So you’ve started a baking business but your sales could use a little yeast. (Sorry for the lame pun – we couldn’t resist.) How do you take the business to the next level?

First of all, you might want to read our previous post about starting a baking business to make sure you have all the fundamentals covered. Of particular importance is making sure that you are complying with whatever laws there are in your state regarding sales of food products in your state. Home bakeries are also referred to as cottage bakeries. As of the end of 2021, all 50 states now regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made from a home kitchen.

A cottage bakery is a small-scale bakery that operates out of the home and requires face-to-face interactions with customers when providing baked goods in return for money. Each state’s cottage food laws regulate these home-based businesses. For example, baked goods made and sold from cottage bakeries must be shelf-stable, requiring no refrigeration.

(A good guide can be found here.)

Once you are sure that you’re ready to start marketing your goods, here are some tips:

  1. Make sure you have a catchy name for your business – that’s the first thing potential customers will notice, and the yummier it sounds, the more likely they are to check it out. Once you have chosen your name, you should register it with your state so that other businesses cannot use it. You can visit your local government website to file your business name with the Secretary of State’s office.
  2. Create a website (you can use Wix to set up a free website) and social media channels for your business. According to the website Bake in Progress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The Hub has tips for using TikTok to market a food business. Other tips for using social media for baked goods can be found here.
  3. Visit Children’s Fairs – they are an excellent venue for selling home-made goods and, as the spring arrives and the weather warms up, these fairs will be popping up all over the country. A good guide to children’s fairs around the country can be found here.
  4. Have some business cards or fliers made up. VistaPrint is a good website to use for business cards. Fedex is a good place to make fliers. Share your business cards and fliers with local businesses; many have bulletin boards where you can post promotional material.
  5. If your state allows it, join local farmer’s markets to sell your goods. Here are some websites that can help you get started selling in farmers’ markets:
  6. Schedule bakery pop-ups with local businesses (this is where you set up a table within a local business and sell your baked goods to their customers)

Whatever you do, be patient but persistent and you can make a lot of bread. (There we go again.)

 

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