How To Start Up A Baking Business In Benue State
Trust me when I say “Starting up a baking business in Benue State would be a lucrative one” As we all know indigenes of Benue State have ‘a thing’ for enjoyment, especially with edibles.
The main issue here is taking a step by starting and very importantly, starting right. Starting right here does not necessarily mean starting BIG, bear in mind that: “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step!”- Naeem Callaway What then are these right steps?
First things first, decide the category you want to specialize in and acquire the skill. You can acquire this skill ‘officially’ by paying for a class from a professional baker (by this I mean you must have seen testimonies of the recipe or tasted it and be truly convinced) or ‘unofficially’ by helping a baker friend out. Browsing the internet for recipes, trying them out, and comparing them with other recipes can be stressful, and slow and might affect your growth with customers because nobody knows when, where, or how you started baking. Free samples and marketing skills will come in thoroughly handy here and eventually worth it when it is accompanied by consistency.
Please note that Baking doesn’t have to be your passion, this is business! What is required of you is to make business your passion. As the saying goes “Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.”
During the acquisition of the skill getting some equipment is inevitable to learn better and effectively. Later on, you will realise that they are just the basics and that you require more equipment, especially to keep up with trends as your business grows. However, for those of us who are planning to acquire skills unofficially, here is a list of basic equipment needed:
- Baking pans
- Measuring cups and spoon
- Piping tips and bags
- Palette knife
The list goes on, bear in mind that you must not buy all the pieces of equipment at once. As the contracts come in you continue to need and buy your equipment and as a beginner, you can also improvise.
Let me inspire you…when I started baking I didn’t have the money to pay for a class or buy equipment so I learned unofficially. I used a knife as a spatula for my first buttercream cake, a plate as pans, pots as my oven, some compared measured containers as my measuring cup and spoon, and my younger sister would do the work of turning the cake, while I tried to smoothen the cake since there was no turntable. Bit by bit I was able to get some equipment and I am getting more!
Now you have acquired skills and equipment that you can start with, you need a business name. When choosing a business for a baking business, it is important to know that it shouldn’t be any shade of rigid. Names for baking business are usually sweet and lovely. You can go with the feeling you want customers to get when they taste your product e.g Yummy Delight; the name of a flower e.g Lily’s Bake House; you can nicely use your name e.g Becca’s Bake Heaven; an action your product provokes e.g chocolate and smiles pastries; the equipment used in baking e.g whisk and spatulas and so on. The business name should not be a limiting one e.g. Becca’s Doughnuts, customers will think it’s only doughnuts you are into.
Make a business plan so that you can better understand your target and have a standard in mind to work with.
Now coming to the registration of a business name, most people avoid this because of tax or ignorance but trust me, the advantages of registering your business outweigh any supposed disadvantage you have in mind. By registering your business you are made aware of whether the business name is taken or available, just imagine promoting a business name that has already been taken (please avoid a story that touches the heart). Registering builds your reputation with customers you have never done business with, you can open an account in the company’s name, amongst many other advantages.
There are two ways to register a business with CAC this is either as a business name or limited liability company. Where you register your business name the liability is on you but when registered as a limited liability company your business becomes a separate legal entity from you and is responsible for its liability.
PRICING AND ACCOUNTING
As a new baker, it is important to do a market survey to understand pricing. It will be a disadvantage to you when your price is extremely low or unreasonably high. Make sure you price your product correctly and don’t bake too cheaply to attract customers, instead offer a free sample to promote your business. Being too cheap affects the business just as being too expensive. Either way, it promotes a stagnate business. It is also important that you keep a proper account of your business, even if it is solely managed by you.
Always advertise, create social media handles for your business, be reachable, post testimonies, and post photos of contracts. Make sure deliveries are always 100 per cent and top-notch. Don’t ever get tired of promoting your business. Collaborate with photographers, event planners, and other business categories that can pair with baking and create something inviting.
Make sure you advertise what you have perfected. We grow while baking so don’t feel shy to use your recipe book.
KEEP UP WITH TRENDS
Never stop learning, follow bakers on social media, get a mentor, ask questions, and have a hunger to improve.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, this is business! You should make it your passion, and be consistent.
Happy Baking To The Future Best Baker In The World!
Photo Credit: Angel Ashinya Dajoh