Start a Small Bakery Business
Many people dream of owning and running their own small business in hopes of becoming their own boss. They also hope that their independence can give them more flexibility to earn money without depending on a full-time employment. Some fail in their efforts as soon as they realize that it is not as simple as they thought it would be. Starting and operating a business takes a lot more hard work than just dreaming.
Decide which type of bakery business you would like to operate. You can opt to sell only cakes or breads, muffins, donuts and other baked goodies. You may choose to sell combinations of specialty cakes and baked goods. Some open bakeries to make specialty cakes or cakes for special occasions only such as for weddings and birthdays. Determine if you will just sell the goods "to go" or allow people to sit down and eat. In addition, determine if you will be serving hot and cold beverages along with the baked goods.
Lay out a business plan. Decide on the name of your business. Decide if this will be a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation. Register your business with the State and obtain a permit or license to operate. Inquire for more information from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) for tips and assistance on how to start your own small bakery. SCORE is a Resource Partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Visit score.org for more information.
Decide on the location. The location size should be enough to accommodate baking ovens, baking racks, baked goods shelves, storage, counters, tables and chairs. Consider the restrooms in the plan. If you plan to operate a coffee shop-type bakeshop where people can eat, you would need to add a public restroom. If it is just going to be a bakeshop where you will sell baked goods to go, you may only need a small one for you and your staff only. Check with your state or town for requirements.
Know your state and town's health regulations. Make sure your location will pass the inspection.
Check on the costs of equipment you will use. Some equipment may cost several thousands of dollars; therefore, shop around and compare prices before you buy. Bakery Solutions (Bakesol) is a company that specializes in bakery equipment, parts and accessories. You will find most baking items used to operate your bakery from this shop. Visit bakesol.com for more details.
Obtain financing from a bank. Inquire about small business loans offered though SBA (Small Business Administration). You would need enough to cover purchase of equipment, appliances, furniture, and lease of location, renovation, start-up costs and up to six months worth of employees' salaries. Budget for ingredients, utilities, insurance and other miscellaneous operating costs.
Gain experience while you plan for your future. Any business does not grow overnight; you would need to plan and have a long-term goal. While planning your business you can work for an established bakery. Don't expect them to give you all the information that you need from the ground up; however; you can learn how to use baking equipment and how to serve customers. You may also train as a pastry chef from a culinary school to learn other baking techniques that you did not learn from home.
Hire workers. You may need food servers or waitstaff. Determine how many you need to help bake, serve and handle the register. You may need one or two experienced bakers to work with you, a person operating the counter and register, one to two waitstaff.
Get ready to open for business. Advertise your opening day by posting ads on newspapers and posting or handling out flyers. You can also host a charity event and give out baked goods with your label attached. Hand out business cards and flyers to the attendees.
Service Corps of Retired Executives
Bakery Equipment, Parts and Accessories