More and more people are becoming health conscious and choosing to eat healthy these days. As a result, fruits and vegetables have become key components of peoples daily diet the world over. This makes a fruit and vegetable business very viable now more than ever. In this article, we explore how you can start a fruit and veg business in the country.
Company registration / Licensing
You first need to register your company with the Registrar of Companies. If you are going to operate from a shop, you also need a shop license. In addition, because you will be selling food items, you need to consult with your local authority to check if you required to have any health certificate. Most local authorities require you to have one. Normally, they need to inspect your premises before they can issue you with the health license. They usually look for good hygiene and storage facilities among other things.
The capital you need to start this business will largely depend on the size of your business. If you choose to start small, RTGS $500 is enough to get you going but if you start big, you may be looking at over RTGS $5 000 initial capital.
You may decide to operate from a shop, in which case you need to make sure your premises are centrally located and compliant with all local authority regulations. On the other hand, you can decide to sell online and deliver to your clients. In this case, you can operate from home. But, you still need to make sure your home is also up to standard and all health considerations are well taken care of.
In this business, you may need refrigeration facilities because you will be dealing with perishables. If this is too costly for you, you may decide to order according to demand so that you do not keep any stock. However, this requires a high level of accuracy in terms of forecasting.
As your business grows, you may need vehicles if you are spreading to other towns and cities. The vehicles have to be refrigerated. Refrigerated vehicles can be costly but they are essential as they keep your produce fresh.
The number of staff you need will depend on the size of your business as well. For a small business, one person to take care of the shop is enough. You can then do your bookkeeping on your own. Your employee will likely be the face of your company so they have to be very knowledgeable in the various fruits and vegetables which you will be selling. They should also know how to handle customers. If your business is delivering the items, make sure the drivers have valid drivers licenses. This will minimise delays if your staff are stopped at a roadblock. Alternatively, you can outsource delivery services to companies that offer those services.
The market for fruits and vegetables has many opportunities and it keeps growing. Apart from selling locally, you can also venture into exporting in which case you will need strict adherence to trade policies and further quality assurance certificates. But, in both cases, the success of your business lies in your ability to attract and retain customers. Study your market often. Understand their needs and how you can meet their demand. Comprehensive marketing efforts are also needed. If they are happy, your customers will help market your business to others as well. If you are not sure, especially when it comes to export markets, consult experts like Zimtrade.
Your fiercest competition is likely to come from roadside stalls and carts. Despite the fact that those with carts can move around and cover areas where you cannot go, you always have to beat them when it comes to hygiene considerations. Also, if your business is operating legally, you are already way ahead because most of these carts and roadside stalls are always fighting running battles with authorities. Furthermore, if you keep your produce fresh at all times you will beat your competition on quality more than anything else.
As alluded to earlier, you can run this business profitably by selling your produce online. If you cannot afford a fancy website or app, Whats App will suffice. Use it effectively. Your service should be quick and efficient if you deliver your products. Also, you need to make good use of technology to keep in constant contact with your suppliers who are mostly farmers.
The profitability of your fruit and veg business will sometimes depend on your ability to provide a wide variety of commodities. So, you need to keep a big network of farmers who will supply you with whatever you want whenever you need it. Offer the farmers competitive prices so that they are always willing and happy to do business with you.
You also need to be flexible as you run your business. If a customer prefers their commodities packaged, consider doing that for them. Be prepared to bend over backwards and you will soon see customers flocking to you.
If you find that you have the resources, consider starting your own farm where you can get produce cheaper than buying from other farmers. This will increase your viability.
All in all, a fruit and veg business has great potential as it is relatively easy to set up. Also, the demand for fruits and vegetables keeps rising worldwide because of the health movement. You can take advantage of these positive signs to build a successful business.