- Conduct market research - If you are hoping to earn a living through your baking business, you need to conduct market research. This means finding out which businesses you would be competing against in the local area, which baked goods people are buying, average prices, and how your business could stand out from the crowd. You may want to target your business towards a particular demographic, e.g. families, young people, local businesses, weddings, or older people.
- Write a business plan - With your market research under your belt, you can write your business plan. Your business plan should summarize how you will run the business, i.e. what you will make and in what quantities, where you will buy your supplies and equipment, how you will market your business to maximize sales, how much you will charge, and your projected profits. It can also be helpful to write a mission statement which summarizes your ambition for the business.
- Create a sales and marketing strategy - Before you start baking, you need to plan how you will market the business, i.e. how will you advertise your baked goods to find and keep customers. For example, you might want to contact local cafés or restaurants which might want to sell your products. You will need to set up a website and a social media presence, but traditional marketing materials like business cards and flyers may also be useful. If you will be taking online orders, you will need to consider how you will ship your products to customers. There are food PR companies who can support and guide you through the marketing minefield and help you build a noticeable brand.
- Name and register your business - Naming your business is a wonderful task, but it can be difficult to make the final decision. The name of your business needs to be unique and memorable, and you may want it to feature your name in some way. The best bakery names are quirky and bring a smile to people’s faces but remember not to be so obscure that people cannot instantly recognize that it is a bakery. When you have a name, register it in your state and get your federal tax ID number. You will need to decide how to set up the business, e.g. as an LLC, a partnership, or sole proprietorship. Click here to find out the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship.
- Apply for license and permits - You will need to apply for the relevant licenses and permits to run a baking business in your city, county, and state. This might include a sales tax permit, home occupation permit, health and safety permits, and you will need to ensure that you are complying with health codes and regulations. In some states, you are not allowed to use your home kitchen and equipment for commercial purposes, and the fire department may need to assess your kitchen for safety.
- Set up your kitchen - Now your business is set up, and your marketing campaigns are out there, the orders should start rolling in. Even if it is not a legal requirement in your state, you will probably want to invest in more professional baking equipment such as dough mixers and ovens, which will enable you to increase productivity. You will need to consider how you will store your raw ingredients and the finished products in line with regulations.
Lots of people enjoy baking as a pastime, making treats for friends, family, and local events. For some, this pastime becomes a passion and can evolve into a dream to run their very own baking business. Being able to make delicious goodies which bring joy to others is hugely rewarding and being able to make money in the process is the cherry on top. However, if you are considering starting your own baking business, it is important to realize that it is not as simple as baking cakes and exchanging them for money. Here are six steps to starting a home baking business.
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to plan a wonderful date night with your partner. Whether you have been together for many years and have children, or you’re just starting out on your journey together, planning something special to show your loved one how much you appreciate them is important and can really make a different in a positive way to your relationship. If you don’t usually get to spend much time alone together for any number of reasons, this is your chance, so it pays to make it as perfect as you can. Here are some ideas for how you can do it.
Whether you are staying in or going out for date night, there should be one special event that takes place. This might be as simple as watching a movie you’ve been looking forward to for a long time, or one that holds special memories for you. It could be doing a jigsaw together. It might even be setting up a massage table and helping one another to relax.
Alternatively, you might choose to arrange something exciting out of the house. If your partner is a fan of a particular musician such as Billie Eilish, check out TicketSales and organize tickets to a concert. You might go to the theater, or out to a club for dancing. Perhaps there is an activity you’d like to try such as pottery or bungee jumping. Pick one and book it in advance ready for your date night.
Switch Your Cellphone Off
Of course, you can have your cellphone with you on your date, but it’s not particularly polite to be checking your emails and social media feed or answering text messages when you’re meant to be spending special time with your partner.
The correct etiquette for your date night is to leave the phone alone, ideally completely switched off but at least on silent (you might want to keep it on in case the babysitter needs to get in touch, for example).
Your date night is about spending time with one another, not seeing what everyone else is doing on Facebook or answering queries from friends, family, clients, and work colleagues. Try to have a real conversation without the need for your phone and you’ll have a much better time.
No matter where you go or what you do, the food is going to be important. It doesn’t have to be gourmet or fancy (unless you want it to be, that is) but it does have to be memorable. Making your own dinner, either by yourself as a treat, or with your partner as a way of bonding, is a great idea. You don’t have to be great chefs to make this happen, and you can pick something simple like a pasta dish or even a pizza that you make from scratch.
