Did you know that the baking industry brings in about $30 billion every year? There is clearly a big market for those who are interested in selling bread, cakes, and other baked goods for a living.
If you would like to try and get a piece of the proverbial pie, you should learn how to open a bakery. Starting a bakery from scratch isn’t necessarily as difficult as you might think once you figure out the steps to take.
It’s going to be very important for you to go about getting your bakery business off the ground in the right way, though. You’ll be setting yourself up to fail if you don’t come up with a foolproof bakery business plan and then stick to it.
Here is how to open a bakery from start to finish. Follow along with these steps if you’re thinking about opening a bakery sometime soon.
Begin by Scouting Your Competition
There are almost 3,000 commercial bakeries and about 6,000 retail bakeries in the country today. Prior to trying to figure out how to open a bakery of your own, you should do your homework on the bakeries in your general area to see how many of them there are and what they’re bringing to the table.
If there are already way too many bakeries in your city or town, it might not make a whole lot of sense for you to open yet another one up. But if there seems to be room in the marketplace for you, you should be able to find a spot where you’ll fit in.
Whatever you do, you shouldn’t ever open a bakery or any other kind of business without doing the necessary research first. You’ll be putting yourself into a bad position if you fail to take a closer look at the competitors that you’ll have in your area.
Decide What Kind of Bakery You Want to Open
If you research the other bakeries in your area and find that there is room in the marketplace for you, the next thing you’ll want to do is decide what type of bakery you’re going to open. You should try to find a way to make your bakery stand apart by differentiating yourself from the crowd.
You can open a bakery that sells products online. You can also open one that sells them in person at a counter. You can even consider selling baked goods directly out of some kind of food truck.
Your goal should be to make your bakery unique by coming up with some kind of angle for it. You should aim to open a bakery that’s going to be easy to separate from all the other bakeries out there.
Create a Bakery Business Plan
Arguably the most important aspect of starting a bakery is creating a bakery business plan for it. You’re almost always going to fail as a bakery owner if you don’t have a thorough business plan to fall back on.
If you’ve ever started any other kind of business before, then you likely know how to put together a business plan. But if you haven’t had to do it, here are some of the steps you’ll have to take to create a business plan:
- Come up with an executive summary that spells out what your bakery business is going to be all about
- Provide a complete description of your company and what it will entail
- Compile an organized list of all the market analysis that you’ve done
- Spell out how your bakery business will be set up (LLC, S corporation, limited partnership, etc.)
- Reveal how you’re going to market your bakery to the masses
Creating a bakery business plan isn’t something that you’re going to be able to do overnight. You’re going to have to spend quite a bit of time crafting it. But it’ll be well worth it in the end since it’ll give your company clear objectives and help you stay more organized.
Figure Out How You’re Going to Fund Your Bakery
Opening a bakery is going to require you to make a pretty big investment on your part. Depending on how large it’s going to be, you could be looking at paying anywhere from $10,000 to well over $50,000 to get your bakery up and running.
In a perfect world, you’ll have this money tucked away in your savings account so that you don’t have to borrow money to start your bakery. But if you don’t have enough money saved to start a bakery on your own, you can also try:
- Asking family members and friends to invest in your business
- Taking out a small business loan
- Speaking with angel investors about lending a helping hand
There is a chance that you might have some trouble getting funding for your bakery right away. But if you’re really determined to open a bakery, you should be able to find at least one lender or investor willing to provide the funding that you need. The key is to keep asking around for help.
Find a Great Location for Your Bakery
Once you have a clear business plan ready to go and you have the funding that you’ll need to get your business going, you’ll be able to start scouting locations for your bakery. You should ideally look for storefronts in your area that get a lot of foot traffic.
You should also look for a space that’s going to have more than enough space for you and your bakery to stretch out. Bakery owners sometimes underestimate how much room they’ll need and end up in a space that they outgrow in no time at all.
You’re going to be in the space that you start your bakery in for a long time if things go according to plan. It’s why you want to walk through a bunch of different locations in your area to see which one is going to work best for you.
