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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Start a Menu Planning Service

Start a Menu Planning Business from Home  

What you will be doing.  Mealtime can be stressful for the cook in the family.  On a daily basis, you run to the grocery store and spend thirty minutes trying to find something to fix for dinner.  Not only is it time consuming, it is also expensive.   

A menu planning service takes the guesswork out of family meals.  With comprehensive shopping lists, recipes, and organizational tips, dinner and even breakfast and lunch can be fast and easy.  People who want to eat a healthier diet also benefit from menu planning services that let them know exactly what ingredients to use. 

How to start.  Learn all you can about the science of food preparation and nutrition.  You don’t need to be a registered dietician or a nutritionist, but you do need to know about cooking.  You will be offering menus for different categories of meals. 

Create a short questionnaire that asks about meals.  Give it out to family and friends.  This will give you an idea of their frustrations about meal planning, preparation, and the foods they eat.   

Now, you are ready to create your menus.  Decide what type of menus to offer with your menu planning service.  For those that use your service, you will provide new menus each month for them to use. 

Starting costs.  You will need a website for your business.  With a website, the menus are accessible to people in every corner of the world.  Website building, hosting, and domain name registration costs between $100 and $200. 

The home office is where you will talk to clients in person and over the telephone.  The office needs a computer with Internet access and a software package, printer, fax machine, telephone with headset, and a copier.  Cookbooks, nutrition texts, and food information will also be needed in your home office.  Along with advertising, count on spending $2,000 to $3,000.  However, you may already have the bulk of the equipment you need, such as computer and internet access. 

Skills needed.  Attention to detail is important.  Customers want to simplify the process of making meals so you must think along this vein as well.  Continually educate yourself about food preparation, food science, and new recipes. 

Marketing.  Talk to family and friends.  Try out the sample menus on them.  Give them a shopping list and see how it works.  They will be your test market group.  Take any suggestions they have for improving your menus. 

Advertise in food magazines, bulletin boards, daycare centers, and the telephone directory.  You can perform demonstrations on video and advertise on YouTube.  Post food articles on content websites and provide links to your website. 

Meal planning is something all families have to deal with.  Planning ahead can save time and money.  Also, families can enjoy new and exciting meals each week with your service.

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