Are you a skilled baker looking to start your own business? Are you wondering if it’s time to start an online bakery?
While many of us have day jobs we’ve grown accustomed to, a home-grown business is still an exciting dream. You can be your own boss, have flexible hours, and develop great earning potential!
The key to a successful startup is a well-thought-out plan. Here is some of our favorite advice on how to start a bakery business.
Do a little research on other bakeries in your area and find out what they’re selling. Are hot chocolate bombs popular, or is there a need for birthday cakes delivered to your customers’ homes?
Maybe you could specialize in ethnic delicacies like Polish babka or Italian cannolis. Choose something you make really well and get the word out that yours are the best in town. You want to be known as the go-to baker in your area for certain products or services.
Start a Business Checklist at CorpNet® – Get your FREE Guide Today!
2. Have a Budget
Budgets can seem like a snore, but having one can make your business much easier to keep track of.
Your math skills don’t have to be top-notch for a simple small-business budget. Start by creating a simple spreadsheet where you tally your income sources, determine your recurring costs, and list your one-time expenditures. Finally, you can compare your income to your cash flow to determine profitability.
A budget on paper can get you thinking realistically about what you’re making vs. what you’re spending. And it will allow you to get resourceful. For example, you may find that a membership to a restaurant supply store makes your overall cost of ingredients a good deal lower each year.
Budgeting on paper is a great skill to have that you can apply to all areas of your business. And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be able to hire your own accountant because your enterprise has become so profitable.
3. Create a Website
Every solid online business needs a website. You’ll need to decide on a domain name, choose a web host, and build your pages.
If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to choose a shared web host, which means you’ll share a server with other sites. With dedicated hosting, you’ll pay more money, but you won’t need to share your server with other sites that could slow it down.
Some website builder platforms include website hosting as part of a monthly package. You’ll need to figure your payments into your budget.
Ensure your website is clear about what you sell, and keep it easy for customers to place their orders. Your pictures should be colorful and delicious. You may also want to include customer reviews and any packages you offer, such as birthday deals.
4. Get the Word Out
Marketing your business online could be as simple as getting your social media network to like and post your pages. You may be a member of local community groups where you can advertise your specials and others can recommend your services.
Writing blogs with interesting articles about baking can bring folks to your website. It will also establish you as an authority in your field. If you guest blog on other well-known sites, you can include a link back to your own website, which will win you, customers if your content is valuable.
If you’re willing to pay for ads, make sure you do so strategically. For example, Facebook ads allow you to choose your demographics, such as age, location, and interests.
It’s critical to interact with any feedback or comments you get, especially while your business is still developing. Customers will know you care about what they have to say and that you’re ready to provide personal service.
5. Get Licenses and Permits
The state you live in might require licensing and permits for a home business. You’ll need to obtain information from your city or county government officials. In New York, for example, you’ll need to go to the Office of Professions, which is a division of the Education Department.
Your business may also require an inspection from your state’s department of health. Make sure you’ve got all of your paperwork in line before you start selling cupcakes.
Being the new kid in town may mean you’ll have to get creative for others to rave about your confections. Set up a booth at street fairs or bring your favorite breads and pies to soccer games or PTA events. Offer to cater a school party for free and as long as you can give each parent a card with your business’s name on it.
In today’s market, you can also go far by offering health-conscious alternatives. Gluten-free or Vegan treats are a great way to let folks know that you can provide healthy alternatives that fit into their lifestyle.
Community groups and houses of worship are also great ways to get the word out about what you’re selling. You never know who has a birthday party or catered breakfast coming up, and they’ll have a personal connection with you.
Most of all, be positive and upbeat about your online bakery ideas. This will come across to prospective customers who may want to jump on board.
How to Start a Bakery Business
If you’re wondering how to start a bakery business, begin by jotting your ideas down on paper. As they begin to evolve into a practical business plan, you can start to get excited about your company’s direction. And you will have your community enjoying scrumptious treats for years to come!
Don’t stop pursuing your dreams now. For more excellent ideas on starting your own business, join us today.