How to Promote Your Home Bakery Business & Get More Exposure

How to Promote Your Home Bakery Business & Get More Exposure

How to Promote Your Home Bakery Business & Get More Exposure

Hey fellow baking nerd! If you’re here reading this post it probably means that:

  1. You know your baking tastes GREAT (your friends & family keep raving about it!).
  2. After some consideration and encouragement, you’re keen to sell your baked goods! Que bucket loads of excitement and visions of yourself baking up hundreds of treats with a broad smile 😀
  3. Then it hits you – you need PEOPLE who will buy your bakes! And where do you find them?!

Getting the word out about your Home Bakery Business is a VITAL step every Home Bakery Owner needs to go through! Getting the word out and getting more exposure is how you get clients, right?

For some home bakers, this isn’t such a big deal and they get on with their ideas for spreading the word about their home bakery. For other home bakers, it’s a source of panic and dread to tell people about their business!

I absolutely fall in the last category! So there’s no shame whatsoever if the thought of “getting the word out” makes you sweaty and anxious.

These tips apply to BOTH introverted and extroverted home bakers!

 

The most important thing you need to know right off the bat is that there’s no silver bullet that will fix everything and suddenly get you hundreds of home bakery clients.

Is there ONE ingredient in a super delicious bake?

Is there ONE step in the method?

Nope.

Some recipes have over 30 ingredients and 40 method steps in them – especially if it’s from incredible desserts like Adriano Zumbo’s for example.

In the same way, a successful home bakery doesn’t have just one ingredient or one method-step in it.

When a baking business succeeds it’s because there are lots of elements working together in harmony. Just like with the best recipes.

So IF you’ve been hoping for shortcuts, silver bullets, quick tips, etc. that will get you hundreds of clients in 1 month, I encourage you to let that go.

Please save yourself the frustration and disappointment!

>> Try not to look for quick fixes.

Through my own painful, frustrating experiences I’ve found that when we look for quick fixes, we’re really just avoiding our own growth – and success. These beginning phases are a vital part of your journey and story.

If you want a home bakery that gets consistent sales every week; pursue LEARNING & GROWING. The more you truly learn and grow, the more your business will grow.

RELATED: 7 Books every home bakery owner needs to read

When I started my goal was to have a successful home bakery. Maybe that’s your goal right now?

But over time I’ve found that this is actually a very random and difficult goal. This goal makes it very hard to live your life day to day because the goal is sooooo far into the future that it makes you feel like you’re failing right now!

🌟 The BEST goal is to endeavour to be a better Home Bakery owner than you were yesterday.

When learning & growing are your focus, your success becomes INEVITABLE! That’s just how it works and you’ll learn to love it!

Okay, let me step down from my soap box and give you 4 tips to get the word out when you want more exposure for your Home Bakery Business 🙂

And no, you’re not going to pay money for advertising.

Paid advertising is not how I roll – just ask my course students. If a business needs to pay for advertising, it means it wasn’t built the right way. The great news is; that you can totally create a sold-out home bakery without ever paying for advertising! I’ve done it and so have my students. And so can YOU!

Here’s how you get the word out, get more exposure and promote your Home Bakery Business…

Getting the word out about your Home Bakery Business is VITAL for getting clients! If that makes you feel confused or panicked, just use my 5 tips to get you started :) These tips apply for BOTH introverted and extroverted home bakers! #baking #homebaking #bakingbusiness #homebakery

 

1. YOU START WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY

Yep, my name is Captain Obvious. Before I share any other tips with you, you need to know this foundational tip first.

Every single business on planet earth STARTS by telling your friends & family about it. And then they might tell other friends about it that could be interested in your products or services.

I’m sure you also want REAL clients and feel that friends & family kind of “don’t count as clients”. I felt this way too! But this thought is SO not true! Family & friends who buy from you ABSOLUTELY count as clients. (Side note – never give them more than a 10% discount though. If you feel too guilty about charging 90% or struggle with pricing your bakes >> check out my post on pricing.)

But honestly, there’s no way around this CRUCIAL first step and it’s where every humble new business begins.

No one is above it.

If you want to start a new business you NEED the network of people you already have in your life right now.

I know first-hand how scary it is to contact all your friends & family to tell them you’re starting a home baking business – because I’ve been there!

But as I keep telling my students, fear isn’t a sign that you’re not ready. Fear is simply a sign that you’re HUMAN. That’s it.

Don’t complicate this step for yourself. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid.

Just write a message, send it to everyone, and be done with it. If you wait to “feel 100% ready” to tell people about your business, you’ll be waiting forever.

Commit yourself to just do it. Choose a date and time that you’re going to send the message. Put this date and time on your calendar. You’ll only do this if you put it on your calendar. If it’s not on your calendar, you’ll always find another reason to procrastinate.

Then when the date and time roll around – honour your OWN commitment!

 

2. STRATEGICALLY USE LOCAL, HIGH-QUALITY INGREDIENTS

Now we’re going to get into some more intense tips. Don’t move on to these next tips if you didn’t do tip #1 yet. Promise me!

Okay cool, let’s move on.

Certain ingredients just taste better when they’re local, right?

Like honey, eggs, certain cheeses, wine, olive oil, and sometimes even things like chocolate and butter!

Yes, they’re often more expensive.

But don’t let that get in your way because there’s a great opportunity here!

Let’s say there’s a local chocolaterie whose chocolate you absolutely love. They’ve got a great reputation, lots of fans, and a large social media following.

