4 Important points on setting up systems in your small baking business

We held a bakery business master-class this past Saturday and it was phenomenal.

We had very amazing bakers in attendance who were eager to learn and share from their experiences as well. This month’s master-class was about the types of systems you need to set up in your small baking business in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in your daily operations.

Amazing group of attendees and speakers

I’ll summarize a few points we covered for those who didn’t make it.

What are systems?

In case you’re not quite sure what business systems are; here are two descriptions.

– Systems are methodical procedures that form a framework on how to achieve a certain result in different parts of your business operations, e.g. recipe ingredients & directions that give you a certain result each time like a 1 Kg Vanilla cake.

– Simply put; systems are step by step actions of how you achieve a certain process in your business every time in order to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and success.

Why you need systems in your small baking business

– Systems are frame works that help you have a sustainable advantage towards your competitors, especially if they are effective. An example; if you have a consistently delicious vanilla 1 kg cake, your customers will always be satisfied and continuously return for more.

– They help you chart and define all the steps involved in creating and delivering products and services in your baking business. This helps you run these steps efficiently every time.

–  Systems reduce and eliminate waste and inefficiency in your business. Your customers will be able to get the same product and service they want, every time. By streamlining the everyday processes, you’re able to reduce and, over time, eliminate waste in your business – especially in production.

They allow positive growth; this is because once you streamline your daily operational activities, you’re able to focus on where and how to grow your business over time.

How to set up systems in your businessdoyouhavesystems-300x288

– Write every step down, of every activity done in your small baking business daily, weekly and monthly.

– Write a simple manual for each procedure and review it with another person, preferably a person who is involved in the business, e.g. a business partner.

– Share it with new employees and directors; share the relevant procedures that match the person’s job description. An example, a new baking assistant should see the standard recipes used to bake the cakes to be sold, etc.

The 5 most important systems you require in your small baking business

Production system: pertains to any activity in the kitchen e.g. mixing, measuring, baking, cooling, decorating, packaging, labeling, storage, etc. It also pertains to cleanliness, bakery kitchen set-up and operation locations e.g. packing area, decorating area, etc. This also includes food hygiene and sanitary procedures.

Eric Kibe of SafiServe talking about the need for food and safety hygiene training and systems in a bakery

Financial System: How you track all your baking business finances, i.e. money going in and out of your business. This should include record keeping, e.g. invoices, cash sale receipts, payment and petty cash vouchers – tracking expenses. As well as monthly profit and loss statements – finding out if your business is making a loss or a profit. You should also have a system of reconciling all your cash flow e.g. getting bank or Mpesa statements to reconcile daily business transactions.

Payment System: Have a specific way of receiving money from your customers as well as paying for your expenses. This will not only help you in tracking and reconciling your records, it will also help you divide your personal and business finances. You can choose to have two options of receiving cash e.g. actual cash from a visiting customer and cashless payments such as mobile money e.g. Mpesa or Airtel money. An advisable and in-expensive method to choose from is getting a Lipa na Mpesa Till from Kopo Kopo; this method gives you extra features, such as a dashboard that has analytics that you can use in your small baking business. You can click here to find out how to get a Till from Kopo Kopo.

Guest Speaker – Stephen Dimba of Kopo Kopo giving an insightful talk on payment systems

Sales and Marketing System: You should also have a system in place in order to constantly be attracting customers to your baking business. Have a defined target market in order to have a strategy that attracts your type of customer for your baking business. This will help you have a system of daily, weekly and monthly sales and marketing activities. A few examples would be having a schedule of how to post on your social media pages, when to put up social media ads, when to sign up for baking fairs and if you have a site or a blog; when to post and/or update your site.

Have a marketing plan and system in place

Customer Service System: You should also have a system on how to deal with customers; from the beginning – first contact with your customer, to the end – when you deliver their baked goods. This could be a series of steps you take to find out information on your customers, e.g. how they found out about your bakery, their interests, contacts, etc. This will help you communicate to them afterwards and create a relationship. It’s also a great way of getting feedback from them after they have consumed your products as well. Make sure you also have a specific way you handle other challenges such as customer complaints, etc.  You can also choose to come up with a way of rewarding loyal customers.

Have a set procedure of getting customer feedback

I hope the above has been of insight to you as a small bakery business owner or for you who wants to start a baking business in the future.

If interested, we hold Bakery Business Masterclass every three months on various business topics. Sign up to be notified of our next masterclass. Click here.

If you enjoyed this post; like it and make sure to leave a comment below as well ^_^

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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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