Like any other business, kicking off a juice start-up is intimidating because of the initial setup costs and risk. However, a great way to reduce both factors is to start a juice business from home.
Here are the steps you can follow to start a juice business from home:
This article will discuss each step in detail and look at some of the challenges of selling juice from home. So, let’s get into it!
The juice business is competitive, so you’ll need a specific niche to focus on. It could be milkshakes, organic recipes, healthy smoothies, or a careful mix of these options. Having a niche to focus on helps you develop proper branding, select menu items, and find ingredient suppliers.
Market research is amongst the first few steps of starting any business. You need to research two main areas:
You need to know how many other juice businesses exist in your area, their pricing, popular products, and quality standards. This tells you how good and cheap your juices need to be to thrive in the market. To develop an optimal pricing structure, you should also know your potential customers well, such as the average income of the people in your area.
The next step is to produce a business plan with the information from the above research. It should include short- and long-term cost, revenue, and profit projections. Ideally, it should also have a complete analysis of competitors, potential buyers, and suppliers.
Your business plan can answer questions like how you plan on getting your product to the consumers, i.e., delivery or pickup options.
It’s essential to comply with your health department regulations before you start selling — or even producing juice — as a home-based business. These regulations can vary depending on where you live.
So, remember to schedule a meeting with them and learn everything you need to know and implement to maximize product safety.
Now it’s time to work on your branding! Good branding plays a critical role for a home-based juice business since it’s everything a customer relies on when placing an order.
There’s no physical store to look at or a manager to go to, so the only thing that’ll make them feel secure about their purchase decision is your branding.
It all starts with your name and logo. We’d recommend keeping both of these simple, clear, and catchy! Ideally, they should be related to your niche and offerings to make them easy to remember.
Your branding also relies on the quality of your packaging and bottling. Again, since there’s no store, staff, or managers to interact with, the only thing your customers see is the product itself — so it’s essential to make sure it comes in top-notch packaging.
We’d suggest trying out different bottling or packaging options until you find something you’re genuinely proud of.
With all of that sorted, you can start thinking about your marketing strategy. To reach much larger audiences, you need to have an online presence and a sound digital marketing strategy (more on this in step number 8).
Branding is more than just the visual aspects of your business – it’s also the tone of voice (the ‘personality’ of your business). This is reflected in your marketing material like your social media, website copy, and other communication with your customers. We work with juice bar startups to define their branding and create the assets they need (like a logo, website, copywriting, etc). Reach out to us today to see how we can help.
If you think running a juice business from home lets you get away with using your regular blender, that’s not the case. Instead, you need a juicer that can handle large production loads — i.e., commercial blenders. Cutting corners here will only lead to higher repairs, maintenance, and replacement costs in the long run.
You’ll also need a portion scale (if you don’t have one at home) to precisely measure your recipe ingredients. Secondary equipment involves containers, sharp knives, and cutting boards, but you probably have those lying around in your kitchen already.
Note: US food regulations require businesses only to use foodservice equipment that’s NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified. You can check if a particular product is NSF certified by using their certification search page.
This is where it gets exciting — coming up with your very own menu! If you’re genuinely passionate about making juices, you probably already have a couple of superhit recipes.
These are typically the favorites of your very first customers — i.e., your friends and family! So, start by coming up with a catchy name for these as your first few menu items.
Look at what already works in the market as you try to fill out the rest of your menu. This is where your research comes into play! We recommend sticking to no more than 7-8 recipes initially to keep raw material sourcing manageable.
We help our client develop their entire menu to ensure that it is not only full of delicious juices, smoothies, and meals but is also profitable.
One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make in the juice industry is not looking at their costs, developing an efficient menu, and setting prices accordingly.
It’s no good if you create a delicious juice, but you’re actually losing money on it because the ingredients are so expensive and you’ve priced it quite low.
We ensure that your menu will make you money, and an extra advantage of our service is that we can offer insight on how to find the best suppliers to source your ingredients.
