7 Books Every Home Bakery Business Owner Needs to Read
First of all you’ve got to know that I hate reading.
There, I’ve said it.
My husband, Adriaan, can read for hooouuuuurs on end.
But to me, reading is just… well… boring.
So the fact that I’m recommending books to you today means that these books are nothing short of MIRACULOUS.
Books may be boring to me in general, yes.
But when a book has the power to turn your business around from losing 70% of your profit to being fully booked – FOR 3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE – then it’s everything but “boring”, right?!
Books have saved my Home Bakery Business.
The amount of knowledge experts share in books is astounding!
They’ll honestly share $1500 worth of info in a book that you can buy for just $15.
Books are the most AFFORDABLE way to transform your life and business. Period.
I do offer a whole bunch of online courses to help home bakers get consistent sales and grow their home baking into a full-time career, but I realize that this route isn’t for everyone.
Very often, it’s just impossible – financially – to join an online course.
But an online course isn’t the only way to be successful.
Gosh, there sure weren’t any online courses to help ME on my home bakery journey! So the ONLY option I had was to fall on my face >> thousands of times.
And eventually my husband convinced me to stop whining about how tough life is and read a book about how to MAKE my baking business successful.
It took about 6 years of trial & error, reading, testing strategies, tweaking strategies, making mistakes, apologizing, learning and GROWING…
But it was worth it!
Reaching your goals and GROWING as a person is always worth it.
Doing it all yourself often just takes a long time.
The great advantage of my online courses is that you’ll take a severe shortcut to home bakery business success. I’ve got a student who’s gone from a full-time desk job to full-time home baking in 10 months – which is a whole lot shorter than 6 years, right?
But I repeat; an online course isn’t the only way to be successful.
You CAN absolutely DIY your Home Bakery success path!
And books are the most affordable and effective way to do that.
Please note: This post has affiliate links. This means that if you purchase some of these products I get a tiny commission – but at NO extra cost to you. I’m super proud to recommend these resources to you because they’ve completely transformed my Home Bakery Business!
Let me fill you in on the 7 Books every Home Bakery owner needs to read.
I’m going to list them in order of importance from a beginner level Home Bakery (thinking about starting) to an advanced level Home Bakery (baking full-time).
1. The Heart to Start – David Kadavy
This is a short, funny and sweet book that’s perfect for any creative person – which absolutely includes home bakers!
>> If you struggle with self-doubt…
>> Or with having the guts to put yourself and your baking out there…
>> Or you’re a perfectionist that finds excuses NOT to start your Home Bakery (totally raising my own hand too, by the way!)…
This is the book you need.
The Heart to Start breaks down all the reasons we don’t start putting ourselves out there. When you understand WHY you’re hesitant to let your creativity shine, it becomes so much simpler to overcome your procrastination.
He gives it to you straight. He gives you truckloads of perspective that will OPEN YOUR EYES like never before!
You’ll finally understand yourself and how to get out of your own way so you can START the things you were meant to start.
2. The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
Where do I begin to express my deep gratitude for this book?…
I was a stubborn home baker that didn’t want to learn ANYTHING about business and marketing. I just wanted to BAKE!
To me the business side felt overwhelming, super scary and boring all at the same time.
For the first 4 years in my Home Bakery Business I kept praying that God would send me someone to handle the business side FOR me.
“Aurelia; you just handle the baking, I’ll handle the business stuff and we’ll all live happily ever after.”
This is what I wanted.
But God did not give me this…
You see dear friend, we spend so much time praying for things to be easier.
And instead of miraculously making our lives easier, God often gives us opportunities to GROW – which will eventually make our lives a bit easier (in that department at least).
But it’s NOT instant.
So when we see the opportunities to GROW instead of the miracle quick-fix, we get upset.
I understand because I often do this too! Even still today!
But because I’d just lost my biggest client and 70% of my income I literally had nothing else to do but read this book.
Guess what happened?
The $100 Startup made me fall in love with business & marketing.
And I’ve been smitten ever since!
This book helped me to realize that if you’re serious about making a profit, you can’t afford to NOT learn about business & marketing.
Business & Marketing isn’t like the dishes and cleaning in your business. This is not something you ignore and hand off to someone else to handle for you.
If you’re serious about making baking your career, you’ll grab the opportunity to learn from this book as soon as possible.
It’s easy to read, realistic and it gets you results.
3. How to Avoid a Soggy Bottom – Gerard Baker
This is my favourite baking book of all time. But here comes the plot twist… it’s NOT a recipe book!
