I love good bread, the smell of fresh-baked bread makes my day, it reminds me of Sunday morning with my parents, pure happiness. I tried home baking before, but it is just not my thing, I can build a house using my freshly baked baguettes as foundations and my cookies for flooring. I searched up for artisan bakeries near me that offer shipping or curbside pick-up, and well, I need to travel more than 40 minutes to get a fresh artisan bread. Worth it? Yes! That I wish someone closer to me gives the same service? Definitely! So, if you binge watch list is only in the Food Network, love to bake and everyone at the PTA, office and family tasks you with the cake sale or baked goods sales every fundraising, then it is time to start an online bread-baking business!
From Hobby to Business
There is no wrong or right way of being an entrepreneurial mom. Just do what works for you. However, some steps mark the difference between a hobby and a business. You need to have your business cap on!
You have to get really good at bread baking before you open your store online. Of course, it is impossible to know all kind of varieties and trends to fit all your customers. Whichever the case, you need to find your niche and learn the ins and outs of that market. Every crafty mom knows Wilton, I usually browse their video gallery to spark a bit my box cupcakes, you can do that too to fire up your inspiration, or you can take an online bread making class.
Perhaps you like something more self-paced and love books, you can check out Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza or if you are thinking about learning to bake I would suggest reading The bread baking apprentice. Maybe you have a dietary requirement for gluten-free products, Keto, whole grains diets or low-carbs.
Don’t forget to watch videos on Tasty, “The Magic of Bread Making” I don’t watch videos because I gain weight just by looking at the bread…
How to start an online bread-baking business
With everyone still in quarantine and online business booming, you can start your online bread-baking business right from your kitchen! In a nutshell, you’ll need to have a killer website, mouthwatering images of your bread, and a way to place an order, still, you must check your local regulations beforehand.
Start with a business plan.
Solve a problem, define your niche, describe your vision, compare and contrast, plan your operations, design a digital marketing plan. Launch your business!
1. Solve a problem
Every business needs to solve a problem that its customers face. You must explain what the problem is and how your product or service solves it.
- What are its benefits, features, and unique selling proposition?
- Are you targeting a customer base your competitors are ignoring?
- Does it have some other characteristic that gives it a competitive edge?
Describe the pricing, fee, subscription, or leasing structure of your product or service. Include prices from competitors in your spreadsheet and compare them.
- Are you on the low end, mid-range, or high end?
- How will that pricing strategy help you attract customers?
- What is your projected profit margin?
2. Define your niche
Finding a niche doesn’t necessarily mean you hit the jackpot. Make a simple internet search to get an idea and pay attention to other businesses that do what you want to do. Bread baking is already a niche market, so you have to carefully review your competition and build up your brand to succeed.
- Describe the most important features. What is unique about it?
- Describe the most important benefits. What does it do for the customer?
3. Describe your vision
Your business vision will guide your operations, manufacture, policies, and overall strategy. The business vision describes where you wish to go and how you plan to do it.
The vision statement reflects your values and the purpose of the business, it is a powerful tool for personal motivation and success.
The words that you use have a more significant impact on your life that you may realize. When writing down your business vision, avoid uncertainty in your language, use decisive action words in the present indicates that decision has been made. Making this simple shift in vocabulary propels you to action an achieve your goals.
Writing a business vision that resonates with your personal values provides the foundation for success, the rest is hard work and love.
4. Compare and contrast
List key companies that compete with you and review if they do it across all the topics, or just for specific products. Are they your competition for particular customers? Or in some geographic regions?
Put into practice your ELA classes on compare and contrast assignments!
5. Plan your operations
A successful business requires more than excellent paper planning, it requires action and contingency plans to answer almost every possible scenario out there. Try to anticipate your customer’s need and explain any after-sale services like
- How will you produce your product or deliver your service? Describe your production methods, the equipment you’ll use, and how much it will cost to produce what you sell.
- How will you maintain consistency? Describe the quality control procedures you’ll use.
- Packing Materials
- Customer support
- Refund policy
b. Startup Costs
Compile a list of equipment, like a bread-making kit for Home bakers, Digital kitchen scale, silicone baking mats with measurements. Of course, the Kitchen Aid professional mixer, the cooling racks. Don’t forget to check if your appliances and ovens are in proper condition. Make sure you create a full list of tools.
c. Protect your Assets
Consult your CPA for the best way to separate your business and protect your assets. Usually, a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is enough. You should also check your permits following some simple guidelines laid out by the USDA
6. Digital Marketing
There are more than 1 billion users spending hours scrolling through beautiful images, watching videos, reading the news, engaging in random conversations, or asking for recommendations.
As a small business owner, with limited resources, you need to know which social media tool works best for you.
- Instagram is about showcasing a product or a service via visual storytelling.
- Pinterest is better for sharing products, how-to, DIY, and retail.
- TikTok boosts your brand showcasing fun and creative videos for a population between the ages of 16 and 24.
- Facebook grows your audience and creates customer loyalty via customer engagement and customer service.
No matter what website provider you choose, focus on your social media marketing with Instagram perfect pictures, Facebook groups, and Reddit communities to access to the local market. Make sure you set up a Google My Business profile to appear on searches and local businesses on Google Maps.
Every small business owner knows that prospecting for clients and leads is more than planning and great design, using the right social media channel will generate leads and sales without breaking your budget. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action button to redirect the customer to your website!
Enjoy your baking!