Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Opening a business is a challenge, there’s no doubt about that. But when you’re planning to put your kneading talents to good use, and make a profit off of them, you’re going to run into a few specific challenges most entrepreneurs won’t!
You’ve got bigger and tougher standards to both follow and set, and you’re creating products that are going to quickly lose their value. You’re going to need a high standard of hygiene at work, and every single one of your employees needs to follow a strict set of cleanliness rules. That’s something no office worker is going to have to contend with!
So, in the interest of helping your bakery business get off of the ground, with all the right rules and regulations followed down to the last detail, here’s just a few things to think about before you go ahead with your business plan. You’ve got all of the baker’s talent inside you, but now’s the time to don your boss’ cap and set a good foundation for your company.
First thing to research, and do hours and hours of homework on, is your ability to obey food standards and achieve a hygiene rating. You can’t own and operate a business that sells edible products if you’re not willing to both achieve a good level of health and safety in the workplace, and make sure these standards are both kept and regularly improved on.
Every sector out there has their own health, safety, and hygiene ratings to attain and follow, but if the customers you’re serving could very get sick from an unwashed pair of hands, you’ve got to be hypervigilant about the rules you put in place. Would you always be able to keep an eye on the care you and your employees are taking? More simply, do you know what would need to be done if someone rocked up to work with long hair kept loose, and a long beard that hadn’t been trimmed, and was scheduled to work in the kitchen that day?
Because once you can pinpoint the problems both personal and public cleanliness can cause, you’re going to be in a much better position to see your bakery business plan through. It’s going to be a lot easier to plan for the future, beyond those five years where it’s easy to fail, if you’ve got a foundation of health and safety to fall back on.
Price Your Products Properly
Pricing your products is something you’ve probably thought about a lot – all prospective business owners do! But when you’re running a bakery, or any other kind of catering business where people are going to be eating on the spot or taking their sandwiches and pastries to go, there’s a lot more factors to take into account. A quick example: how are the prices for eating in and taking out going to differ? If you provide tables for customers to sit down at, by what ratio will those tables and chairs affect the price of the same products a customer could simply go away with? There can’t be too much of an increase, but there definitely needs to be one, to make your dining area worth the initial investment.
Depending on the size of your bakery, and the amount of products you sell, and what quality of products you use, the prices you set could vary wildly. After all, if you’re using free range eggs in your recipes, rather than those sourced from a battery farm, you’re going to want to charge more to cover the cost. But of course, you can more than make the cost back if you advertise this fact to your customers.
There’s also a lot of competition out there for anyone looking to open a bakery. The way you price your products is key to making sure you get more than your fair share of the market custom. That’s definitely something to think about when looking at the price averages of all the catering companies in your area.
Think About Your Waste
As a bakery, you’re going to be churning out a lot of waste. Pastries that burnt in the oven, eggs that went bad during transit, flour that has weevils in it etc. But at the end of the day, you’re also going to need to throw out any products you didn’t sell – or are you? Waste can be expensive to deal with, and a lot of bakeries and restaurants alike are looking for new ways to take care of what’s left behind after a hard day’s work. One of the best is to look through a guide to food labelling, and push home to your customers just how limited edition their favourite baked goods really are…
But following on from this: you’re not going to sell out on every single baked good you whip up in the morning, and your customers themselves are going to have clear preferences for one pastry or cake over another. If you get any regulars, make sure you learn these habits, and focus on providing for those over a biscuit that hasn’t sold too well over the past few months. When you know what you sell well, you can easily cut down on your company waste, simply because you didn’t make it in the first place!
Similarly, you’ve got employees who work their hardest for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, behind your counter and in your kitchen. Why not implement a policy that allows them to take some items home with them? If a bag of bread is going to turn by the next morning, leave it on the side for people to take when they finish a shift! In all honesty, it’s just a nice way to give back.
So, if you’re someone who’s planning to add a bakery business to their name, make sure you think the most frustrating and challenging elements through first. They’ll either make or break your bakery business!