Opening a successful Bakery Outlet

In India lately bakery business has gained immense popularity. Bakeries are even becoming popular hot spots for the young generation. The Waffle joint, Dough Nut Shop, Cakes & Pastry Shop or be it a simple Sandwich and Patties shop, hordes of young people seen enjoying their favourite foods. 

Baking though traditionally not so popular in India but with NextGen becoming more health conscious and ready to experiment with new foods are switching to baked products. With the advent of coffee shops concept the face of bakeries have also changed in India. The products offered at the cafés are mostly bakery and pastry products, offering more innovative international products with some Indian touch. The international coffee chains introduced products which are now being adapted by local bakeries too.

Today one of the favorite places for dessert lovers is the bakery store. No matter what is the occasion in the lives of people, they heavily and happily rely on bakery stores for cakes, cookies and other sweet stuff. The regional personal touch is becoming very popular in bakery stores.

It may look that it is easy to operate and open a bakery store but the reality is somewhat different. It takes a good amount of zeal, interest, perseverance, and passion for making bakery products to shine in this industry continuously. 

Impressed by the growth many young entrepreneur are fascinated to enter the bakery business. Few go through proper cycle by joining a bakery institute and try to learn the complexity of the business and others just want to do it. The ambiance of the bakery store and other related accessories all are secondary, with primary being the quality and authenticity of your bakery goods.

The start

To start a bakery outlet first it is necessary to plan your store along with menu you will be offering. It requires understanding and analysing your core strength along with USP you are going to offer. Assess your talent, budget, and goals. 

Thus before starting the bakery outlet start at some place where you can develop products and do tasting sessions with professionals and friends. Take feedback and analyse different tastes and preferences. Rework as per the feedback and make necessary changes as required and retest with the same group of people. Three to four rounds coupled with your instinctive ability will allow you to plan for your products in a much more informed way. The next step will be the format of the store.

Local: Start with a small local area shop. The initial response though generally slow later it picks the pace. Since the popularity grows with word of mouth, make sure you provide best of your product to each and every customer.

Online: Instead of opening a brick and mortar store other option is to sell products online. Develop a good website and attract customers through localised promotion. You need to concentrate on building good distribution channel.

The Location

If you are interested in opening a brick & mortar bakery outlet, location is the most important factor. Based on the business model the location can be for a Counter service outlet where customers can walk in and pick up baked goods f r o m an employee-managed counter or a Sit down unit which is a growing trend in the bakery industry like cafes, self-service or waiter service. 

The crucial factor is to search for the good space to set up kitchen as well as public area. One has to identify the theme and accordingly the design idea to decorate the space to attract customers. To have a better idea visit various bakery outlets around the selected area and find the choice of ingredients, pricing and operational menus they are offering.

The Law

Find out various government policies related to opening a store. It varies f r o m place to place. To operate an eating joint you need to procure necessary licenses. The legal matters should never be taken for granted and must be followed with all might.

Business Plan

Once you have decided on the format of the bakery it’s time to develop a business plan. You now have to prepare some bakery design ideas. The business plan will allow you to practically analyse the necessary things you need for the store. You have to look at the business f r o m multiple angles. It will help you define your business, set goals, find ways to generate revenue, list expenses, identify your customer base, and examine your competition.

Once you have decided on the kind of bakery you want to open then keep following things in mind:

Customer Preferences:  You first have to understand the customer’s taste preferences, their choices. Conduct various surveys, be in touch with other local bakery stores, and carry out necessary research. You have to think f r o m the perspective of a customer.

Good ROI: Everybody wants their bakery business to be successful and give good returns on investments (ROI). Thus carefully plan your inventory and expenses required to buy equipment, supplies, packaging and other operational costs. Pricing is the key for success. Price your bakery products in the proportion of the time invested in making them, along with the cost involved in making goods including ingredients & manpower and investment made & inventory stored. 

Be Unique: Customers have a tendency to try something unique, and authentic. If your bakery is able to provide the authentic, unique item, which no other bakery is able to in the immediate vicinity, then there are good chances that your bakery will soon be popular. Constant innovation will help you in increasing your customer base.

Customer-centric Approach: Your customers are your key to success. Happy customers become repeat customers, so work to make each customer experience memorable. Ask your customers for feedback, talk with them at the counter, and ask for product suggestion once in awhile.

Marketing: The business plan must include marketing strategies which can be used to generate revenue. Create a blog and reach out to your regular customers. Apprise them of the latest offerings, seasonal creations and event based products. Social media is a great way to promote your business. If you’re short on time, pick one social media site and post consistently. 

Also as in any business, networking can bring in more customers. Join local business groups like small business association. Reach out to corporates and high profile customers. Gifting can be a great way of generating additional revenues during festive seasons and weddings. Your initial marketing strategies will hopefully result in a steady stream of repeat customers, but that doesn’t mean you should let up on your marketing efforts.

You won’t make profits overnight, so you need to sit down and figure out when you’ll break even and how much money you’ll need to survive until that time.

Manpower & Training: To run any successful business good skilled manpower is must. Also since you just can’t do all the work, you need a good team to help you out in various dynamics of bakery business, f r o m sourcing, manufacturing to marketing and distribution. The manpower need to be regularly updated with new skill sets, thus need regular training on various aspects of the operations. Hiring people f r o m vocational institutes and training them will help in scaling your ideas and business.

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