Starting any business is a challenge and requires dedication and long hours. Although starting a bakery is simple and fairly straightforward, many bakeries fail each year due to inadequate planning and a lack of preparation. With these first steps a bakery entrepreneur is on the path to success.
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Identify your vision for the bakery by creating a life plan that incorporates your passion and how a bakery fits into your life goals. Defining what you expect from your bakery also helps when it's time to write the business plan. List positives and negatives involved in starting a bakery to see if the pros outweigh the cons.
Decide whether to start from scratch, purchase a bakery franchise or buy an existing bakery. Possible franchises include cafés such as Panera Bread, a donut shop such as Krispy Kreme or specialty pastries such as Cinnabon. Buying a bakery is the quickest way to become a bakery owner, but be cautious as to why the owner wants to sell.
Research the community where you plan to locate the bakery in terms of need for a bakery, whether there are enough customers, if there is a convenient location, what products the market wants and if you can provide superior customer service.
Write a business plan that include four major sections, a description of the bakery, the marketing plan, the management plan and the financial management plan. Use software such as Business Plan Pro to help you write the business plan.
Obtain financial support to start the bakery. Different sources of financial support include personal credit cards, savings, personal investments, a bank loan, venture capitalists, government grants, small business loans, loans or gifts from family or an investment by an individual who is successful in the field.
Conduct pre-opening activities such as obtaining any necessary licenses, permits and insurance. Open a bank account, contract suppliers, set up utilities, purchase equipment and hire and train employees. Organize these duties and hire individuals that have an expertise in these areas if needed. Keep track of the tasks and their progress in an organizer or spreadsheet.
Generate interest in the bakery before opening by putting up a sign as soon as possible and promoting the grand opening date. Get business cards early and hand out whenever possible to generate interest. Have a sample party as a pre-opening event for family and friends.
Tips and warnings
- Before looking to venture capitalists approach successful bakery investors for tips and large dollar investments.
- Join an industry association such as American Baker Association to stay current.
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