The moment you decide to commercialize your passion; you are in for a new business experience.
As simple as it may sound, without proper planning, you may end up closing shops before you break even.
Every successful bakery requires a business plan. Ask yourself a few questions to gauge whether you are ready to open doors for the public or not.
Here are a few of them
- How well do you understand the bakery business dynamics?
- Do you have a ready market for your products?
- As a home baker, how did you gauge yourself in terms of sales?
- Are you opening the business due to demand or instinct?
Food business needs facts and not emotions; the market research is your proof of a market need for your baking products.
Other factors you also need to put into consideration include
- Uptake of goods and services
- Location of the bakery
- Availability of raw materials
- Source of start-up capital
Here are some of the things you need to start a bakery business successfully
- Business plan
Thinking of starting a business is okay, but if you are to actualize the business idea; you need to have a write-up and feel of its viability.
The business plan gives you an overview of what you have, how you will do it and the possibility.
If your business plan has gaps, that a red flag. It shows that the business is bound to fail at the initial stages.
- Start-up capital
The bakery is a capital intensive investment that you need to have enough finances to fund it.
The commercial bakery equipment needs importation, and that requires a lot of funds. You also need to have an emergency fund to cater for the business in the first year in case your sales projections go the opposite way.
You can choose to go to a credit facility to get funds, but you have to think of ways of repaying apart from the cake and pastry sales.
Assuming you don’t make sales, how are you going to manage your rent, utility bills, among other recurrent expenditure?
- Bakery space
The heavy baking machinery needs space. Confectionary entails pastries, cakes and baked products, apart from the kitchen space, a display area where you showcase your products in a tidy manner that attracts customers.
Your secretariat also requires a separate office to handle the paperwork for you. This is a food business that you need to be in line with Occupational Health and Safety regulations.
Have a layout of how you want it and look for a premise either on lease terms of purchase that will suit all your staff and baking equipment.
- Permits, licenses and certifications
You can’t fail to ignore government regulations and legal policies that govern them. Now that you are in the hospitality industry, there is no shortcut to it.
Get to your local authority office and get all the certifications before you open your doors for customers.
- Bakery equipment
Is there a bakery business without bakery equipment? In the beginning, you may not purchase everything, but some basics can’t miss.
This depends on the kind of confectionery you want to offer.
- Commercial mixers
- Storage racks
- Baking equipment set
- Display shelves
- Three compartment sinks
As you focus on baking equipment, these are pastries that may need an accompaniment. If you are planning to have a sitting area where people get to enjoy your cakes; then beverages can’t miss as part of your kitchen equipment. Why not invest in an espresso coffee maker for your coffee needs.
- Trained personnel
Baking is a skilled labour-intensive business. You need to have trained personnel to ensure you meet the needs of your customers.
As part of your hiring process; you need to vet to prove their professionalism and integrity in work ethics.
This is a hands-on job that requires experience and tact to crack some of the customized orders.
- Marketing strategy
How will people know that you are in existence? Unless you market yourself to alert people of the new bakery in town, you may wait for walk-in customers in vain.
Therefore you need to choose workable strategies that will benefit you as a start-up. The secret in marketing is to work within your budget.
Some of the recommended and cost-effective marketing methodology includes
- Door to door campaign
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Advertisement on print and audio media
- Internet advertisement
The success or failure of your bakery business starts from the planning process. If you do your market research and analysis properly using the right personnel; you will enjoy the fruits of your hard work within months.
This doesn’t erode the fact that challenges are also inevitable, but, with proper preparation, you get to navigate through them swiftly. What is your hindrance to commercializing your passion? What is the drawback from moving your home baking business to a corporate entity? The power is within you. Believe in yourself. Start and the rest of the things will fall in place.