Baked goods are a staple in every home and occasion, making it a profitable business venture — that is, as long as you sell quality products and do your marketing right. It’s also relatively easier to start and run compared to other food businesses, as you can do it at home and even as a young student, saving you from the burden of costly leasing.
But if your home-based bakery has been exponentially growing, your own kitchen may no longer suffice as your main facility sooner or later. Your amateur baking equipment and tools will also have to go once you expand. So how are you going to prepare for this leap?
Knowing the dos and don’ts of starting and running a bakery business will save you from a lot of mistakes once you make it big. Make a checklist out of this guide, as it will be handy in time.
Do: Price Your Products Based on its Quality
Pricing your products can be tricky if you’re dealing with a handful of competitors who sell cheaper. But it would be impossible to lower your price without compromising the high-quality ingredients that you use. Hence, compete on quality instead of price. When your patrons discover how much better your products are compared to its cheaper and massed produced counterparts, you can expect a stream of new customers coming in to try out your products, and then spreading the word further to other potential customers.
Don’t: Use Substitute Ingredients Without Studying its Implications
One challenge in a bakery business is possibly running out of a particularly important ingredient. Sugar, for example, has a lot of substitutes, but you can’t simply use them on your products unless your recipe indicates that it’s okay to do so, or if you have an alternate recipe for a sugar substitute. Even the slightest lack of a certain ingredient can have a huge and obvious impact on the finished product, so be careful about using substitutes.
Do: Invest in Professional Equipment
Ovens, baking pans, mixing bowls, etc. — you need those in professional-grade varieties if you’re going to start selling to a bigger market. Your trusty hand-mixer may also not suffice anymore, so replace that with a high-performance industrial dough mixer. You’d save a lot of time and costs with larger and professional equipment, since they can accommodate at least double the volume of the goods you normally finish in an hour, for example,
Don’t: Overmix Your Dough
Unless you’re going for tough and dense cookies, then you must never overmix your dough. That’s another reason professional mixing equipment is necessary; they have settings you can control and adjust according to what’s recommended in the recipe. If you only use your hands, the likelihood of overmixing or undermixing is high.
Do: Learn the Baking Trade
A simple and basic knowledge about the baking trade will only be sufficient if you’re doing it as a seasonal business. If you’re going to take it to the next level, you need to study the trade so you can expand your menu and be at par with your competitors. Enroll in a baking course to widen the range of your skills, as well as to learn pricing strategies.
Do: Market Your Products
Even if you’re still home-based, marketing is essential. Use social media, take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising, and once your profits already allow it, launch your own website, too. Post high-quality content consistently, and always showcase your custom creations, such as wedding cakes. You might gain more special orders from it and become a renowned figure in the events industry in time.
A small seasonal bakery business has the potential to become a global hit-maker. If you have such a business, treat it like an industry-leader even if you’re just running it from home.