  1. Go to their store. Take a photo of yourself at their store. Share the photo on your Instagram stories with text describing why you love their chocolate so much and tag the chocolaterie in the post too.
  2. Buy some chocolate, and take it home.
  3. Bake something super yummy with it. Take beautiful photos of the bakes.
  4. Put them in a box with your logo on it. Take a photo of the box and share it on your Instagram stories and tag the chocolaterie in the post too.
  5. Take the bakes as a FREE GIFT to the chocolate shop for the owners & staff with a handwritten note to say thank you for their amazing chocolate that’s the best in the world.


Odds
are they’ll give you a shout-out on their social media! With such a kind gesture – and PRAISE for their product that makes THEM look good – they’ll probably give you a shout-out!

I’ve done this with lots of high-quality local products. And as a result, I get seen by their customers on their social media – who clearly already love delicious food (hint-hint *ideal customer alert!).

This strategy also increases your business’s reputation because you’re associating yourself with a high-rep, established business. And they’re associating themselves with you. This does wonders for your reputation – especially when you’re a NEW business.

Please note that you need to be HONEST here. Don’t say their product is “the best in the world” if you don’t mean it.

And your photos need to look nice. If they don’t look nice the business might not be so eager to share your photos spontaneously. Click here to get some of the photo tips I’ve shared on Instagram.

Are you struggling to get clients & sales in your home bakery business? Promoting your business and getting more exposure is essential for your success. Most bakers believe you need to pay money for advertising, but that's an outdated strategy that will leave you broke and disappointed. Click through to get EFFECTIVE strategies for promoting your baking business without paying money for advertising at all! #baking #bakingbusiness #homebaking #homebusiness

 

3. USE LOCAL, FOOD-RELATED HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM

I used to think hashtags are just these random things you use on Instagram because everyone’s doing it. But hashtags are SUPER STRATEGIC my friend!

I learned everything I know about hashtags from Instagram expert Carla Biesinger.

As a local business, you need to use LOCAL hashtags to get seen by your ideal clients – who are local!

Let me use my own Home Bakery as an example:

I live in Cape Town, so if I want Cape-Townians to find me on Instagram, it won’t help to use the hashtag #baking. First of all, it’s a super popular hashtag, so my post will just disappear down the line.

Secondly, it doesn’t reach my IDEAL client who LOVES food and lives in Cape Town!

Better hashtags to use will be #capetownfood #capetowndesserts #capetownfoodie.

They’re all very specific to my area AND they all revolve around food. These are the hashtags my ideal clients are using in THEIR posts, so odds are they check out these hashtags’ feed at least once a week.

You can find your best local food hashtags by going to the free Instavast Instagram Hashtag Generator. Click on free tools >> hashtag generator >> Keyword. Then type in your town/city in one word e.g. cape town.

Then they’ll give you a bunch of different ideas of local hashtags that are being used on Instagram already.

Just make sure you don’t use hashtags that have been used more than 200k times. When a hashtag is huge it becomes very difficult for small accounts to trend for this hashtag. Meaning, that your post won’t make it to the top 9 posts and get seen by lots of people.

And please use a local hashtag even if it’s tiny! if the hashtags are small and have only been used a few thousand times – use them! Quality matters here, not quantity.

Imagine if it’s only been used 2000 times, but then your post makes it to the top 9, and 63 ideal clients see your post! Imagine if just 10% of those people order, it’s still 6 orders which is a lot!

Using smaller, local food hashtags increases your chances of being discovered by your ideal clients.

 

4. TRADE AT LOCAL FOOD MARKETS

Obviously, this doesn’t work when there’s a pandemic going on. A pandemic like Covid-19 is a rare exception to the norm.

Local Food Markets can be a brilliant way to showcase your bakes, get more exposure, and make some good money. Some annual Food Markets/Food Shows boast attendances of up to 20 000 people – craaaazy!

If there’s one thing that humans LOVE to do, and never seem to get tired of, it is eating GOOD food.

I’ve had my fair share of Food Market Stalls over the last 7 years. I’ve traded at 7 DIFFERENT markets for a total of 22 TIMES. Was it worth it? YESSS!!!

RELATED: 5 Tips for selling your bakes at Food Markets.

If you can manage to trade at the exact same local Food Market for at least 6 months, you’ll build up a LOT of credibility and trust.

People might not see or notice your business the first 2 times. But when they KEEP SEEING you and your bakes, the odds that they’ll buy from you increases.

The repeated exposure you get from Food Markets is amazing. Plus, it’s the BEST way for you to learn how to interact with clients and confidently speak about your bakes.

Confidence mostly comes through repetition!

Want more home bakery clients, but struggling to get more exposure? Whether you're an introvert or extrovert I've got 5 practical tips for you to start getting more exposure for your baking business today! Click through to get the tips :) #baking #homebaking #cakebusiness #bakingbusiness #homebakery

 

5. WORD OF MOUTH STILL WINS

Word of mouth is still, by far, the best strategy to grow a business! Whether you’ve just started your home bakery or been going for years; word of mouth trumps any other form of marketing.

Seriously; 1000 flyers are less effective than 1 person telling their best friendJane, you’ve GOT to order from this bakery!”

Remember this line: People buy from businesses they know, like, and trust.

If these things aren’t in place, people simply just won’t buy.

Word of mouth is SO effective because you’re essentially piggy-backing on the trust that people already have in their relationships.

Jane will buy from you because she trusts her best friend. With word of mouth, it’s irrelevant whether Jane trusts YOUR business or not.

So make sure your current clients (even if it’s just 2 friends and 3 family members right now) have the BEST possible experience with you!

If you take great care of your clients they WILL talk about your business. When a client loves your business, they’ll promote your business FOR you – and for free! It’s SO rad!

And here’s a little secret >> their experience with you is about so much more than just baked goods!