If you’ve completed all of the above steps, your home-based juice business is now order-ready. But where will those orders come from?
Again, a smaller-scale idea would be to go door to door and hand out marketing pamphlets with your branding and contact number. That way, local customers within a certain radius of your business can order juices and pick them up or get them delivered.
But, a larger-scale approach would be to set up and launch your online juice store through a platform like Shopify.
Besides your own website, your home-run juice bar business should also have active social media pages on Instagram and Facebook to reach much bigger audiences. It allows you to effectively market your business digitally through these massive platforms and lets more potential customers interact and place orders with your business.
You could even get a professional photographer to take high-quality shots of your main menu items. This little investment can yield a significant ROI through the positive effect it has on your online presence and brand image.
To know more about the pros and cons of having online juice delivery for your juice business, listen to this podcast episode hosted by Andrew McFarlane — founder of the Start A Juice Bar Agency and multiple juice bars.
The last and final step, sell your juice! Hopefully, you’ll start getting orders via phone calls or online bookings with the right marketing.
At this point, you can decide whether you follow a pickup-only model or offer delivery. How big of a radius will you accept orders from if you offer delivery? Mention this info on your website or marketing handouts to let customers know how they can get their hands on your product.
Starting a juice business from home sounds like a great idea to minimize startup costs and avoid significant risks, but unfortunately, it too has its problems.
The food industry has a unique problem; limited shelf life. As soon as you prepare a new batch of juice, its timer starts ticking, and it’ll inevitably go bad if you store it for too long. This means you can’t pre-produce too much juice no matter how cost- or time-efficient that is.
What makes matters worse is that the juice business is naturally high-volume but low-margin. That means the per-unit profit won’t be too high, and you’ll need to produce and sell a high volume of products to make up for it. Paired with limited shelf life, this becomes even more of a problem.
The vendors and wholesalers you work with will have minimum order requirements. For example, you can’t buy just 5 pounds of apples to cover your next batch of orders; it has to be a carton that might come with at least 40 pounds of apples. As you can imagine, a small home-run business might not be able to afford these orders regularly.
All of the above parameters are difficult for home-based juice businesses. You can’t store large production batches safely, but you can’t sell at a small scale either since the nature of the business rewards higher volumes.
Moreover, you need significant liquidity to buy raw materials in bulk which you might not have as a small home-run juice business.
So should you simply trash this idea of running a juice business from home? Of course not. We’ve got the perfect solution for you: juice cleanse programs!
When potential customers plan a cleanse, they commit to drinking juices for a week or two. You can get them to make an upfront financial commitment to sign up for regular deliveries starting from a specific advertised date through your subscription-based cleanse program.
Start marketing a few weeks beforehand to get as many people as you can onboard. This way, you obtain liquidity through pre-selling 7 to 14 days’ worth of juice to a much larger audience. In addition, it allows you to pay for bulk orders of raw materials and produce and shell out juices in higher volumes throughout the cleanse program.
You can also up-sell coaching services to customers — or ‘subscribers’. This way, people won’t just be paying for the juice but an entire well-rounded experience.
As a bonus advantage, this isn’t something that established juice companies with physical storefronts offer, giving customers a special reason to choose you over them.
While it isn’t ideal for a juice business to operate from home, some people are genuinely stuck in a situation with no risk tolerance. So, if that sounds like you, feel free to apply for our new 2-month mentorship program. It’s designed to walk you through each step you need to take to get your home-based juice business off the ground and flourishing. We’re only taking in a handful of people on this journey, so be quick to apply!
If you’re still reading, you’re probably serious about this. Thankfully, you’re in the right place.
Trying to take all of this on by yourself is a lot of work. To make it a faster, more effective process where you know you are minimizing the risk of mistakes and wasting your capital on the wrong elements, let an expert help.
Our company has been created to help juice bar startups (like you) to develop their business. We can work with you to create your business plan, menu, branding, website, and marketing — anything you need, we’re happy to help! Please reach out to us below.