How to Avoid a Soggy Bottom is all about the technical science of baking.
There’s nothing worse than baking up a flop and assuming that you were “just unlucky today”.
There’s no such thing.
Baking is a SCIENCE. That’s one of the things I love most about it!
When a bake flops there are always reasons WHY.
Understanding the science of baking is the BIGGEST leap you can take towards improving the quality of your baking.
The better you can understand the science of baking, the better your bakes will turn out and the more consistent your baking will be.
How to Avoid a Soggy Bottom answers a whopping 150 essential baking questions! And with this knowledge your flops will be a thing of the past.
4. Show Your Work – Austin Kleon
For YEARS I thought I always had to put my “best foot forward” in my business to be successful. Maybe you think that’s what you should do too?
We home bakers tend to follow hundreds of popular bakers on Instagram. We see their perfect baked goods, with perfect photos taken in their perfect kitchens.
Then we assume we need to replicate that perfection before our work is “good enough” to share on Instagram.
You see, we make the mistake of thinking that we’re either:
a] Baking for ourselves OR
b] Baking for our baking-heroes
While NEITHER of these is true.
>> Your clients don’t follow hundreds of bakers on Instagram like you do!
>> They don’t stare at your average-ish website criticizing it for hours on end like you do.
>> They’re not looking up every single baker in your town or city and laying out a crime investigation board with photos to determine who the “best” and “most deserving” baker is!
You’re not baking for yourself and you’re not baking for your “competition”. You’re baking for your CLIENTS.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, spend your energy thinking about what matters to your CLIENTS.
And one of the biggest things your clients want is to feel like they’re included in something meaningful. They want to be PART of something special.
Show Your Work gives you practical tips for how to make your customers feel like they are a vital PART of your business.
The book shows you how to INCLUDE your clients in your business and as a result you’ll win their attention, hearts and they’ll sing your praises from their rooftops!
5. Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller
For the first 5 years in my Home Bakery Business I always positioned my Home Bakery to “impress people”. I thought that’s what you need to do to get people’s attention. You need to IMPRESS them.
Maybe that’s how you feel right now in your business?
But people don’t buy because they’re impressed.
They buy when they clearly (and quickly) see that you UNDERSTAND their problems and can help them to solve their problems.
Here’s the most shocking truth of why businesses fail: They position themselves as the hero of the story. They make the story all about them and how amazing their company is.
But meanwhile all clients are only interested in ONE story – their OWN story!
Here’s a practical example:
We all tend to think we (and our home bakery business) are Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid movie.
On our social media and websites we parade around with our trophy trying to show people “Look at me & my business! My home bakery it legit! Look at the delicious things I make! Look at the list of organic ingredients I use! Come over here and read my life story that’s all about me!”
I did this too.
It’s how we all start out and there’s no shame in that because it’s what we see so many other businesses do.
But if you want your Home Bakery Business to GROW, you’re going to need to start to approach your business’ story DIFFERENTLY.
Truth is, my dear friend, we are NOT the hero of the story.
YOUR CLIENT is the hero.
Your business’ story is about guiding your client to success.
You’re Mr Miyagi!! You are the GUIDE, not the hero.
A successful business is the one guiding Daniel (your client) and helping him to overcome his problems and reach success.
When your business is all about YOU, it won’t attract new clients. Plain and simple.
But when your business starts to revolve around your clients’ success, they start flocking to you automatically!
Believe it or not this is just ONE of the SEVEN steps that Donald Miller teaches you in his best-selling book – Building a StoryBrand.
When I started positioning my Home Bakery Business as the GUIDE and the client as the hero, things in my biz totally transformed!
Building a StoryBrand is THE BEST book on Marketing I’ve ever read. Period.
The strategies in this book are a bit more advanced though. This book will only be beneficial to you once you’ve already got a website and have worked through the book The $100 Startup already.
Building a StoryBrand has changed my life!
You can also check out their podcast which is free and incredible >> Building a StoryBrand Podcast. But start at EPISODE 1! Don’t skip ahead and miss all the gold!
6. Deep Work – Cal Newport
Technology brings a lot of WONDERFUL advantages to our lives. If it weren’t for technology, my blog wouldn’t exist right now!
You’d have needed to WAIT for your hair to dry naturally this morning. And before that you would’ve needed to boil water over a fire for your bath!
Technology is awesome and it’s powerful.
But with great power comes great responsibility, right?
In Cal Newport’s book Deep Work, he fills us in on the greatest disadvantage of technology.
Fact is, technology has TRAINED us to be distracted.
