Looking to start a bakery business?
Everyone loves a nice danish.
Some people prefer bear claws, thumbprint cookies, cakes, or just plain old chocolate chip cookies.
And certainly, a donut here and there is a part of almost everyone’s life.
While some people may choose to avoid these foods, the fact still stands that EVERYONE loves a good bakery.
So, as far as this relates to the business of bakeries, there is a huge market for baked goods, no matter where you are.
As long as you make tasty, clean products that look appetizing, you will make sales in your bakery business.
But of course, there are some risks that come with starting a home bakery business - and every other business for that matter.
Making sure your recipes will be appreciated by enough people, making sure people will return and tell their friends and family about your place is stuff.
You’d also worry about getting in front of enough people to stay afloat.
However, even with these obvious considerations, the dialogue surrounding the bakery business is wrought with myths that paint home bakeries as a poor business model at best, and an idiotic, straight-line path to failure at worst.
This type of attitude quashes the dreams of potential bakery owners themselves.
I’m here today to set the record straight - to abolish these myths, once and for all, so people with a passion for danish decorating and cake construction can have a clearer view of the world of home bakeries.
Let’s squash these 7 myths about starting a home bakery!
Myths About Opening a Bakery
Myth #1 - You need huge investments or lots of liquid capital to start and run a home bakery service
Look, I’m not saying you need nothing to start a bakery business...
As with every venture, you need some capital.
But this is not a big engineering firm and it’s not some tree company that needs machinery and equipment.
All you need, as a solo baker, is cookware and ingredients (and the other things like business filings and a business bank account, but if you aren’t making money these aren’t really concerns).
You can cook at home, wrap up your goods, and sell them at a nice profit: a brownie can be made from scratch for between 10 and 20 cents, and you can sell them for $1 or more a pop.
Maybe you can one day start shipping cases of brownies, like the Vermont Brownie Co below.
If you can really get your recipe down and make baked goods with some serious firepower, you can profit reasonably well from a home bakery.
*Flex* The brownie box above is priced starting at $59.99 for 6 brownies and 12 little shortbread cookies!
There are plenty of success stories of students starting bakeries from their dorms.
No capital there, just cookware, recipes, and a building full of youngsters who don’t regard their health very much…
And then there are the wrappers.
A quick search on Amazon for baked goods wrappers and you’ll find boxes and wrappers ranging from a few cents to ten or more dollars.
The only flashy rappers you need to worry about as a startup baker are the ones that you listen to in the car while you’re driving to pick up your CHEAP containers from the discount market.
You can make a pretty enclosure for your delectables while cutting costs - focus on high quality ingredients and fine-tuning your recipes, and then you’ll get the customers.
In all honesty, who the hell cares about what a crappy cookie is wrapped with?
And if you want to open a location, then the costs will start to add up.
But again, who really cares if your stuff is tasty?
Myth #2 - It takes a lot of time to start your bakery
It doesn’t take much time to start a bakery, and it doesn’t take much money.
Again, going back to item number one.
For businesses with mandatory pre-existing infrastructure, yes, it takes a lot of time.
But you aren’t a real estate developer.
The amount of time it takes you to make your product is the amount of time it takes you to find ingredients, choose a recipe, and create the cake, cookie, or muffin.
You can argue that it takes work figuring out a recipe, but not only is this something you’ll be doing while you run your business...
A quick Google search provided three cookie recipes that you could start perfecting between 1/2 to 1-1/2 hours!
Most people who dream of starting a bakery already have some talent in baking beforehand anyway.
Want to start a bakery? Don’t have the time? That’s BS.
Start today, from home.
Bake your stuff.
Go offer it to your neighbors and ask if they’re good enough to sell.
Then bake more and go sell them on the street or outside of a market.
Boom, you just started a bakery business in less than a week.
Myth #3 - You need formal education on baking or cooking
This is probably the second greatest misconception about the entrepreneurial world as a whole (the first is the myth below this one, so sit tight).
Entrepreneurs around the world with a dream to own their own successful business and a passion for doing things their own way are stifled by this idea that they need a college education to start up their business.
Sure, government regulations get in the way and require formal education for businesses like healthcare (and perhaps for good reason).
But 90% of the time, you don’t need any formal education.
And yes, bakeries are part of this 90%!
Recipes are not mathematical models for quantum physics, and they’re not associated with the risks of misdiagnosing symptoms of a patient in the hospital.
You can have a solid recipe, great cooking experience, and even a basic understanding of food science and clean cooking and run a safe, profitable baking business.
If you really want to run a bakery though, you do need skills.
Formally educating yourself is simply a way to learn these skills.
Want to give yourself a test on if you need to learn more about baking?
Cook something, feed it to someone who’ll give you an honest opinion, and ask how much they like it.
Want to know if you should go to college or get some certification to get this extra education?
Ask yourself if you believe in your ability to improve on your own terms with the vast amount of resources that exist at your fingertips (the internet!).
Only if the answer is no, should you consider formal education.
But then again, if you don’t believe in yourself to do that, how can you believe in yourself enough to start a business?
Self confidence is key! Tuition time-wasting is NOT!
Myth #4 - You need formal education in business, marketing, or entrepreneurship
Yikes. Entrepreneurship is regarded as one of the most useless degrees out there, as far as how it prepares you for the real world.
