What Type of Bakery Do You Want to Start?
So you finally decided to turn your addiction to baking into a business. It is a great idea with a lot of potentials, but it needs a lot of planning before you can launch it. A cake business will typically take the form of either an online bakery, a sit-down bakery, a specialty service bakery or a counter service bakery.
1. Online Bakeries – These have become very popular in recent times given that they are convenient, cheap and easy to start. When you start an online bakery, you do not have to deal with having to find a storefront and paying rent as all sales are done online. All you need to do is get the necessary licenses and then set up a website online or a social media page, where clients can sample and order your baked goods.
2. Counter Service Bakeries – These are your conventional bakeries where clients come to the counter and choose the type of baked goods they like from the display. They will then have the person behind the counter wrap it for them and then hand over payment. The great thing about this type of bakery is that it is quick and convenient for the client.
3. Specialty Service Bakeries – If you decide to specialize in the production of only a certain type of baked goods, your business would be a specialty service bakery. Such types of bakeries usually have the client make preorders and then allow you to prepare the goods over several days. Examples may include the likes of specialized pastry, personalized cakes, wedding or anniversary cakes.
4. Sit-Down Bakeries – You can get more profit by letting your clients dine inside the bakery. By providing waiting and seating services, clients are likely to order more baked goods and drinks, which will improve your profit margins. Your sit down bakery would thus be more like a café though it would for the most part stock baked goods and a few refreshments.
What Supplies Will You Need?
Regardless of what type of bakery you decide to go for, you will need some essential supplies to get up and running. If you have been baking as a hobby you already know some of the essentials though you may need more given that you will now be doing things on a larger scale. The following are some specialty items needed:
1. Shelving – You will need shelves to keep all your utensils, plates, ingredients, and other supplies organized.
2. Baking Equipment – You will need to acquire preparation and baking equipment that will include mixers and mixing accessories, slicers, forks, spatulas, fryers, pans, dough cutters, knives, trimming and folding machines.
3. Oven – The oven is at the heart of the operation and you will need one to start your business. Find a sizable oven or several ovens so that you have the capacity to meet all your client’s needs.
4. Refrigerators – You will need to keep some of your perishable baked goods and ingredients refrigerated to keep them fresh. Get good sized refrigerators or freezers to make sure that you do not incur losses from ingredients or baked goods going bad.
5. Display cases – Regardless of the type of bakery you will be starting, you will need some form of display cases. The display cases can be in attendant served or self-service orientation, and will also come in different sizes and shapes.
How to Find and Retain Customers
You need to find customers if your business is to become successful. Follow the following proven tips to find and retain clientele:
1. Be the first, the best and Only One
You need to set your business apart from the competition by offering something original. For instance, you can be the only one providing a type of pastry, the first to offer it, or the best at it. A combination of all three aspects always works best at setting your business apart.
2. Aggressively Market Your Product
You may have the best-baked goods in the city but if no one knows about it, you will not make sales. You need to have a marketing budget and market your business offline and online. Set up a website, social media pages and hand out fliers and discounts to let potential clients know about your business.
3. Fulfill Customer Needs
Happy customers tend to become returning customers, who may also market your business to other people for free. Ensure that you give the best customer experience possible and ask your clients for feedback on what to improve so that you can keep them coming back.
Final Considerations When Starting a Bakery
Starting a new venture can be an overwhelming and even frustrating experience and hence you need to have a plan and take all things into account before you start. Here are some final considerations before setting up shop:
1. Cash Flow – You have to consider your expenses versus the profits you expect to generate from the bakery. Analyze your profit margins per product and estimate revenues less other expenses such as rent, and VAT among other things.
2. Type of Goods to Sell – You need to know beforehand by conducting research on what baked goods are in high demand and at what time of year you are likely to sell more of what items.
3. Marketing – Come up with a marketing strategy that may include aspects such as setting up a blog or website, discounts you may offer, and fliers and coupon codes that you may give to clients.
4. Regulations – You will be required to get a distributor or manufacturer license among other licenses before you can start the bakery. You may also be required to have food labels on all your products.
5. Decide on Type of Business – Decide what form of business your bakery will take whether a limited liability company, a partnership, corporation or a sole proprietorship. This may require that you register for other licenses and documentation such as the Employer Identification Numbers.
6. Find a catchy bakery name – There are tons of great bakery names that you can find online which will make your business stand out. You could also ask friends and family to suggest good names for your bakery.
Starting a bakery business does not have to be a complex affair and in fact, it can be an exhilarating experience. If you follow the tips we have given in this article, you should have an easy time setting up and becoming successful with a bakery even if you have never done it before. Moreover, you can always tweak and optimize your approach and if you keep at it long enough, you are sure to have a successful cake business.