So, you've been daydreaming about starting a home-based bakery. If you want to learn how to start a bakery business from home, contact your state's health department and ask about cottage food law. You'll likely need a food handler's permit and may need other types of licensing for a food business.
Additionally, there are considerations such as the business name, zoning permits, and ways to sell your products. Use this guide to learn the basics on how to sell baked goods from your home.
Creating a Home Bakery Business Plan
Every great business starts with a plan. Not only that, but a solid home-bakery business plan can help you sort out the details. Think of it as a road map that can help you determine how to focus your business.
A typical business plan will have sections including:
- Executive summary
- Overview of the opportunity
- Market analysis
- Company and management
- Financial plan and projections
Each section allows you to look deeper into what makes your home-based food business unique. The executive summary is an overview of everything in the business plan. So people typically write it last.
On the other hand, writing the overview of the opportunity is a chance to illustrate what makes your business unique. For example, maybe you've found a niche for gluten-free pastries.
The market analysis is the section where you summarize what you know about your potential customers and competitors. This is a great time to take a good look at your product, who you think it will benefit most, and how you can stand out in the market.
The execution of the business plan outlines your day-to-day business operations. It also details how you intend to engage customers, such as paid advertising and social media. And there should be a price plan that breaks down product pricing.
The day-to-day logistics include equipment, licenses, regulations, and tracking.
Permit and Licenses
A home bakery license generally means the business must pass a food handlers' class and exam. Proprietors may also need:
- A business license
- Health and safety permits or cottage food licenses
- Sales tax license
All businesses need a local city or county business license. You can find information on business licenses at your local tax office. Additionally, you need to ensure that you comply with local zoning ordinances. What's more, an inspection and permit from the local fire department may also be a requirement.
Be sure to reach out to your local regulators to confirm which permits and licenses you need.
Company Structure and Finance
This section of your home-bakery business plan details your business structure as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC – limited liability corporation, or corporation. And the final section includes a financial plan, goals, and projections.
For example, you could base your projections on the number of vegan cupcakes you think you'll make each month. Or how much you'll earn in a given period.
Building a Home-Based Bakery Website
If you're wondering how to start an online bakery, your home-based bakery website is a great place to start. Learning how to start a bakery business from home might seem overwhelming, but it can be fun. And you can get inspiration from successful home-based food business entrepreneurs.
What to Include on a Home Bakery Website
Your website is a way to show potential customers who you are and why your business is unique. If you're selling your homemade food products at a premium (which, in most cases, you should be!), you need to remind your customers why your products are more expensive. You can get ahead of price objections and questions by sharing details about your business on your website.
Your home-based bakery website should include:
- Your bio — Who are you? Why did you start this business?
- Your business' focus — What do you make? What is special about it?
- Ordering information — How can a customer place an order? Or, if they can order from your site, a link to your online store.
- Fulfillment information — How do you get your orders to customers? Do you offer delivery, porch pickup, shipping, or a combination?
- Contact information — How should a customer reach out if they have questions?
- Allergen information — What common allergens do you use?
- Dietary information — If you cater to any special diets, like keto or gluten-free, let your customers know!
Bakery Website Examples: Sourdough Heaven
Andy Anderson's online bakery website, Sourdough Heaven, is an excellent example of what it looks like to have a successful online bakery. In an interview with Castiron, Andy explained that in order to build a successful home-based bakery, you need to understand your market, have a strong entrepreneurial passion, and have the perseverance to deal with the challenges of running a home-based food business.
Another sound suggestion is to keep it smart and simple. Also, work to keep production costs as low as possible and try to create something unique.
Bakery Website Examples: Toasted Sugar Bakery
On Summer Kortkamp from Toasted Sugar Bakery's website, her introduction page says it all. She posts her mission statement, as well as a bit about herself and her business so that customers can get to know her before they look at the products. She lets her customers know that she has a passion for crafting baked goods, and her main goal is to introduce people to local, freshly-milled, organic, whole grain, and ancient grain flours.
In an interview, Summer says that a suggestion from one of her clients to focus on her baking inspired her to start her home bakery venture.
Start Marketing ASAP
The value of marketing is one of the things you'll discover as you learn how to sell baked goods from your home. Whether you're selling in person or online, it's best not to wait until your grand opening to start marketing.
Build a buzz on social media. You can start by using your personal social accounts to drive potential customers to your business pages. Kim Goethe from BarCode by Hollywood actively promoted her store on Castiron before it opened for business and built a list of email subscribers.
Like Kim, you can introduce yourself, share product teasers, and showcase your ingredients to illustrate what makes your products unique.
You can get more tips on how to sell baked goods from your home on our blog at Castiron.