Have you always dreamed of starting your very own vegan business, whether as a side hustle or a full-time gig? Here’s what you should know about starting a vegan business from home.
If you’re a passionate advocate for a plant-based lifestyle and have an entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps starting a vegan business is a thought never far from your mind. The embrace of veganism is only growing, after all.
For instance, between 2014 and 2017, there was a 600% increase in people who identified as vegan in the United States. In addition, according to Allied Market Research, the vegan food market is expected to reach $31.4 billion by 2026. Veganism is a trend that’s not slowing down — especially now, in an era when a virus of animal-origin has gripped the world.
It’s clear that opportunity is ripe for new vegan business ideas, and the need is certainly there. But is now, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, really the right time to start a new vegan business?
It might, in fact, be the perfect time.
Because of COVID-19, thousands of small businesses are struggling to stay afloat or have been forced to permanently close, but entrepreneurs are still launching new business ventures, albeit at a slower pace.
Your own home is the optimal venue to start a vegan business. With most countries currently in various stages of lockdown or slow reopenings, there exists a degree of uncertainty in launching a new physical venture that relies on foot traffic.
Starting a vegan business from home allows you to capitalise on the growing vegan momentum while having a flexible, low-risk space to test your ideas.
Why start a home-based vegan business?
For many, starting a vegan business lies right at the intersection of passion and purpose. What better way to live out your values (and make a living doing so) than to start a mission-driven vegan business? Better yet if you can do it from the comfort of your home.
The steady growth of veganism and increased demand for food, products, services, and experiences that are vegan and cruelty-free are far from the only reasons to start a vegan business venture.
Recent surveys have shown that most people want to continue to work from home post-pandemic, and if you’re among that majority, taking the leap on your home-based vegan business will help make that a reality.
A smaller investment
Often, opening a new business can mean tons of overhead costs, such as rental space, office supplies, and property taxes, to name just a few. On the other hand, operating a business from home can save you money in the long run. When your home and your work are the same place, you have the ability to deduct some of your home office expenses come tax time.
Starting a home-based vegan business is ideal for its built-in flexibility. Instead of worrying about time lost to commuting and the increased risks that come with freestanding businesses, running your business from home puts more control and time into your hands. You can start small and decide to scale down or up depending on your business’ progress and your preferences.
Further the movement
Launching a vegan business of any kind is a solid way to further the vegan movement, as it can bring wider awareness to issues like animal cruelty, climate change, and the health benefits of a plant-based diet. You can show off your compassion-centred values in your work and even decide to give a portion of profits back into meaningful charities or animal sanctuaries.
Things to consider before launching
These days, it’s relatively easy to start a business without heaps of funding or years of education, but you’ll still want to take the time to set your vegan business up for success with some initial planning and research.
Choosing the perfect idea
You know you want to start some sort of vegan business from home, but still aren’t totally sure where to start? Think about the skills you already have and what you’re willing to learn to bring your vision to life. What can you do from your home computer or laptop? Consider starting a blog, a podcast, online courses, a consulting agency, becoming a virtual assistant, or creating a new vegan app or platform — all ideas that are work-from-home friendly.
The Minimalist Vegan also has a great list of vegan business ideas to help get the gears turning.
Before you get started, it’s wise to conduct market research to set up a strong foundation for your business. Look into competitors, assess the demand for your potential product or service, or even run a few polls on social media to see what idea could be the most well-received. Determine how you’ll set yourself apart from competitors with a strong unique value proposition (UVP).
Make a plan
Creating a detailed business plan can make it easier to get organised, allowing you to identify possible challenges before you start and helping you get outside financing if needed. Get clear on both your short and long-term goals, right off the bat. These goals may change, but knowing your “why” for starting a vegan business before launching will be your guiding light in the face of potential roadblocks.
You’ll want to decide up front whether or not you’re going to use the word “vegan” in your business. Using the word might feel like a necessity, but whether or not it’s a good idea actually depends on your target audience and the type of business you’re running, as vegan business expert Katrina Fox explains.
Vegan Business Resources
Resources for would-be vegan entrepreneurs are in no short supply. This list is a good place to start:
- Check out Vegan Business Media, which offers free resources, a podcast, and a book all about building ethical businesses to help you get started.
- Learn from Vegan Mainstream, the ultimate source for transformative ethical coaching and online courses to aid you at any point in your vegan business journey.
- Become a member of Plant-Based Entrepreneurs to learn more about the vegan business market and access learning materials to help grow your business.
- Join vegan and plant-based Facebook groups to network with other entrepreneurs within the niche.
- Read VEGPRENEUR’s blog for insightful interviews with plant-based entrepreneurs.
- Seek grant funding for your vegan business from VegFund, an organisation committed to empowering vegan advocates and building a healthier world.
- For the ultimate “how-to” on launching an alt-protein startup, browse The Good Food Institute’s exhaustive resource page for entrepreneurs.
- Check out The Vegan Society’s helpful list of vegan business and innovation stats for inspiration and to guide your research.
Whatever your home-based vegan business looks like, know that your efforts will be contributing to making the world a more ethical, compassionate place.