Starting a baking business
skinnyamericano · 23/03/2018 13:21
I’m mulling over the idea of a baking business - specifically low sugar baked goods aimed at children.
Does anyone else think there would be a market for this? And how would you go about selling your product? Or is it too niche?
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 14:00
I think it's a really good idea but I would ask yourself what you'd need to earn from it to make it sustainable for you because it's a niche within a niche. I wouldn't stretch your self ridiculously and start trying to cover every dietary need/allergy because I think it's better to do a couple of things really well. However, I do think you could increase your audience by also creating baked sugar free goods for diabetics and the healthy/clean eating market.
What experience do you have with baking?
As for how you would go about selling, it depends what kind of vision you have for your brand. Do you see yourself as having an industrial kitchen or certified home kitchen and delivering to homes? Would you prefer to open a bakery with a cafe attached and eventually try to get your foot in the door with delis and supermarkets (very challenging but not impossible, just be prepared for knockbacks and hard graft)?
Your answer to the above will dictate your market research and the extent you'll go to with it.
skinnyamericano · 23/03/2018 14:28
Thank you for your reply - really helpful.
I’m just a home baker, but would go on a course to brush up my skills. I wasn’t thinking of a cafe really, more home-based/farmers’ markets/local delis/Facebook etc. The problem is getting it to the right people.
I think it’s going to be a ‘big thing’ and it’s something I’m passionate about. Definite agree with aiming it at other groups too. I’m not sure how to work it though!
lanbro · 23/03/2018 14:31
Whereabouts are you based?
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 14:43
Social media and excellent produce (which leads to word of mouth) are going to be your best friends. I wouldn't bother with Facebook as it truly is a dead social network. Instagram is going to be your best bet from a visual point of view.
I'd make sure that you either research SEO yourself or hire a web designer who can do this for you. This will ensure you rank on the first page of Google for the relevant keywords and locals will find you easily without having to trawl through pages of Google. I'd honestly recommend learning about SEO yourself via online blog tutorials and YouTube videos. It can be a bitch to understand at first but it's one of those things where, once it clicks, you'll be delighted you didn't pay someone to do it for you. Website wise, for ease of use and a slick finish, I would recommend Squarespace. Their customer service is second to none. Every host and web platform has their advantages and disadvantages but having used several of them over the years, Squarespace comes up trumps for many reasons.
Generally, when starting a business, you either do it because nobody else is doing it or because the people who are doing it are doing a rubbish job and you know you can do better. You fall into the former category. I think you yourself and your passion and knowledge need to be at the forefront of the business. People will really want to know why you're doing what you're doing and will be interested in you sharing your knowledge of low sugar and sugar free.
Get in touch with local schools and PTA's in order to get an immediate in-road. Approach toddler groups and nurseries. Offering sugar free bakery platters would go down very well for children's parties I would imagine. Google diabetes charities as they often have local resources and support groups and you can contact them to make them aware of your products and perhaps give an introductory discount. Speak to local gyms and personal trainers. Definitely have a word with local cafes as not all will have the manpower to cater to all needs so they might be very happy to trial some of your products. Local markets of course.
Obviously getting your kitchen cleared and certified by the council goes without saying
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 14:52
I meant to mention your local chamber of commerce too, get involved with them.
skinnyamericano · 23/03/2018 16:56
Based in the Midlands.
Thanks so much @teaiseverything - super advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to put that all down.
I’ve got a lot of work to do now - scary, but exciting.
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 17:10
Lots of work, lots of late night, lots of coffee and lots of fun
Best of luck.
skinnyamericano · 23/03/2018 17:25
I’m guessing you are in this business? I’m really good with lots of coffee!
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 17:29
Not at all, just a busy and decent (even if I do say so myself ) brain that I'm trying to keep active. I haven't been able to work for a couple of years due to illness so like to make sure in any way I can that it doesn't turn to mush!
skinnyamericano · 23/03/2018 18:18
Wow, well you need to use that brain as a business consultant or similar!
teaiseverything · 23/03/2018 18:20
delilahbucket · 24/03/2018 23:04
It is worth speaking to trading standards about labelling and don't for get to insure yourself and register with HMRC. Good luck!
lanbro · 25/03/2018 15:45
I would disagree that Facebook is a dead platform...I have a very active fb page which draws in a lot of customers
BatFinked · 25/03/2018 15:59
FB is not a dead platform - my business is based on it and I'm considered the best and biggest in the UK - although I'm not a baker!
It'd be ideal for you if you're local and want to home deliver or have people collect
lauraemilyd · 01/04/2018 20:23
@Skinnyamericano I'd also use Instagram - brilliant for visual posts and showing the baked goods!
skinnyamericano · 02/04/2018 09:08
Thanks everyone - sorry, I hadn’t checked the thread over the last few days.
All of your advice has been great. I’m not on instagram, so I’ll have a look into that. And get baking!
BertrandRussell · 02/04/2018 09:22
The problem with any sort of doing stuff from home business is that it is very difficult to compete against the big boys. When I first started baking, I uses to get lots of novelty kid’s birthday cake orders for example-that has dwindled practically to nothing because the supermarkets now do perfectly acceptable ones. I now really only get orders for wedding cakes and big birthdays where people want to push the boat out. I was lucky to get two regular orders from busy cafes-that’s what keeps me making a profit, and I bake for a friend who has a market stall selling home made ready meals.
Do you have a street market where you could have a trial stall and test your market there? Also, if you have a football club that has kids training and matches on a Saturday that can be an excellent place to have a stall. The kids are always starving and pester power is a wonderful thing!
In my experience of selling healthy alternatives, they need to look fantastic. Sometimes people seem to think that the healthiness alone will sell stuff- not to kids it doesn’t!
NeonSun · 17/04/2018 06:29
I think it's a really nice idea! However you should examine firstly certain sphere for your possible business, I mean its perspectives, possible customers and general competition. Personally I've never heard about such baking companies so it sounds like a cool innovation for me but that doesn't mean that in your country they don't exist at all. Also you need to have business and baking knowledge/experience before beginning with your startup and start capital is important in this case too (credits can be a solution but it's better in general to have your own money). You should build a network too because various partners for busines are very important too. Your other successful keys will be good, experiences employers, well-developed advertising, attractive website (and not only expensive one for the start), special equipment, high-quality ingredients, well-controlled system of their delivery and so on. Also inventory management will be a very important thing too because it coordinates work and all processes in your business structure, it's smth like a necessary basis for it. Now it's usually made with special software and programs like Xero, SwiftCount, Magento marketplace.magento.com/amasty-amasty-stockstatus.html , QuickBooks, Megaventory and so on.
You should be very patient too and ready for accidental money loses because it happens very often in the beginning for every business.
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