Remember that home baking is all about family and love. So, every single moment you’re in contact with a client you need to CARE.

Care about the things THEY care about. Care about the important details in their lives that you’re baking for. Always follow up. Always be kind and excited to see them.

Your business exists to serve your clients and make them feel good & special.

If you want more clients, be faithful with the clients you have now. Do for 4 people what you’re eager to do for 400.

Have you been struggling to get consistent orders?

Or maybe felt so unsure about how to promote your baking to customers that you’ve been avoiding it altogether?

I understand how you feel and you’re not alone!

I’d love to help and that’s why I’m suuuper excited to invite you to my FREE Home Bakery Masterclass that’s about…

How to Get Consistent Orders Without Wasting Time & Money on Marketing that Doesn’t Work.

BY THE END OF THE CLASS YOU’LL KNOW HOW TO:

​🧁 Get orders every week using the Consistent Orders System.
🧁 Create a stable income from your baking without needing to work 24/7 & burning out.
🧁 Follow the secrets to attract your ideal customers automatically.

If you’re a flavor-obsessed home baker that wants to get consistent orders and a stable income, this Masterclass is perfect for you!

Let’s get you those customers & orders you’re working so hard for!

I’ll see you in the Masterclass 🥳 

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to GROW Your Home Bakery Business

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to GROW Your Home Bakery Business

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to Grow Your Home Bakery Business


Honestly, I should have written this post AGES ago!

In this post I’ll share the BEST resources I’ve come across that have actually helped my Home Bakery to GROW. This post is ideal for you if you’ve already started your business and want to GROW it into a part-time or full-time gig.

Over the past few years I’ve been sharing these resources with bakers in emails when they ASKED for it. But it somehow never occurred to me that there are probably thousands of home bakers who have these questions too, but never ask them.

Questions like:

>> “I know my baking tastes really good, but I’m struggling to get clients consistently! How do I get more clients & sales?”

>> “I’ve had a few sales! I feel very excited, but I also feel totally overwhelmed… What am I supposed to do next to grow my business?”

>> “I’m working 24/7, but I’m barely making enough money to cover my expenses. What am I doing wrong? How do I grow my income?

 

This post is here to answer such questions and point you to resources that will help you to reach Home Bakery Success FASTER.

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!

1. Pricing Calculation System

This is probably the most important part of a baking business, but home bakers often don’t realize how serious this is.

You can have the best website in the world and be the best baker in the world – that doesn’t guarantee a successful Home Bakery.

Even if you can have the best recipes in town and have a massive client base… Even if you’re fully booked for months in advance it does NOT guarantee a successful Home Bakery!

We bakers often forget that a baking business is in fact a BUSINESS.

It’s super easy for us to get wrapped up in the BAKING part of it, but a successful Home Bakery is actually only 30% great baking and 70% great BUSINESS strategy.

That’s why large commercial bakeries with average baking are so successful. They KNOW that their BUSINESS strategy matters more than double as much as the quality of their baking!

They may score low on their baking quality, but they’ve got their business strategy down! They’re great business people and therefor their companies thrive.

I’ve told you all of this as an intro to the ONE most important business strategy tip you need.

Here’s my top tip: Businesses need MONEY to stay alive.

It’s not about being greedy at all. Just like plants need water to stay healthy and grow, businesses need money to stay healthy and grow.

If your Home Bakery doesn’t make enough money, it’s going to die. Simple as that. It’s a fact.

Yes, it’s super forward of me to say this so straight. And honestly I wish someone told me things so straight when I first started out!

The MAIN source of income you have is selling your baked goods. That’s where the money is at and it’s VITAL to your success that this part of your business functions properly!

If you undercharge for your baked goods or give all your family’s orders to them for free, you’ll need to address this as soon as possible.

Remember, your business needs money to stay healthy and grow.

If you struggle with undercharging and pricing in general you can check out this blog post >> 6 Steps for Pricing Your Baked Goods with Confidence.

You can also get my Pricing Calculator when you subscribe to my FREE Resource Library! It’s a super nifty PDF file that calculates the recommended selling price FOR you based on your ingredient costs, time spent, etc.

When you have your pricing system in place, your business will make the money it’s supposed to make.

When you price correctly you’re setting your Home Bakery up for growth and success!

2. Marketing for Beginners

Some of the best advice I can offer you is to start educating yourself on MARKETING as soon as possible!

The best products don’t get the most sales. The best MARKETING gets the most sales!

Marketing is ALL about learning how to make strangers realize that YOUR baked goods are exactly what they’ve been looking for.

Bakers tend to view business in a very outdated way. I did too at first!

They believe that there are 2 things you need to do to build a successful Home Bakery Business; bake great treats and advertise them. This strategy may have worked in the 80’s, but it’s not enough anymore!

I’m sure you’ve been experiencing this reality first hand and that’s why you’re here looking for answers.

Down that path the inevitable happens… We believe we just need to “bake great treats and advertise them” but no matter how hard we try, we just DON’T get more clients and sales.

It sucks!

And we start assuming that the reason why it’s not working is because we:

A] Aren’t “good enough” bakers or
B] Aren’t spending enough money on advertising.

This is TOTAL GARBAGE my friend. You’re a victim of totally outdated information!

First of all I want to tell you that businesses don’t struggle because their products aren’t good enough. They also don’t struggle because they don’t advertise enough. And they definitely don’t struggle because they don’t spend “enough money” on advertising.

Want to hear a shocking fact?

For 4 whole years I didn’t need to spend a single cent on advertising and my Home Bakery was fully booked every month! And it’s all because of this ONE thing – Effective Marketing.

Truth is that if you’re not getting clients you have a marketing problem. NOT an advertising problem.

