So you have been thinking, ” How I would love to have a Bakery Business of my own” you know, the whole nine yards. Bake and decorate fancy cakes, mouth watering desserts and pastries,
have clients call you none stop and grow the perfect customer base. Yes! I know that feeling.
With more and more Bakers doing grand things these days, you leave social media each day after going through your favorite profiles either being super charged and inspired or simply being depressed. Which ever way you feel, it’s important you know what running a Bakery really entails and whether it’s Home-based bakery or a Retail bakery.
Here are the points you need to consider before you open a Bakery Business.
1.Time and Commitment.
You need PLENTY of time and commitment to run a bakery. Oh gosh, lots and lots of time. Creating anything from scratch takes time, then think about an edible art.
For cakes that will be finished in fancy sugar flowers and designs, they take even more time. You need to know that you will on a constant basis be working around customers strict schedules. Birthdays or any kind of celebration are time bound and this means you have to work smartly and run a bakery that is literally on automation to manage your orders, your staff, yourself and most importantly your home.
On an average, preparing and baking a cake will take anywhere from 20 mins to 1 hour while making the decorative medium, frosting or design elements and designing your cake will take anywhere from 1 hour to even days sometime.
You need time to build a customer base, attend to your orders either by phone or emails, you need time to shop for the bakery, you need time to advertise your business, you need time to prepare meaningful and interesting content for your social media platforms. You sure do need a lot of time, patience and commitment.
2. Professional Skills
You need the professional training that will help you express your art in a clean and unique way that is appealing to your potential customer. Check out our online tutorial The Cupcake Genius, or take one of our other Hands-on cake & decorating workshops or Private classes.
You will also need basic management skills, oh yes you do! You need to know how to manage your time effectively and organize your bakery and any staff you have. You need basic coordinating skills, leadership skills and even mentoring skills. It’s important you have basic accounting and book-keeping skills too, you need to know how to take stock and keep records of all your expenses as well as all the money coming in without mixing it all up.
You need marketing skills too. Understand that even if you are an introvert, your business is not an introvert and needs a public life of it’s own.
Learn how to market your business both in words and in writing, Learn public speaking and basic phone etiquette, it will go a long way. Learn customer care, how to engage your clients without being overly and unnecessarily friendly. You’ve got to learn how to be firm yet friendly.
You need to know how to photograph your creation in the most befitting way. You also need to know how to turn your passion into a profitable and sustainable business. This can only happen when you take business courses that will teach you these skills . Check out our Bakery Structure 101 class coming up this July. It is a Business class for Bakers.
3. You need support.
Support is what will determine whether you suffer burn-out or not, stay in business or go out of business. Support at home and Support and the work place.
Support is everything. You simply cannot do it on your own. You can when you are starting out but as the business grows, you cannot do it on your own anymore. You also need to know that the support you require will not come perfect. You need to train the support to be effective for you and you need to be patient as you do. No one is perfect and certainly not someone who does not have the same drive, passion, education and even background that you do. So don’t get frustrated when you have to train, train and train on the same thing over and over again. One day, they will get it especially when you put guidelines and processes in place that will make this process easier for you all.
The greatest misconception anyone can have about starting a Bakery is that you have to have a store front before you can be successful.
Expansion and growth should be part of your goals but It should not be a must for you at the get go especially if you know it will put a lot of financial strain on you. Where you are in your life at the moment also will determine if you can work from home or not. So if you just got married, are a new mum, have toddlers or you are taking care of a loved one, consider working from home.
All you need is a space carved out for your work with lots and lots of storage space. Space for your tools, equipment, ingredients, finished cakes. Just make sure the space is not clashing with your home kitchen or living room.
If you will get a place out of your home, remember location is everything. Let it be easily accessible to your ideal customer and set the place up professionally.
5. Business Name
Have you figured out the name for your Business yet? Start thinking of this and make sure once you have narrowed down to the name you want, register it right away with the appropriate government body, open a bank account in the business name and start working on its branding.
6. Business plan
Oh, the Business plan! Having a Business plan helps you really project and do a proper market study of what you want to get into and your growth strategies.
Let your business plan contain all the points listed below.
Services and Products: Your current and future products, services and packages.
Brand Summary: Your Brand mission, vision, core values, look and feel.
Client Summary: Who is your ideal client, how are they feeling and how do you want to solve their problem.
Pricing: Identify the prices that will reflect your true value, cover your costs and make a profit.
Business Goals: Determine what it costs to maintain your business and what break even and profitability will look like.
Marketing Plan: How will you get your messages out there and acquire customers today and in the long term, what strategies will you use and how effective and relevant will they be to your Cake business.
Workflows and Processes: Workflows to brand your process and automate recurring tasks.
Understand that while there is so much to think about, these are my top 6.
Take your time and don’t rush. Give it your best shot and remember we all do it afraid!
Best of luck in your cake journey and Happy Caking.