Running a dessert franchise can be extremely lucrative and very rewarding, but the industry is in such high demand that it’s a competitive space to work. For your business to truly thrive and stand out in a saturated sector, you’ll need to put your energy into building a business plan that keeps you on track, in tune with your goals and one step ahead.
Running your own business within the franchising model comes with a lot of helpful support, from training and development opportunities all the way to marketing assistance. But that doesn’t mean all the work is done for you as a franchisee, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can coast to success and passive income without any effort.
If you want to start your own dessert franchise and see it achieve long-term success, read on.
How to build a business plan for a dessert business
A franchise business plan is primarily something that you’ll create, pre-launch, for your own future reference. As time goes on, you’ll update it to reflect new knowledge, or new goals, or changes to the industry. It will be your budding dessert franchise’s bible.
You might also need to create a business plan to compare notes with (and get on the same page as) your franchisor, or to show to a potential financial backer in order to secure external franchise funding. Regardless of your industry, the comprehensive franchise business plan you create should include:
- An executive summary
- A business description
- Product/service descriptions
- A management summary
- Market analysis
- Operational details/business premises details
- Sales and marketing plans
- Financial projections and requirements
For franchise businesses working specifically in the dessert industry, there are even more important inclusions to consider, things to clarify and points to emphasise. Here are Point Franchise’s four top tips for building a watertight business plan for your dessert franchise.
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1. Don’t skimp on the market research and analysis (or your marketing will suffer)
Market research always matters, but given that the dessert industry is worth billions and is in a growth stage [Mintel], it’s particularly important in this instance. Give enough space, time and research to it in your business plan if you want to best place yourself for success. Detail your competitors, their products and their marketing plans. Details your consumers, and all the latest dessert sector trends currently changing the game.
All in all, you’re in a much better place to create a menu of products that stands out, and to market these products distinctively if you know your stuff. (And if you actively keep up with your stuff and update your plan to reflect changes down the line). As a jumping-off point for your deeper research, here are some of those aforementioned trends shaping the industry as we speak:
- Splicing of desserts (mug cakes, cronuts, pinata cakes and more!)
- New takes on old classics, like dessert-based charcuterie boards
- An increased focus on lower-sugar and vegan options as consumer diets change
- Growing use of apps/digital technology for customer service purposes
2. Pin down the franchise’s USP, and ways in which you can lean into this
One of the biggest things you’ll have considered, when choosing the right dessert franchise for you, was what made that franchise unique. What made it worthy of your investment, ahead of any other franchise in this sugar-sweet sub-sector of food service? With this knowledge fresh in your brain, it shouldn’t be hard to get that USP (Unique Selling Point) down in writing early on in (and throughout) your business plan.
Say, for instance, that you bring a similar USP to the dessert sector as the USP that Camile Thai brings to the restaurant sector: Sustainable, healthy food options. If this is the case, you’ll be able to lean into this in a million different ways in your plan, from highlighting your healthier ingredient differences in your franchise’s advertising campaigns to detailing your sustainable practices on your website for all to peruse.
3. Profile your ideal customer (and why they’ll love your desserts)
Just as knowing the industry is crucial, knowing your ideal customer is, too. Within your business plan, take the time to let anyone that’s reading it get to know this target customer. Talk with your franchisor about exactly who you should be targeting, and with other franchisees in the network about how their customer demographics shake out and what they’ve done to attract certain types of people. Draw from the many sources of information at your disposal to paint the clearest possible picture of your franchise’s potential profitability.
A useful way to get a handle on who your customers are is to create a customer profile - think about your typical customer and make them real. When you have an image in your head of your typical customer and what their life is like you can keep referring back to it when developing your product or service, when marketing it, when making decisions.
- Virgin Start Up
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4. Mention ways in which you plan to diversify your dessert franchise’s income
One of the biggest advantages of running a dessert franchise is the room you’ll have to diversify, and if you plan to, this is definitely something you should cover in your business plan. Particularly if you do intend on showing the plan to external funding bodies.
Diversifying your income means drawing money from multiple sources, and in the context of your dessert franchise, it could be as simple as selling make-at-home mixes in your stores, or starting an online merchandise store for loyal franchise customers.
Any plans to diversify should of course be thoroughly discussed and agreed with your franchisor ahead of time, as they’ll have final say over decisions you make that could impact brand-wide perception. There are no guarantees, but if you’re onto a winner in terms of making the entire network some extra money, your franchisor is likely to be receptive.
These business plan tips will help you to start a dessert franchise successfully and thrive in the sweets sector
If you feel more prepared than ever to stay ahead of the game and build a thriving dessert franchise from the ground up, it’s time to start your research journey and search for the ideal investment. Check out options like Chock Shop (an artisan producer of Belgian chocolate waffles), Bubblewrap (an Insta-friendly bubble waffle franchise) and Sweet Spot (a cafe-style chain that specialises in sugary treats).
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©