Advertising and marketing isn’t the same thing.

Here’s the difference between Advertising and Marketing:

Marketing is about all the things you do to ATTRACT people to your business.

When you understand marketing and apply it effectively to your business you’re essentially turning your biz into a high-intensity MAGNET that attracts your ideal clients to you on autopilot.

Advertising on the other hand is like deep sea fishing… You go OUT and hope to find clients. It’s stressful. It’s risky. And most of all it gets expensive very fast! I’m sure you’ve felt that with your advertising efforts!

The honest truth: My Home Bakery has been fully booked 98% of the time (sometimes for 3 months in advance) with ZERO advertising.

When I started out in 2013 I DID TRY advertising and I didn’t get any business from it whatsoever! But investing my time in learning about MARKETING has made all the difference in my business.

And the great news is that marketing doesn’t need to be this super expensive mission to learn! It’s actually super cheap and effective to learn from books! That’s what I did and it works 🙂

You don’t need to go to an expensive university to understand marketing. YOU have the power to take control of your education.

I picked up my first ever marketing book I highly recommend that you start with the book just after my baking biz lost a HUGE client and hence 70% of my income – overnight!

I picked up a book (thanks to my legit husband), studied it, applied everything I learned, and a year later my Home Bakery was booked solid for 3 months in advance.

This book is a fantastic introduction to marketing in a small business and it’s called The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. It changed everything in my Home Bakery!

Get it as soon as you can. Read a bit of it every day. Apply what you learn and I promise you – your Home Bakery Business WILL grow.

3. An Effective Website

As a home baker I totally get how daunting it seems to set up a website! But the website building world has CHANGED drastically in the past few years. Don’t be scared off by the technological aspect of website building my friend. It’s really not a big deal at all. Since I built my first, super embarrassing website back in 2012; some amazing, USER FRIENDLY software has been developed to help non-techies like us to build beautiful websites in no time! But before we get to the “how?” of building a website, it’s essential that we cover the “why?”.

Why do you need a Website?

A] It’s professional: Home Bakeries are all about approachability and connection. But when it comes to your website, it’s the one place you really need to be super professional. According to a survey done by CNBC, a staggering 45% of small businesses don’t have a website!
And the fact of the matter is that today’s consumers LIVE online – so you need to be online to reach them.
Having a website communicates to clients that you take your Home Bakery very seriously and that you take them and their needs seriously as well. If you don’t have a website, there will also be confusion over your availability to bake for them. If you only have, say a Facebook page, it may seem to them that your Home Bakery is just a casual thing you do for friends and family. Having a website communicates to people that you mean business! And lastly, to be honest, NOT having a website in this online era will ONLY damage your business’s perceived value. The very first thing people do when they are interested in a business is to check out their website. The last thing you want is for someone to be interested in your bakes, but then dismiss your home bakery as sub-standard because you don’t have a website. Think of a website as your 21st century business card. Have you ever been in a conversation where you tell people about your baking biz and then they love it so much that they ask for your business card, but then you don’t have one? It’s such a sucky and embarrassing feeling isn’t it?! Well, NOT having a website is the 21st Century equivalent of that! You absolutely need a website to get business and sales to grow your business.   B] A Website Increases your Business’s credibility & reach: As soon as your business has a website, it’s seen as a LEGIT business. It’s like having an online office/shop address. A Website provides an opportunity for SEO (Search engine optimisation). This sounds complicated, but it’s really simple. SEO is about strategies that websites use to communicate to Google that you are a high quality bakery in your town/city/suburb. This makes it easier for NEW potential clients to find your business on Google search which means more sales and profit for you! Without a website, Google unfortunately and literally can’t recommend you to people searching for bakeries online.   C] A Website is an Opportunity to Exhibit What You Do: See your website as a portfolio of what VALUE your Home Bakery has to offer. If you fail to communicate online WHAT exactly it is that you do and how people can benefit from that, you are losing out on sales – BIG TIME.
Your home bakery essentially has a “job interview” with every single client that’s considering to order from you. And not having a website is like not even showing up for your job interview! Shocking!
  D] A Website Saves You Time: It does take some time to set up a website in the beginning, but it’s the most valuable time investment you’ll ever make. On a website you can put ALL the details about your business and services out there for clients to see. It brings them up to speed with your business workings. This means that you won’t spend hours answering the same questions over and over again every time someone wants to order from you. Questions like: Do you bake for weekends? How many people does your 9 inch cake serve? Is there corn flour in your gluten free bakes? Do you deliver? Prospective clients usually check out your website first before they will actually order from you. If they can find all the answers to their questions on your website, that means clearer communication for them and less work for you. Even if your home bakery is just starting out as a part time venture, build a website as soon as possible. I built mine when I was just baking once a week! And it has been a backbone of success in my business.  

HOW to Build a Website:

If you haven’t built a website yet, I strongly urge you to use Wix. They make it SO EASY to create a website – for free! My very first website was on Wix, but my cousin offered to help me build me a website on WordPress because she knew WordPress very well. When I became more serious about my blog I bought a super expensive WordPress theme that has helped my blogging endeavours in particular. But if I had to choose a platform for my HOME BAKERY’S website today, I’d absolutely choose WIX. I bought that ridiculously expensive WordPress theme because I was ignorant – to be honest. I had no idea that Wix had become so incredible. Squarespace is nice as well, but Wix’s free website themes & templates are better in my honest opinion and Wix is WAY more user friendly and cheaper than Squarespace. Wix has this very nifty “Wix ADI” which is built in software that creates a whole website FOR YOU based on the information you provide! So awesome! What’s also great about Wix is that they have a built in SEO program. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When your SEO is good, then Google will give you a higher ranking which increases your chances of being seen when people Google bakeries in your town/city. SEO usually takes a lot of time & effort and it’s a steep learning curve to master it. Knowing that Wix takes care of all that will preserve your sanity. So, my friend, even if you are technologically challenged, you will be able to get the results you want without breaking a sweat. Another wonderful perk is that lifetime technical support is included! This means they have a team of people online 24/7 to assist you if you get stuck during the website building process. Click here to start building your website on Wix. With their amazing templates you could be DONE creating your website in like 4 hours max! And here’s a YouTube tutorial to help you build your Wix website.