So often I’ll grab my phone because I wanted to do something specific – like making a note of an idea.
Then suddenly, 10 minutes later, I realize I’ve been on Instagram (again) and completely forgot the reason I picked up my phone in the first place!
Come on, you know it’s happened to you too. Just admit it! No shame here.
The problem is that in such a distracted world of constantly checking emails, text messages, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, et freakin cetera… we spend so little time digging into the REAL creativity – the GOLD – within ourselves.
The kind of creativity, productivity, clarity of mind and deep work that requires more than 15 minutes of focus to access.
To get to your TRUE GENIUS, you need to focus on one thing for a few hours – not minutes.
>> Deep Work has helped me to access my BEST ideas.
>> It helps me to GET MORE DONE in LESS TIME every single day.
>> It’s helped me to organize my life to be less distracted and more present.
This book helps me DEFINE what exactly I want and how to get there faster, with more calm and less anxiety.
If you want to uncover your deepest creative genius,
and have a calmer life with less noise & more clarity,
and be more efficient & productive…
This is the book you need to get there.
7. The E-Myth Revisited
This book is NOT for beginners.
When we start our Home Bakery Business, the one thing we keep wishing & praying for is MORE clients.
But as your Home Bakery grows so do the responsibilities and sense of overwhelm & obligation.
Over time you start longing for the days when things were smaller and simpler.
You’ll long for the days you could just bake 1 thing at a time – soaking in the beauty of baking.
Now you need to crank out 20 times that per day. You need to employ staff, but you’re SO scared they won’t care about your business the same way YOU do.
So you just soldier on and do everything yourself.
If you’ve been getting to that point where your Home Bakery is constantly fully booked, you’re baking 24/7 and feel like you’re juggling 100 balls at once – this book is SO for YOU!
The “E-Myth” stands for the “Entrepreneur-Myth”. Weird name, I know. But don’t let that put you off.
This single book has the power to save your life and your business – before it swallows you whole (which inevitably happens in EVERY small business).
In this book Michael Gerber tells us the story of his coaching journey with Sarah and her Pie Baking Business. (And let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge how beyond cool is it that his case study is a home baker, right?!)
You get to be a fly on the wall witnessing all their conversations.
The book starts where Sarah’s working 20 hours a day (yes, 20 hours isn’t a typo), 6 days a week. (And I know this is true because I’ve been there too.)
And it ends with she’s able to take a WEEK OFF while her business runs smooth as butter without her needing to be there. Isn’t that incredible?!
The E-myth Revisited asks you the questions you don’t want to hear.
It challenges you like no other book challenges a small business owner.
It will force you to acknowledge that businesses, like people, are destined to grow!
And you’ll learn exactly how to facilitate that growth of your business – without sacrificing quality, your marriage or health for it.
This book will help you to navigate and calm the storm of a growing business.
It will SIMPLIFY the growth process for you and help you to get more profit AND more balance back into your life.
TOTAL must read for advanced Home Bakery Owners!
8. Find Your Why – Simon Sinek
Okay fine, I lied… There are 8 books. I just knew that “8 books” in the post title would look WAY more scary than 7!
But there’s another book I just CANNOT leave out.
And it’s Find Your Why.
“People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.
Start With Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does.” – Excerpt from simonsinek.com.
So essentially this book is all about understanding how your clients THINK.
Why is that important to your business?
Because, dear friend, before a client buys from you they THINK a whole bunch of things that lead them to buying from you – OR from your competition.
The success of your business hinges on what your clients think and how they make decisions.
Find Your Why will help you understand why your clients aren’t connecting with you or your business and what you can do to fix that.
Okay, now I’m REALLY done!
There are SO many more books I could recommend, but maybe it’s best that I stop myself here.
Once again, I repeat – I really DON’T like reading at all. But these books have literally changed my Home Bakery Business and my life.
They’ve also been the perfect way SAVE MONEY & GROW at the same time. For example; my cousin who’s a marketing lecturer learned more from the Building a Story Brand book (which costs $16) than in his entire university education (which cost OVER $10,000).
Learning doesn’t need to be expensive.
Special shout-out; I’m extremely grateful to my bookworm husband that persisted in encouraging me to read. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU Fish-pie.
Please don’t be a book-allergic idiot like I was for the first 4 years in my business.
Start reading these books NOW so you can start changing the future of your business and life.
Reading is boring, but success sure isn’t!
And now I want to hear from YOU! Are there any books YOU’VE read that have made a significant impact on your baking or baking business?