How to Open and Manage a Successful Bakery
Did you know there are more than 630,000 direct jobs in the baking industry, according to the American Bakers Association? If you have the desire to join the industry in the near future, you can do so in a number of ways.
While there is nothing wrong with working at an established bakery, don't overlook another option: opening your own business.
Even though this path is full of responsibility and challenges, nothing changes the fact that the excitement will keep you moving forward. There is nothing more enjoyable than building a business in an industry you love.
Of course, this leads to an important question: what steps must you take to open and manage a bakery with success?
Here are five steps to follow:
1. Create a Business Plan
This will help you answer a number of key questions, including but not limited to:
- What kind of bakery do you want to open?
- Where will you get your recipes?
- How many employees will you start with?
- What are your operating costs?
This isn't the most exciting step of opening a bakery, but it's one that will put you on the right track from the start.
2. Choose the Right Space
There is more to opening and managing a bakery than selling tasty food. If nobody knows about it, you'll have a hard time staying in business. This is why it's so important to choose the right space.
Generally speaking, this comes down to three things:
- Location in your chosen area (foot traffic, ease of access, etc.)
- Retail space for visitors.
- Kitchen space.
Even though you may be in a hurry to get up and running, don't jump the gun and choose just any location. Continue your search until you find the perfect spot.
3. Offer Something Unique
Let's face it: the bakery business has been around for hundreds upon hundreds of years. At this point, there's not much you can do that is 100 percent unique. However, this doesn't mean you can't take a unique approach to an old favorite.
What makes your cookies different than the competition? Why do so many consumers covet your bread?
When your offerings are unique, you have a much better chance of attracting and retaining a large customer base.
4. Market Your Bakery
Just the same as any business, you won't have success unless people know who you are, what you offer, and how to buy your product.
There are many ways to market your bakery, from billboard advertising to internet ads.
Tip: word of mouth marketing should never be overlooked in the bakery business. When your products taste good, your customers are sure to share their experience with others.
5. Focus on the Finances
You can have the best tasting products in your area, but your bakery won't last long if you don't have your finances in order.
- What are your monthly expenses?
- What is your breakeven point?
- Have you projected your income over the next 12 months?
- Do you have a payroll system in place?
All of these finance related questions should be addressed before you start your business, as well as after you are up and running.
There are approximately 6,000 retail bakeries in the United States. These businesses are responsible for generating combined annual revenue of about $4 billion.
If you want to get in on the action, now's the time to do so. There is plenty of room for another bakery!