4. Build a Story Brand for Your Home Bakery Business

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 you feel that way 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 overcome those 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 are Daniel LaRusso at the end of the Karate Kid movie.

On our social media and websites we parade around with our trophy trying to show people “Look! 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.

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!

5. Curated Home Bakery Business Training

I’ve shared a lot of valuable resources with you in this post. Personally I had to digest all these resources and at least 100 others – I’m talking more books, endless podcast episodes, expensive online courses and more. Then I had to spend years TESTING & TWEAKING all this info to see what works specifically for a Home Bakery and what doesn’t. I’ve already gone through this effort, so that means you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself! I’d like to invite you to my next free Home Bakery Masterclass where I’ll share my top Home Bakery Business Secrets with you. Click the button below to join the wait list for my next FREE Home Bakery Masterclass.
That’s it for this post 🙂 I hope that you’ve enjoyed discovering what resources I’ve used to get my Home Bakery Business to where it is today! Dive in and take control of your own education. Apply everything you learn and I guarantee you that your Baking Business WILL GROW. Cheerio Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Do You Have What it Takes to Open a Retail Bakery?

Do You Have What it Takes to Open a Retail Bakery?

Do You Have What it Takes to Open a Retail Bakery?


**Guest content further down by Tina McJunkin from The Cautiously Optimistic Kitchen**

Welcome back to PART 2 of my Retail Bakery Series! If you missed my last post, I strongly encourage you to read it. I had the privilege of chatting with Tina McJunkin from the cautiously optimistic kitchen about the 4 LIES Home Bakers Believe about Owning a Storefront Bakery.

She shared her TRUE story of what it was like to run her own Retail Bakery for 2 years. Her story is absolutely incredible! It has really brought a HEAP of perspective and truth about the realities of owning your own bakery.

If you’ve read last week’s post and you STILL feel that opening your own Retail Bakery is a dream you want to pursue, today’s post is for you!

Tina has put together some questions for you to figure out if you have what it takes to open your own Retail Bakery.

 

Please note that Tina & I are NOT doing this Retail Bakery series to trample on your dreams, but rather because we want you to make INFORMED decisions and be successful!

Over to Tina 🙂

 

Dearest Home Baker,
I have been right where you are now.

 

Dreaming and obsessing over all the things I would do if I had my own cute little cake shop. How I would decorate the front of house and how I would charm every customer with a free sample as they strolled in the door. How people would FINALLY take me seriously as a baker!

Oh yes, I’ve been there.

I’ve also been on the other side of there.

I’ve actually owned and operated a real life Retail Bakery. And that, my friends, is why I’m here today. You really NEED to think about these things before you take the leap and dive in!

So… do you have what it takes to open a retail bakery? Let’s find out!

1. Do You Know WHY You Want a Retail Bakery?

I know you dream of doing this, but why are you REALLY doing this?

Do you want to make more money than you are now? Or maybe you want the fame of having a wildly successful bakery?

Is it because you want to be busier with more customers? Do you just want all that cake stuff out of your house and to stop taking over every spare inch you can find to shove more supplies?

Could it be because you want the opportunity to hire employees and delegate some of the work so that you have more time for your own family?

Do you have what it takes to open your own retail bakery? Here are 6 questions for you to answer so you can know for sure!

If you are only opening a bakery to satisfy your daydreams, you may need to think about the next few things first.


2. How Much Time are You Willing to Sacrifice?

Operating a retail bakery will take ALL of your time. I truly mean that.

As the owner, you will work 24/7/365.

Not. Even. Kidding.

If you have a storefront you will absolutely be busier than in your home bakery. Not only will you need to spend time on actually making cakes, you will spend time on so many more admin & logistical issues like:

The book work, paying bills, ordering supplies, taking inventory, hiring/firing/managing employees, handling advertising, answering calls/emails only you as the owner can respond to, creating recipes/menus, shopping, etc., etc.

It’s everything you are already doing in your home bakery, but 100 fold. So take the amount of time you spend working on your cakes now and multiply that by 100. Now you have how many hours you will work in a week.

You might think it’s impossible to work a 130 hour work week, but I’m telling you now that it’s very real and imminent when you own a Retail Bakery.


3. Do You Have a Plan?

I don’t just mean a plan of how things are going to look and how everyone is going to think your yummies are the best in town. I mean a real deal business plan.

If you are going to finance this venture, you will be required to have a plan anyway. But even if you aren’t financing you MUST have a plan!!

You Need a Plan for ALL the following things:

  • Know what your operating hours will be.
  • How many employees you will need and what schedule they will work.
  • If you will purchase ingredients locally or if you will use a food service.
  • Have your menu and recipes ready and flawless.
  • Have business cards and brochures printed before you ever open your doors.
  • Know exactly how much your items, supplies, packaging and ingredients cost per unit.
  • Know exactly how much your overhead will cost you.
  • How much will your workers comp insurance, unemployment insurance and liability insurance cost?
  • Will you pay sick days or maternity leave?
  • How much will you pay out in salaries, sales taxes, business licenses, and deposits?
  • Call the utility office and ask what an average bill costs for the unit you are going to operate in.
  • Is your building already set up for a food service business?
  • Will you need to get permits or build out your building?
  • What is the cost of your equipment?
  • How long will it take the Health Department to allow you to open once you’re ready?
  • Shop around for internet, phone, advertising, insurance, etc.
  • KNOW HOW MUCH THINGS ARE GOING TO COST.

