What to Know Before Starting Your Own Bakery

What to Know Before Starting Your Own BakeryPondering upon the process of opening your own bakery? This can be a wonderful business opportunity for you, but it’s not enough to just have a few ideas of which baked goods you’d like to sell. Starting your own business takes a lot of detailed planning, hard work, and drive to succeed. It’s smart to know what you’d like to achieve with your business, and how you plan on doing so. These are some steps to help you get started.

Business and Branding Plan

What would you like to sell? Who will your customers be? Research rent prices in areas you are considering, equipment costs, ingredients and packaging availability and cost, and more. Start with the budget, then create a list of costs. Opening any business will almost always cost a little more, commonly a lot more than assumed, so keep this in mind. Another thing that you should work into your budget is a Bakery Insurance program, custom-tailored to your operation and its unique needs and risk exposures. It might seem premature now, but your clients and property managers will feel better knowing that you’ve protected yourself.

If you are having trouble developing your business’s brand, use a marketing team to help develop something you’ll love. Use your social media platforms to advertise your sweets on a daily basis, which you can do yourself for free!

Menu

Testing cake flavors, frostings, and cookie doughs and getting feedback can be so fun! You may discover what will be your best seller, and what will be least ordered. You can fill in the gaps with new recipes and test them on friends and family. Begin with a small menu and eventually add new desserts. Each recipe should be written out with scaled measurements.

Pricing

Knowing what to charge for your desserts can be a bit of a complicated process, but just pulling a price out of thin air isn’t good. Start with one recipe, taking the total cost for all ingredients and determine the weights and volume of each ingredient. Then, figure out how many recipes you can make from each ingredient purchased.You must factor in packaging, labor and overhead costs. Find out what other bakeries in your city are charging to be in a similar price range.

Location

Get to know your city and surrounding areas. Is the area you’d prefer to open up shop already full of bakeries? Are customers and residents in the area likely to pay the prices you’re hoping to charge? An area with lots of walk-by traffic, close to public transit and ample parking is ideal.

Equipment

This is where the majority of your money could end up being spent. Search for local restaurant supply auctions to pick up gently-used equipment on the cheap. Another option is to rent new equipment or use a rent-to-buy equipment funding partner. Equipment breakdown can be covered through your Bakery Insurance program. If the money is flowing, you can always purchase new equipment later on.

Contracts and Staff  

Have staff sign non-disclosure agreements, as well as non-compete clauses, to avoid a disgruntled ex-employee taking your recipes to another bakery or having them start a competing business. Employees should also sign an employment contract, stating their wage, amount of days/hours they’re expected to work, and more. Consider having employees take a quick course in FoodSafe. The test is taken online, and they will be certificated in food safety.

Inevitably, some employees will end up not being a good fit. Treat everyone with respect and hope for the best.

 

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