Popcorn has been synonymous with cinema for most people’s childhoods. The popcorn eating tradition while watching movies is still ongoing. Popcorn is currently one of the world’s most beloved snacks. It is not only enjoyed in cinemas, but also at carnivals, home, outside schools, and during other festive occasions.
Today, Proper Popcorn is packed in well-designed packaging to make it more appealing to customers. The packaging can be designed in different themes and shapes depending on one’s requirement. Starting a popcorn business at home is an excellent idea for those looking for small-scale business ideas. It is an incredibly profitable idea for generating your own income.
The Market Opportunity of a Popcorn Business from Home
The best thing about starting a home-based popcorn business is that the investment required is not so great. It is possible to start the business with just a tiny budget and expect a decent profit margin.
Popcorn is usually sold at an incredibly high price in places such as cinemas, restaurants, multiplexes, and shopping malls. People often buy popcorn there and go to enjoy it at home. If you start a popcorn business, you should therefore target the aforementioned areas. You don’t actually require a large inventory to start your business.
Here are the steps to take if you want to start a home-based popcorn business:
1. Conduct Proper Market Research
Prior to venturing into the popcorn business, you need to do proper research in the market, customers, and competition. Research existing popcorn businesses and learn about their pricing, practices, as well as the quality of their products. You cannot afford to offer your customers poorer quality popcorn than your competitors if you wish to succeed in the busines. If you find the environment saturated, analyze your options.
Find a niche to focus on in the popcorn business. You should consider offering something different from what people are used to. It is also important to consider the packaging of your products. Getting wholesale popcorn boxes will probably be the most cost-effective option. Once you have done your research, zero in on those that will be your target customers.
Here are some of the people/places you should consider targeting:
- Hotels and Restaurants
- School Children
- Fairs or Religious Places
- People at Carnivals and Fairs
- Retail Outlets
- Local Stores
- Movie Halls, Shopping Malls, and Multiplexes
2. Write a Business Plan
It is still important to write a business plan even though you will be running a home-based business. It should be simple yet systematic. It should also outline some of the critical details such as the marketing strategy, funding source, objectives to achieve, and milestones. The business plan will help you forecast various unavoidable circumstances and hopefully find a solution before they happen.
3. Obtain Funds
Starting a popcorn business does not require a large amount of capital, but you still require some financial resources to run it effectively. The business has the potential to earn you massive profits. The equipment you buy will take up a significant share of the capital. You can choose from various sources of capital such as borrowing your family or friends or using your savings.
4. Get Legal Formalities Out of the Way
A popcorn business has to do with food, which is why you need to fulfil the legal formalities before you start. Contact the local authorities and get details of legal requirement. Ensure that your business is registered with the relevant legal authority and complete all necessary procedures. If you want, you can also buy insurance.
Give your popcorn business an attractive name. It will help in differentiating your product from the rest of the products in the marketplace. Having a unique brand name can be an effective way to attract a massive customer base.
6. Decide the Business Type
Once you are done with the aforementioned details, you need to decide which type of business you would like to start. One of those options is selling your popcorn online. To do that, create a website and start taking orders directly from your customers. The other option is to supply your products to local retail outlets and shops. It can be an excellent option as a beginner because it helps you build a massive customer base and helps you generate goodwill.
7. Gather the Raw materials
To get high-quality raw materials, you must first find good suppliers. Scour the Internet for information regarding raw materials used to make quality popcorn. Generate a list of suppliers of such products in your area. Analyze the cost and quality of their products and find the best one.
Here are the raw materials needed to start a popcorn business:
– Bags of Corn: Corn is obviously the main raw material, which is why you need to find the best suppliers for it. To ensure a high-quality end product, find suppliers that import top-quality corn from reputable suppliers in other countries.
– Sugar, Salt, and Butter: All these 3 ingredients are required to add taste to the popcorn. Find a reputable local supplier capable of supplying them in large volumes. First, do a price analysis by comparing it with other suppliers in your area. Stick with the supplier with affordable prices.
– Other Ingredients: You can make different types of popcorn by adding various colors, flavors, and spices. For instance, you can make caramel popcorn, cheesy, or aromatic popcorn. You should purchase ingredients for your popcorn but in lesser quality.
8. Settle on the Packaging
The packaging will play a critical role in distinguishing your product from that of your competitors. The popcorn boxes should have an attractive design to generate more sales. You can get in touch with a manufacturer to supply custom printed popcorn boxes. Buying the popcorn boxes wholesale can help you save a lot of money. Get your name and logo printed on them to ensure that your products are more recognizable.
9. Purchase Equipment
You need two types of equipment to start a popcorn business. The popcorn making machine is the first piece of equipment you need. The size of machine you need will depend on your requirements. You require a bigger machine if you want to be supplying popcorn to different locations. Purchase it from reputable suppliers and check its functionality before completing the purchase. The second piece of equipment you need is the sealing machine. It is important especially if you plan to sell packed popcorn. If you will be selling your popcorn in cardboard boxes, you don’t require the sealing machine.