After years of experience in the kitchen mastering baking, you’ve decided to step things up. Taking the general route of schooling and the 9-to-5 office hours didn’t work out too well for you and you realize that you belong to the baking industry. Do you have what it takes to start a bakery of your own?
Each bakery has its own story. Let’s look at the case of the Higgidy co-founded by Camilla Stephens from its origins in West Sussex. The pies they sell are not only quality products, but are also a commercial success, with more than 28 million pieces sold and a reputation for hand-made pastries and ingredients. As one of the top 100 fastest growing business from 2008 – 2011 in the UK, Stephens learned her craft of recipe development in the U.S. and shared some insights:
Money – She stated that you have to believe in your business by shelling out your own money. This proves to yourself and to others that you are confident and committed.
Sticking to the Essentials – She shares that her essential is working hands-on, which means sticking to hand-made products even with the temptations of a bigger pan for efficiency. Identify and stick to your non-negotiables and market it.
Connecting with Customers – One of the success factors of Higgidy was that people who consume their products can trace it to its origins and the people behind it. They consider customer feedback and evolve with ever-changing eating habits by offering new options and considering customer comments.
A successful company has people who want to go to work and is designed to be comfortable and happy. Taking care of your staff will not only provide quality products, but also a more successful business overall.
Pitfalls of a Bakery
Before getting excited, there are many factors to look out for before starting your new venture:
Staff Knowledge and Reliability – Relative to a happy workplace, they are the face of your bakery and need to know the exact measurements, ingredients, and processes in making your product. Training them with properly baked examples and integrate them in a fun manner for them.
Cleanliness – Be hygienic about the place and make sure ingredients are stored properly along with refrigerator temperatures and enforcing local health codes. This will also give a good impression to your customers.
Financial Aspects – A reliable financial manager should be on the lookout for inventory costs and the amount of produce made. If needed, hire an accountant and have them explain what the reports and figures mean.
Marketing – A really good pastry won’t be successful without word of mouth and advertising. Utilize social media and create a website to boost customer awareness and visibility for your bakery.
Things to Consider
Developing a business plan means projecting where your bakery will be in the next few years. Consider the costs in creating your products as well as how much they will be sold, when you will earn profits, and the potential competition you may face.
Do consider the legal practices, as well, including sales tax, permits, and the mortgage rate in Tempe you need to follow if you’re renting out the business location. Consider a tax or legal professional to walk you through liabilities and insurance.
The desire to earn from your passions can be a rough road filled with obstacles and challenges; however, by sticking to your unique business practices, marketing and safety practices, and legal barriers, you’ll start earning profits and selling muffins in no time. Take note of the pitfalls, but don’t let them discourage you into pursuing the business. Remember to train your staff and take care of them while providing quality and honest service that will see your bakery growing slowly but surely.