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A Comprehensive Guide To Starting A Bakery Business

One of the most prevalent food service businesses is bakeries. If you have the skill and outstanding competence in baking cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, and other baked goods, you can utilize that skill and turn it into a profitable bakery. Having your own bakery business allows you to freely express your culinary creativity and serve a unique market. Meanwhile, people with non-culinary experiences may get themselves into the industry by opening first a home bakery. 
Deciding to start your very own bakery business can be one of the most exciting yet overwhelming decisions in your life. This decision may present unique challenges which you may not encounter from other industries. Starting a bakery will not only be centred on baking as many goods as you can to offer tasty treats to your customers. Instead, it’s also about directing and managing your business and ensuring the rest of your departments are running smoothly.  
But before you get overwhelmed, let this article serve as your comprehensive guide on how to start your bakery business without missing any detail. Soon enough, you’ll be thriving in your own bakery business and be on your route to success.
1. Choose The Kind Of Bakery You Wish To Own 
To set a plan for your bakery, the first decision you’ll need to make is choosing the kind of bakery shop you want to run. The type of bakery will determine the rest of the business decisions you also need to decide later on. To help you choose your kind of bakery, start by assessing your skills, budget, goals, and current market demand. However, make sure you settle on a decision with realistic decisions.  
For instance, the cupcake shop trends a few years ago may not be as in demand today. It’s preferable to do your local market research first before finalizing your decision. You can refer to some options below and see which one is right for your skills and budget. 
    • Bakery Café - For this one, you’ll need to have a small restaurant or dining area for your customers to sit as you serve them with baked goods, coffee, tea, morning treats, and more. 
    • Specialty Bakery – This will only focus on one baked product, such as personalized cupcakes or wedding cakes.  
    • Online or Home Bakery - This is often common for beginners. You can do the baking in your own kitchen as long as you have a used planetary mixer and other basic baking tools at home. Then, you can open your own website to market your baked goods and offer to deliver their orders when required.  
    • Counter Service Bakery – You don’t need a dining area, but you need at least a small commercial space for your customers to walk in, order, and pick up freshly baked goods.  
    • Food Truck Bakery – Instead of a dining area, you’ll use a mobile truck to sell baked products. Since food trucks are too small for baking, you might need to bake your products first at home before taking them out for selling. 
    • Wholesale Bakery – Instead of selling your baked goods to individual customers, you’ll market them to larger businesses such as restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and delis. However, you’ll need to produce high quantities of baked goods, which means you’ll need higher start-up costs. 
Take your time to carefully choose your type of bakery as it’ll greatly affect the rest of your business operations. 
2. Create A Bakery Business Plan 
Once you’ve selected the type of bakery you wish to start, it’s time to begin drafting your bakery business plan. This plays an integral part in starting a business at it lets you layout strategies. This may include planning how you should structure your business, which products to sell, identify a target market, check the competition, formulate marketing strategies, and most importantly, financial budgeting. Your business plan will force you to examine your bakery from every possible angle.  
Part of financial budgeting is deciding how much start-up cost you’ll need. So, when creating your bakery business plan, don’t forget to include a complete list of baking tools, appliances, and equipment to be used, as you also need to budget in purchasing them. Overall, your business plan will be the starting foundation of your bakery. 
3. Shop For Your Business Space 
For people who wish to start a bakery business online or from their homes, you don’t need to set aside a budget for your space. Instead, you’ll need to focus on creating a comprehensive bakery business social media page as this serves as your platform in accepting and processing orders. 
Meanwhile, if you’d like to start a food truck bakery, you’re going to need a mobile truck as this will serve as your business space. On the other hand, for people who wish to have a bakery café or counter service bakery, you’ll need a formal space in a prime location to serve customers.  
Don’t settle on the first space you find. Take your time to shop around, research the location, demographics, accessibility, foot traffic, neighbouring competition, and compare prices until you find the right spot for your bakery. Think about the pros and cons of each space you find and how it’ll affect the future of your business. 
4. Obtain Complete Licenses And Permits From Your State 
The foodservice industry has always had strict regulations from the local, state, and federal levels. Since all the legal and required paperwork may take time, it’s best to have your licenses processed as early as you can. The type of permits you must retrieve will depend on your location and state, so ensure to check your local laws first and see if any specific regulations must be implemented for your upcoming bakery.  
5. Design Your Bakery Layout 
After securing all your permits, licenses, and negotiating a lease for your business space, it’s time to design your bakery layout. The organization and layout of your kitchen and dining area will play essential roles in the smoothness of your business operations. If you’re planning a bakery café, make sure your kitchen is organized according to your baking process. Moreover, don’t forget to assign enough space for your baking tools, appliances, and equipment. 
Meanwhile, in designing your dining area or space for your customers, make sure to have enough room for customers to line up, browse the menu, and for comfy seating. It might also be ideal to plan enough space for your bakery’s aesthetic, decorations, and additional seating for walk-in clients who only wish to pick up and take out their orders.  
6. Hire And Train Staff When Needed 
The number of staff you’ll need will depend on the size of your bakery business. For instance, if you have a bakery café, you’ll need to hire employees to work as cashiers and take orders from customers. At the same time, you need to hire baking staff who will work behind the scenes and prepare the orders. 
Meanwhile, you may also opt for a one-person show. For instance, if you’re only starting a small home or online bakery, you may not need to hire a cashier or additional baking staff as you can do all the tasks independently. If you need assistance, you can get the help and support of family members who are also skilled in baking.  
Starting your very own bakery business may present several unique challenges that differ from other foodservice businesses. Thus, let these tips help you stay on track and smoothly manage your start-up bakery business. To sum it all up, creating a comprehensive business plan, sticking to it, drafting an efficient bakery layout, and complying with all the legal documents will help get your bakery off to a good start.
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