Many people have the ambition of setting up a baking business and while the idea is initially exciting, knowing how to get started can be a difficulty. With the correct strategies, you could turn your hobby into a fully-fledged career, providing you have adequate business skills and an inner passion for what you do.
You may decide to start from home, before opening a shop and going on to transform your tiny idea into a nationwide business. Starting small and working your way up to bigger things is how many entrepreneur bakers make their living.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start your very own baking business:
1. Formulate a business plan
Before you can truly get started on turning your hobby of baking into a successful business, you need to create a business plan. Here are a few top tips on what to include:
· Company mission
Within this section, you need to add detailed information of your business idea, including the types of products you are going to bake and sell to customers. You will need to have a very specific niche for your baking business, so determine whether you’re going to specialize in the likes of cupcakes, special occasion cakes or baked bread.
· Business name
In order to stand out from your competitors, you need to create a unique business name that will set you apart from the rest and is something you’ll be happy to stick with for the long-term future. Your business name will define you as long as you set to trade, therefore, make a quirky, yet sensible choice. Your name should also include a distinct hint that the business is baking-related.
Within the market research section, you need to discuss your target market and why your products are guaranteed to appeal to them, based on the research you have carried out. Look into the current trends of the popularity of your business idea and whether there are any gaps in the market that you will easily slot into.
2. Start the business from home
Although you may be keen to invest in a shop premises to make your business more official, it would be wise to run your business from home in the early stages, to cut down on expenses. It will also save you a considerable amount of time looking for the right premises to suit your needs. Once you start to earn a steady income and your popularity starts to grow, you can always look for a larger location and hire staff members to assist you.
3. Consider the legal aspects
When starting a business from home, you will need to ensure that your kitchen eligible for business purposes in your town or city, before you can even consider starting to trade. In some instances, you may need special permission to run a business in a residential area. You may also need to be approved by the health department, who will advise you on whether your kitchen has the correct level of hygiene to run a food preparation business.
4. Decide on recipes
Upon starting out, you need to come up with a selective list on the type of goods you’re looking to sell. You may wish to specialize before branching out to other products to gain further interest from customers. Prepare a menu that you can add to your website or social media accounts and a rough price list, so buyers can get an idea of what you charge. Your recipes may differ from traditional to unconventional, but it’s always good to offer both, so you don’t lose out on custom.
5. Choose ingredients and materials
Once you have come up with your idea on the type of baked goods you’re hoping to produce, the next step would be to purchase packaging materials such as cardboard containers, cellophane, and boxes to transport products to customers safely and conveniently. You will also be expected to create sticky labels for packaging, to indicate whether there are any dietary warnings within the ingredients.
6. Invest in food management software
If your business has expanded rapidly and you’re looking to branch out and rent one or several business premises, you need to think seriously about the organization of the manufacturing and delivery aspects to avoid commercial failure and financial issues. When bakery businesses grow, they often reach the stage where they no longer sell individual orders directly to customers, but instead, work on a B2B scale, by selling in bulk to retail stores. However, missing delivery deadlines or running out of stock can lead to an array of commercial problems that could damage your business reputation.
There is, however, a clever solution to prevent these circumstances occurring. Food inventory software improves almost every strategy involved with your food-related business, such as managing the delivery process, keeping track of food storage across multiple sites, tracking damaged products and transferring products between locations with ease.
7. Develop an online presence
Any small-scale business needs to attract more than just local custom in order to make a living, which is why developing an online presence is essential if you wish to turn your hobby of baking into a successful business.
You could start off by producing a website, which describes the type of products you make, where you are based and how people can place an order with you. Don’t forget to add attractive photographs of the different styles and designs of your bakes. There are many different platforms to use when creating a website such as the likes of WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. However, a professional website designer may be the best advisor on the best platform to use if you have very little experience in this area.
Also be sure to set up social media pages for your business, such as the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Keep your followers updated with news and add photographs of your latest orders to encourage inspiration for placing future orders. It’s also important to interact with others on social media, so you come across as a friendly professional who takes an interest in their customers.