Whether you’re baking from home, selling online or running a small bakery, it can be tricky to turn your talents into a profitable business. Traditionally, bakeries relied on smells to drive sales and footfall. However, many small bakeries sell online nowadays, so setting yourself apart from the rest is key. We’ve got the recipe for success and the ingredients are:
- 10 top tips for business success
- Boosting sales this Autumn
- Improving your social media strategy
10 Top Tips for Business Success
Keep reading to find out how to keep your audience engaged, show off your talents and ensure the proof is in the pudding…
1. Get social media savvy
We’ve all walked past an open bakery before and unconsciously followed the glorious scent into the shop. However, if your bakery biz is not in a location prime for footfall, you’ll need to find another way to appeal to the senses…
Instagram is a great platform for any foodservice business. After all, we eat with our eyes as well, don’t we? Facebook is important too – especially if you have a storefront. Whichever platform you use, make sure to update them regularly – people rely on them, as do search engines.
2. Find your niche and master it
Unless you do the best sausage roll in the world, it’s going to be tricky to have it as your main source of income. Think about your products: do you offer a gourmet range of flavours or a unique take on an old classic? (Remember the cronut?) Make your products unique and you’ll have a loyal line of customers waiting to get their fix!
3. Keep ahead of the trends
Thanks to social media, something is always trending or ‘hot right now’ in most industries. People will ask for them at relevant outlets, so if there is a bakery product trending, see if it fits in with your brand offering. You could use the free Google Trends tool or follow baking-related hashtags and even check out what the competition is doing.
4. Get involved in the local community
If your bakery has a physical location open to the public, getting involved with the locals is an essential step. Ways to do this include:
- Get involved or host a fundraising event
- Support a local cause
- Offer a locals loyalty card or discount
- Support other local businesses
5. Plan for the big dates
Planning for seasonal events can often be left to the last minute resulting in poor performance. Let’s take Christmas as an example: Offering a range of festive-themed baked goods throughout December is a good start, but consumers start planning the festive season early on and look for information from the beginning of September.
So, it’s best to plan at least three months ahead of time and inform your customers of what is coming – that way, everyone is prepared.
6. Give out free samples
There is nothing quite like a delicious free sample to get people coming back for more! When giving out samples, pick a tasty product that is safe and affordable. Avoid items that might affect allergies or have risky flavours (think extra spicy or salty), and divide them into small, bitesize pieces to get the most out of them. Make sure whoever is giving out the samples is ready to talk about the product and your business too.
7. Stand out online
Many consumers rely on online sources to check where you are, confirm your offering, and make sure you are a real company. For these reasons, it’s key that your online presence is up to date.
For example, if you offer vegan or plant-based bakes, then ensure you have a webpage dedicated to vegans, and mention it in your search engine business entry.
8. Make the most of organic marketing
When talking about online advertising, the word ‘organic’ refers to natural, free traffic or not paid. As a small business, it’s unlikely you’ll have a big budget for online advertising, so taking advantage of free methods is essential.
- Sign up for any free local business entries
- Write regular blogs containing relevant keywords
- Sign up and post regularly to the relevant social media platforms for your business
- Have a dedicated contact page on your website
- Invite influencers to try your product and post about it
- Encourage customers to leave reviews
9. Post content with purpose
Remember that everything you post on the internet needs to have a purpose other than trying to sell your product. Why? Because people don’t like feeling ‘sold to’. Stick to content that answers questions, solves problems, and generally makes life easier for your customer base.
10. Build a brand and keep it consistent
Your brand is like a personality for your business. To keep customers coming back, demonstrating a strong brand and unified image is key. Your brand image should represent your businesses values and what you do. You should also use branded packaging, and make sure your labels are all up to code as well.
Improving your social media strategy
Social media is one of the most effective forms of free advertising that a business can take advantage of. Here are a few tips to help you drive engagement and build loyalty:
- Post discounts, giveaways or competitions to reach a wider audience
- Post several times a week to be favoured by algorithms
- Reply to all questions and comments as soon as you can
- Post regular photos of your products to tempt the senses
- Repost any tagged stories or mentions by customers
Boosting sales this Autumn
Autumn can be a great time for bakeries as it marks the end of the summer and the beginning of a season full of festival events, including Halloween and Christmas. As our tastes change for autumn to include more seasonal vegetables and heartier meals, we also tend to pick products that are themed to the time of year.
So, change your menu with the seasons too – why not add a pumpkin spice flavour twist to one of your popular treats or offer a range of spooky Halloween-themed products?
Now you know how to boost sales for your bakery during the Autumn season – so what are you going to try first?