There are of course bakery businesses which might include cake baking as a component. However, you can specifically niche by settling for a cake baking business. This is not only a smart decision but also a very lucrative one because cakes are much sought-after. There are so many events or occasions whose main theme revolves around cakes. We are talking here about events and occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and the like. This is a business that can be started from a small scale with plenty of room for subsequent scalability. In this article we discuss what you should know on how to start a cake baking business.
Whilst there is definitely potential to run such a business on a medium or large scale it is advisable to start small scale. By small scale we are referring to running the business from the comfort of your home. This is a potent way to limit costs and maximize profits. The cake business is not necessarily about having a physical location that must be visible and in proximity to potential customers per se (though you can most certainly take all that into consideration).
Most cake businesses leverage on the power of the internet and social media. It only takes you taking high definition photos of your handiwork and propagating it on the internet and social media to draw attention. So it is totally up to your discretion how you want to approach this type of business but we highly recommend that you operate from home. If you start that way you can subsequently move to probably a new and bigger location (depending on how the business is faring). Take note that if you are renting the place where you stay it would be prudent to notify and seek permission from the property owner.
In terms of getting orders this can be best done through emails, calls or instant messages (e.g. on WhatsApp). As for getting the finished cakes to the clients it can be through various means. You can provide an option for people to come pick them up or you can go deliver to them. Alternatively you can use courier services or simply sent someone to deliver on your behalf. The business is quite flexible and customers can always be asked on what they prefer.
This is an important exercise which you must not take lightly. Also of importance is having a cake making business plan. There is a general susceptibility to assume that most cake baking businesses are performing well so mine will. Desist from working with assumptions but rather do some market research. Ascertain that there is a market ready for you to serve. Take existing cake baking businesses as case studies. Consider the kind of services they offer, their business structure and marketing strategies.
Examine the demographic of their target markets and take note of areas they are not serving. Take a look at their pricing regimes, logistical frameworks (e.g. how they conduct their deliveries) and so on. You must do some homework on their suppliers. Managing to find good and flexible suppliers of your ingredients can significantly lower your operating costs. So you must do a survey around the issue of suppliers because it is pertinent.
Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Cake Making Business Plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The cake making business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your cake making business plan:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
Location And Premises
So we have already recommended starting off the business from home and then scaling if needs be. You will most likely be using your default kitchen or you can setup a dedicated kitchen for the business. It really is up to you and especially considering your financial muscle and scale of production too. You can always create a semblance of visibility by advertising online or putting up simple signage around your target market area or your gate or yard periphery. Do not capitalize on this being a private setting to compromise on hygiene and cleanliness. Make sure the premises you use for the cake baking are in pristine condition. Have dedicated and clean spaces for the baking and storage of ingredients, finished cakes and the like. Maintaining high standards of hygiene and cleanliness go a long way in contributing to the overall quality of your cakes.
The type of equipment needed will vary depending on the scale and sophistication of your cake baking business. You will need basic items such as ovens, refrigerators, working tables (wooden surfaces are most ideal), diverse wares such as pans, bowls, knives, spoons, sifters and so on. You must also get working gear such as head caps, aprons, and just basic things that help you to handle the cake baking process with safety whilst also ensuring hygiene and cleanliness.
It is vital that you find out about any guidelines regarding any required licenses, certifications or any regulatory prerequisites mandatory before starting the business. These might not be as stringent or non-applicable for home-based cake baking businesses. Still it is important to be absolutely certain you are not cutting corners – requirements might differ from place to place. As highlighted earlier hygiene and cleanliness is paramount because consistent quality is a major driver of repeat purchases. Not forgetting also the central role the internet and social media must play in your business operations. Another key thing to know is that collaborating with other cake baking business owners is actually a good thing. Create a small circle of fellow cake baking business owners that you are always in touch with. They will prove helpful during a rainy day or just in providing routine support and advice. Finally, always be eager to learn more so as to perfect and enhance your craft.