An entrepreneurship major will learn basic information that will brace him or her for about one-tenth of the challenges that come with starting a business!
This guy's in hella debt because he got B.S. degree in entrepreneurial studies, wasn't prepared for the sh*t show to come, and is now happily...
Well, you get the pic.
As a successful business owner myself, you can trust me when I say that no school setting will prepare you for the struggle of mastering all facets of your business and applying them consistently.
And forget about scaling and hiring.
If you absolutely must take a course for your business, look into something like finance, accounting, or business financials.
BUT, if you are really wanting to start a business, the quickest road to success is to forget your programming about higher education and get straight into the real world.
Start your business, consult with experts, watch videos, read books, and read online articles to guide you in the challenges you face.
And even with all of this, to start a successful home bakery, all you need is:
Forget the useless degrees and jump straight into it!
Develop your recipes! Satiate the masses!
Once you have had enough success to open up a location and to start marketing, then focus on upgrading your other skills.
Myth #5 - You need to provide free baked goods to give yourself exposure
Look, getting exposure here and there is always nice.
If you’re starting out, maybe delivering a nice quantity of your best cookies to your friends and family around the holidays is a smart way to get your stuff going around.
If it’s good, they’ll buy more, or recommend you to whomever they share them with.
Aiding in fundraisers as well could be an even better way to get exposure - and you can work out the campaign such that your costs are covered and maybe you even profit a little:
Remember that brownie example? So if you make a 5 star brownie for 15 cents, you sell it for $5, you can say that 80% of the cost goes to charity - but you’re still going to be making a profit of 85 cents!
However, people will end up asking for free cakes, cookie platters, and other arrangements in exchange for whatever exposure it will give you.
This is almost always a no-go type situation.
Don’t let someone take advantage of you like that - do it as you choose, and always understand the benefits when you choose it.
Better ways to get exposure, other than what I previously mentioned - and without running at a loss - are all over the place. Consider the following:
Dealerships don’t give out free lambos to anyone for “exposure.” Don’t sell yourself short.
Myth #6 - Being a master designer is essential
It is always nice to add customizability and a personal touch to a product.
However, you don’t need to be Buddy Valastro... aka Cake Boss
You don’t need to be some master designer to add customizations that customers will appreciate.
While it’s often necessary to customize a birthday cake, you can just get some of the basics down and still make it appreciated.
You can add little gumdrops on your candies, and powder your croissants without taking hours to make it perfect.
If you can, great - you can now charge more.
But this is not an essential part of running your bakery.
In fact, it’s not even one of the most important parts!
Again, back to the recipes: if your food tastes good, you will sell it.
However, it is worth noting though that part of our enjoyment of food comes from how it looks.
Neurologists have already proven that how food looks, smells, and feels will affect how it tastes.
This is why michelin star restaurants almost always take the presentation of their food very, very seriously.
But all things considered for the majority of dessert eaters, your presentation should constantly be improved...
Perhaps not with as much focus as your recipes, but still.
Myth #7 - You need serious baking experience
Define “serious” however you’d like.
Regardless of how you define it, it doesn’t matter.
Just like formal education, you don’t need experience in crafting perfectly delicious baked goods, to craft perfectly delicious baked goods.
It’s certainly a process, and as a man who enjoys baking cookies from time to time I can tell you that getting it down perfectly is certainly a struggle.
But if you learn a thing or two about food science...
And if you keep trying, you’ll have no trouble developing your own recipe that people will love.
There are hundreds of youtube videos, online articles, and documentaries that go into as much depth as you need about baking.
Some of these resources even specialize in particular goods.
If you’re alright with a kid’s show (that goes surprisingly in-depth) educating you...
I found “The Science of Sugar and the Chemistry of Baking” after a quick search on youtube, where they go into the science of baking, mixing, baking soda, and different types of baked goods.
You don’t need to have a book full of grandma’s recipes, nor do you need life experience baking stuff in the kitchen with your mom.
You just need a will to succeed and create the best goods possible, and the time to learn how to do it.
Everyone moves at their own pace, but don’t bank on perfection and having serious baking experience, because if you do, you’ll never be able to start your home bakery.
When You Should Start Your Cake Business
Myths surround all of the business world.
Myths about business leaders, business practices, and business models.
These myths merely serve to make it more difficult for passionate “wantrepreneurs” to really go in the direction that they want to go by clouding their judgment with BS.
But like I alluded to in the start of the article, there still are some risks that must be considered!
Firstly, throughout the article, I pointed out that getting your recipe down is key.
You will NOT sell food if your stuff is gross or worse-yet, inedible.
You also must be honest with yourself and take any disgust to your food as constructive criticism.
Secondly, you need to work on getting in front of more people.
This can be a challenge, especially when you grow larger, and keeping up with demand is a good problem to have, but still a problem at that.
Third, you need to believe in yourself.
Forget formal training, forget experience, forget your doubts.
Starting a home bakery business poses markedly less risk than most other businesses.
Your cost of operation, at low level, is just a combination of the costs associated with baking.
If you are passionate about baking and love to do it, starting your home bakery in business in 2021 poses a relatively risk-free way to make a living off of that passion.
Forget about the myths and forget about what your doubters say!
Bake some stuff and go out and sell it!