Small bakeries are wonderful for the personal touch they often add to each cake or sweet they offer. Anyone who can bake and decorate pastries could start a bakery, but that’s the easy part. Providing quality products, an exceptional experience, managing cash flow, and of course building a customer base is the migraine-inducing side of the business. Hanging up your “Open” sign is rarely going to be enough to grow your sales. As a bakery owner, you’ll want advertising specific to your business if you want to succeed. Look beyond the typical advertising methods used by most businesses to find opportunities for spreading the word about your yummy treats.
Use your mom connections if you have kids. If you don’t have kids, contact your friends or family members who do have kids. Go to sports games, concerts and other events with the child to hand out flyers. There are plenty of moms who are looking for alternatives to the everyday, streamlined treats for kids’ birthday parties. If you cater to food allergies, that’s even better. Many moms, even those who have children without food allergies, are looking for someone to help them put less additives in their children’s food.
Churches and Non Profits
Volunteer everywhere you can. Church dinners are always in need of desserts, and some churches offer coffee with cakes for an after-service fellowship. Ask if you can leave business cards next to the cake or treats you make for these functions. If you make a dessert for your church, ask if you can post a flyer on the church community board. Let the organizer of the dinner or fellowship meeting know that you are interested in selling treats. It is highly likely that they will tell other church members about you. Offer to create something for a non profit group for free, especially if you do not have a church affiliation. A number of non-profit groups have yearly fundraising dinners, so it’s easy to find out who might need a free dessert. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you can leave a stack of business cards on the dessert table.
Consignment is a great idea for smaller bakeries. You can consign whatever you want, and you can help a fellow business generate customers. You can pair up with the clothing store down the street, for example, and reserve a spot for a few items of clothing in your store. You’ll pull in two customer demographics for both businesses. You can consign your treats out to other businesses and share in the profit. A great place to consign treats are smaller diners and local restaurants. Encourage your partner business to leave flyers or business cards with you, and vice versa.
Approach small businesses with your services. Send them a postcard in the mail that they can refer to for their next business lunch. Perhaps they offer their employees or guests a small lunch once a month. Offer to be their primary dessert maker. The small business angle is the only angle on this list that will pay you full price, but don’t make that a reason to ignore the others on the list. After you’ve sent the flyer, stop by with a free sample for the whole office. Get them hooked so they think of you next time they need a special treat for any aspect of their lives.
If you need help printing marketing materials for your bakery, visit www.unitedreprographics.com. You can order online or tell us more about your project and we’ll provide you with a custom quote.