There will be even more things added to this list as you get deeper into it and it is absolutely essential that you have a SOLID plan.

 

All Home Bakers DREAM of having their own Storefront Bakery with a line of eager customers wrapping around the block! But it's not the party we imagine it to be. Here are 6 questions for you to answer and figure out if YOU have what it takes to open your own retail/storefront bakery. #homebakery #bakingbusiness #cakebusiness #retailbakery


4. To Finance or Not to Finance?

How are you going to fund this venture?

If you are going to finance your bakery yourself you will need to have that business plan ready. There are different types of loans you can get, so be sure you research them all. You can find tons of free information on small business loans and other funding options on bank websites.

Decide if you need a down payment, collateral, or if you will be using credit cards. Also, be sure to think about how you will handle the financial situation if you are not able to make those payments.

 

How is that going to affect other aspects of your life? Are you using your home or vehicle as collateral and will you lose those items? Are you about to sink your entire life savings into this? Will you be maxing out those credit cards?

Once you decide on how you will finance your Retail Bakery’s start up don’t forget about those operating costs.

Be sure you have some kind of financial cushion for slow times!

Whether that is a personal stockpile of cash you have set aside, a line of credit, or one credit card you held back from maxing. Whatever it may be, just be sure you have it at the ready. You will need it – even if you’re 100% sure you won’t.

 

 

5. Are You Ready to Be a Boss?

Are you really prepared to be a boss?

Now look, I’m the first to admit I can be considered to be a bit bossy (Or so I’m told by my younger sisters, my kids, my husband) I’m the eldest child in my family, what can I say, I come by it honestly, right?

But here’s the kicker. I may be great at being bossy, but I’m a terrible boss!!!

There’s more to being a boss than bossing. You’ve got to be able to manage people. You need to be prepared to interview, hire, delegate, and even fire people.

 

Trust me it’s much harder than it sounds. You also need to be able to be respected (and be respectful). You need to be taken seriously, you need to be fair, and you need to be able to set standards that you expect to be met by all your employees.

Also remember that you are their employer, not their friend. You must keep those two relationships separate, even if you’re friendly with your employees (and you definitely should be!). If you don’t you separate the two you will never be able to manage employees to the best of your ability.

One other thing you will realize pretty fast is that YOU are the employee of the month – actually of the year!

You will need to know how to perform EVERY job and be willing and able to do them. If you have an employee call in sick, be prepared to jump into that position.

Be prepared to work every position at once because sometimes you just might have to!

 

There may be times when it’s slow enough that you need to decide if it’s worth it to pay another person to do a job you can actually do yourself.

Holidays and weekends are another time when you get to work but may decide to let your employees enjoy the time off. You will need to consider these things when you are deciding on how much time you’re willing to put in as well when you are creating your business plan costs.


6. Are You Ready to Develop a THICK Skin?

Once those doors open, you are now considered a professional. If you are still working on those decorating skills and you’ve only been doing this just a little while, no one will be considerate of that. As soon as you establish yourself in a brick and mortar store, the customers will expect you to be an absolute expert.

There won’t be much room for error.

  • Everything you do will be under scrutiny.
  • Everything your employees say and do will be under scrutiny.
  • Anything and everything that goes out your door will be criticized and picked apart.

The fact is when you grow your audience you open yourself up to more opportunities to be placed under the microscope. Not everyone will like your work. Heck, not everyone likes your work now. But when you open a retail bakery, you lose that personal touch.

People aren’t afraid of hurting your feelings anymore if they aren’t completely pleased. Now they’re racing to social media to let the entire world know how awful you are, all without ever letting you know they were unhappy. It’s just reality.

The thing is that it will bother you. It will ruin your weekend when you get that first call complaining about your work.

The first time, the next time, and the last time will all hurt the same. Just be prepared and know that unfortunately not all people have the decency to treat others as they would like to be treated.

There are plenty of people who are ready to spew whatever junk comes to their minds. So you have to decide how you will handle the situation when it comes – because unfortunately, it WILL come.

Do you have what it takes to open a retail bakery? Every Home Baker carries this dream in their pocket at some point! Here are 6 questions for you to answer so you can know for sure if opening a storefront bakery is the right step for YOU! #cakebusiness #bakingbusiness #homebakery #retailbakery

 

So there you have my six things you definitely need to think about before opening a retail bakery.

Now that you’ve thought about these 6 questions, have you considered baking from home may be just where you need to be?

Tina

 

Thank you so much for sharing these questions with us Tina! If you haven’t read Tina’s full story on the Reality of Owning a Retail Bakery, you can read it here.

I hope Tina’s questions have brought some clarity, perspective and shed a lot of light on your baking journey – as it has done for me!

If you have any questions, please comment below and either Tina or I will respond.

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

4 Lies Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

4 Lies Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

4 LIES Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

**Guest content further down by Tina McJunkin from Cautiously Optimistic Kitchen**

 

This 2 PART SERIES I’m starting today is probably the most important one I have shared with you to date. It’s not a fun one, but it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

The reason why it isn’t going to be fun for you to read is because it will address a BIG and sacred dream you probably have. I know you have this dream because I had this dream too for 5 long years.

For 5 years I used to pin beautiful images to a Pinterest board I named “If I had my own little bakery“.

