If baking is your passion and entrepreneurship is your calling, then opening your very own bakery is something you’ve probably considered. Launching a bakery can provide you with a healthy return on investment, a steady salary, job satisfaction, and a sense of achievement. Reaching that point, though, requires plenty of research and preparation as well as a carefully crafted strategy. If you’re ready to sink your hands into the dough and start building your business, then here are half a dozen business-planning tips to help make your business’s journey a piece of cake.
A portion of your bakery’s business plan should be dedicated to industry analysis. Familiarizing yourself with industry trends, forecasts, and changes is a crucial step in strategic planning. For instance, did you know that according to IBISWorld, the Bakery Café market (bakeries that also serve complementary products for immediate consumption) has grown an average of 7.2 percent since 2009? IBISWorld also predicts that increased coffee consumption and high-quality menu items will drive revenue growth over the next few years. How will you incorporate this information into your business’s roadmap?
Sometimes offering specialty (or niche) products can help you stand out from the crowd. If your city’s bakery marketspace is already crowded, then going the niche route may be your best bet. If there are many vegans in your city but few dining options available to them, then perhaps offering vegan baked goods could be your niche. Research the demographics of your region and get a sense of what baked specialty products might be in demand and add them into your bakery’s business plan.
Bring your bakery into the twenty-first century by leveraging technology. SaaS (software as a service) applications allow you to cut down on capital expenses by paying on a monthly basis instead of making a large upfront investment. Plus, they can help your business stay on track. Merchandising systems, invoicing tools, and inventory management applications can help make your business run more efficiently without breaking the bank.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all sites with which you’ll want to set up an account in order to connect with the public more effectively. But, your online footprint shouldn’t end there. Crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will help you see what people are saying about your bakery. You can even address reviews and use them as feedback and begin building relationships online with your customers. Social media platforms are a necessary component of running a successful business, so your bakery’s business plan should include your online goals.
Collaborating with other businesses can take your business to the next level, so start reaching out early. Brainstorm possible allies and approach the best ones with a mutually beneficial offer. For example, if your bakery will make wedding cakes, you could join forces with a florist to offer complementing cake and floral arrangements.
The food preparation industry has strict rules and regulations governing it. Proper handling, preparation, and storage are non-negotiable. Learn what licenses and permits you require to sell food in your city and what you’ll need to maintain them. Remember that even a single misstep – an instance of food poisoning or a hair in someone’s cupcake – can ruin your business, so don’t take health and safety protocols lightly. Wow the health inspector and you’ll wow your clients!
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