Apart from the many thousands of opportunities that there are out there to set up an online business of some kind, a food business is one of the most popular types of company for regular people to start up and run from home. One of the main reasons for this is that there is a huge range of different things that you can do, from baking cookies or cakes to drawing up diet plans and delivering healthy meals to customers doors, and most of them do not require a large amount of specialist equipment or any other substantial costs if you are willing to start small and use your own home kitchen. In fact, then main requirement to set up a business like this is that you need to love food, to be passionate about food, and to be able to make food that other people will love as much as you. As long as that is the case then you stand an excellent chance of being able to successfully start a food business from home.
Things You Will NeedThe main thing that you need before you start is an extensive set of research about what you are going to do. This means researching the competition in your area, researching what people actually want and are willing to pay, and also - if you are using a regular home kitchen - carefully researching exactly how much you can do from your kitchen and hence exactly what orders you will be able to take on. There is nothing worse for the reputation of your business than taking orders which you cannot fulfill.
You also need to have a very clear set of costings which include everything. That doesn't just mean the ingredients and your time. If you are working from home then you also have to look at how much your bills are going to go up from having an oven on all day, if you are delivering food then you need to be sure that you have accurately taken this into account, and so on.
The above guide is obvious a very general one looking at all kinds of food business, but there is such a wide range of different things which you can do that I would definitely recommend you have a look for some more specific guides. If you still don't know what type of food business that you want to start then here are some ideas:
Food Delivery - Hot Meals
Food Delivery - Speciality Ingredients and Treats
Food Delivery - Gourmet or Niche Meals
Home Bakery - Cookies and Treats
Home Bakery - Cakes - for parties or occassions (weddings, birthdays etc)
Catering - For Events
Personal Chef - Meals cooked in customers own home
Tips & WarningsJust because you and your family love something, doesn't mean everyone will. You may have slightly different tastes. It is a good idea to make a few different versions of your products, and then test them out with as many people as possible, asking them to pick out their favorite version. You may find that a small tweak, perhaps a bit less salt here, and bit more sugar there, will help your food to appeal to a broader range of people.
Put a plan in place for growth. You can certainly start out from home, but there are definitely limitations to how much work you will be able to take on. If you have a clear picture of what you will do when you outgrow your home kitchen before it happens then you can be sure you will not miss opportunities when they present themselves.