Before starting any business you must first understand what it is and if the venture is something you are capable of executing.
So what are small chops? They are finger foods which are readily available for consumption at social and formal events. Small chops can be served as snacks during corporate events, special occasions, meetings and office or in-house parties.
Small chops have been in existence since the 50s, but they began to gain prominence in Nigeria 6 to 8 years ago and have grown to be highly sought after by individuals and corporate bodies as a form of refreshment. It originally started with just puff puff, meat, spring roll and samosas but with time, the contents began to increase and become more diversified.
The major items currently contained in small chops set or package include; snail, goat meat, puff puff, battered fish, sausage rolls and samosas. For events, they can be served in a tray or chafing dish but if one needs it to be delivered at home it is mostly packaged in small plates.
What To Consider Before Starting Small Chops Business
We will explain a few tips that will help you get the small chops business up and running smoothly.
One does not have to be a special chef or cook to make small chops as the most important thing is knowing how to fry and bake. But to stand out and produce small chops that people keep coming back for more, you have to to be very good or willing to undergo some training either in your locality or through recommended online tutorials.
Register Your business
Business Registration is a very important step to take before you can officially start operating as a small chops vendor.
Choose a catchy name that gets the attention of customers and go to the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to get registered. Also, try to come up with two or three names in case one of the business names you chose has already been registered by someone else.
Having a registered business will make it easier for investors to take you as a serious entrepreneur to consider for loans and other investments.
No business that deals on physical buying and selling can begin operations without equipment. Small chops business can be started from your kitchen but people still choose to have a formal workspace like a shop.
Asides from having a workspace there are important tools which every small chops maker must have and they are as follows:
- Frying pans
- Egg mixer
- Cooker or stove
- Flat wooden spatula
- Measuring cups
- Steel dish
- Turning stick
To have small chops delivered to people’s homes they need to come in fine packages that will be your trademark. Some use simple paper bags, others put the small chops in foil plates and some make use of tupperware.
Whatever you want to use in packaging the small chops, keep in mind that it should look appealing to the eye and have your company logo on the body of either the plate or polythene bag used to deliver it. The core of the business demands knowing the snacks that are usually found in a small chops pack and how they are packaged for sales.
Here is a list below:
I. Asun (spicy goat meat)
II. Gizdodo/Dodo Gizzards (Plantain & Gizzards)
III. Grilled chicken
IV. Puff Puff
V. Mini Sausage Rolls
VI. Mini Donuts
VII. Peppered snails
IX. Spring rolls.
It is important to note that not every listed item must be put in a small chops pack. Most times you get to only produce all of them in cases of buffet for public events etc.
The average cost of a pack of small chops and that of a buffet set are some of the things that you have to be aware of.
Like every other venture, a pricing system is very crucial to the success of a newly launched business. Set a reasonable price which is not too high but also not too low, rather it should be within the range of the industry standard prices.
For example, on the average, a small chops pack costs between N500 – N1,200. This depends on how many items are inside and if it is sold in size variations.
Let’s say you want to sell 4 normal pack offers, of different sizes, the prices and contents will differ.
- Mini-pack: This contains 1 Samosa, 1 Springroll, 4 Mosa, and 4 Puff-Puff (Average cost is N300 – N500)
- Midi-pack: 1 Spring Roll, 1 Samosa, 4 Mosa, 4 Puff-Puff, 1 Peppered Stick meat (Average cost is N500 – N700)
- Maxi-pack: 1 spring roll, 1 samosa, 4 mosa, 4 puff-puff, and 1 chicken. (Average N600 – N900)
- Jumbo-pack: 1 spring roll, 1 samosa, 4 mosa, 4 puff-puffs, 1 seasoned gizzard, and 1 chicken. (Average cost N800 – N1,000)
Marketing or advertising helps your business to get visibility which mostly translates to patronage. There are different forms of marketing and advertisement which range from word-of-mouth, to social media promotions, posters/fliers and in cases where you can afford it, use traditional media like TV or radio stations.
Examples of social media platforms you can use are Facebook and Instagram. Try to take eye catchy photos and videos of your small chops packages and post them online with the prices.
For offline marketing, you can produce fliers, posters, business cards which you hand out to potential clients. You can also design customized t-shirts to be worn by your and your assistants at events.
How Profitable Is Small Chops Business
There is a lot of money to be made in small chops business in Nigeria once you start making sales and witness an increase in clients. If you are selling packs at an event and you charge N500 per plate, you will make N500,000 at the one event if a thousand people buy. By the time you take out your running cost, you should still have about N350,000 remaining.
Some individuals and firms organise about two of such corporate events in a month, so if you deliver to an event three times in a month, you will be taking a million to the bank in the end.
Any person can start a small chops business and it is not restricted to women. In fact there are different cases of men who love to cook either start a catering business or setting up a small chops business. It is very rewarding if you put effort and time into this business. With strategic planning, your business is sure to become a success beyond your imagination.