MANY (in fact MOST) of my readers confirm for me every week that this is a home baker’s ultimate dream…

To own your very own storefront bakery.

 

This dream in itself CAN BE a good dream to work towards, but honestly we all have unrealistic pictures and expectations in our minds about what this kind of life looks like on a day to day basis.

Over my years as a full time home baker, I’ve been through a lot and the ideal of my own retail bakery started to lose its glossy veneer. I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE being a full time HOME BAKER.

It feels like having your own retail bakery is the ultimate GOAL in baking. A heap of my clients, friends and family still ask me: “WHEN are you going to open your own Retail Bakery??”

My immediate, content answer is “No, thanks” 🙂

Because I am truly happy where I am as a full time HOME Baker.

And a lot of this perspective came from reading a post by Tina McJunkin from The Cautiously Optimistic Kitchen.

SO I ASK OF YOU TODAY TO BE OPEN AND LISTEN TO TINA’S STORY BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT! 

Here’s what Tina has to say about her baking journey. She was a Home Baker, just like you and me, but for the whole 2 years she baked from home, she always dreamed of owning her very own retail bakery.

 

Here is Tina’s TRUE Story

Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. It’s something you start thinking about the very moment someone loves a cake you baked for them!

On television and online you see the financial industry, business card, credit card, and website designer commercials showing all of the smiling business owners talking about how great it is to have their own store.

You see the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube pages, videos and posts all touting how it’s the way to go and you won’t regret your decision if you go for it!

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

But is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Well… that’s going to be for you to decide. But for me, the short answer was NO.

Today I’m going to share my experience with you. This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about.

 

I Decided I was Ready for My Own Retail Bakery.

After nearly two years of baking from home I was ready to open my very own retail bakery. I had built a pretty good clientele of loyal customers and felt my skill level was up to par (haha!).

All my days and nights I spent dreaming – obsessing about what I would name my shop, how I would decorate the front of house, what my logo would look like, and how customers would come strolling in one after the other from opening time until closing time.

Although, the biggest dreams I had were how much money I would make, how much room I would free up in my home, and all the extra time I would have to spend with my family! <sigh>

Boy was I wrong! About most of it anyway. There is so much more to having your own retail bakery than you realize.

 

**I want to say right now, this is the story of MY experience. So many others have opened their own retail bakery and loved it. In such cases it was the absolute right decision for them. My goal is NOT to bring you down and stomp on your dreams.**

I am only here to share the realities of owning your own retail bakery with you because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

It can be the greatest experience you’ve ever had, but it can also be heart-breaking. A Retail Bakery can be exhausting and it is absolutely challenging.

 

There are many people with a mind and spirit made for business. I unfortunately realized I was not cut out for this type of thing. I made a lot of mistakes and my biggest mistake was my IGNORANCE about HOW to actually operate a retail business.

So here’s my story. Please read it with an open mind.

I will share my story in light of 4 Misconceptions I had about owning my own retail Bakery.

 

1. I Believed a Retail Bakery Would Make More Money

The truth is I paid every penny out to others.

I did not profit a single cent even though we “made” six figures the first 9 months we were open. Yes, 6 figures. But NONE of it was in my pocket. It cost us several thousands to open the bakery plus the huge burden of overheard.

The electric bills alone were $500-800/month in the moderate size unit we were in. I also had to hire employees (please don’t think you can do this alone!). Paying sales taxes, unemployment taxes and insurance, and salaries (now the employment laws are getting even crazier), advertising, liability insurance, and credit card processing fees took huge chunks of money every month.

I needed to constantly add new items and run promotions to keep walk in business, as people are bored very easily, and it’s exhausting!  ALL food businesses do it so don’t expect to be the exception.

Even if you opened a CAKE shop like I did, people will expect you to be a full service bakery.

It was the right thing for me to open my own retail bakery because I was obsessed with the thought. OBSESSED I tell you. I couldn’t think of anything else. I thought this was what I was meant to do and had total misconceptions of the "storefront bakery dream"... #homebakery #bakingbusiness #retailbakery #cakebusiness

 

With all the new orders I had to buy more ingredients/packaging to keep up which was more money out the door. You will probably need to add something to bring customers in if you aren’t a full service bakery, like an ice cream parlour, lunches, or even sell merchandise in your store.

 

There are busy seasons and slow seasons in the cake world.

I didn’t take into account that the summer and winter would be so slow!

I never had any issues before booking up in my home bakery during these times of year. But I also only needed a fraction of the business to operate.

When you have employees and overheard you need steady orders and walk in traffic ALL year long! Take advantage of busy times (Valentine’s Day, Graduation and Wedding seasons) and promote lots of specials.

It is an absolute MUST that you raise your prices drastically from what you are charging at home. Don’t be surprised when your loyal customers aren’t happy about that.

Not everyone realizes how much money it takes just to keep the lights on and they will not understand why you raised your “great” prices from back when you were the “cheap” cake lady!

 

2. I Thought Customers Would Be Kind

I have to be completely honest with you.

I didn’t want to deal with people EVER again after I closed my shop.

Even though there were many, many, many more satisfied customers I dealt with than unhappy customers, those very few unhappy ones made a huge impact on my view of the world. People change as soon as you have a store front.

People expect WAY more from you and are not afraid to tell all of social media about when they are not happy about anything.

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

They will even expect refunds for their own mistakes that they made while ordering. They become much pickier.

They become hateful and quick to judge without giving any thought to the fact that this is how you feed your family. It is just fact that not every single customer will be happy and love your work. I completely understand that. I am a consumer too!

But so many people forget that you are just a woman chasing her dreams and rather than speaking with you about any issues they will just run your name through the mud instead. That’s the reality of this digital world we live in today.

