Start a takeaway - a practical guide

As one of our most popular articles we have updated this for 2017.

Takeaways are amongst the fastest growing businesses on the British High Street. The outlets have always been a popular fixture, but [research from Simply Business][1] found that takeaways are continuing to spring up at a remarkable rate.

Are you thinking about joining the pack? We’ve compiled some top tips to help you get started.

1. Build your business plan

Your business plan is amongst the most important documents required by your new venture. A well constructed plan will help to keep your business on the straight and narrow, will help you to judge performance, and will help you sell yourself to potential lenders and investors. Read more about writing a business plan.

2. Think about franchising

Franchising can offer a simplified entry to the takeaway market, and can offer you the benefits of an existing corporate structure, stock management, and brand recognition. You might want to consider franchising as a route to self-employment – but you should remember that it is not always the right option.

3. Look for premises

Finding the right premises is particularly important for a takeaway business, relying as it does on walk-in trade. Consider walking around the relevant area to see if there are any obvious empty properties that may be suitable. You might also choose to contact a commercial property agent to help you find the right space – but make sure that you seek legal advice before taking on a lease.

4. Find finance

Starting a business requires an initial cash injection, and finding this funding is one of your most pressing concerns. Some entrepreneurs use personal savings to fund their startup, while others borrow from friends and family. Others still go to the bank. Meanwhile new, so-called ‘alternative’ methods have provided a new potential route to finance.

5. Learn the law

Takeaways need to comply with a range of important legal requirements, including those stipulated by health and safety legislation. You can check your health and safety responsibilities on the Health and Safety Executive site.

6. Get stocked

Stock is a vital consideration for your takeaway business, and will constitute a significant portion of your outgoings. It is important that you negotiate the best possible deal. If you purchase a franchise, you may be obliged to buy stock direct from the franchisor. Otherwise, try searching through one of the UK’s many wholesale directories to give you leads on possible suppliers. Stock management will also be key in a business that deals in perishable goods. Make sure that you have an efficient process for managing and rotating products to ensure minimum wastage.

7. Reach your customers

Finally, don’t forget that marketing is a vital activity in businesses of every type. Takeaways need to compete increasingly vigorously to secure the trade they need in order to survive. Read our Marketing section for some simple tips.

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