Research & Refine your Business Idea
The idea of starting a bakery can be one that is very appealing, especially if you love to bake. However, it’s important to consider all the aspects of starting a bakery and running it efficiently to determine if it’s the ideal path for you. That’s what this article is designed to help you do.
As you get started with your planning, you’ll need to put together a detailed concept, including the menu, location, how funds will be handled, whether or not you’ll need employees and the kinds of licensing you’ll need. That way, you’ll get a complete picture of what you need to get started.
As with most kinds of businesses, a bakery should be located somewhere people can see and easily get to. That way, it won’t be a hassle for them to come in and make purchases from you. Take some time to look around and compare some locations that may be suitable.
It’s also going to be important to consider the cost of the location as well as the amenities it offers. Naturally, you’re going to need a kitchen to bake in, including an oven and plenty of counter space. In some places, you can have these things added in, but it’s worth considering the cost differences.
Licenses And Permits
Keep in mind that handling food can require special permits. This can also include some inspections, which may be an annoyance but they are there to ensure the safety and quality of the space and food. Customers will often look to the rating your bakery receives while they’re looking for places to purchase from.
So before you start selling goods at your bakery, make sure you’re up to date with the laws and guidelines for handling food. You may find that such laws differ from country to country, so use your location as a starting point. That way, you’ll be in line with the guidelines where you are.
You’ll also need to decide what kinds of baked goods you’re going to serve. Are you interested in handling breakfast foods primarily, or perhaps desserts? You can do both, but it’s generally a good idea to start with a smaller menu and add more as you can, so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
It may help to take a look around your area and see what is already there. It can be a good idea to provide something either different or somehow better than what’s already out there. That might mean specializing in vegetarian or vegan baked goods, or something else that makes your bakery stand out.
Creating your Business Website
There are many benefits to starting a website for your bakery. Being able to keep track of the traffic visiting your site can give you an idea of the demand out there for what you’re offering. Furthermore, it’s an easy place for customers to find the information they need, such as the address and hours of your business.
In addition, you can make a professional website in no time at all thanks to the tools that are offered by sites like Wix and Squarespace. These sites allow you to build your own website for free, meaning that then you only need to find the ideal hosting for your needs.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.
Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
Marketing Your Business
Marketing is the tool you’ll use to get eyes on your business and the baked goods you offer. Remember, people aren’t as likely to find your bakery if you don’t advertise it somewhere. The good news is, there are a multitude of advertising options, which come at different costs.
Some common forms of advertising include using social media, print, digital marketing and review sites such as Yelp. These allow your bakery to connect with customers and potential customers to let them know about events, sales, coupons and more.
Marketing Through Print
Though print is less popular these days, it’s still worth the effort to get the attention of those who may not be looking for the presence of your bakery online. You also have options that you can make use of, some of which may be more costly while others can be quite manageable.
Some options can be rather simple, like creating coupons to add to mailers, newspapers or other options. On the other hand, you can choose to make your presence highly known and use something like a billboard or a large advertisement on a building or bus.
Digital marketing is something that tends to be easier and capable of reaching much wider audiences, depending on how you use it. Some can choose to create television or radio advertisements, while others may make use of pay-per-click ads that you can set your own budget for.
In addition, you can use Google AdSense to help with placing advertisements on websites that may be relevant to your bakery. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure your advertisements are reaching out to your area, or whatever area you’re able to deliver to.
Using Social Media And Yelp
An aspect that makes social media especially popular is the fact that it tends to be free. In addition, it’s simple to set up a page where you can communicate with customers, share pictures and information, and respond to reviews left by those who have been to your establishment.
Another common site for restaurants and other food businesses to be on is Yelp. This site allows customers to leave detailed reviews. Potential customers will often take a look at these reviews in order to decide where they want to spend their money.
Setting Goals and KPI’s
Setting goals is key to success, as they give you something to aim towards. Even if you don’t reach them at a given point, you can work towards getting closer and make adjustments whenever needed. It’s just a matter of selecting goals that will best work for your bakery.
Some Key Performance Indicators you might choose to make use of are sales, profits, the traffic on your website and more. In addition, it may be a good idea to keep track of the food waste that can occur in a business within the food industry, in order to limit the amount of waste created.
Plan your Finances
Healthy finances mean a healthy business, so it’s important to handle them efficiently. To begin with, this means closely determining what your start-up costs will be. Starting a bakery isn’t an inexpensive thing, but you can find ways to bring down the overall price, such as using a bakery website in place of a physical location, and delivering baked goods.
You’ll next need to figure out how to gather the funds to get started. You can share your business plan with family and friends, seek out a bank loan, make use of crowdfunding like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, or take the time to save the money yourself. Once you have funds for the business, they should go into their own separate account.
Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Starting a business is not a simple thing. It requires a lot of work, constant learning and the ability to adapt to new situations and demands from customers. The changing customer base is something that is normal for any business. Remembering this can help to guide you and keep you strong, even is problems should arise.
It’s a good idea to take on the job actively, learning new trends, technologies and remaining flexible. When you do this, you can more easily meet potential problems head on rather than waiting for them to cause major issues before getting to work.
Other things to consider when starting your bakery
Businesses tend to have legal requirements that they have to stick to. This includes certain kinds of licensing, depending on the business, as well as understanding how to file taxes as part of a business.
You’ll also want to take your time while choosing the ideal name for your business. It’s important that you choose something that appeals to you, and that you think will appeal to customers. Furthermore, make sure it’s a name that isn’t already in use.
In addition, it’s a good idea to think about the structure of your business. There are many options to choose from, all the way from sole proprietorship to corporation. Each will determine tax information as well as other benefits you may receive.
Accounting & Bookkeeping:
Bookkeeping tends to go along with the financial aspects of running a business. It’s extremely important to keep track of where money is going and how much is coming in. That way, you can learn how to minimize wasted money and maximize the profits.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can do this without causing yourself too much agony. Many find that hiring an employee or freelancer for the task can be quite helpful. There are also different benefits for each type of employee.
If you prefer to handle the numbers yourself, then you can also consider using the program like Xero or Quickbooks. These programs can make it much easier to keep track of funds without having to do all of the number crunching yourself. They can also make taxes much easier.
When you need to hire employees, there are a few ways you can go about it. If you have a specific job like bookkeeping, handling social media profiles or something similar, then a freelancer from a website like Upwork may be the ideal choice.
However, if you are looking for a regular employee then there are sites like ZipRecruiter and Indeed as well as advertisements that can be placed in newspapers or other locations.
Regardless of which type of employee you’re hiring, it’s very important to understand what is expected from you as an employer. There are guidelines for handling employees that need to be followed with regard to leave periods from work, lunches and breaks and more. Make sure to look up the hiring laws in your area.