Or what about a picnic? Even if you’re staying at home, a picnic is a great idea – you can put a blanket on the living room floor and set up romantic lighting to make it extra special.
If you’re out and about, then you’re still going to need to eat. Pick a restaurant that you’re going to be comfortable in and that you can happily afford, otherwise you just won’t enjoy the meal. You could even grab some street food and eat it in the park or on the beach – it will be memorable however you do it.
Self-publishing is certainly the more stigmatised route of publishing, especially when compared to its traditional counterpart. That said, a lot of ‘wannabe’ authors are opting for this option. Some find that it offers more creative control, others prefer the fact that it cuts down the time it takes to get a book to market. But is it the right choice for you? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of self-publishing your fiction.
Pro: Complete Creative Control
Those who choose to traditionally publish often have no say in the creative process, outside of the book itself, of course. A traditionally published author will often have little say in the title of the book, the book cover, the blurb, or even where it will be stocked. Many authors find this appalling, and as such, prefer to take back this creative control by self-publishing. When you self-publish, you are responsible for every aspect of your book.
Con: It Can Be Expensive
While self-published authors do receive higher royalty payments than traditionally published authors, it can be expensive to get your book off the ground. You will need to pay for editors, cover designers, and marketing expenses all by yourself. Some authors will look to payday loans from direct lenders to help see them through the weeks leading up to a book’s launch, but unless you’re Stephen King, there’s no sure-fire way to tell if a book will be successful or not. For some, having a publishing house take care of all of this is a better option.
Pro: No Deadline Stress
When you traditionally publish, you are often provided with a deadline for completing your manuscript and then dealing with things like edits. This can lead to writer’s block for many authors, and some just can’t handle the stress of needing to meet a strict deadline. The threat of breaking contracts and needing to re-pay advances can make things even worse. Self-publishing doesn’t come with any of this stress. You can set your own deadlines and accommodate everything life throws your way.
Con: It’s Harder to Gain Credibility
There is a stigma surrounding self-publishing and many readers still won’t consider reading a book that hasn’t been traditionally published. Part of the problem is the mass of poorly edited books that appear on online stores like Amazon, but there are many indie authors who create some fantastic stories that don’t deserve for their work to be seen as lower quality. Unfortunately, eliminating this stigma takes time, and many self-published authors find it takes years to be able to charge the same rates as their traditionally published colleagues.
Pro: You Maintain Your Rights
Finally, one last thing that may persuade you to go down the route of self-publishing is that self-published authors maintain 100% of their rights to a book. Traditional authors often have to sign over the rights to their book – and potentially future books as well – in order to secure a contract. This has led to problems to many authors – for example, when publishing houses fold or team members get fired. Self-published authors again don’t have to worry about any of this, making it a more stable option for many.
Have you considered self-publishing your fiction? Let us know how it went in the comments.
Whether you are visiting London on vacation, have moved there or have lived there your entire life, it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. As such, it’s nourishing to explore the rest of the UK when you need some respite from the celebrated metropolis of London. It is a shame to waste hours traveling around the country when there are some awe-inspiring destinations on your doorstop. From the historic Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to the Chalybeate Spring in Royal Tunbridge Wells, there are a multitude of sites just a stone’s throw from London that are not to be missed.
First and most prominently, Oxford is the ultimate destination to visit if you would like a break from the chaotic streets of Britain’s capital city. In an hour, you can go from Paddington Station to sitting on a punt as you glide down the stunning rivers of Oxford. This is an unbeatable location if you are a fan of architecture, literature, or history; spot the buildings that were instrumental during the English Civil War or the garden where Lewis Carroll first spotted the Cheshire Cat gazing down at him, in Corpus Christi College. This vibrant city won’t feel like a city at all, with its otherworldly charm and gentle nostalgia, so don’t meticulously plan a day out in Oxford. Instead you must see where your imagination takes you when you arrive and enjoy the trip.
If you are eager to embrace some of the British coastline, but are reluctant to be relegated to a beach brimming with London tourists, Margate is your best option. Margate boasts a sensational sandy beach and various cultural hubs including the award-winning gallery - the Turner Contemporary - which is currently hosting the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition. If you decide to stay in Margate for the evening, you will be graced with energetic music venues and welcoming locals. Make sure you stay awake for unforgettable sunrises over the beach in the morning, if you manage to find yourself a top-quality hotel room for the night.
