It is kind of like the planets aligning. These five principles need to come together, in succession to be successful in selling hot sauce. Each one is of the same value in importance and needs to be adhered to equally.
The five things you need to start a hot sauce business are 1) hot sauce, 2) Financing to make more hot sauce, 3) Means by which to sell, 4) Manner to market the product, and 5) Finding customers. The hot sauce industry is one of the easiest markets to enter right now and if you follow these 5 principles you will be successful.
1. Recipe / Product
There are a thousand great hot sauce recipes out there to be used in making and selling your first hot sauce. Did you know…a recipe does not have a copyright? It’s the process that may have a trade secret that protects how it is made.
Once you have a great recipe that you have shared with friends and family (who hopefully love it) then it is time to make another one. ALL successful hot sauce companies have several related products that they sell.
Once you have a great recipe…tweak it a little bit by using different hot peppers, additional ingredients, or a slight variation in the process. It is also very easy to reduce the heat level of a hot sauce by replacing a certain amount of hot peppers with sweet peppers. Get 50 great Hot Sauce Recipes in one ebook through this link!
Making small batches of experimental hot sauce creations can be very inexpensive but increasing the quantities to mass-produce sauce will take additional expenses. Made-to-order sauces are a way to avoid some of these expenses but it is not the most common way to enter the business.
It is going to take some money upfront to make hot sauce or to pay someone to make it for you. Getting a physical product on store shelves and in front of customers is one of the most important ways to make a sale.
Once a business has begun much time will be spent on marketing and selling your hot sauce so there won’t be much time for YOU to make the sauce. This is where you need to make the decision to either make or buy. Hiring a company to produce and package your hot sauce is called co-packing. It is what many successful entrepreneurs do to enter into the hot sauce business.
Budgeting your money and spending it on what you REALLY need to kick off a hot sauce company is important. What you REALLY need is a physical product…hot sauce. There are other expenses but in the beginning, the bulk of the expenses will be producing the hot sauce.
Don’t wait for people to come to you with an order for YOUR hot sauce. Make great sauce and put it in front of the people who want it! There is a huge demand for artisan and gourmet hot sauces. You just have to find them. Word of mouth is a valuable marketing tool. Here are a few ways to finance the start-up of your hot sauce operations.
All small business start-up needs some sort of investment. The great thing about the hot sauce business is that the investment is very small compared to other start-up businesses. A small amount of your weekly or monthly savings can be used toward the purchase of equipment, supplies.
It is always difficult to put money into something if you don’t see it coming out. If you have a great hot sauce…you will be successful! There is a demand for it and many ways to reach the consumer.
There are many credit card offers available and many can be easy to obtain even if you have bad credit, little credit, or no credit. This is instant access to money when you need it but your first credit card offer will often be a low limit. The downfall would be the high-interest rate.
Banks and lenders provide money all the time for small businesses’ start-up costs. They will usually require a Business Plan that lays out exactly how the money will be used toward the business. The interest rate on a loan from a bank will usually be much lower than a credit card.
A personal loan from a family member may not have any interest attached but there may be personal implications if it is not paid back per the terms. Some banks and lenders will offer personal loans but it is usually through an establishment you have done business with in the past.
3. Avenue to sell
Selling a hot sauce product has never been easier than setting up a website. Professional-looking online stores can be set up for just a few dollars a month. Make sure you thoroughly research the shipping costs as you are setting up your storefront.
You don’t need your own personal store or shop rented out to sell hot sauce. Convenience stores, small store chains, and even gas station stores are making the hot sauce more available to the general public. Many stores have a “local” section featuring products from the region. This may take some work getting your product on store shelves but it will get it in front of 1,000’s of people a day with you bringing them there.
Owning a website is the quickest and least expensive avenue to set up a storefront and sell your hot sauce. Sites on Shopify and Woocommerce can be set up in less than a day and can cost under $5.00 a month. Many will offer opportunities to increase traffic and get your product in front of an audience.
4. Marketing the product
Marketing the hot sauce is just as important as making the product. This is where get the brand name and logo in front of “eyeballs” and is separate from selling the sauce. You have to know what type of hot sauce you have and WHO may be buying it.
Hot sauce demographics indicate thrill-seeking males between the ages of 18 and 44 are most likely to purchase and try a new hot sauce product. Having a visually catchy logo and remember brand name is a great start to a marketing campaign.
Trends like labeling a hot sauce as being low sodium, vegan, or gluten-free are also methods of marketing a product to a consumer who would not otherwise enjoy it. Product labeling for hot sauce has become extravagant and whimsical to attract the consumer.
5. Traffic / customers / consumers
Getting traffic to your store, getting your product in front of customers, or your marketing campaign in front of consumers will sell your hot sauce. Don’t make 1,000 cases of hot sauce before a single sale is made.
However, you need to find a middle ground to determine the amount of sauce, to begin with. How many people come through the store that your hot sauce is in? How much traffic comes through the website that you sell your sauce through.