Baking is among the few business endeavors that you can start at home. Many tried their hands on it for the first time during quarantine and have turned it into successful side hustles.
What do you do, however, when this side hustle exceeds your humble expectations? The number of hours you put in starts to increase, the orders continue to come in, and you have no idea how to remove the dough in the ceiling.
The solution seems simple–it’s time to expand. Before you go ahead and contact a signage maker, though, it’s good to pause and consider whether you’re truly ready for it.
Too Many Orders, Too Little Equipment
One of the first signs that you need to scale up is when your current equipment doesn’t cut it anymore. Your food processor is too small, your mixing bowls too few, and your oven knows no rest. If the exhaustion that comes with baking lies more on the insufficiency of your equipment, it’s time to move your bakery out of your house.
Unless you have the convenience of space, the modern baking equipment you need won’t fit nicely in your home. Do you sell huge quantities of cakes and cupcakes? The cake batter depositor you need might force your family to eat in the living room. The double-deck convection oven that will allow you to bake ten cakes at the same time could displace your refrigerator for good.
With new and better equipment comes a bigger space. A bigger space means your bakery needs to move out of the house.
Too Many Customers, Too Little Time
Food is an indulgence that never goes out of fashion. If yours can be categorized as comfort food, it’s not surprising that satisfied customers will come back for more. With too many patrons placing their orders and too little time to manage the baking and the marketing by yourself, you’ll want to consider scaling up. Hiring two to three qualified individuals to multi-task with you will lighten the burden of the job. It will also require you to move your bakery out of your house unless you’re comfortable with the notion of letting strangers into your personal space.
Hire only the number of people you need and be meticulous in choosing. A small business that’s expanding needs slow and cautious steps forward, not hasty ones. Being a boss is also a responsibility, and the last thing you need is more reason to lose sleep.
Too Many Expectations, Too Little Money
The most telling of all signs to scale up is the amount of money you can set aside for capital. After all, how can you buy the equipment you need? What money will you lease with, and how will you sustain your employees’ wages? If you’ve ticked the boxes on the first two signs but not on this one, then consider taking a closer look at your home bakery. It could be that you’re earning too little on your products, or most of your earnings go to other expenses. Spare an entire afternoon examining your records to see where your money goes. A little reshuffling of your budget should give you the capacity to save for the capital you need.
Scale Up Slowly
Expanding your home bakery doesn’t happen overnight. You have to prepare not only your finances but also yourself. Transitioning from a home bakery to a commercial one has its own challenges. The only way to succeed is to scale up slowly and wisely.