I tried venturing into F&B 4 years ago. My product was my own range of ice cream (I was bored of the flavours available in the market).
Personally, my major concern was in validation and sales.
Would there be a market for my product? Does anyone else like my ice cream too? Will it sell?
Although a personal relocation overseas forced me to abandon the business, we did get validation in terms of market demand, and I was grateful to have clients who were interested in what we had to offer.
At the end of the day, validation, sales and demand makes the wheel turn. Especially in F&B where there is a risk of stock turning bad or with an expiry date.
- Put a few assumptions in place (i.e.; Belacan Melaka has a market in Penang? etc).
- Test it with your target market at the lowest cost to you (i.e.; try selling a small sample and get feedback, online pre-book)
- Evaluate results (Worth venturing? What needs to be improved to increase demand?)
- Only proceed if the answer is a BIG yes. If it is still on the fence, try different marketing approaches and repeat.
- DO NOT invest in raw materials or equipment, unless you can afford to let it all go bad and lose it.
- While important, food handling license is cheap to apply and get, but might not be a priority in your testing phase.
- Be careful not to get into the trap of putting "useless validation" to test the market to make yourself or your team feel better. Everyone needs to be painfully honest when it comes to evaluating demand (Does the area really need another burger business?). Having some family and friends support initial launch is nice, but does not spell long term demand.
Hope it answers your questions!