Small businesses, especially those that have brick and mortar stores, have been facing a lot of difficulties right now because of the ongoing pandemic. Many of these enterprises have turned to online means to continue selling their products and services as shops close down. If you own or manage a bakery, there are a lot of opportunities to transition to online solutions. Or if you’re currently looking for a source of income and have been a pastry aficionado for some time, you can try your hand at the bakery business. Starting one online may be a good idea now.
Whatever your situation is, here’s how you can start your online bakery.
What’s your bakery about?
It’s easy to get drowned out by the competition in online platforms, especially if you don’t have that identifying feature unique to your shop and your products. Play to your strengths and think back at what kind of recipes you excel the most at. Do they have a recurring theme for them? Cakes? Meat pastries? Pies? When you’re starting, it’s best to stick with only a few of the best items you’re confident you can make well at scale.
If you already have an existing store, you should have an idea of what your target market likes. Build on that, but don’t be afraid to discover new ways of improving your product line.
How are your operations going to look?
There are two main components to your operations. The first one involves baking your products. The second one is all about how to get your products to your customers.
For the actual baking, make sure that the items on your menu are delicious and doable even if you have to make a lot of them at the same time. Be smarter about your resources, too. Make a detailed inventory of every tray, every measuring cup, every whisk, everything. You’ll need this to estimate how much you can make during crunch time. One of the mistakes that beginners make when encountering some success is taking on more than they can handle. Never sacrifice quality for quantity. Every piece of pastry represents your brand, and in the online game, the brand is everything.
You’ll also need to be more conscious of your stocks and ingredients. Figure out the best days to shop and where. Chances are, there will be some difficulty in replenishing supplies. Make sure you take that into account, too.
Getting your pastries to your customers will be a matter of outsourcing or making the deliveries yourself. Uber Eats is a suitable choice if you’re just starting. Here’s how it works. If you choose to make the deliveries yourself, make sure it doesn’t interrupt with your baking.
What online platform will you use?
You can create your own website and even add a feature that lets customers order directly from it. Here’s Chron with a fairly detailed guide to help you with this option. If you have an existing brand, make sure the website design is consistent with it. Your current customers will likely appreciate seeing something familiar.
You can also choose to use just social media for now. It’ll be a little more tedious to keep track of orders, but it’s a good start. Just make sure to engage with your customers actively.