A bakery can be a sweet way to make some money and enjoy what you do in the process. However, you have to do much more than just have a desire to make delicious baked goods. Typically, you have to be an early riser to get the goods out there for the morning crowd. You need to evaluate your competitors, determine prices, and work hard to make sure your business is one people are interested in visiting.
While this can be a wonderful type of business, it can also be highly competitive. Here are some tips to follow to help you become very successful. You can take your love of baking and turn it into a very profitable business!
Core Elements to Protect yourself and your Business
You don’t want to see all of your hard work go down the drain because you left yourself or your business exposed. Always have the right legal set up in place to separate your personal assets from those that belong to your business. If there is a lawsuit, you don’t want to lose your home or your vehicle over it. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for the bakery.
Such coverage is there to protect you should there be a problem in the establishment. The insurance can help you to get back on track. Make sure you learn about the different types of insurance offered and find what is the best for coverage with this type of business.
While your bakery may be the main focus, offering the goods you want to display, you should branch out. Your business will gain more customers if you take specialty orders for special events. They can include weddings, graduations and birthdays. You may decide to offer catering services to your options a well. Some bakeries also offer their goods online and ship them.
Before you branch out though, think about time management and overall workflow. Will you need to hire more staff to assist you? While expanding the business can be exciting, you never want to spread yourself too thin.
Social Media Platforms
Share your process, your baked goods, and what is taking place at the bakery on the various social media platforms. This will help you to reach your niche market. Often, such visual aids can encourage people to come try your baked goods. Once they do, they will be hooked! Connecting with them online can help create a loyal customer base. You can take it even further with a website for your bakery. Make sure it is professional and it is fully optimized.
Get your Goods Out There!
Take advantage of different events in your area where you can network and connect. When you take samples of your baked goods, it gives people a chance to try before they buy. Take along business cards and you will be able to get them in the door as paying customers before you know it. Do all you can to network with other businesses and strive to stay connected to your niche market.
There may be some charitable events where you can donate you baked goods for a good cause. This is a wonderful way to make connections while giving back to your community. Handing out coupons can also be a way to entice first time customers to come in the door and check out the bakery. There is a very good chance many of them will become frequent visitors from that point forward.
Listen to your Customers
Pay attention to what customers are saying about your business. What do they rave about? You need to do more of that? Are there any complaints that need to be addressed? If so, take swift action so those issues don’t continue to tarnish your bakery and the image you wish to create. If customers ask for something new to be added, consider it if you can make it happen!
Pay attention to the growth of your bakery and the additional needs that brings with it. Do you need to hire more help? What type of training should you offer them? Can you outsource some of the work so you can focus on the parts you wish to continue being hands on with? For example, outsourcing your social media marketing or the bookkeeping can be ideal.
Make sure you keep the bills paid and strive to keep your overhead low. Cash flow is important and you need to make sure people do pay you for the goods they order, especially specialty items. Make sure you pay yourself too, don’t put it all back into the business. You need to put some funds away for emergencies and you need to put some away for your retirement too.
While owning and operating a bakery is hard work, it can be quite rewarding too. Don’t forget why you started with it in the first place. Have fun, put limits on the number of hours you work each day, and strive to do the best job you can. Take pride in what you offer and connect with those who buy from you. Make sure your customers always know just how much you appreciate them!