You love to bake. Maybe you’re known for your amazing artisanal breads, custom confections, or gluten-free cupcakes. Whatever your niche, you might be thinking about turning it into a side hustle or a full-time career. If you don’t have the money upfront to purchase or rent your own storefront right away, you may want to consider starting your own online bakery. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
1. Figure out your costs
Even though you won’t have the overhead expenses of renting a physical space, you’ll need to consider costs such as equipment, cookware, utensils, ingredients, and supplies. Note that some states have restrictions that require you to use separate utensils that are only for your business (not for your home cooking). You’ll also have to factor in compensation for yourself or any employees, insurance, business registration, permits, as well as the cost of website development, payment processing services, and marketing.
2. Do your research
Conduct some competitive/market research to help you determine what exactly you want to sell and to which specific market. Maybe you want to target just restaurants or corporate clients, or maybe you are looking specifically for brides who want a wedding cake. Find your niche!
3. Make a plan
Once you know what you want to offer and who you want to sell to, you should sit down and figure out all the logistics. How much product can you make a week? How often will you restock supplies/ ingredients? How will people get your product – will you do local deliveries, ship, or have them pick up? What will you have to charge and how much volume will you have to sell to offset expenses and become profitable?
4. Take care of business
You’ll then need to establish your business as a legal entity – registering your business as an LLC or other type of corporation within your state. Familiarize yourself with the local and state health requirements, laws, and regulations that pertain to your business and get the necessary certifications, permits, and licenses needed to comply.
5. Create your online store/website
While you can hire someone to build you a website, there are also a lot of tools today that enable you to build your own site with a template – no design or coding experience necessary! You can also purchase existing e-commerce software to collect orders, contact information and even process payments.
Once you have your website, look for free or low-cost ways to market your business – from engaging social media posts, to using customer reviews, to handing out free samples at your local farmer’s market.
If you’re interested in starting an online bakery, Park City Culinary Institute is here for you! Get your Pastry & Baking Certificate to refine your skills. Our program is available at our campus in Salt Lake City with flexible schedules. Don’t live in Salt Lake City, no worries. We have an online program available with the live Zoom labs where you get real time feedback and learn from the comfort of your own home. Contact us or give us a call at 801-413-2800 to learn more on how you can get started.