When I did have a customer approach me with an issue it was ALWAYS dealt with. You cannot ignore unsatisfied customers. You MUST take every measure you possibly can to turn the situation around. People remember the single negative review and will scroll right past the 1000 positive reviews you may have.

I was sure to be quick with a sincere apology (even if it wasn’t our fault) and I offered a refund as well as a replacement for the product. When customers came to me unhappy I can gladly say they left with a changed attitude and I nearly always saw them back in my shop as a repeat customer!

I unfortunately wasn’t always given the opportunity to make things right and that really got to me. It really hurt when people chose to be negative and stir up conflict without ever addressing the issue with me.

Not only was this difficult to deal with, but I lost the personal encounters with my customers.

They just became an order form that my employee filled out. And I had to hope they got all the info and wrote everything down correctly. I also had customers that refused to deal with any of my employees and only speak with me because they were long time clients.

The thing is, I didn’t have time to deal with customers personally because I was busy running the business end of things.

 

3. I Thought I Would Have Much More Free Time!

Except in my own retail bakery, I was now the boss. I was not only responsible for my own quality of work but I was also responsible for my employees quality of work and customer service.

Finding good, reliable employees can be extremely challenging! No one cares about your business like you do.

 

Even when you have a good staff you will still work

EVERY.

SINGLE.

DAY.

I worked 80+ hours a week and had no time for my children.

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

I kid you not, I missed an entire year of my children’s lives. I cleaned out some boxes awhile after we closed our shop and found so many school papers and order forms for school pictures I had never seen before!

I wasn’t able to take time off or go on vacation. I had to worry about bad weather and not being able to be open during winter. Winter and Summer are extremely slow times of the year for bakeries.

You also can’t just not take orders or not go to work because you are tired or don’t feel up to making cake that day – which is something you can always do in a home bakery setup!

 

4. I Thought I Had the Right Mind & SPIRIT for Business

Owning a business is so, SUPER stressful – especially a busy and successful business.

I was STRESSED OUT WHEN…

  • We were so busy that I didn’t go home on Friday nights because we had to get orders finished for Saturday morning.
  • We sold out of cupcakes in our case every day the first week we were open and had to disappoint customers.
  • Every time a customer picked up a cake because I was terrified their order may not be right or they may not like it. If they didn’t like it I was stressed that they would run straight to Facebook and let the masses know without ever telling me.
  • My other decorator needed to take off work frequently.
  • I couldn’t take even a Sunday off because I had to buy supplies for the following week from a local store.

I WAS STRESSED.

ALWAYS.

The bucket loads of STRESS eventually took a toll on not only my relationships but also my health.

Thank the great Lord above for giving me a truly amazing husband. Most relationships probably wouldn’t have made it through the effects of the stress we endured, but my husband not only hung in there, he carried me through. He is my rock and I learned to love him in a completely new and deeper way.

 

It took another year and a half after we closed up shop for my mind to begin to heal. My body on the other hand decided to blow its adrenals and damage not only my thyroid but it’s entire endocrine system. That is a battle I’m still fighting.

I clung to God like I had never done before.

My spirit was broken and I prayed NON STOP.

That’s not an exaggeration. If I was awake I was talking to Him. He pulled me out of the lowest place I had ever been and He brought me back to life. I got to know Him like I had never dreamed possible. I promise you, He is there for you. Don’t blame Him when you are in a bad place, turn and RUN to Him!

Realizing my mind, body and spirit couldn’t handle the stress any longer (I was truly on the verge of a nervous breakdown) and after operating a storefront for nearly 2 years, we closed up shop.

I wasn’t sure when we closed our doors if I ever wanted to bake another cake. The plan was for me to completely quit and I was going to return to the work force.

I was actually called and offered a job I hadn’t even known existed. After much prayer and lots of discussion we decided that I would decline the position and stay home. But that meant continuing my cake business. I realized in that moment I wasn’t finished.

With God’s help, I knew my mind would heal and I would be able to love my work again.

And I do.

 

There Was a Silver Lining Though

I can’t say that it was all bad.

I learned how to bake/ice/decorate a cake in less than a few hours as opposed to an entire day! I tweaked my recipes until they were just right. I learned how to bake a dozen cakes and only dirty a few dishes in my kitchen instead of messing my entire house!

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS. #homebakery #retailbakery #storefrontbakery #bakingbusiness

 

I did gain new loyal customers.

Most importantly I learned that I would much rather work from home and pick and choose my customers.

I would much rather be home working all night instead of across town until 3:00am to only be back at 7:00am.

I learned that sometimes you already have all you need right where you’re at doing exactly what you’re doing.

So that was my experience.

 

Here’s My Advice

Do what God is leading you to do.

I know that it was the right thing for me to open my own retail bakery because I was obsessed with the thoughtOBSESSED I tell you. I couldn’t think of anything else.

And the Lord knew that if I didn’t see all of these things on my own I would never stop thinking about it. That I would never learn the valuable lessons I learned and I’d always wonder if I could have or should have done it.

So He let me do what I thought I wanted and find out that I already had what I wanted. Let’s say, I had to learn things the hard way…

I hope that my story has helped you take a closer look at what it means to have your own retail bakery.

Tina

 

Thank you so much Tina for sharing your priceless story on Philosophy of Yum!

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO OPEN YOUR OWN RETAIL BAKERY?? In my next post you can discover the truth for yourself 😉

RELATED: Do You Have What it Takes to Open a Storefront Bakery?

I hope Tina’s story has brought some clarity, perspective and shed a lot of light on your baking journey – as it has done for me!

If you have any questions, please comment below and either Tina or I will respond.

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)