Opening your own bakery should be a moment of pride and accomplishment. However, there are pitfalls which can derail this great moment. Look out for these common mistakes:
When financial planning, start by considering the operating costs for the business and creating a rough projection of revenue to determine if the business can be run profitably. Only then should you work back to the start-up costs you’ll need to cover. By first considering what the business will look like when it is up and running, you will have a better idea of the investments in space and equipment you will need to keep costs down and revenue up. This is important to achieve your required profit, as well as personal income if the business will be your primary source of employment. Detailing the capital needs to cover start-up costs can be a rather lengthy research project, but it will be smoother after you work backwards from the future picture of your business.
Unless you are an expert baker and an expert teacher, think twice before hiring inexperienced bakers and training them from scratch. This can be a difficult process and the results might fall far short of what your business requires. Instead, seek experienced bakers and try to hire one to work full-time.
If you must hire inexperienced help, document your training system in some way after you train an employee for the first time. This will allow you to build on that training the next time you bring someone on. Inevitably, you will have to bring on new employees, either because of employees not working out, leaving for their own reasons, or when you decide to expand. Lay the groundwork early to cut down on the time it takes to bring someone new in by developing this training system.
Serving area businesses with your baked goods can make great use of your extra capacity and potentially provide some dependable income if orders come in regularly. However, splitting your focus between consumers and businesses can defocus your marketing and operations strategy, and should only be considered if you can make this work without costly tradeoffs. While it is not right for every bakery to work on corporate orders at the same time as counter sales, consider if this might work for your bakery during the planning stage. Without researching the possibility, you’ll never know if your business is achieving its revenue and profit potential.