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So You Want to Start a Bakery

So You Want to Start a Bakery

By: Jessie Broz

Nothing is sweeter than deciding to turn your baking hobby into a career. You are ready to showcase your incredible technique and delicious desserts, but before can open the doors to your business; there are a few things to consider….

Will You Even Have Doors?

The first decision you will make is what kind of shop you will open.

The most versatile option is a Sit-Down/Counter Service. These options are very popular because they cater to a large pool of individuals. They are convenient for:

  • folks on the go,
  • students looking for a study space,
  • and those looking for a well-deserved break in their day.

However, with technology becoming a driving force in society, who says you need a storefront to open a bakery? Start promoting your products and services Online. Create a website showcasing a few of your coolest creations, easy navigation for placing orders, and voila! You’re in business — from home!

It is important to make this decision based on what is possible for you to get those “doors” open. Writing up a business plan encourages you to consider your products, budget, and location, making deciding what kind of shop you will open a piece of cake.

Create a Business Plan

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – A Wise Man

Business plans identify strategies to the strategies. Your business plan should serve as the omniscient guide to ensuring the success of your bakery.

Are your cupcakes the most decorative in any store window? Does the glossy interior of your bread compliment the caramelized crust? Are your muffins to die for? Decide what desirable quality sets your business apart from the competition.

Next, decide who is included in your target market. Possible considerations include income level, availability of vegan friendly options, and location or ethnic backgrounds. Is it possible for you to serve the needs of your target market alone? Seeking support in a team may reduce stress and increase productivity.

Estimate Your Startup Cost

In considering the cost to provide wages, you must also consider other start up costs. Make a list of all equipment needed to run your bakery. Don’t forget about equipment beyond the kitchen — i.e. packaging and sanitation products. If you decide to operate in a commercial kitchen space or a walk-in store, rent is another start up cost.

Your start up costs is comparable to your breakeven point. With this estimate, you are now ready to price your goodies. Prices should be set to generate revenue AND match your target market’s willing expenditure. Prices may vary based on weight, size, consumer age, consumer consistency, and consumer relation to you. Decide which “discounts” you are willing to make and commit to how strict you plan to be with them.

Marketing Your Bakery

Finally, you are able to market your business. Getting the word around starts with your immediate circle.

  • Tell your friends and family.
  • Pass out samples in public.
  • Use logo-branded packaging, business cards, posters, flyers, social media ads, or create a website to invite customers to your business!

(Depending on the marketing strategy you decide to use, you may need to revisit your start up costs!)

Recap of Writing Up Your Business Plan

Here are a few things to include in your business plan:

  1. What kind of products will you sell?
  2. Identify your customer base.
  3. Will you operate alone?
  4. Assess start up costs.
  5. Set prices to create revenue.
  6. Define a Family & Friends Policy.
  7. How will you market your bakery?

How Can I Protect My Bakery?

In many “how-to-open-a-bakery” guides, there exists a gap in the necessities needed to protect your investment. What happens if your building burns down and you experience a loss of income due to prolonged closure? What happens if an employee is stealing from the register or your website experiences a cyber attack? That is where bakery insurance comes into play.

Insurance is a sore topic because to most, it is simply regarded as another expense they will have to pay. However, bakers face many risks ranging from property damage to food spoilage that can be threatening to the existence of their business.

Getting coverage alleviates this worry, making it an expense worthwhile. Numerous factors influence the cost of bakery insurance, like number of employees, business owned vehicles, and space of operation. Because of this, it is highly encouraged to do some research. Learn about what sectors of your business need coverage and get a free quote.

Happy baking!


Brian Brown

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