We get lots of emails and social media messages on the topic of starting up a baking business. One of the most common questions; especially for those who have just started up their home baking business or small baking business shops is on why they’re not making lots of profits right away or what they are doing wrong especially when they don’t double or triple their profits in a few months.
I felt that I had to write this post just to clarify on the realities you should face while starting in this line of business.
If you’re a Baker or Bakerette starting out a small baking business soon; these 4 points are very important. They should not scare you; if they do, then you’re better off not starting a business at all. These realities should really prepare you, for what is ahead.
The baking industry is very competitive these days
Gone are the days when baking businesses were few and far apart; these days, due to the general acceptance of buying cakes for all occasions, and the fact that cakes are not such a luxury as they were before – selling cakes has become ‘the in thing’. This is a very good thing for anyone in the baking industry; or thinking of getting into it, as it means that it can be a highly profitable way of earning an income. However; this does also mean that it is a very competitive industry and isn’t very easy to gain a strong market share in a short period. This shouldn’t discourage you though, since this is truth in most industries these days. It also means that those who do well in this industry are those who give their all; in quality, service, consistency, innovation and strategy. What does this mean for you? This means that you have to plan ahead; start with a good Business Plan for starters. Make sure you have a niche market you’re getting into and have a very good marketing plan as well.
It’s going to take longer than you thought to ‘get there’
For most of us who started small baking businesses; especially when it was a little bit more difficult to do so – we knew it would take time to grow and be successful. However, I have noted that these days; some Bakers expect it to be a very quick process. One reality you need to face when starting a small baking business is this; it is not a ‘get rich quick’ opportunity. One takes time to start, break even and make profit in this industry – of course depending on the amount of capital you put in and strategy; you may grow faster than others have. Just be aware that you will not succeed overnight. You have to not only work hard; but work smart as well. The reality is; as you start planning on how to start selling baked goods from home – it may take between 8 months to 1 ½ years to break even and actually start making a profit. Be patient and willing to put in the work; plan well, analyze your operations, systems and marketing results every month and you will be able to continuously improve. Start lean and minimize both business and personal expenses; if you’re not ready to do so, don’t start a small baking business. If you’re not ready to put in days, nights, weeks, months and years of hard work – then this may not be the right direction for you to take. Just the honest truth for you.
You have to put in more work than you thought you would
This point just reiterates the one before; you have to be ready to work hard. Baking in itself is not easy work; so as a baker you are very aware of the physical work you have to apply in general. Whether it’s bread, cookies or pastry making; or cake baking and decoration – it can be quite taxing and requires passion, patience and hard work. In some cases of cake decoration; especially custom cakes, it requires long hours of meticulous work. You have to be ready to do this day in day out for many days and nights; then weeks, months and years continuously. The truth is; if you have a passion for this work and a working strategy for growth and progress, then you will not tire and you will be successful. Just don’t expect it to be two or three months after you start your business.
Patience, Perseverance, Learning and Innovation are the key to success
This is a very important point and that’s why I have saved it for last. This applies to any business owner and business in any industry at any time; therefore, it applies to you as a small baking business owner. You need the patience required to work hard and grow your business; make smart moves and don’t be too quick to make decisions or grow too fast.
Persevere through the many challenges that you will encounter in your baking business; and they will be many, but they do help you learn. You will pass through small and big failures; learn through them and keep moving past them as well.
Never stop learning; always learn and improve your craft and skill; whether it’s taking online or practical classes – keep learning, this will keep you at the top of your game. You also need to keep learning as a business owner; from seminars, workshops and business master-classes. From business courses, mentors and even by networking with other baking business owners – keep learning how to grow and scale your business.
Finally; keep innovating. This applies to every aspect of your business; whether it’s new baking and decorating techniques or equipment. New ways of running your business, new technologies of marketing and running your business; whatever aspect of your business it is. Keep leveling up and innovating; I assure you, it is how baking businesses have grown and stayed at the top of their game; if you don’t, another business will do it and replace yours in no time.
I hope this advice will help you prepare yourself to have the right mindset when it comes to starting and running a small baking business.
If you would like to get our book on How to Startup a Small Baking Business Successfully, click here.
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