I’ve stated the importance of marketing in your small bakery business in a previous post; therefore, I will not repeat again how important it is to do so. It can be quite a challenge however since as a small business bakery owner, you are very busy wearing many different hats in your startup business. You’re most likely the head baker, book keeper, customer service representative, marketer and many other hats a startup entrepreneur has to wear when starting a business. This over a period of time, can make proper and consistent marketing of your small bakery very hard to maintain. As understandable as it is, it’s not a good thing for your bakery business. You should therefore find ways to make it manageable and consistent as your bakery business grows since marketing is an effective way for you to have a higher chance of success in business.
Having passed through the same challenges myself as a startup bakery owner, I would like to share four ways that will help you market consistently. It’s not easy to start but by adopting some routines and planning ahead, you will be able to keep up with your marketing effectively. I hope these steps help you and your small bakery business out.
1. Have a content calendar for your business blog
One of the ways I shared earlier on marketing your small bakery business online is by starting a business blog. It can be a challenge posting on your blog consistently; therefore, you should learn how to prepare ahead in order to avoid failing to post on your blog all together. The best way to avoid that is by having a content calendar for your blog. This is simply a calendar where you schedule the topics and when you will post on your blog. This will of course depend on your goals/objectives for your blog; one of them being the frequency of posting (e.g. once a week or twice a month). You can go to a stationery shop and buy a desktop calendar for the current year. Then sit down a week before the start of every month and plan on the topics of your blog posts for that month and when you want to post them. Write in the dates you want to post and the subject of each blog post. Make sure you plan on when you’ll work on the posts; research, writing, editing and posting. If you can get used to that routine for the first three to four months; it will become a part of your business marketing activities and it will breed consistency for your brand.
2. Regularly post on social media
Another important aspect of marketing online is posting on social media; your small bakery business pages and on retail or industry-related groups (such as on Facebook). You can also plan about 70% of your social media posting for platforms like Facebook and Twitter by scheduling your posts ahead of time. Tools such as Hootsuite, can assist you with scheduling your posts and Facebook pages also have that option for your brand pages. I state 70% scheduling since it’s still very important to make sure you engage with your audience, so make sure at least 30% of your posts are engaging and are posted in real time to maintain authenticity. Scheduling will assist in your marketing activities since you might be very busy most of the times during the day. An example of posts you can schedule are links of helpful content found on your blog or pictures of your baked products. If you want to also have a routine; you can create a social media posting calendar as well which you can update weekly or bi-weekly for efficiency.
3. Give monthly offers and discounts
When I was running my online bakery; I used to have a ‘Flavor of the Month’ special every month. I would offer a 10% or 20% off discount on any products which were of the flavor of the month, e.g. Vanilla, chocolate, orange etc. That particular offer kept me motivated to sell my baked products of that flavor and to come up with creative ways of marketing to my customers in order to get them to purchase those baked goods. It even helped me create content for my blog on the different types of cake flavors that I offered. Most of my loyal customers would call me to ask me what the flavor of the month was in order to get those discounts.
You can apply the same concept to your small bakery business; offer monthly discounts that will give your customers incentive to buy your baked goods. The offers will also motivate you to be creative with your marketing activities and to be consistent as well. You can announce and market those offers on social media, your blog and your website.
4. Join or participate in baking platforms, fairs and/or festivals
As a business owner, it’s important to make sure that you stay relevant and up to date with the latest in the baking industry. You can do this in different ways and it will help you stay consistent in marketing your small bakery business as well as your growth as a startup bakery business owner. One of the ways you can do so is by participating in an annual festival such as The Cake Festival that is hosted every year by Edumed Trust Kenya. It gives all types of bakers (amateurs and professionals) a platform to showcase their skills, their baked products and any other services they offer.
You can also participate in any other trade show or fair such as The Nairobi International Trade Fair (also known locally as the Nairobi show ^_^); if you’re in another city in Kenya, you can go to your local city trade fair. You can showcase as well as sell your baked products and hand out print marketing material to potential customers.Another Baking event you can participate in is The Cake Art Affair that showcases new and upcoming bakers in the industry.
You can also join a platform of bakers such as the Facebook group – The Bakers Club, where you can interact, learn from and share experiences from other bakers in Kenya. I’m very proud to mention that the club was founded by a former Amari Baking class student called Wanjiku Lucia, a very wonderful lady and baker. By participating in the fairs and joining baking platforms; you’re able to challenge yourself as a bakery business owner and remain consistent in your marketing in order to stay at the top of your game.
These four ways can be of great help to you and your small bakery business, so make sure you put them into action in your business.
If you have any other creative and effective ways you use to consistently market your small bakery, please feel free to share below. Thanks for reading! ^_^
To gain more detailed information on how to plan your marketing activities in order to start a small bakery business successfully; you can also get the book on “How to startup a small bakery business successfully.” Available on e-book or Hard copy print as well. Click on this link for more information on price and where it’s being sold.