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How to Start a Spices Business

We've collected some good advice that is perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs who plan on opening a spices business. Read this article before you begin your venture.

Thinking about opening a spices business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.

Spices Business

The Modern Spice Trade

The spice trade isn't a new phenomenon. For centuries, spice dealers from Asia and other regions sold spices to faraway consumers eager to integrate exotic flavors into their regional dishes.

Although the basic premise is the same, the modern spice trade has come a long way from its roots. Today, spice entrepreneurs carry an exhaustive catalog of spices, selling them to wholesale and retail spice customers around the world. But instead of transporting large shiploads of spices, modern spice entrepreneurs leverage the power of the Internet to peddle their products to remote buyers.

Spice industry entrepreneurs need to familiarize themselves with both the wholesale and retail spice marketplace, and secure supply relationships with manufacturers or distributors of spices from various global locales. Food safety is currently a hot topic in the spice industry, so you'll need to make sure your spices meet FDA and customs requirements.

How to Increase Revenue as a Spice Entrepreneur

Higher revenues won't necessarily solve all of your spice business's problems. But it never hurts to find cost-effective ways to bring more cash into the company. Here are a few tips to help maximize revenue in a fledgling spice operation.

  • Expand Your Product Line. The easiest way to expand a spice business is to expand your product line. A lot of spice businesses carry basics like peppers, cloves, cumin, etc. But by increasing your line to include hard-to-find spices like ground galangal, nigella seeds, green cardamom and other items, you can attract a different layer of customers to your business and generate additional revenue from your existing customer base.
  • Internet Marketing. Since spices are easy to ship to remote locations, you can potentially increase revenues with an aggressive online marketing campaign. If you lack direct experience in Internet marketing, consider hiring a professional marketing firm with a track record of successful online marketing projects in their portfolio.
  • PR & Thought Leadership. Public relations can be a low-cost way to stir up new business for a spice company. In case you haven't noticed, everyone seems to be a foodie these days. Take advantage of the food trend by using PR strategies to position yourself as the authority on spices in the regional marketplace.

Successful Business Plans for Spices Businesses

If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.

Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, your spices company's business plan is a document that will shape your goals and strategies on a go-forward basis.

Furthermore, a good business plan will help you avoid key startup mistakes. If your business plan includes accurate industry metrics and conservative forecasts, your business will be less vulnerable to market fluctuations and catastrophic surprises.

Check Out the Competition

Long before you open a spices business in your town, it's worthwhile to determine what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors nearby. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of spices businesses in your area.

If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.

Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor

If you are interested in starting a spices business, it's a smart move to learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby spices businesses will give you advice, think again. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.

But, a person who owns a spices business in another town will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.

How do you find an owner of a spices business outside of your area who is willing to talk?

Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.

Acquisitions vs. Startups

To become a spices business owner, you'll either need to buy an existing business or start one from scratch.

Unless you have compelling reasons to launch a new business, buying an existing spices business may be the better choice.

Established spices businesses are already equipped with the resources and processes new business owners struggle to acquire. The key is to locate a business-for-sale that closely matches your ownership philosophy and professional objectives.

Consider Franchising

As an entrepreneur, your chances making a success of your new business are substantially improved if you purchase a franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.

Prior to starting a spices business, you would be wise to determine whether purchasing a franchise might increase your chances of success.

The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.

Related Articles on Starting a Company

These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.

Business Idea Evaluation

Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

How to Find Start-Up Capital

Conversation Board

What haven't we covered regarding starting a spices business? This site for small business owners and entrepreneurs greatly appreciates your feedback.

Sujit Paul 3/11/2011

I want to start spices business in kolkata. How do I get started?

Ken Gaebler 3/12/2011

Well, first you need to understand your competition and look for opportunities to differentiate your spice shop. Is there some aspect of the market that is not being addressed that you can address? For example, are there some rare spices that you can get access to that others are not selling? Are other spice vendors too expensive, such that you can offer lower prices but still make a good profit? Could you do something interesting like offer cooking lessons and at the same time sell your spices? Would it be differentiating if you sold door-to-door, instead of opening a spice shop? Can you create spice clubs that allow local neighborhoods to buy in bulk and cut their costs but still give you a profit? Think in this fashion, and try to come up with a concept that will work. Then test it. The best way to test the idea is to talk to potential customers and ask them: if I offered this, would you buy it? Good luck.

rahul 3/17/2011

I want to start spices business. How is it? Should I go for packaging or go for direct trading? Also trading in which spices can make good profit? Please suggest.

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Already Own a Spices Business?

If you currently own a spices business, try these useful resources:

Marketing a Spices Business

Selling a Spices Business

Do You Sell to Spices Businesses?

If you came here to learn about selling to spices businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:

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