Boost your home baking businessPosted 30/07/2015 by CakeBaker
Five must-take steps to boost your home baking business
Word is getting around about your amazing creations and customers can’t get enough of your bakes. However, as an ambitious baker, you’re ready to take your business to the next level. If you’re aspiring to boost sales, deliver cakes to the other side of the country, or employ another baking enthusiast to join you, here are our suggestions for developing your baking business.
1. Organise your finances
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to draw up a realistic financial plan. You’ll need to ensure you have enough capital for:
- Equipment and baking ingredients
- Labelling and packaging
- Delivery or postage costs
- Marketing costs
- Overheads such as electricity, broadband and phone bills
- Paying staff (if you’re lucky enough to have help!)
While you may rely on payments from customers to grow your business, it’s best to set aside an emergency fund too. By having some extra money saved up, you won’t need to worry if your oven suddenly breaks or if you receive a large order that will require a lot of expensive ingredients.
2. Be social
With so many talented bakers promoting their companies on social media, it’s important to go above and beyond to help your business stand out from the crowd on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Simply sharing photos of your creations isn’t always enough to grab the attention of potential customers and, by making an effort to chat to fellow bakers and cake lovers online, you can broaden your network and spread the word of your creations. We’d highly recommend giving @TheLittleLoaf and @MrCakeyBoi a follow for plenty of baking inspiration.
Take part in regular baking-themed Twitter chats using hashtags such as #WeekendBakes, #BakingChat and #BakingHints. While you can join in the conversation at any time, some chats will take place at a particular hour each week. Why not set an alarm on your phone as a reminder?
You can also use social media to keep up with the fast-paced baking industry. With new trends emerging on a regular basis, there may be occasions where you receive a number of very similar orders from different customers; perhaps a significant event is looming or a popular film has just been released. Make sure you stay on top of these trends and constantly strive to think of new ideas. This way, as soon as someone asks you for a Tour de France wedding cake or a giant, edible Minion, you have a few ideas up your sleeve.
3. Brush up your camera skills
No matter which social media accounts you use the most, without good quality photos you’ll struggle to catch the attention of potential customers.
While an old camera phone may have kept you going up until now, if you want to show your cakes at their very best, you may need to upgrade. A better quality phone may suffice, but you’ll probably get the best results from a Bridge or digital SLR camera.
If you’re set on using a mobile, it can be tempting to go for a model that has a camera with a large number of megapixels. However, the iPhone 6 only has an 8-megapixel camera, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 offers twice as many.
4. Build your brand
Having a recognisable brand is a crucial part of building a business. Once you’ve decided what you’re going to call your business and you’ve thought about which colours and images you’d like to represent your company, hire a designer to create a baking logo for you.
Also have a think about packaging. In the early stages, you may not be able to afford anything too fancy, but that shouldn’t stop you from presenting your bakes in a unique way. Whether you wrap your creations in brown paper and tie them with a piece of string or you use tissue paper, tape and ribbons, experiment with different styles until you’ve found the right look for your bakes.
5. Compete on quality, not price
Deciding how much to charge customers can be one of the most difficult aspects of running your own cake business. However, rather than trying to beat your competitors on price, aim to offer better quality cakes and exceptional service so customers recognise you as the best, rather than the cheapest.
Over the coming months the team at itsabakingthing.com will be looking at how expert home bakers can promote themselves online. Make sure you follow them on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates and inspiration.