Start Your Own Cake Business

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cake business

Starting your own cake business is a dream come true for many amateur bake-off enthusiasts. The franchise system gives you the best possible chance of this becoming a reality. Here, we take a look at how you can become a cake-baking franchisee and what franchises exist to help you on your way.

Build a cake business from home

One of the options available to a budding cake entrepreneur is to open up a bakery business that can be operated from home. This will involve selling to customers via an online portal or supplying direct to cafes and bakeries around the country.

While marketing direct to customers can be tricky due to the fact you have to build a client base from scratch, it's a great way to start. On the other hand, supplying to businesses means you need to be able to produce large quantities. Youll also need to be confident in your ability to deliver your cakes regularly, in a timely fashion, and to a high standard.

Ideally, a home-based cake business will balance both of these revenue streams, allowing you to maintain a regular, stable income from B2B orders, while also building your brand by selling to individual customers.

Take on a brick and mortar business

The alternative to a home-based cake business is a traditional brick and mortar retail premises. While a traditional business doesnt provide you with the freedom and flexibility of a home-based setup, it plays to different strengths.

For instance, a high street cake shop focuses on passing trade and capturing the attention of customers by presenting an attractive faade and brand identity. While this does mean much higher overheads, it also makes it far easier to reach new customers and begin building a reputation for excellence.

A brick and mortar business is likely to favour those entrepreneurs who can commit a substantial number of hours to their business and who enjoy interacting with customers. It also suits those business-orientated individuals with a flair for shop design and retail aesthetics. After all, theres nothing more enticing than a well-stocked and beautifully arranged cake shop.

How to start a cake business

If you're looking to start a cake business, the franchising system is possibly the easiest and most profitable way to do so. Franchisees benefit from managing their own business but can also access an extensive support system provided by an experienced, professional franchisor. To become a cake and bakery franchisee, you'll need to do the following;

1. Distinguish yourself

There is considerable competition in the cake industry and businesses need to ensure that they stand out from the crowd. This means keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments in the industry. For instance, cupcakes and macaroons have both had their moment in the spotlight and remain popular with customers. Its only a matter of time before the next big thing emerges and franchisees need to position themselves well to take advantage of the increased demand to launch their business.

2. Know what you want and plan for the future

Many franchises offer the option to operate as a part-time or full-time franchisee, so its important to consider what you want from the role before you sign up. If you would like to maintain the freedom and flexibility that comes with working fewer hours or fitting a job in around other commitments, it may be better to go for a part-time agreement.

If youre hoping to support both yourself and your family with your business, a full-time agreement may be necessary. While this type of arrangement can develop into a more flexible working schedule once youve grown the business and spent a few years developing your franchise unit, it first requires a great deal of hard work.

3. Get all the necessary licences

As you'll be working with and selling foodstuffs, you'll have to obtain several licences, ensure you're meeting health and safety regulations, and that your cooking area is registered. This may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through for a small cake start-up, but it is necessary. If you don't start off on the right foot, there's a good chance that you'll be forced out of business before you even got going.

4. Do your research and talk to franchisors

The only way you can find out what opportunities are out there is by using every tool at your disposal to search for suitable franchises. This means getting online, going to franchise exhibitions, talking to business contacts, and reading franchising trade publications.

All franchises offer something different, so make sure you understand what theyre willing to provide as part of the franchise package, as well as what they want in return. Once youve drawn up a shortlist, its time to get in touch with each franchisor and discuss your options going forward.

Youll be working closely with your franchisor, so make sure that you feel as though you can communicate openly and honestly with them. If you cant, the relationship may be difficult to manage in the future.

A few franchises to look out for

To get you started, we're taking a look at our top two cake franchise prospects. They are;

Eggfree Cakebox

Eggfree Cakebox specialises in high-quality, egg-free cakes that meet the dietary requirements of lacto-vegetarians and those with certain allergies. After opening in 2008, they've expanded quickly and now boast 93 locations across the UK. The franchise hopes to open at least two or three new stores every month in 2018 and are actively looking for franchisees to help them realise this goal.

Lolas Cupcakes

Lola's Cupcakes was founded in 2006, by two friends who turned their passion for baking into a business. Starting with concessionary stalls in trend-setting stores like Topshop and Selfridges, they quickly opened a flagship store in Mayfair. Since then, the company has grown at an exponential rate so fast that they're not currently taking on new UK franchisees due to their existing commitments. However, they are looking for franchisees in a number of international territories, including the Far East, Middle East, and Europe.

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