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If you're great at baking, the idea of starting a home baking business is a natural one. However, it takes quite a bit of planning and preparation to go from the idea stage to running a successful business. Some of these are related to typical kitchen requirements for home baking businesses, while others, such as creating a business plan, concern the operation itself.
The first thing you need to ask is "do you need a license to sell baked goods from home." Ask your local licensing agency and the health department for your area. If you're in a larger city, these agencies will usually be run by its government. Elsewhere, try the county first. The city or county offices will direct you to the right place if they aren't the ones running it in your location.
Whether or not you need a special at-home bakery license, you will almost surely have to meet some health department requirements. Typically, you'll need a kitchen where all of the surfaces are non-porous. This is so it can be properly sanitized. Specific requirements also typically exist for cleaning your dishes, storing your ingredients, and storing the finished products.
Note that bakery rules and regulations also depend on where you deliver the finished goods. If you ship out of state, you'll have to meet federal, as well as local, regulations.
All businesses do better if a plan is devised before starting. This gives you a road map to profitability, and also makes it easier to see if there are any flaws in your ideas. Flaws can then be corrected before you suffer losses.
One of the most important things your plan should address is how to promote a home baking business. Most areas have ordinances about how much traffic can be drawn to a home operation, what signage you can use, and things like that. If your home is in an HOA neighborhood, their rules will also apply. This makes it so that in many cases, your bakery promotion ideas will need to involve the internet, the local newspaper, and similar outlets. You may also need to plan on delivering your products instead of bringing customers to your house.
A home bakery business plan should also include a detailed listing of the cost of ingredients, the time and energy used to turn them into finished products, the cost of products used for cleaning, and more. Be sure it includes a full-fledged marketing plan for a home-based bakery, too, and not just a couple of notes.
If you're making the plan just for your own use, you can use whatever method you're comfortable with for listing these details. However, if you seek financing, be aware that they may have specific requirements for the format you use for your overall plan as well as your marketing plan for a newly opened bakery.
As you research, you'll surely find that one of the best ways to sell home-baked goods is online. That's because online sales have gone far beyond the original methods, which involved taking orders from all over the nation and then shipping. While that method may work for baked goods that are especially resistant to spoiling or being smashed by shipping companies, it's better to use the internet to make local sales.
Apps are especially good answers to how to sell baked goods online. With HomeMade, DishDivvy, and other such apps, local people can order and have you deliver – either personally or via a staff member, rather than via FedEx or UPS. Using these solutions also makes it so you don't have to worry about regulations concerning customers coming to your house.
Advertising on Facebook Marketplace is also good for local sales, and it may reach more people than a single app. You should also set up your home-based bakery website. Many people no longer consider a business serious, or even real, if it doesn't have any sort of web presence.
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