Online Fruit and Vegetable Business: How to Start an Online Fruit and Vegetable Business

Some fruits and vegetables are only found at certain periods of the year because they are seasonal. This dictates which fruits you can offer your clients at certain periods. Luckily there are a large verity of fruits and vegetables to choose from.
You will find lots of food delivery services online making good money. The major challenges are logistics and location. Despite the huge interest in this sector many entrepreneurs are hesitant due largely to several factors.
However, the business model is simple just build a website, add images of fruits and vegetables and take orders. Once a customer places an order through your payment channel you deliver the fresh fruits at their door step.
Selling perishable goods is very difficult because it requires heavy transportation costs and logistics. The most critical factor in online fruit and vegetable deliver service are manpower costs and logistics.
Here are a few ideas on how to launch your profitable online fruits and vegetable delivery service.
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Define your Target Area
Although the web has world wide audience and customer bases it is ridiculous catering to an international market. This problem is not insurmountable however it’s better to target a localized area.  Focusing on an international market means lots of shipping costs, handling cost and time constraints.
While, targeting your local market makes for effective delivery and efficiency. Focus on a particular niche market and offer quality fast delivery service.
Use the same business formula local stores target their immediate market.  Business is all about solving people’s problems and identifying a niche market. Identify an area that needs your services and you will smile to the bank.
Build your Website
Building the website is the easiest part of the business. To build your website you can either do it yourself or hire a professional website designer.
Your website needs to look very professional and presentable to attract customers. There are many platforms to build a website or blog. You can use either free host plan or paid host plan.
Try to get a domain name and a paid host plan to show more professionalism. Although there is nothing wrong in using a free host and a sub domain name.
On your website highlight the types of fruits and vegetables you deliver. Show attractive photographs of the fruits and vegetable and add a detailed description.
Indicate the geographical location and area you service. You can include a price chart including delivery and service charge for the customer to know exactly how much to pay.
Make It Mobile Friendly
There is a fair chance that sixty percent of your customers will order via their mobile phones. Not every website is mobile friendly making it difficult to navigate and place orders. Make your website easily accessible to customers in your demography by making the site mobile compliant.
Create a Mobile APP
Creating a mobile APP for your business is very important. Mobile APPs are easy to use and allows a customer place orders. Offer the APP on your website for free download to your customers. Using this method can exponentially increase your customers and orders.
Payment Option
Add a payment system or contact information for faster delivery. There are many payment options you can use to collect money.
Some of the popular methods are PayPal and credit/debit card payment. Most countries have local payment options specially designed for local businesses. Find one that works fast and seamlessly for less down time and quicker respond.
You can integrate direct bank transfer or cash deposit if you are comfortable with this method.
Customize your Services
Local preferences dictate the kind of service you offer your customers. Customize them accordingly by doing through research and implementation. The same idea works for any type of fruits and vegetables you deliver.
Mode of Delivery
You need an efficient mode of delivery for swift delivery and low down time. You can use a dedicated delivery bus, car or motorcycle.
The most effective method is using a motorcycle. This is because it is faster, small and more agile through traffic. Build a food carriage at the back of the motorcycle and hire riders.
Another advantage of using this delivery method is lower fuel costs. A motorcycle with a full tank is more cost efficient than a bus or car. If you choose to use a bus purchase one that use diesel.
Staff
The business structure dictates your staff strength. If you have the strength then run the business yourself. However you will need drivers/riders as the business grows.
The major areas that need staff are taking the orders, sourcing the fruits and delivery.  Hire local drivers with knowledge of the streets and geographical location. This will increase efficiency and quicker delivery without undue delays.
Revenue Model
You can offer your regular customers a monthly discounted charge or work with margins. Your price should incorporate cost of fruit, service charge and transportation.
The cost of the fruit depends on the market price you get it while the service charge could be constant. The transportation cost depends on the distance to your company’s location.
Sourcing your Produce
There are two ways to get your produce, buy from wholesalers or market women. To have any chance at profit and to keep the cost down buy directly from farmers or wholesalers.
Buying from market women is just bad business. If you have an effective storage facility store small mounts of the product. However, my advice is stick to your quality by offering only fresh products.
Related Reading How to Start a Gift Basket Business

How to Manage Your Fruit Delivery Service
The business is an on-demand delivery service that is time sensitive. You need to ensure delivery of fresh fruits to the customers door step.  The major challenges are sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables and prompt delivery.
The watch word is efficiency, operational costs and collecting orders. Each department needs to work seamlessly with the others. Make sure you confirm payment take accurate orders and addresses.
Online fruit and vegetable delivery eliminates queues while providing a valuable service.  The major difficulty in running this enterprise is implementation cost and efficient delivery.
You need to keep track of all your orders and delivery with feed back from customers.
Promote your Services
To reach potential customers you need to spend on marketing. An effective method is through newspaper advertisements, billboards and handbills.
Other methods are using Google Adwords and Facebook adverts. Crate a Facebook Group for your business and get a loyal following.
Place your website on directories such as DMOZ and many social media sites. 

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