how to start/bakery business plan

How To Start a Bakery: Steps and a Sample Business Plan

Want to take your culinary skills to the next level, move out of your home kitchen, and learn how to start a bakery? Good for you!

While the process is really just that simple, there are a number of practical steps you can take to get your new business heading in the right direction — including writing your very own bakery business plan.

In this article, we discuss some of the best things you can do before you even open your doors that can help make your new bakery a success.

Table of contents

How to start a bakery

researching how to start a bakery business plan

1) Gain practical experience

Learning how to start a bakery and writing a bakery business plan are two very unique and specialized activities. Unlike, say, mowing lawns, owning and operating a successful bakery takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and skill.

Before you bake your first loaf for profit, get as much practical experience as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to work in a bakery or similar niche business.

As you do, pay attention to more than just the baking. Note how the business manages its employees, markets its products, provides customer service, and develops its business model.

Learning about these foundational business activities in addition to the bread-baking process can give your new endeavor the best chance for success.

2) Research laws that apply to the food service industry

Starting a food service business of any kind comes with a long list of laws, rules, and guidelines. Whether you want to open a bakery, a coffee shop, a cafe, or a restaurant, you’re going to have to operate under some very high standards.

Before you invest any money in the project, be sure to research the laws that apply to the food service industry in your area and get professional legal counsel.

For example, you may discover that your state requires you to use stainless steel appliances and cookware. Those items can be expensive to purchase and may affect how you spend the rest of your startup capital.

You may even discover that operating a bakery isn’t for you. And that’s OK. If that’s the case, at least you found out before you committed yourself to the project. View it as a learning experience, and use that information to find the business that’s right for you.

3) Consider a specialty

Food from a bakery

At first, you may be tempted to offer any and all baked goods under the sun — cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, pies, breads, turnovers, and other sweet treats.

But jumping all in at first can make it more difficult to keep your bakery business in the black. Instead, consider a specialty for your business, and write it into your bakery business plan.

Narrowing down what you offer to one or two items — e.g., breads and croissants — can help in two distinct ways:

  • It may allow you to focus on making your products the best they can be (rather than spreading your efforts too thin)
  • It may help your customers recognize exactly what your business is and give you a boost in carving out market share among your competitors

As you’ll see in the sample bakery business plan later on in this article, All I Want Is Bread chose to focus on bread products so they can refine their recipes and make the best products possible.

4) Get to know your target market

Another important step in the process of starting a bakery is getting to know your customer base (i.e., your target market).

Doing so can provide valuable insight into key variables such as:

  • Demand for your baked goods
  • Customer demographics (i.e., statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it)
  • How your market will react to your baked goods
  • Appropriate price points

Getting to know your target market can also help you identify factors that influence your potential customers’ buying decisions, allowing you to give them what they want and need.

5) Create a bakery business plan

Starting a small business of any kind depends, in large part, on the planning you do before the doors open. You can accomplish a large portion of that planning by creating a bakery business plan for your new endeavor.

Doing so will give you a roadmap or guidebook that can help you deal with the everyday activity of your business that, ultimately, makes it a success.

We’ve included a brief sample bakery business plan below, but you can learn more about everything that goes into this important document by reading these articles from the Sling blog:

Sample bakery business plan

Woman looking at Sample bakery business plan

Here we provide a sample bakery business plan to get you started. We’ve included four of the most important sections in this sample, but there are many other sections you can include in your own document.

Consider this example a “jumping off” point. Use the information as you see fit, customize it to your business, and produce the best bakery business plan possible.

For more information on writing a business plan for a food service establishment, check out this article from the Sling blog: Restaurant Business Plan: What To Include, Plus 8 Examples.

Executive summary

All I Want Is Bread is a new bakery venture that aims to introduce the French boulangerie experience into the local market.

All I Want Is Bread will offer traditional baked goods, including baguettes, pain de campagne, sourdoughs, croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au lait, and turnovers.

All I Want Is Bread will make these baked goods from scratch with high-quality, fresh, locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. This commitment to quality ingredients and sustainable practices will set us apart from the competition

Company description

All I Want Is Bread will be run by Buffy Summers (owner) and Willow Rosenburg (general manager). Ms. Summers owns and operates several businesses in the area, and Ms. Rosenburg has 10 years’ experience managing a boulangerie in Paris, France.

All I Want Is Bread will be located in Sunnydale’s vibrant downtown district within walking distance to office buildings, restaurants, and residential neighborhoods.

All I Want Is Bread will be run as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) between Ms. Summers and Ms. Rosenburg.

It is our goal to provide quality bread to the workers, residents, and restaurants in our area. To help achieve that goal, we will also offer cafe-style seating, coffee and other beverages, and free WiFi to encourage customers to stay.

Market analysis

Bakery statistics according to [Source]:

  • Industry net worth: $5 billion
  • Growth rate: 3% per year over the next five years

As you can see, the bakery industry is a competitive niche, but there are also a number of excellent opportunities for new businesses within that niche.

We believe the key to success is to offer high-quality products, excellent customer service, and a competitive price.

Our target market includes bread lovers of all ages as well as restaurants that want to offer their customers and employees high-quality baked goods made from locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.

Financial Plan

We project that All I Want Is Bread will generate $1.5 million in its first year of operation with a 3% increase each year thereafter for the next three years.

We will achieve these numbers by targeting a 30% share of the Sunnydale bakery market and expect a gross profit margin of 4% in our first year of operation.

Workforce management and your bakery business plan

Woman managing her bakery

As you think about how your new company will run, be sure to include workforce management in your business plan.

More specifically, describe the technology you’ll use to help guide and direct your team — whether it’s one person, 10 people, or 100 people.

The Sling app, for example, includes a long list of tools to help make your workforce management as efficient and productive as possible, including:

Try Sling for free today to experience firsthand how the software can help you bring your bakery business plan to life.

Then, for more business management resources, help scheduling your employees, and tips for leading a successful team, visit today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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