Operating a Home Bakery is a brilliant idea, if you want to avoid the hassles of running a store-front or an outlet-shop.
This opportunity to sell baked products, prepared in your home kitchen is usually of smaller size than a retail or wholesale bakery. However, there is much more to your business than just baking good products at home.
You must treat the business seriously, comply with the local laws, prepare a good business plan with marketing strategies, raw material sourcing, packaging designs, delivery options and much more.
There are 4 important steps that you need to consider, before you open your Home Bakery:
1. Get necessary regulatory approvals & licences
In India, registering your kitchen premises with FSSAI is mandatory, even if you make less than 12 Lakhs per annum in sales. This registration process is simple and can be done by application on FSSAI website or hiring a consultant in your area.
Do also consider what modifications you would require in your kitchen, before the FSSAI authorities plan to visit.
Just like in any other business you would, keep your paperwork in order. Accounting books, insurance copies, machine operating manuals, and more.
2. Prepare a Business Plan
Your business will take as much planning, as would any other business in your town. It is important that you have clarity on required finances, including start-up cost, ongoing operations, and projected sales, costs and estimated time to start turning profits.
Do a good research of your target customers and direct your marketing efforts towards them. For example, you will cater differently if you have more older populations than you would for a college going students. Do the research well.
Being remarkable and different from others, is more important than any marketing strategy you can think of. Offer your customers the baked products which are new, different or special in some way.
Make some provision to exhibit your bakes, possibly in your home or in a nearby grocery store. This area can be used for allowing your customers to browse and purchase your products.
3. Build Inventory, Material and Equipment
Make sure that you have a working oven, stove and refrigerator at home. If not, and to keep initial start-up costs low, you may consider purchasing a refurbished or second-hand one. Also make sure you have an electric planetary mixer, plenty of sheet pans, mixing bowls, cake moulds and spoons.
To ensure smooth running of your home bakery, make sure you have reliable suppliers. Buying ingredients in bulk, from online stores is much cheaper than buying small quantities from supermarkets. Be sure that you compare prices with several suppliers and that you are getting a reasonable deal.
Do consider Blue Ingredients (click here)
Setup a storage area for both, your supplies and your baked products. If not stored properly many ingredients can go bad or become tainted, making less desirable finished products. Do check recommended storage temperatures of all products and ensure that you have contracted your home with pest-control managements.
4. Invest in Advertising
Word of mouth is the best advertising for any home bakery and to attract initial customers who will spread your news, you will have to spend money on advertising. With your likely competition with commercial bakery, do not ignore marketing & advertising. Do invest in good photographers and online advertising companies.
Consider putting a sign board at your company's actual location (viz. your home) and on society notice board, with their permission. Creating discount coupons and sharing them in local newspaper or online adverts can be another good idea, "50%Off on First Purchase" and "Buy One Get One Free" are proved to be generally very effective to lure new clients.
If used appropriately, the internet can also be a very effective advertising tool. Create accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and ask your friends to "LIKE" and start spreading your word.