Popcorn Business Plan

Keep in mind that this is just personal advice loaded with valuable tips and ideas. I am by no means a professional business planning advisor.

You could be wondering what gives me credibility to share this information with you?

Well, not only do I run this website, as well as a couple other websites in separate niches, I am a small business owner for a tile installation company. So I do know a little bit about having a business plan and what it takes with operating a business.

It's not always cake and ice cream with cherries on top. As with any type of business, large or small, there are most likely going to be ups and downs. That's just the nature of the beast. It's all part of the process. We just need to take the good with the bad, all in stride, learn from it, and move forward.

Planning to begin your own popcorn business? Great!

This wholesome snack is a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry. So, why not live the dream and cash in for a piece of the pie!

To help you get popping off with your new biz opportunity, I've compiled quite a bit of need-to-know information for you to understand what to expect as you go through the process.

popcorn business startup plan

The best advice that I can give you right upfront (which is the same advice that I'm constantly reminded about from many other reputable figures in business) is to just get started!

We've already established that you plan to run a popcorn business, am I right? So, just get started! Do something. Anything.

Educating yourself with productive research to gain the required knowledge will be key moving forward. The following 475 page ebook titled Progressive Business Plan for a Gourmet Popcorn Company is a comprehensive, targeted fill-in-the-blank template to prepare yourself with your startup company.

The goal is to turn your awesome idea of slinging popcorn for all to enjoy into a reality. The "idea" is actually the first step to the plan. Taking action on it is next. Anything you do here on out is a positive step in the right direction.

Many people are afraid to take action on their ideas, for various reasons. Trust me, I'm one of those people too. I've spent months contemplating before taking action on my business opportunities. It even took several years for me to finally commit to getting my brick and mortar business off the ground.

Are you ready to dive into it? Let's get after it....



Popcorn Business Planning Steps

Your actual idea is the first step to planning.... What type of popcorn business do you plan to run?

  • Will you be selling popcorn locally by using a cart on a street corner and/or at special events?
  • Maybe popping and packaging popcorn out of your home?
  • Selling locally in person? Or online?
  • Are you looking into running your own shop?
  • Do you have great tasting recipes?

We will be addressing all of these questions in detail, along with requirements, tips, and expectations for starting and growing your business into a lucrative resource.

Business Name Ideas And Branding

One of the very first things that I did while planning my businesses was research and investigate potential company names. Here's the approach that I took (fyi, this should be useful even if you plan on using your personal name for self-branding)...

I brainstormed a list of potentially cool sounding words that could correlate together with the main theme of my niche. After narrowing the list down to a few favorites, I then plugged those names into a domain availability checker, such as DomainsBot. Then I checked into seeing if the potential company name was associated with any registered trademarks so that it wouldn't be attached to any copyright infringement violations.

After mulling it over and sleeping on it for a few days, and I had picked out my perfect business name, I went ahead and signed up with my website hosting company at SBI! so that I could lock in my new domain name and to begin creating my website. (Don't worry if you've never built a website before. They have a video action guide to walk you step-by-step through the entire process.)


Now that you have your business name all hashed out, you'll want to work on getting a professional looking logo made. You can create your own, or outsource that task.

Startup Costs And Funding

It really only takes a few basic ingredients to make popcorn:

  • cooking oil
  • popcorn kernels
  • flavorings

Of course you're going to need a cooking vessel and packaging.

This is ideal to be just starting out and don't have much money upfront to fund the business with. Just be sure to put as much of your profits as possible into savings and/or right back into your business. This is known as "sweat equity" to help grow your business over time. From there you can expand as your success increases over time.

Whatever you do, put out a product that people are sure to love. This may require using only high quality ingredients and investing in top notch equipment.

Other Essential Costs

Their are other not so obvious costs and fees that many new entrepreneurs tend to overlook when brainstorming and actually creating their popcorn business plan:

  • equipment
  • supplies
  • website
  • licensing
  • insurance
  • advertising
  • payroll
  • shipping
  • taxes

These are just a few major things to consider. However, the good thing is that it can possibly be a tax write-off, depending on your local tax laws. Speaking of taxes, it would be a good idea to apply and obtain your federal EIN (employer identification number) so that you can open a business bank account and/or process payroll to employees, and to avoid handing out your social security number when it's not necessary. It's free to apply online through the IRS.

Financing Options

Financing options for your popcorn business plan will be a major factor for you and your success moving forward.

10 of the most common financing options for a business startup are:

  • savings
  • sweat equity
  • credit cards
  • small business loan
  • family loan
  • retirement funds
  • investors
  • inheritance
  • lottery winnings
  • fundraising

Resourceful Ways To Sell Popcorn

There are various ways to sell your products. The 4 main resourceful ways are:

  1. Carts
  2. Online
  3. Storefront
  4. Wholesale



1. Popcorn Carts

Popcorn carts are about one of the easiest methods for selling popcorn. They are an instant buying and selling gratification.

Places and events where you can possibly set up your cart:

  • Street corner
  • Open air flea markets
  • Community parks
  • Theme parks
  • Carnivals
  • Fairgrounds
  • Farmers market
  • Sporting events
  • Tailgating
  • Home improvement stores
  • Job sites
  • Outdoor malls

2. Online Marketing

To sell online you most likely will need to have your website up and running. Not a problem, right?

Then you'll need people to visit your website. And then turn those people into paying customers.

There are different methods to achieving all this...

  • Create content rich seo articles.
  • Use pay-per-click advertising.
  • Word of mouth.
  • Ask other webmasters to link to you.
  • Social media outlets.

3. Storefront - Brick And Mortar Shop

Having your own popcorn shop is a little bit more of a serious business. You'll need to plan for more overhead. Take into account of...

  • paying the monthly lease for the location space,
  • utilities,
  • insurance,
  • new commercial equipment,
  • supplies
  • upkeep maintenance and repairs,
  • employees,
  • and much more.

Marketing And Advertising Strategies

Aside from the various ways to sell your popcorn products as described above, marketing and advertising can be an excellent means to get your brand out there into the public eye. Methods that you can plan to incorporate sooner or later:

  • Online
  • Billboards
  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Signs
  • Sponsorship
  • Banners
  • Coupons
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Fundraisers
  • Clothing

The possibilities are nearly endless.


Product Packaging And Selling

  • Wholesale
  • Gift Baskets
  • Tins
  • Bags

Licenses And Food Safety Regulations

Anytime dealing with food consumption products for sell, you'll most likely be required to obtain and carry a local regulatory business, work safety and health, and hygiene license. Be sure to check with your state and local laws and regulations prior to selling a single kernel. The IRS is reliably a great place to look into.

Final Conclusive Words Of Advice

The number one piece of advice that I would personally like to give in regards to putting together a popcorn business plan, is to put out a fantastic delicious tasting product that will be hard to resist and easy to love. If you can, be creative and a little different. Have your go-to staple recipes that everybody is familiar with, but come up some creative spin-off signature flavors of your own, if possible. That is what will set you apart from the competition.

Best of luck to you and your new business endeavor!




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Popcorn Business Plan