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Chocolate Business Idea

If you love chocolate and have ever wondered how to start a chocolate business, take heart. You won’t have to work too hard to find customers who are interested in your product. There are millions and millions of chocolate lovers and many of them live near you.

Chocolate consumption is now higher than ever. While there have been studies about the negative side effects of eating chocolate, more recent studies have shown that chocolate has some wonderful health benefits, including mood enhancement, storehouses of enzymes, and antioxidant and anti-depressant properties. Chocolate in moderation has been shown to be good for people.

How To Start A Chocolate Business

There are two ways to start a chocolate business. You can start your own store, either making your own selections, buying directly from chocolate makers, or using a combination of both. You may choose to franchise instead, which gives you an instant product inventory.

Franchising offers the advantages of selling a well-known brand, training programs, and help in starting the business. It’s meant to be a win-win situation for both parties.

Many companies will assist you in financing your business initially. Others will help you to source funds through loans or third parties. This process becomes easier if you can get an established name backing you. Apart from training, you will have a contact person at hand to guide you as you learn to conduct business. You will be trained not only to create name brand candies, but will also be given the knowledge and training about all facets of the business operation.

The downside of being a franchisee is that you must adhere to the rules, regulations, and business model of the parent franchise. When first learning how to start a chocolate business, this training can be invaluable. As time goes by and you gain expertise, however, you may decide to look at the option of branching out on your own.

Starting your own chocolate business from scratch is more difficult than franchising, but the advantage is complete decision-making freedom. If you have experience in retail sales and chocolate product manufacturing, striking out on your own may be a more attractive option than franchising.

Finding funding will be an important step as you learn how to start a chocolate business. Contact the Small Business Administration about help through loans and support programs. They can also assist you with writing a business plan. A business plan not only assists you when searching for loans, but it gives you a business road map to follow.

If you start out by working from home, you need to set aside a “workshop” where you can create, display, and sell your products. Be sure to check with the local zoning board first, to see if it is legal for you to have a home business. If not, many communities will give variances to home businesses. In addition, because you are working with food, you may need a food handling license, along with the required business license.

If you open your own retail outlet, be sure to locate near an area that is already heavily shopped, such as a strip mall. A window display area will be essential because much of your sales will come from impulse buying. The natural reaction to chocolate is that when people see it, they want it.

How to be Successful

Advertising will be essential, particularly as you first open. A well-advertised Grand Opening will bring many people in your store. Attractive packaging and store displays are particularly important for a chocolate shop. The most important element of success for any chocolate store, however, is the quality of the product.
Customer service will be another key to success. Every staff member should be a customer service expert.

Expanding Your Chocolate Business

Whether you work from home or out of a retail shop, there is room for expansion once you have achieved some success. Below are some ideas:

  • Speak with pastry shop or a bakery owners to inquire about selling your chocolates at their locations.
  • The chocolate gift business is a huge market, both for consumers and as corporate gifts.
  • Meet with local gift basket business owners about supplying them with chocolate for their baskets.

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