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How to create a menu for your home baking business

It is easy to get stuck when creating a menu for a home baking business. You want to have a clear and beautiful way of letting people know just what you sell. A good menu not only helps customers understand what you offer but can be a deciding factor between placing an order and not.

If you have no idea what you want to sell yet make sure to check out this post first 5 baked goods to sell from home. Here are some tips to help you create an effective menu for your home baking business.

How do I decide what to include in my menu?

When I first started my home baking business I sold everything!!

I sold custom cakes, cookie decorating sets, apple pies, full dessert tables, cupcakes, and macarons!

Now jeez, just writing that is a lot. Imagine baking all of that. It was way too many items to focus on. I quickly learned I had to make a pivot and simplify my menu.

What to consider when choosing items for your menu?

Remember you are not married to your menu!

You can change your menu at any time. Now I don't recommend changing it constantly, but it is expected that your menu will shift as you get more comfortable in your business. So don't feel pressure to stick to your menu. Allow yourself some flexibility.

What are your favorite things to make?

Start listing out all the baked goods you love to make and you are good at. This is your business, there is no need to start selling something that you hate making even if it sells well.

I know that cake pops sell but I hate eating them and I hate making them. So even though I could technically make money by selling cake pops I don't. The money that comes in from making them won’t be worth it if I don't enjoy it.

What items are the most popular?

What are items that your friends and family rave about? The thing they want you to bring to every gathering! Make that! The chances are if your friends and family are all over it your customers will be too. Include items in your menu that are sure to have your customers ordering over and over again.

How long does it take to make these items?

When I first started I sold apple pies for Thanksgiving. That was the last time I sold apple pies. It is not worth the hassle. The process of peeling apples and making pie crust from scratch, cutting out little leaves for the pie crust was not worth the price I could sell them for.

I don't know about you but I have never seen an apple pie for $100.

But I have seen many cakes well over $100. It ended up being more time efficient to make a cake for $100 than 4 apple pies at $25 each.

Analyze the time it takes you to make items vs the price you are able to sell them for.

What you add to your menu needs to easily compensate for the time you spend making it and more.

How much can you sell these baked goods for?

Like I lightly touched on, it is important to think about the price of the items.

I know we love baking and it's a passion; but.... when we start turning our passion into a business it is easy for that flame to die a little. It's no longer just for fun on your terms. It is a job and some days you might not be all up for it.

To make sure you keep that fire going you need the price to be right!

The best way to do this is to think of your financial goal for your business for the next 6 months.

  • How much do you want to be making 6 months from now?

  • How many cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, etc, do you need to sell to make that amount?

$2,000 / $36 per dozen cupcakes = 55 orders of at least $36 each

$2,000 / $150 cake = 13 orders of at least $150

Keep in mind some orders will be of higher value due to design or size so the number of orders you need can go down!

If the amount that you need to sell sounds reasonable for you and your lifestyle go for it.

If you need to sell way too many items then go for a higher-ticket product.

Are the items on brand?

Keep your brand character in mind! If you don't have a brand character created yet you need to read this post next! Create a strong brand identity for your home baking business.

Is this item something my brand character would want?

Get the free printable that helps you decide what to make in your home baking business!

How many items should I include in my menu?

Keep it simple! As I said when I started my home baking business I offered way too many items. It was a headache for me.

It meant:

  • I needed more supplies

  • more packaging options

  • different ingredients

  • I had to switch what I was doing often since each item had different processes

Start with a small number of items, master it, and grow from there.

Not only will it help your stress levels but it will also help your customers.

Having a smaller menu makes it:

  • easier for the customer to make a decision

  • easier for customers to remember you "she's the bento cake lady"

If you do plan on multiple items you can categorize your menus. For example, I have a menu for cakes as well as a menu for dessert tables. They are separate files that I can send to clients when they need them.

What flavors should I include?

Remember to keep your flavors on brand as well!

Stick to 5 flavors for your menu. That way it is a good amount to choose from but not too many that it creates decision paralysis.

For example, in my cake menu, I have 5 cake flavors, 5 buttercreams, and 5 add-on fillings. I do also let customers know that I am open to recommendations as well. That way I can accommodate any special requests or cultural flavors that are not commonly asked for.

How to design a menu for your home baking business?

Canva makes it so easy to create a menu for a home baking business! They have so many free templates to choose from.

When designing keep in mind:

  • You want it to be on brand!

  • Easy to read

  • not too much information at once

Remember you can always send multiple files as requested to keep your menus clean, clear, and organized.

create a menu for a home baking business with canva

Should I include prices?

If you plan on sharing your menu on social media do not share prices unless it is a seasonal holiday menu. You WILL raise your prices later on and it is easier to change the price when it isn't publicly displayed.

If you create custom items I would also not include the prices. Each and every baked item would cost a different amount based on the design and details. It is much easier to price each one individually than to explain to each customer why their price doesn't match the menu.

By following these tips, you can create a menu that helps you grow your home baking business. Remember to keep it simple, and clear. With a well-designed menu, you'll be well on your way to baking success!

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