". O K
            Have you developed a Business Plan?? I am a SCORE Counselor and would love to help you.
            SCORE is a FREE service to people going or who are in business.
            Please let me know what SCORE or I can do to help. You van reach me at "'
            • Re: Future Business
              Lighthouse24 Ranger
              Hi, Tiffany. Welcome to the community. Most people who are considering a business like this make the mistake of planning the enterprise "from production to consumption." I recommend that you plan it "backward."

              Start with the person or family who is consuming your product. Who are they? Where are they? What time is it? What did they just do, and what are they about to do next? Why did they choose your product instead of making a sandwich, picking up a frozen meal, ordering a pizza, or eating out? How much would they be willing to pay for it? How much can you realistically sell to your target market each day at that price?

              Next, explore how those people would get your product. Would you deliver it to them, would they pick it up from your shop, would you distribute from a mobile cart or trailer, or would it be sold in the exchange or commissary?

              How will it have to be packaged or labeled in order to be legally sold and safely distributed? How will it need to be stocked or stored to preserve freshness and quality?

              How will you get it from your kitchen to that point of sale? How will you maintain quality and keep the product safe?

              What specific products can you make that suit the distribution channel and market segment you have planned? How will you prepare those products, and in what quantities?

              Finally, what labor will you need to help you? What tools and equipment will be required? What supplies will be consumed, and in what amounts? How much will all that cost?

              If your projected sales revenue exceeds your projected cost, you have a good plan. If not, you look at each stage and figure out where it can be modified to cut costs or increase revenue.

              Planning "backward" like this will keep you from being one of those unfortunate business owners who writes to the forum to say, "I have a great business with a great product, but no customers. How do I get customers?" This way, you'll the answer to that before you do anything else.

              Best wishes for success!
              • Re: Future Business
                CorpCons08 Ranger
                Hi Tiffany,

                Well, I love food, so a business like this is great. lol.
                A couple of things I would suggest are as follows.

                1. Speak to a couple of places like military bases and see if they would be interested in these meal packages. It is always best to have a few sources of continued sales while you are building your business.

                2. Use a website as a source of showing off some of the meals available for purchase. People like to see what they are buying. You could go a route of ecommerce/shopping carts and make them purchaseable right online.

                Best wishes on this new venture, and continue to give us updates.

                • Re: Future Business
                  corwinpaul Newbie
                  Wow, that's a great idea! As you said, you are serving two purposes through this business. If you need financial help for your business you can get loan from , as your husband is in military. With regards to the setup and administrative help, I believe it should not be too much to get staretd and then look into the possibilities.