Baking for the Home Business Start Up – Next Steps
We have already talked about researching the local market and naming your business.
I suggest starting with a broad name and when you have been in business for a while you can niche down ie become more specific. For example you may start as ” Barby’s Cakes” and then after a while see that Birthday Cakes or Bridal Showers are in demand. Then you can become ” Barby’s Birthday Cakes” or “Barby’s Baking for Brides”. Be creative, friendly and fun, especially when you are catering for special occasions.
With a name, you might want a logo and to begin with you can create your own here for free. Logo design is a breeze with Canva easy to use free logo maker.
This practice logo was made on Canva in less than 5 minutes.
With your name and your logo, place a few ads in the local classified and put up some bulletins on the shopping mall entrance boards. Look on Facebook and post an advertisement or just a comment with pictures of your bakes. Find local ” Buy Swap and Sell” facebook groups and post pictures and your contact details.
Think about how you can provide busy people who are time poor with the solution for that special occasion. What problem can you solve for them? Not everyone can bake or even want’s to. Hard to understand, that there are people who don’t like to bake, sad, yet it is true and a business opportunity for you.
Within a few days you will have calls from potential clients.
Quality, Reliability and Value.
If you are creating a business for special occasions such as weddings, religious events or birthdays, you have an important responsibiltiy.
If you are confident in your craft, I encourage accept high end wedding and special occasion clients right from the start, however if you aren’t, start off with smaller jobs. Once word gets out that people enjoy your cakes, you will be stunned at how many orders you will receive!
Please don’t be intimidated as very single baker is nervous as heck at first. Skill comes with time and if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will develop a style that is unique and just as good as some of the most world renowned in the industry.
In addition if practice makes perfect, you will have lots of that soon enough! =)
I’m feeling so excited for you taking these next steps. Let’s keep going.
Marketing Your Baking for the Home Business
Without a doubt there is a huge market for beautiful baked goods however in the early phase of you will be required to do a great deal of self promotion.
This can be time consuming and feel awkward in the beginning. In some cases, you might get bored of the repetitive aspect of it all but once this footwork both online and offline has been done, it will be so much easier to continually market yourself.
A good promotional strategy will help you focus on your current market, get the most out of your advertising efforts and ensure that a consistent, high quality image is maintained.
Perhaps you have heard that marketing your product is the key to success in any business.
So, to create the best advertising campaigns that you can you have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer you are targeting. This is the very fundamental of marketing regardless of what industry you are in.
You must ask yourself a few important questions such as:
- Why would a customer come to me and not a competitor?
- What am I offering that is unique?
- Hw can I stand out?
- What discounts, coupons, special incentives can I offer my potential customers to jump start my business by having them give me a chance, rather than continuing to go to the local bakery?
Your promotional package should highlight the benefits of using your service, and showcase why you are different. You have to stand out in order to gain as many new customers as possible.
Simple things can make a huge impact on how your customers view you. If you are decorating a birthday cake, throwing in a free package of candles or a bag of balloons is low cost but different.
Put your own personal touch on your packages and you will see incredible results.
For your first promotion, perhaps run an online competition and the prize is, you guessed it , A Cake ! As people apply to win, they send you their email address. Creating an email list very useful because you can send out a newsletter announcing your services and specials for special occasions as well as for Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving.
Taking It A Step Further
Creating custom packages or incentives that will highlight what you are offering by putting simple twists on your business is only the starting point of advertising yourself.
In addition to this you must build a complete promotional package that can be customized and changed easily.
Perhaps you will advertise through your local radio, trade shows, fairs, or by placing classifieds in your local paper.
However you decide to begin your advertising campaigns you should take great measures to stay organized and to document every marketing tactic you try. That way you can see what is working and what isn’t.
When you are advertising your new business, be sure to focus on building consumer confidence, and always represent yourself in a professional, yet friendly way.
Business Cards & Stationary
Business cards and Stationary are simple but important methods in establishing your business.
You can effectively market yourself if you have a business card handy whenever you run into a situation where you are dealing with a potential client.
Imagine someone striking up a conversation with you that ends up being about your business. As they leave they ask you for a business card. What if you don’t have one? How unprofessional will that look?
Not only will you look like you aren’t all that serious about your business but you will lose out on potential clients who want a copy of your business information for future reference.
Creating business cards is a no brainer method of promotion and it’s exceptionally affordable. Once you have your business cards printed off, use EVERY opportunity that you can to pass them out. Remember, every single person that you meet is a potential client. Everyone has birthdays =). Use the logo created earler and you already have your business card made. Consistency in your logo, cards and stationery as well as your online presence will build your brand.
People you could give business cards to include neighbors, your local youth group centers, people at your church if you attend, you could leave flyers with your business card attached at local shops, your child’s school, sports clubs, you name it!
If you take five minutes right now to write down a list of places you can leave business cards or flyers you would be surprised at just how easy it will be to spread the word!
Just use the resources that are available to you and have faith in yourself. Start off slow if you are nervous, and go from there. Just take action! That’s the most important thing you can do. The rest will follow.
Spreading The Word That You Are Open For Business
Think about the places that hire cake services throughout the year like offices that have staff parties, or other businesses that have events all year long.
All you have to do to advertising yourself in a simple but effective way is to create a customized letter to each business and mail it off. It’s a “no-sales” approach for the intraverts amongst us, like me !! and those who don’t like selling themselves.
That was one of the biggest obstacles for me! I always was fearful that I was being pushy. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business whenever you can. It is something you will be passionate about and it will be a major part of your life, so talk about it!
To make things easier for those non-writers out there, here is a sample of the letter to send out to businesses in your community.
You can edit this however you wish, but whatever you do be SURE to customize each and every letter that you send out. If you fail to address the business, it will look very much like it would if you did that online.
And everyone hates spam.
You don’t have to use the name of an actual person since many times you might not know who is in charge of what department, and in those situations just address it to the business itself.
High Tech Sky Services
Box A45 May Walter Avenue
Lexington, KY 40515
To: High Tech Sky Services
My name is …….. and I am the owner of a local ……….. service.
Since I began I have been catering to local businesses like High Tech Sky Services and the comments I have been receiving have been exceptionally flattering.
I am writing this letter today to extend my services to your company as well, in the event you need a custom cake, delivered cookies, cup cakes, desserts.
All of my cakes use only the freshest of ingredients and are made absolutely from scratch. I also cater for special diets such as gluten, egg, nut and lactose free.
I can create one for your company with only a days notice and can have it delivered or available for pick up at a specific time.
If you are interested in my services I have attached a business card to this letter for your convenience. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to set up an order.
I am also able to take advance orders so whenever your next special occasion or event approaches, please give me a call. You can also visit my website/Facebook site at, ………….
As a small business owner I just want to thank you for your time and support. I hope to hear from you in the future.
Of course you will have to customize this to suit the business that you are mailing. Do your homework and find out as much about the company as you can. The more customized, the better results.
This is a time consuming process but it’s free advertising and very effective. It is also a more personal approach and will make you stand out to them, since local grocery store bakeries will not attempt to connect with businesses in the same way.
Quick Tip: Keep receipts of all the supplies you buy when designing cards and stationary (even envelopes, postage, EVERYTHING). This will help you when it’s tax time!
Baking for the Home Business Start Up
Without any doubt, starting any new business is indimidating. Self promotion can be a challenge in the beginning. To help you some more here is a Case Study describing how to Get Started.
Interested in Getting Started with Cake Decorating?