Invest in the Equipment You’ll Need to Run a Bakery
One of the reasons why it’s so expensive to start a bakery is because of all the equipment that you’re going to need to buy for it. You’ll have to spend a pretty penny on equipment prior to opening up your front doors and welcoming your customers in.
So, what kinds of equipment should you make sure that you have on hand when you’re opening a bakery? Here are some of the things that you’re going to have to buy:
- Display cases
- And more!
You’ll also need to have a refrigeration system set up. You can find commercial fridges for sale that you’ll be able to use throughout your bakery. You should look for ones that come highly recommended by other bakery owners throughout the country.
Come Up With a Menu for Your Bakery
When you fill your bakery up with the equipment that you’ll need to do all your baking, it’s going to start to feel real. It’s not going to be long at all before you’re baking things and selling them to those in your community.
But before you fire up your ovens and get things underway, you’re going to need to come up with a menu featuring everything that you’ll be able to serve to your customers. It’ll help you get your hands on the baking supplies that you’ll need to make your special creations.
You should try to come up with at least a few signature items that you can put on your menu. You should also include plenty of staples like the aforementioned bread and cakes. And you might even want to experiment with creative products that will really set your bakery apart.
You can, of course, tinker with your menu over time based on the response that certain items get from your customers. But you should come up with a solid starting point for your bakery so that you’re able to put your best foot forward from the beginning.
Generate a Price List for Your Bakery’s Products
While you’re in the process of creating a menu for your bakery, you’re also going to want to begin putting together a price list for all the products that you’re going to sell. You should base the prices for your items on several key factors.
Some of the factors that you should think about when generating a price list for your items should include:
- Which ingredients you’ll need to use to create products
- How long it’ll take you to bake products
- The demand that you think will exist for products
Your bakery isn’t going to be able to stick around for very long if you don’t attach the right prices to your products. People should feel like they’re getting a good value when they order baked goods from you. It’s why you should put a ton of time and effort into creating a price list that you feel comfortable with.
Bring Employees on Board to Help You Run a Bakery
There are some small businesses that people can run on their own at the start. These businesses can essentially be one-man (or woman!) operations for the first few months until an owner is able to get them moving in the right direction.
You’re probably not going to be able to take this approach to running a bakery, though. There are so many things that will need to be done in a bakery every day, and you’re not going to be able to do them all yourself.
From coming in early to start the baking process to manning the counters and taking orders from customers, you’re going to run yourself ragged without some help. You should prepare to hire at least a few reliable employees to assist you in the beginning and then branch out from there by bringing more people on board in the months to come.
You should also consider how this is going to impact your finances. You might need to take out a slightly larger business plan at the start to ensure that you have enough money on hand to pay your employees.
Market Your Bakery at All Times
One of the last things you’ll need to do prior to starting a bakery is figure out the best ways to market it. No matter how great your baked goods are, it’s not going to matter much if you don’t have a clear marketing plan in place.
Social media marketing has become a very effective tool for many bakery owners. You might be able to entice people to come and check out what your new bakery has to offer by putting up pictures of the different products that you sell.
You should also think about using more traditional marketing methods to spread the word about your new bakery. You might be able to get some mileage out of running a newspaper ad or an ad on the radio.
Regardless of how you choose to market your bakery, you should recognize the importance of marketing and use it to your full advantage. You’re going to have a tough time getting people to swing by your bakery without generating the necessary buzz around it.
You Can Learn How to Open a Bakery and Turn It Into a Massive Success
The baking industry has become very competitive in recent years. But as we alluded to earlier, there is also more than enough money to go around for all those interested in getting involved in it.
If you’ve always dreamed about opening a bakery, you should take the right steps to do it now. You can learn how to open a bakery in a hurry and make it more successful than you may have ever imagined.
Follow each of the steps that we’ve laid out here to get the job done. They’ll make it possible for you to live out your dream within the next six months or so.
Find more tips on opening a bakery or another type of business by reading through the other informative articles on our blog.