Although this may not seem like a first choice for a getaway destination, Surrey’s charming villages are all established in an area of outstanding natural beauty. This county offers a throng of stunning nature walks and peaceful green spaces within Britain’s finest settlements. After a long walk in the hills, you can sample the best pubs in surrey for a delicious roast or a hearty family dinner. If you are prioritizing proximity to London, Surrey is one of the best choices for you.
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Royal Tunbridge Wells has been a popular destination for tourists since the 17th century. Once famed for its spa, Tunbridge Wells still has plenty to offer the contemporary tourist. The town offers a refined break from London - enjoy an evening of jazz in Queen Victoria’s beloved Pantiles, take a stroll in the Ashdown Forest, or discover the maze at Hever Castle – all within spitting distance of the bustling town center.
There are so many stunning British destinations to choose from that your only worry will be which one to will pick. Those destinations listed above give you a small taste of what you might enjoy on a short day-trip from London.
If it’s your dream to open a restaurant and start your own business, it’s wise to beware of the nightmare that can come from inexperience or diving into the unknown without a plan.
There are numerous reasons why many restaurants fail within their first five years of operation, so make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before jumping in with both feet. A good place to start is at the beginning, so here are the basic questions you should be asking yourself before buying a restaurant and starting a new business.
Do you have enough capital?
Opening a restaurant is a huge expense – one that you need to be adequately prepared for in order to start your business the right way. There are plenty of ways to secure the proper financing for your new venture, including:
Do you know what questions to ask?
This is especially important for first-time restauranteurs. You don’t know what you don’t know, and when buying a restaurant, knowing what to ask could be the difference between success and shuttering your dream. Consider getting in touch with other restaurant owners and interview them on their experiences to get some insight into precisely what to know going into your new venture. There are also plenty of books and online resources you can tap into to find this information.
Do you know how to manage costs?
Yes, opening a restaurant is costly, but operating one is even worse, and most first-time restauranteurs don’t realize this until it’s too late. Make sure to stay on top of your expenses and understand which factors affect your bottom line,so you don’t go bankrupt before you turn a profit. You must understand the needs of your restaurant before opening so you can properly budget, allocate funds, and keep overheads low while maximizing profit from the get-go. Having the right accounting skills is crucial, as you need to know how to put good procedures and expense tracking systems in place. You will need to track invoices from suppliers, employee payroll, operating costs, property expenses, and more, which can get overwhelming and confusing quickly. Ensure this paperwork is organized, so nothing gets missed or lost.
Do you know how to manage the team effectively?
Restaurants are a diverse environment full of many different skill sets, experiences, and strong personalities. To enable success, it is imperative you understand the needs of the various teams, whether it’s with the kitchen staff, with the wait staff, the front-of-house staff, or the bartenders. Managing a restaurantis not a walk in the park. Each position is unique, so avoid grouping everyone together and trying to mass manage the whole team the same way.
Having a lot of experience in restaurants is helpful here because you know what it takes to be in the same position as your staff. Inexperience doesn’t need to be your downfall though, as long as you ensure you’re properly covering your bases. Consider getting proactive management training specific to the industry, or hire an employee (or two!) with a lot of experience managing similar roles.
Do you know the best ways to advertise?
Millennials and Generation Z have their fingers on the social media pulse, and so should the older generations. Traditional advertising only goes so far in today’s digital and Internet-obsessed world, so it’s certainly worth taking the time to learn and understand the tips and tricks of digital and social media marketing. Having a positive web presence is essential too, so make sure your website is professional and up-to-date. There are a few types of low-cost campaigns you can run on platforms like Instagram and Facebook that are highly effective, including:
Before starting any campaign, make sure you know your target audience and are conscious of where they spend their time online. You want your campaign to appear before the right people to maximize effectiveness and keep costs to a minimum.
Do you have a list of vendors?
Everything in your restaurant is going to come from somewhere unless you’re making it yourself from scratch. Since that is not the most practical way to run a new restaurant, it’s important to shop around for suppliers for your equipment, ingredients, and supplies. You want to know you’re getting the best price you can find. Another tip is to do a local search, so you can support local businesses and help your bottom line when it comes to logistics. Do some research on exactly what kind of supplies your restaurant will need, but generally, every restaurant needs these items:
Have you picked the perfect location?
Successful restaurants are all about location, location, location! Doing your research is key to making sure your vision matches the surrounding clientele’s interests and wants. Having a poor location can be the cause of a swift end to your new business, so do your due diligence in scouting the ideal spot for your restaurant.
The journey you embark on with your new restaurant will be challenging, but ultimately one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine. These basic tips should be a great starting point in finding your way to becoming the best restauranteur you can be.