Have you dreamt of starting your own bakery? You dream of the day when your creations can come to life. You have customers lined up at the door, waiting to indulge in your sweets.
But there’s one issue: you don’t know where to start.
You understand baking, creating recipes, and being innovative in the baking arts.
But entrepreneurship isn’t your strongest area. Putting on your business thinking cap and developing a strong business plan lands you a step closer to satisfying a customer’s sweet tooth.
The first step toward owning a bakery is developing a bakery business plan.
It’s time to find out how.
Write a Detailed Business Plan
Before you start anything, write a bakery business plan. A business plan identifies the scope of your business, any niche products or target customers, and your business goals. This document doesn’t have to be fancy or complex.
Just take your ideas and write them on paper.
You can easily find business plan outlines and examples. If it’s easiest, just write your business plan how you want, without any examples.
But you will want to include this information:
- Your mission statement
- A general explanation of the menu and your sweets
- Your goals and how you plan on accomplishing them
- Sales goals
You should also conduct some research. Document your findings in your business plan. This should include:
- The area you want to be based in
- Your local demographics
- Any want and need for a bakery
- Legalities and health/safety requirements
- Marketing techniques and ideas
- Any competitors
- Your initial costs and how to acquire funds (business loan, savings)
- How much you’ll charge your products to break even and earn a profit
This plan and research will prepare you when you start your business. You don’t need to share your business plan with anyone. It’s for you as a reference.
Experiment with Different Recipes
This is the fun part: add recipes to your bakery business plan. You should do this even before you create your business. You want to have a basic menu filled with different products.
You want to have a complete understanding of each recipe and be fully confident you can make each one perfectly.
You don’t need to have an extensive and complex menu. Between five and ten different recipes should be ideal. You want your early customers to have variety but you don’t want to destroy your budget by purchasing several ingredients.
Choose fun spins on classic recipes. Instead of offering chocolate cake, offer chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.
Instead of offering chocolate chip cookies, offer chocolate chip brownies. Don’t make your recipes over-the-top, but make them unique and delicious.
File Your Business and Obtain Permits
After you have your menu ready, add business filing to your bakery business plan. Before you do so, you need a business filing and necessary permits.
An LLC is recommended; it’s easy to file, it’s not extremely expensive, and there are plenty of tax benefits.
Be sure to obtain necessary permits before selling your baked goods to customers. Each state has different qualifications. Here are some general permits you’ll have to obtain:
- Operational license from your county
- Health department guidelines from the county
- Food handlers permit from the county
Not all of these permits may be required, but it’s safe to acquire them. This will show your customers you’re legitimate and are educated in food safety.
Start Your Home Bakery
Start small and bake at home.
Pass out menus to your loved ones and business connections, make custom orders and bake for special events such a local business market.
You can also host regular bake sales for more revenue and exposure.
Buy Business Property
Once you develop brand awareness and save money, it’s time to purchase a property.
Be sure the property you purchase is in an area that’s easily accessible with a strong demographic. A local business district and a populated area are recommended.
After you chose your property, you’ll need to invest in other aspects of your bakery.
This includes kitchen equipment, such as an oven, refrigerator, workstation, mixing machines, scales and measuring equipment, baking tins, packaging, and utensils such as knives and spoons.
Before you open, you should have a few team members hired and trained. This staff can be family and friends to start. But you should consider giving other professionals a chance, even if they’re only part-time.
What employees will you need? If you plan on baking, have at least two people helping you. This way, you know the kitchen is active even when you’re not there.
Have at least two people at the register. Instead of hiring a clean-up team, train your register employees to alternate between cleaning and assisting customers.
Will you have a marketing staff? Or will you do the marketing yourself? Some professionals specialize in specific skills such as content marketing, so outsourcing these professionals might be helpful.
Open Up and Start Marketing
Have a marketing plan made the minute you open.
Advertise — online advertising and social media ads are a great strategy, but use local marketing such as branding benches. Make sure all packaging has your company name, logo, and contact information printed.
Ideally, you created an online presence while you were still a home business. This includes social media and a great website such as the Angie Scott Cakes website. If not, no big deal. Just make sure you develop a web presence before opening.
Rather than marketing all of your baked goods, promote a special product. For example, do you have a unique pie or custard? Market that by displaying the product and mentioning how it’s made, with an ‘only offered at this bakery’ CTA.
Keep merchandise to a minimum. Rather than printing shirts, create merchandise that relates to your bakery. This includes customized and branded dishes, measuring cups and spoons, silverware, and baking products.
As your store receives more success, you’ll have a better understanding of marketing your bakery.
Get Started on Your Bakery Business Plan
Creating your bakery business takes a lot of work. But the key is starting out small.
Start a home business and go to events. Be sure to create your clientele early so you’ll have a steady stream of revenue when you upgrade and buy property.
If your baking company needs additional resources, search our database.