Looking to open up your very own bakery? It’s probably safe to say that you’d rather spend your days perfecting your chocolate chip cookie recipe than figuring out how to write a bakery business plan.
But do you really need one? Why is a business plan important? And how do you write one?
Here’s the thing: a bakery business plan is the first step to turning your business into a reality.
So keep reading as we cover everything you need to know about writing a bakery business plan. Let’s get cooking!
What is a business plan for a bakery?
A bakery business plan is a strategic document that covers your business goals and the steps you’ll take to get there.
Think of a business plan as your recipe for running a successful bakery. It covers everything from what type of bakery you’re going to have and what baked goods you’re going to serve to how you’re going to pay for your commercial ovens.
The importance of a bakery business plan
A bakery business plan isn’t just icing on the cake of your business venture. Business plans are so important that over 70% of businesses already have a business plan. (And those that don’t know they probably should.)
While it certainly takes a bit of effort to put together, having a solid business plan can go a long way in bringing your vision to life and leading you to bakery success.
Not convinced yet? Here few reasons why a business plan is important for your bakery:
- A business plan acts as a road map to help you reach your bakery goals: Maybe you have a dream of owning your own bakery franchise. Or perhaps you have a financial goal for your bakery. A business plan helps you set ambitious but realistic goals and outlines the steps you need to get there.
- A business plan helps you make better business decisions: As a business owner, you’re in charge of making a lot of decisions every day—from who to hire to when to add a new item to your bakery menu. A business plan helps you stay focused and make decisions that will keep you on the track to success.
- A business plan helps you land suppliers and investors: Vendors and suppliers often want to know who they’re dealing with before they agree to work with you. A business plan shows them who you are and how they’ll play a role in your bakery business. The same goes for investors and financial institutions. If you need funding or a loan, a business plan shows that you’ve done your research and have a solid plan in place.
- A business plan keeps you profitable: Most of us don’t love money math, but a business plan puts your financials front and center. It outlines your costs, expenses, and revenue before you even open your doors, which can help you grow your business while staying profitable.
How to write a bakery business plan in 7 steps
Writing a business plan for your bakery might seem more complicated than baking the perfect croissant.
But we’ll let you in on a secret: it’s easier than you might think. And we’re making it even simpler with a step-by-step breakdown to help you rise to the occasion.
1. Executive summary
If someone didn’t read the rest of your business plan, what would they need to know about your bakery?
Your executive summary is an overview of your bakery business and everything else you’ve outlined in your business plan. It’s important to highlight the key takeaways, so the reader knows what to expect from reading your business plan.
2. Company overview and description
Who are you? Why do you want to open a bakery? What are your business goals?
The company overview is where you should introduce yourself and the story behind your bakery business. The goal is to tell a story about how your bakery idea came to be and where you see your bakery in the future.
For example, you may want to share your credentials and experience as a baker. Or maybe your bakery is a unique experience because it focuses on cultural recipes. These are all details you’ll want to describe for the reader in the company overview section of your business plan.
3. Market analysis
What makes your bakery unique? Are there competitors? Is there a market for your bakery?
This next section of your business plan is a market analysis that highlights your position in the market. Every bakery is unique, so how does yours stack up?
You’ll want to include research around:
- Competing bakeries or businesses in your local market
- Successful bakeries that have a similar business model
- Your target market
This tells you and your reader how your bakery will stand out from the crowd.
4. Bakery business offerings
What’s on your bakery menu? Will you offer custom baked goods? What additional products will you offer?
Some bakeries specialize in cakes while others only offer gourmet donuts. This section of your business plan should give your reader a good understanding of what your specific bakery will offer. If you’re going to offer any services, such as baking classes, you’ll want to include those here as well.
|Tip: Your business plan can—and should—be flexible. So it’s okay if you’re stuck on a decision like your menu and business offerings. (We get it—there are just so many choices.) Just make the best decision for now and you can always come back to change it in the future.
5. Bakery management and operations
Where will you get your ingredients from? Will you hire employees? What will your hours be?
Every business has their own way of doing things behind the scenes and your bakery is no exception. While you might have similar management styles and operations compared to other bakeries, it will be completely different than a coffee shop or salon.
From ordering supplies to actually baking your products, take the time to think about and outline how you’ll manage your bakery’s day-to-day operations.
6. Marketing and public relations strategies
Let’s face it—delicious baked goods basically sell themselves. But you still need a marketing and public relations (PR) strategy to help get the word out.
Some common marketing strategies for small businesses might include:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Building a website
- Pitching local news outlets for PR hits
Remember: Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many free marketing tools for small businesses like your bakery.
7. Financial projections
Last but not least, it’s time to crunch those numbers.
Your financial projections are an estimate of the costs, revenue, and profits for your business. For example, this might include the cost of supplies, your labor costs, and leasing a physical location. If you’re a brand new business, you should also include any startup costs that you’ll incur before you can open for business.
Typically financial projections include short and long-term forecasts to help you make sure that your business will turn profitable within a reasonable amount of time.
The #1 ingredient to every successful bakery
Once your business plan is written, it’s time to fire up the oven and get baking—and Homebase can help.
Homebase’s all-in-one employee management app is designed with small businesses in mind with features baked in to help you:
- Hire and onboard top-tier employees.
- Schedule your team based on your bakery needs
- Track employee hours to manage your labor costs
- Run payroll in just a few clicks.
Ready to run a better bakery team?
Discover how Homebase’s all-in-one employee management makes managing your bakery employees a piece of cake. Get started with Homebase today.
Bakery business plan FAQs
Why is a bakery business plan necessary?
A bakery business plan is necessary for several reasons:
- It helps you prioritize and keep your bakery business on track.
- It improves your decision-making.
- It helps you secure financing or investments to scale and grow your business.
What do you do with a bakery business plan once you’ve written it?
Once you’ve written your bakery business plan, it’s time to put your plan into action. The last thing you want to do is write it and forget it. It can also be helpful to have trusted advisors, such as mentors, experienced business owners, or even your financial advisors review your business plan. A second set of eyes can go a long way in making sure you have the best plan in place for your business.
Do you need a business plan if you’re not looking for financing?
Yes, you need a business even if you’re not looking for financing or loans. Writing a business plan isn’t just something to check off your loan application list. It’s a tool you can use to grow and manage your business and help you reach your goals.
What tools can help you run your bakery business when you’re done writing your business plan?
Some tools to help you run your bakery business when you’re done writing your business plan include:
- An employee management app to schedule, track, and pay your employees.
- A point of sale (POS) system to take orders and take payments.
- A website to help you market and sell your bakery items.