So you love baking. You’ve been told your pastries are to die for, your pies are heavenly, and your cakes are out of this world. You’ve been hounded time and again to open your own bakery.
And now, after laughing it off for so long you think you’d like to give it a shot. Opening your own bakery. But, there’s more to starting your own bakery than having phenomenal recipes for baked goods. You also need a recipe for success.
Keep reading these 8 tips on how to start a bakery and get all the ingredients you need to run a successful business.
1. Determine What Type of Bakery You Want
Before making any major plans for starting your bakery you’ll need to first decide what type of bakery you want to open. Be sure to take into account your strengths weaknesses, budget, and goals. There a few different types of bakeries that you could open.
With an online bakery, there is no need to open a storefront. Instead, your storefront is your webpage. Customers will be able to see pictures of your work and place orders from their home.
You can fulfil and ship orders from your home without needing to go into an office. This, however, is usually for those who are looking to sell mass quantities of their products or who handmake each and every order and want a small clientele.
For this type of store unless you are technically inclined you might want to research and choose an expert to do your website development for you.
Counter service is strictly that. Customers walk up to a counter where they may order their baked goods. The bakers are in the back while cashiers run and manage the counter and the front.
Specialty service bakeries can be either online or in a brick and mortar store, however, they specialize in one thing. Think along the lines of cake stores or doughnut shops.
If you wish to own a specialty service check the local competition and make sure you aren’t trying to enter into an over saturated market. If you do wish to enter an oversaturated market have something that sets you apart from the competition.
Sit Down Service
Sit down service bakeries are becoming more popular among bakers. Customers are expressing a desire to be able to sit in the bakery and enjoy their fresh pastry.
Sit down bakeries do not have large tables or waitstaffs typically, instead they have smaller tables and chairs in a small sitting area inside, outside, or both. They are more intimate than the chain bakeries.
2. Develop a Business Plan
Once you’ve figured out what type of bakery you want to open you’ll need to write a business plan. A business plan will help you look at every angle of your business.
Your business plan should identify not just your resources, mission statement, strategy, or vision statement. You should also include who your direct competition is, how you plan to gain and maintain a competitive advantage, and how your business will be structured.
Your business plan is meant to not only help you make sure all your ducks are in a row but to also provide potential investors with information on what they might invest in and why. You’ll need to answer in your business plan as many questions they might have before they ask them.
3. Find a Location
Choosing the right location can be difficult, however, that shouldn’t deter you from holding out for the right spot. Location can sometimes be the difference between success and failure.
Don’t choose a location so out of the way it is difficult for people to find you, nor should you be in such a busy area that potential customers would be more inclined to avoid going to your business in order to avoid the hassle.
4. Have a Marketing Strategy
If you don’t know anything about marketing, now is the time before you get too far. Develop a marketing strategy that will help your business get started and eventually grow and expand.
If you feel unsure about how to properly create and execute a marketing strategy, look into outsourcing your marketing needs and developing a marketing strategy with a marketing specialist. Staying within your budget of course.
5. Develop Your Menu
Make sure you know what it is you’re going to be making. Do you allow customized orders? Do you have a lot of items? Can you handle that workload? Does your menu match the type of bakery you’re running? Do you have a catering menu?
These are all things to ask yourself when developing your menu. You don’t want too many items that cause problems in the kitchen and customers orders are delayed. Likewise, too few items and customers will get bored quickly and might go elsewhere.
6. Know the Cost of Goods
Shopping for ingredients for your bakery is very similar to shopping for ingredients for your house. Different products are sold by different suppliers at different prices and quality levels.
Be sure to do your research, order samples or small amounts of the different types of ingredients. This way you’ll be able to choose the best ingredient within your budget and not make a choice based on price alone. However, the key is to stay in budget.
7. Research Suppliers
As much time and effort as you should put into choosing your ingredients so too should you put into choosing a supplier. This will help to avoid shipping issues and delays in ingredients arriving. This will also help prevent spoiled food from arriving at your store.
8. Define a Friends and Family Policy Early
One of the downsides to owning your own business is all your friends and family seem to think they get special treatment. And while there is nothing wrong with having a ‘friends and family discount policy’ it needs to be defined as early as possible. This will prevent any awkward problems or family squabbles in the future.
Learning How to Start a Bakery
An affinity and talent for baking, while important, is only half the struggle of trying to figure out how to start a bakery. It’s important to have a clear and concise plan, to know what ingredients you will be purchasing, from where and for how much, as well as choosing a location and landing investors.
These tips should help you get started in the right direction for opening your very own bakery. These, of course, are not all-encompassing. If you still have questions or find yourseld struggling check out our business advice blog page!