1. Know your local health laws concerning raw juice.
The laws concerning raw juice vary greatly by region. For example, in the US, the FDA states that raw juice can be sold directly to consumers via retail or delivery, but not wholesale to third parties that are going to resell it. If you want to sell wholesale, you need to process the juice by either heat pasteurization or HPP. You can, however, make the juice in a central location and sell it through multiple store locations if your company owns both the production facility and the stores. This is still considered direct to consumer. (That is what the federal law says, but local / state laws may be different, and some are changing.)
Japan has the strictest laws I have seen. A business has to make raw juice at the same location it is sold. Compare this to countries like Australia and China where there is virtually no regulation on raw juice, and companies are free to wholesale as they wish. I expect some of the regions with the more relaxed laws will begin to shift towards stricter regulations in the near future as raw juice becomes more popular.
The easiest and best way to learn about health regulations is to contact your local health department.
2. Decide which business model you’re going to use.
There are 4 basic business models in a juice business: Delivery only, brick and mortar, wholesale, and combination. Each business model has its pros and cons. Decide which type of business you want to run, and get together the funding you need. Despite which business model you choose, it’s important to choose so you know where to spend your energy.
Pro tip: Start with delivery or a brick and mortar retail store, but aim for eventually offering the consumer several options for buying your product, also known as an omni-channel business.
3. Get the right equipment
Set yourself up for success. Invest in the right equipment for your business. It may be tempting to save money and buy cheap equipment, but you will lose out on labor costs and wasted produce, costing you more money in the end. Your juice equipment may be the most important investment you will make.
4. Have an expert on your team
If you’re getting into the juice industry for the first time, make sure you have someone on your team that is an expert. An expert can be someone that has managed a similar business to yours. It’s ok if it’s not exactly juice. If you’re starting a juice bar, you can hire a good restaurant / food and beverage manager. If you’re starting wholesale juice business, find someone with experience in managing a juice or other wholesale beverage business.
The fastest and easiest way to tap into the knowledge of a juice expert is to hire a consultant that can help you make a plan, develop recipes, and train your staff on equipment.
5. Know your numbers:
It may be tempting to throw every super-food known to man into every bottle, but unless you live in an area where people will pay $25 per bottle, a business isn’t sustainable that way. The cost of the ingredients that you put into every bottle should be no more than 25%-30% of the final price of the product. For more information, read my article on calculating food costs for cold pressed juice.
In addition to food cost, you need to manage your labor costs, packaging costs, and overhead to be in line with your sales.