So you have probably been searching like I did for ways to make money from home huh? Trust me I tried everything under the sun and nothing stuck until I started following my passion. When looking up how to start a home baking business you are going to see a lot of info on the legal aspect. Which is important and different for every state and city. But how do we actually get that business rolling? Here I outline the first steps I would take if I started my business over again.
note* Some links added are referral links where I get credit towards my account and you get a discount. These are not specialty codes but ones that every user gets access too.
How do I start a home baking business?
1. Identify your brand
The very first thing I do for any business is identify the brand image. This is way more than a name and a logo! Your brand is the emotions your clients have when they interact with you, it is a magnet that attracts your ideal customers and repels the wrong ones.
You want your ideal customers to see your brand and think yep that is for me.
Having a strong brand allows you to:
Create a loyal customer base
Charge more for your items
Launch and sell new products easier
Have a strong customer return rate
Be more memorable
How do you do this:
Imagine your dream business. If you had no limitations whatsoever and your business was exactly how you want it to be what does it look like?
What type of crowd does it draw in?
Who are your regular customers?
What do they wear?
What kind of vibe does it have?
What kind of music is playing in the background?
That whole image as a package is your brand.
It is important to look at the future of your business and not just two months from now because we want to create a brand that is lasting. That allows for your growth and does not limit you.
Having a firm foundation of your brand image is going to direct you in everything you do in your business.
The way you talk to your clients
Your product photos
To decide on a name I take that brand image and then think of words related to that brand. For example, if I am creating a healthy organic bakery I might add words related to the earth like herbs or flowers. Doing this brainstorming activity allows me to think of words that my ideal customer would be attracted to. Then I add words that will explain what my business is like bakery, sweets etc. I recommend making sure this is not limiting like “ Peony Cake Pops” Because then you are stuck to cake pops. You might be dead set on one item now and months down the line want to switch things up.
In my planner I walk you through this in more detail and have pages for your to think it out.
Now you don’t have to add on those business-identifying words. You can have it be simple. Think Zoom or Uber. Their name isn’t Zoom Meetings it’s just Zoom. Uber is not Uber Rideshare. Yet we all know what it is.
Your brand is also going to guide you in creating your menu. When thinking about what you want to sell, you have to ask yourself if your ideal customer would be drawn to those items and flavors.
I always recommend starting with a small menu and working your way up. Not the other way around. Trust me I did it the wrong way and it added more stress on my shoulders than I needed. By starting with a smaller menu you can start to get more comfortable in your business and create a workflow you can handle. Once you are comfortable you can add items and your loyal customers will be happy to try them out.
4. Sales platforms
Now you have your brand created. Your menu is set, now who is going to buy from you?
Now I could go on and on about why I don’t like Instagram but…. in the case of getting your first few orders, I do find it helpful. Start sharing the sample items you created making sure your photography is branded to attract your ideal customer.
Then find your ideal customer! Don't wait for them to find you. Think of places your ideal customer might spend their time and their money. Then start following people who tag themselves in those locations or who follow those accounts. What I did personally is followed people who tagged themselves at expensive restaurants in my area. I knew that these people do not mind spending money on food and were my ideal client!
I absolutely recommend having your own website. Wix makes it very easy to create a well-branded unique website on your own. You are on a Wix website right now. It is important to have one central place that all of your platforms can lead to.
Wix is great because you can:
Take orders and payments on your website
Connect your booking calendar
Showcase your work and menu
Communicate with leads
Create an email list
This is my favorite way to get orders. Thumbtack is a lead-generating platform that brings your customers to you. It is pretty easy to get orders on here without too much experience. For example, I received my first wedding cake there before I had ever made one.
Leads sent to you
Set and forget there is no daily posting to be relevant
Customize your lead preferences based on distance, price & more!
Get reviews that build the trust factor
Yelp is another great way to get orders for your business. I use Yelp to look for businesses in my area and whenever we are traveling. Meaning you will be able to be in front of the eyes of locals and visitors.
Puts you in front of local customers
Reviews build trust
Link to your website
Set and forget
Now we have your brand, menu, and where our customers can find us! Now let’s figure out how we’re actually going to deliver the product.
When it comes to packaging I was very tempted to buy supper expensive luxury boxes. To get those at a reasonable price per item I would need to buy hundreds.
My brand recognition was not yet at the place where my pricing could allow for $5 boxes. The problem with jumping into that is you don’t know if that style of packaging is what you are going to want long-term. I recommend starting with small orders.
Your menu might change, changing the packaging you need
You might figure out you like a certain type of packaging more
As your brand recognition grows your profit margins will allow for "fancy" packaging
The packaging might just suck!
Start with a small number of boxes to find out what you like and add your branding with custom-printed stickers!
Now you have the first steps of starting your home baking business! I am so happy that you are taking action to start your own business and follow your passion. I know it can be a hard lonely road so I am here to help! Make sure to subscribe to my email list to get updates on all the resources, blog posts, and events made to help you grow and scale your home baking business!