Starting your own business is always scary, and not just because you have to work hard and pay attention to all sorts of different factors. In most cases, it is not always up to you how your new business will run. The market may prove treacherous, or the competition in the city may prove to be too tough to beat. Furthermore, customers may not enjoy what you offer more than what they already know and love.
Because of all this, one must think about everything long and hard before making the first step towards opening a business. In this article, we will talk about opening a bakery business, something that is never going to go out of fashion as pastries and regular bread are simply too important to overlook and ignore!
Starting a Bakery Business
If you think of an average town or city, you probably immediately think about a number of different bakeries in every neighborhood. This is normal, as all communities need fresh bread in the morning, as well as other, more specialized pastries and dough products to brighten their day. Furthermore, most people have that one favorite bakery with their go-to baker master who remembers them, calls them “neighbor” and has their desired product ready and waiting. It is then hard to start a new bakery, or is it? In the following section, you will learn the most important things many bakers wish they knew before opening their first bakery. For example, you need proper kitchen tools and appliances, exactly the ones CKitchen offers in their wide selection of restaurant and kitchen equipment.
1. Do not spend too much on branding initially
Since opening a bakery is expensive to achieve, you should not spend too much on branding your items right from the start. For the first year or so, it is enough to use regular, basic packaging like white bags, cups, and other containers and holders. Nobody will even notice it if everything else looks and feels great. After you have saved up for something more special, you can brand everything in your bakery, from napkins and toothpicks to packaging and menus. But before you get to know the market and what customers want, do not make the mistake of spending a large part of your initial budget on branding.
2. Customer relationship is key in the business
Right from the very start, it should be of the utmost importance for you and all of your employees to be as close and polite to your customers as possible. In the bakery game, the word of mouth is crucial if you want returning customers who made your bakery their number one choice. For the first month, offer samples of what you plan to bake. People love extra care and going the extra mile. Something you offer for free will surely attract more customers from day one. Business cards are also a nice way to promote, as are flyers, and they will make the people of your neighborhood aware of a special new local bakery. Treat every customer as a friend and tell them your story. They will surely appreciate the great effort you are putting into the relationship!
3. Flexible payment options
In order for a wider amount of customers to be able to pay for your tasty, mouthwatering products, you have to allow them multiple payment options. You have to let them know that you are accepting a variety of credit and debit cards, as well as online payments, especially for larger orders. Although bakery business has traditionally been cash-heavy for the most part, today more and more people use modern payment options. If you want tourists visiting your bakery, this is a definite must!
4. Quality is everything
As important as the aforementioned factors are, you are selling food after all. Therefore, the quality of ingredients has to be up to a certain level and definitely above average. If your items are high in demand, do not make the mistake of using cheaper and lower-tier ingredients since the customers will notice it every time. Stick to the original recipe as long as it is popular. If it stops being popular, add to it instead of making it less. In addition to quality and taste, try to make your products as beautiful to look as possible. Ask the bakers you employ to put some extra work into shapes and complications to make the bread and pastries pleasing to the eye, not just the taste buds and the nose. Remember, the most successful foods satisfy all senses, so try and make yours as tasty, aromatic, beautiful, and soft as possible. Lastly, do not offer products that have been in the shop for more than a day, as nobody wants a day old pastry!
5. Small loans only
Since bakeries usually start as smaller businesses, there is no reason to take huge loans that you will end up paying off for years to come. In case you need some quick cash for renovations or an emergency, look for quality and customer-friendly loans that you can quickly pay off. Otherwise you might end up in debt because of a bad business and investment move. Do research and determine exactly how much money you lack, so that you can never overdo it or underdo it.
6. Right kind of marketing
Lastly, you will have to use marketing to spread the word around. While we already mentioned business cards and flyers, and told you to keep branding to a minimum early on, here we mean free marketing. In the modern, tech-oriented world, the best kind of business marketing is social media. Be smart and utilize it correctly and you will reach a much wider audience. For example, open an Instagram account for the bakery, connect it to a Facebook page of the same name and you will already be doing a lot to promote the business. A YouTube channel also works wonders, and so do Snapchat and TikTo. There is no wrong way of marketing online, and the only thing you have to do is continue to have a strong presence.