Expert Guide to Setting up your Home Bakery Business
Baking is a popular startup business for moms. Mommies love or have developed a love for cooking and baking. Baking, designing, decorating, and baking lovely creations is creative and fun. The business can easily be incorporated into any kitchen. It is not time limiting so baker moms can still take care of their family. Everyone loves cakes and other baked goodies, so there is always a market for it.
Here are tips to help you start your own home bakery business;
Plan your baked offerings
What do you love baking? Muffins? Cupcakes? Cakes? Are you a connoisseur on anything chocolate? Or are you the pie expert? Most home bakers offer several choices to their customers. It could be a good mix of pies, cakes, and pastries. Others will concentrate on muffins, while others would focus on creating grand occasion cakes like wedding cakes and birthday cakes.
Master at least on special product
Create a signature product that you can market as your own. It’s best if your special baked product is unique to you. Of course, it must be especially scrumptious and unforgettably delectable. Do you have a very special family recipe of a pie or a cake? Or you can come up with your own recipe. A good way to create a special recipe is by starting from your favorite baked product. Do you like chocolate and nuts? How about a nutty chocolate cake? It must also be popular and easily marketable. Once you’ve decided on a product, work on perfecting your recipe and baking techniques.
Conduct a taste test
Your taste might not be aligned with your market. What is perfectly delicious to you could taste plain or overwhelming to others. The next step is to make sure that your baked products are delicious and market-ready. Bake a batch and let people have a free taste. Your partner, kids, or neighbors could be your testers. Ask them for feedback. You can also bring your special baked goods to family occasions or potluck parties. Ask people how they like it and for any improvement suggestions.
Target your market
Who are your prospect buyers? To whom will you offer your products? Start close to home. Consider your neighbors, your friends, and family. And then you can expand to your friends’ friends and referrals. When considering your prospect buyers, try to assess their purchasing power, buying habits, food preferences, and the types of marketing campaigns most effective to reaching them.
Find a good-priced supplier
Scour your community for well-priced suppliers of ingredients and materials you would need for the business. Wholesale bakery suppliers usually have most of your baking needs – from pans, butter, and flour to confectioner’s sugar, paper cups, and cake boxes. You can also search for online bakery stores. Many online shops offer good wholesale prices. And they deliver, so you also save on time.
Plan your branding and packaging
This is the fun part. You choose a name for your business, design a logo and plan on your packaging. Pinterest has thousands of designs and ideas for inspiration. Packaging is important as it reflects the Although you can skip the branding and go right into baking, it is more professional and easier to market a product with a legitimate brand.
Set up pricing
This is a crucial step to setting up any business. Setting the right price can make or break your home bakery business. Take the time to sit down and set the pricing. Take into consideration the ingredients used in the product, the amount of time needed for its preparation, the materials used for packaging, and the purchasing power of your customers. Get the market prices of similar products. When just starting out, setting your price a little lower than the average market price is a good way to get customers.
Take stock of your kitchen equipment
The next step is to evaluate your baking and kitchen equipment. Make a list of equipment you need, a list of those you already have, and one more list for those you need to buy. Do you have a working mixer, egg beater, and the necessary pans in their right shape and sizes? Measuring cups, mixing bowls, wire racks, food processor? Kitchen and baking equipment take up most of the startup capitalization. Thus, knowing the things you need to buy will give you a good idea of how much funding you need.
Set up a capital for the venture
Small capitalization is one of the reasons why a home bakery business is popular. Most of the needed equipment and ingredients are already in your kitchen. Your capitalization need should cover all the equipment needed, all necessary ingredients and packaging materials for 3-5 bakes or batches. It is best to set up the business fund separate from your household money. Along with the business fund, create a business journal to track the financials of your small business.
Free up kitchen storage space
Prepare your kitchen for the business even before you start shopping. Clear a cabinet or pantry space that will be used to dedicated for business use. Free some space in the fridge. If necessary, rearrange your kitchen and countertops and create the needed workspaces. The kitchen will be your production area, so you also need to make the layout as efficient as possible.
Buy ingredients and supplies wisely
There are hundreds of different bakery supplies and ingredients, each different in form, price, and shelf life. For the ingredients, you must consider its shelf life, usage, and price. Eggs, fruits, and milk have limited shelf life. Flour, butter, and sugar are extensively used. Spices, flavorings, and food colorings are used in small amounts. Boxes will not spoil and are cheaper when bought in bulk. Make the most out of your money.
Strategize your promotional campaign
How are you going to market or promote your business? Making a sign in your front yard is a good start. Most home businesses start small and slowly grow by word of mouth. You can hasten your popularity by actively promoting your business to practically everyone you know – to you friends, at the church, your child’s school, and in the neighborhood. Casually mention that you’re taking orders for carrot cakes, blueberry muffins, or fondant wedding cakes. Others would join baking contests and fairs. You can also offer your baked goodies to coffee shops, restaurants, and caterers. Just walk up to them, mention your business, and send them a sample of your delicious product.
Create online presence
Shopping nowadays is mostly done online. Having a business page for your home business will enable prospect buyers of cakes and pastries to find you. Your online presence will also let prospect clients come to you. You no longer need a physical store to showcase your products. Just post great pictures of your products online together with the price and your contact details. A business website can also take orders and process payments.
Free up time for the business
This is the most neglected aspect of setting up a home-based business – making time to be available for the business. It is a given that moms are super busy. Starting a business could possibly derail your daily routine. Before you go on with your business, make sure that you will have ample time for it. It looks impossible, but it has been done by a lot of moms before. So, really no reason for you not to be able to do as well.
Secure necessary permits and/or licenses
Protect yourself and your business from fines, closure, and possible lawsuits. Comply with all the necessary legal work. Get your permits and licenses required to operate a food business. Do not risk expensive and ruinous possible future damages for a quick trip to the registry office and the cost to register.
Offer extra goodies to your first customers
Heard of the baker’s dozen? It means 13. Old England had strict consumer laws, and fearing of selling less than the weight, bakers put in an extra piece to every dozen. Today, the buyer still pays for 12, but the extra is for goodwill. It is a longstanding tradition of giving extra goodies, especially to first buyers and loyal customers. Although it is not expected, the little gift is always a lovely and most appreciated surprise. It creates rapport with the clients, repeat businesses and referrals. Most bakers will just adjust the pricing to accommodate the extras.
Do not accept orders you can’t fulfill
The easiest way to annoy clients is by failing to deliver their order on time and as requested. Do not expect any more business from them. Dissatisfied clients will also likely to dissuade their friend and family from buying from you. You can’t blame them. Orders for cakes, cupcakes, and pies are usually intended for a special event or occasion, and they are counting on you to deliver the food. If for any reason, you can’t fulfill an order, let the customer know so they can find somebody else who can.