How to Start a BBQ Sauce Business
You may have several reasons why your would be looking to start your own BBQ sauce business. You have an entrepreneur spirit or a barbecue sauce recipe that is so good everyone is telling you that you should bottle it. A BBQ, or barbecue, sauce business can be a profitable venture for the entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity or to capitalize on a winning recipe. You can sell your sauce in grocery stores, restaurants or online. Take a few steps to plan, develop and execute your plan to create your own BBQ sauce business.
Decide if you are going to develop the sauce in your home or a separate brick and mortar location. A brick and mortar location for your BBQ sauce business offers more credibility and professionalism to your business, especially if you have the funds to mass produce and bottle your sauce in your own factory. If looking to save on costs, build your business out of your home.
Develop your business plan. Research your competitors and determine how your BBQ sauce differs from theirs. Calculate how much start-up money will be needed to start and operate the business until it is able to make a profit. Come up with a name and logo design for the company and packaging for the BBQ sauce. Plan out your marketing plan and objectives; who is your target audience (i.e. BBQ restaurants), how you will advertise and the advertising budget.
Perfect and document your recipe. If you don't already have a recipe, hire someone to develop the sauce for you. Since the sauce will be your only product, and the driving force for the success of your business, put much thought and time to make a sauce that stands out from your competitors and will entice others to purchase. Document the specifications and nutritional information to be put on the labels for the BBQ sauce; this is a requirement from the Food & Drug Administration.
Apply for funding. Use your business plan to obtain a business loan from a bank or other financial institution. Your credit score and history will be taken into account for applying for a loan for a new business. You can also get private investors for your business. Sell them on your sauce by providing a sample for them to taste. You may also want to supply samples of your competitors' sauce just to prove to investors why yours standout. Even if they believe in your sauce recipe, you will still need a thorough and viable business plan to prove to them that you understand and know how to run a profitable business.
Complete the legal requirements for the business. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS website and a business license from your state office. Depending on your state you may have to register a fictitious name and the business with the Secretary of State department.
Research suppliers to find one that meets your budget and supplies needs. You will need the ingredients for the sauce, bottles to package them in and a printer that will print the labels for you. Design the labels yourself or hire a design company to do it for you. Supply the printer with the label template in the format that they need to print the labels for you. You will also need shipping material no matter if you plan to sale the sauce online or ship the bottles to distributors. For separate brick and mortar storefronts, you will need other materials such as shelving, cash registers, counters and equipment to prepare and bottle the sauce.
Contact distributors (grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) about carrying your product. Restaurants may require taste tests before agreeing to buy from you so take samples with you when making your sales pitch. If selling online, create the website for your customers can order your sauce online.