5 Lessons Learned From A Successful Bakery Owner in Kenya

Here at Amari we’ve recently started doing business workshops for bakers which we first held on February 13th while we we’re launching our new book “How to Startup a Small Bakery Business Successfully.”

It was an amazing event that was attended by many bakers and bakerettes who were eager to learn as much as they could. We were also lucky to have guest speakers from Kuza Biashara and Cookswell Energy Saving Jikos as well.

We have realized that most bakers have a great need to learn about the entrepreneurial part of the baking business and that is why we have decided to start doing monthly bakery business master classes that will benefit small bakery owners or individuals who want to start small bakeries. These master classes will offer different topics on business that will be of great insight to all those who attend. For the upcoming business master class this Saturday, I went to meet a certain owner who agreed to be one of our guest speakers in the class and it’s such an honor.

The bakery located on Kindaruma road is a lovely bakery shop in a peaceful and serene area. The décor is just a bakerette’s dream – I fell in love with it right away.

The lovely Cakes.co.ke Bakery Shop
The lovely Cakes.co.ke Bakery Shop

I want to share at least five lessons I learned just from a discussion we had.

When you start your baking business and setting it up, specialize. Don’t try to capture many niches all at once, specialize in one niche. Focus on it and be the best that you can be. This concept is evident in Cakes.co.ke and is a big part of their success. They specialize in custom cakes for special occasions and they are very good at it . If you would like to get into another niche, do so after you have perfected your original niche. Separate the second niche into another unit or department; then make sure you work on perfecting it as well.

Beautiful 2 face wedding cake by cakes.co.ke
Beautiful 2 face wedding cake by cakes.co.ke
  1. Test, Test, Test.

Always test your marketing efforts, no matter how small you may think them. This is a lesson I got as we discussed festivals and fairs. Internet and inbound marketing especially online can be quite easy to test and measure; however, trade fairs and festivals can be a bit harder to test. As long as you’re spending money on any activity in your bakery business, you should make sure you test it. This will give you insight on whether you are spending your money wisely in your marketing strategy or not.

  1. Don’t let external opinions or economic conditions dictate your business goals

As startup entrepreneurs sometimes we tend to listen to the opinions of critics and other people on current economic conditions. You might hear people discussing the fact that it is a bad economic year and that sales will be down in the baking industry. Plan well in your business and believe in your bakery’s success. Work hard towards marketing and growing your business, don’t listen to negative predictions of the economy. You will find your own success if you do so – just work hard, work smart & believe in your business. Period.

  1. As your business grows, work on having it run perfectly even without you in it

In the first stages of your small bakery business, you will be working in your business day in day out, night and day. It is to be expected in order for it to grow as you would like it. As it progresses however; after the first few years, you should start building systems. These systems will help your bakery run effectively and efficiently without you having to be there daily. In time, you will have the time to work on your business instead of in your business. You can be able to work on the vision of your bakery in a few months and a year’s time as well. You can find better wholesale vendors, streamline systems to be more effective and help your bakery business run like a well-oiled machine.

  1. Don’t judge business failures as personal failures

As an entrepreneur, you will encounter failures as you do business – they can be small or big ones. This will discourage you and make you feel sad and un-inspired for a period of time. You should not let those feelings last for long however, or take the failure as a personal failure.

I personally know how it feels like to fail in business and for a while it had felt as if it was a personal failure. One should only let those feelings last for a short period of time and then, as an entrepreneur, you should move on and start finding other solutions. This is advice that many successful entrepreneurs always give – to ‘fail fast’. Look at those failures as learning moments and move on from them. You will be a better person and entrepreneur after learning. It is a priceless lesson, it cannot be bought or un-learned.

Our business training workshop in February 2016
Our business training workshop in February 2016

Cakes.co.ke is owned by Greg Wanjama.

I know these five lessons will be of use to you, I know they will be very helpful to me for sure ^_^

Make sure you share this post to your network, it might be of help to a friend.

Published by Amari

Baking with Amari offers learning experiences to those who want to experience & know what Bakers & Cake Decorators do in a practical, hands-on settting. We train our students using Cookswell original charcoal ovens. We also offer basic business start-up training for those who want to start small baking businesses. We do groups vocational training anywhere in East Africa as well. We hold classes in our home-based bakery workshop located on Ndwaru road in Riruta, Nairobi; off Naivasha road, next to Pelida School.

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