If you are dreaming of opening your own bakery right out of your home then you probably have amazing dreams and aspirations.
You can totally visualize all of the cute cupcakes you will be able to make for a child's birthday or all of the wedding cakes you will decorate and make a bride jump with glee when she sees the cake you made for her.
It is absolutely important and vital to have all of these dreams and big goals, but it is also important to remain grounded and think through everything before you actually open up shop.
Below is a guide that was written by a home bakery owner who wants to share everything she learned by being in business for a few years.
She shares with us everything she wishes she knew before she opened up her business out of her home, what she would do differently from the beginning if she could, and what she never would have done or would have done if she had known these things.
1. Create a business plan!
"I honestly tried to open my business and wing it a little bit. I really did not think that a business plan was important at all, I just figured it would all come together and work itself out as time went on."
"However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to create a detailed business plan before you ever open your business."
"You will lean on your business plan more than you ever think you could. There are going to be a lot of voices coming at you, especially in your first year of being open."
"People will be telling you what to add to your business, how it needs to change, pastries you should learn how to bake and sell, etc."
"A lot of these ideas could be great ideas, but they might not fit your business the best."
"Having a business plan and sticking to it will help you stay focused and keep your vision clear. It will keep you from taking on too much and getting overwhelmed and from wasting a ton of money by trying so many things at once."
"Once you get established for about a year and get into a rhythm, you can slowly start changing and adapting your business plan."
"As your business grows and flourishes your business plan will have to do the same."
"However, it is essential to stick with the original in the beginning so you can get up and running without getting overwhelmed."
2. Do not open until you have experience somewhere else
"If I could do anything over again, I would listen to people who told me to get a job in a bakery before trying to open my own."
"I have always been really good at making cakes and decorating them, but as I learned very quickly, that was not enough."
"I really did not understand that people were going to order some very complex pastries or baked goods from me and it was very difficult to keep up with those orders when I did not have the experience or techniques to do them and had to learn on the fly."
"I also did not have the experience to realize that I would have to be able to create baked goods that looked good, tasted amazing, and would be able to stay fresh for a day or two after being made until the clients came to pick them up."
"I did not want to admit that I would have to learn from other bakers that had been around the block more than I had."
"If I could go back in time I would talk to other bakers and find out how they kept their products fresh, how they stood out among their competitors, I would learn some of their decorating techniques, etc."
"You can learn so much from others who have gone before you and take what you learn to use what works best for your business."
"Ultimately your business is going to be different than anyone else's, but it never hurts to learn from others who have walked that path before you."
3. I would have thought through whether or not I would need a business partner
"I wish I had thought through this before I opened up my bakery."
"Even though I work out of my home, it can be a lot doing everything by myself. Not only do I have to do all of the orders on my own and clean up the mess by myself, but I have to deal with the clients, finances, and paperwork on my own as well."
"It was always my dream to do this by myself and be a successful business owner who got all the glory, of course, I would hire employees somewhere down the line but they would work for me, I would still be the boss that made people's baked good dreams come true."
"I would rather go back in time and learn from other bakery owners and hear how difficult it is to do all of this on my own."
"I would have gotten a partner in the very beginning. Someone that understood the struggles of the business and the amazing joys that I get out of it."
"Someone who was right there with me splitting the work evenly and helping to split the costs. I would love a partner who could help me navigate clients and help when it comes to figuring out exactly what they want."
"It is hard to have this dream alone and carry all of it by myself. Anyone considering opening a business with a partner should seriously keep it on the table."
"Of course, you should get all of the details and responsibilities that you expect each other to carry written down, but having someone right beside you and growing with you is something I would not trade for anything."
4. Keep in mind that you are not an expert in every field
"When you open up your bakery you are going to want to take on the world and try to get things done by yourself. Whether that be because you want to do it all alone or maybe you do not want to pay for someone else to do it with you."
"However, you are not an expert in every field! If you are opening a home bakery, then chances are you are an expert at baking and not an expert accountant, so reach out and talk to a professional accountant or a bookkeeper on day one who can help you navigate your finances so you know how to budget for supplies and how to pay yourself appropriately."
"Knowing your strengths is incredibly important when you open your home bakery. I tried to do everything on my own and almost lost my business because of it."
"Play to your strengths and find people to hire or volunteer to help you in areas where you are weak. This can be a stressful job, the better team you have on your side, the more success you will find; take it from someone who really knows!"