You may have the best-baked goods in town, but if locals are unaware that your business exists, it will be hard for you to make sales and find returning customers. Starting a business is a multi-faceted mission that entails excellent products, strong customer service skills, and a successful marketing plan.
Using social media platforms, spreading business cards and flyers, receiving and posting positive customer reviews, and maintaining a delicious, consistent menu are all ways that will help attract customers to your home bakery.
You must ensure that your home baking business is visible to attract and maintain customers. Creating a product that you are known for and using affordable marketing methods such as social media, word of mouth, and community events are all fantastic ways to bring success to your small business.
When customers feel appreciated and receive good customer service, they will likely come back and spread the word about how much they enjoyed your home bakery.
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of having a successful small business because returning customers help you maintain and grow your business.
According to Entrepreneur, word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind of advertising that money can’t buy.
Some ways that you can use your customers to advertise your home bakery are:
- Hand out business cards (give extras for the customer to give to friends)
- Include a personal thank you note and your social media handles with every order.
- Attach flyers (promote new products and sales) to orders
- Make unique hashtags for your customers to tag you in social media posts.
These are all affordable and accessible ways to market your home business without having to spend heaps of money. (Source: The Balance) But there are even more ways you can attract customers to your business!
Maintain Consistent and Positive Customer Service
Positive interactions and service will encourage positive word of mouth and help create a customer base for your business. When you offer a high-quality product along with timely and consistent service and high-quality products with a warm attitude, customers will not be able to help themselves from returning!
Look at this stat featured on Help Scout: 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers excellent service.
Creating ways for your happy and satisfied customers to spread the word about your business is also a crucial aspect of communicating with your local community that you are in business.
Be Known for a Certain Baked Good
When you start, an easy mistake is to offer everything under the sun. You might think this will make sure you get more customers.
Think about it this way. What if your best friend talked to someone at a party who has a daughter coming up on her 8th birthday and needs a cake.
Your friend could say:
Option 1: My good friend is a licensed home baker who makes amazing cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, and scones. You should check out her Facebook page to see for yourself all she offers.
Option 2: My good friend is a licensed home baker who makes amazing cakes for kids’ parties. You should check out her Facebook page for her latest princess birthday cake.
Yes, either could work, but it’s more compelling to hear she specializes in cakes for kids. She may also be a talented cookier, which she could share with a potential client who may also want party favors.
This is just an example but think about narrowing your menu down to a few things you do well. You can always add items to the menu once you get more of a foothold.
Also, from a practical standpoint, if you are just starting out, having a simplified menu will make your list so much easier.
Leverage Social Media
It always makes me laugh when people say social media is free, and you should be on every platform. While social media may not cost you in dollars, it does cost in TIME.
Don’t get me wrong. I agree social media is a valuable marketing tool. It’s an opportunity to showcase your work, share who you are and what your business is about, and engage and respond to the community.
Having a consistent, professional, and attractive presence on social media is a wonderful way in this modern age to advertise and market your business in an affordable and approachable manner. A great picture on social media is worth 1000 words.
I recommend you start with one social media platform and do that well before moving onto the next.
Posting mouth-watering photos of your baked goods, giveaways and special promotions, limited-offer menu options, and personal details about your bakery are ways to attract customers and keep your bakery in the forefront of your local communities mind – especially when the holidays roll around!
Build an Email List and Send Emails Regularly
Invest in building an email list and communicating regularly with the community you have created through your home bakery. This will keep your presence relevant and present in the mind of your returning customers. For more, read my blog post, Why Your Home Bakery Needs an Email List.
Sending out weekly or monthly newsletters discussing special deals, new products, and calendar details are all wonderful ways of staying in touch with your customers and reminding them of their favorite local home bakery!
Ask Customers for Online Reviews
One of the most valued platforms to find new and reputable businesses is Google. When people want to find a great place to buy baked goods, they will most likely open their phones and search for local bakeries on Google. Set up a Google My Business profile, a free tool to help your home bakery get found in search. Read more about how to do it in my recent blog post.
Therefore, you must have a positive presence on Google. Ask satisfied customers to go online and leave you reviews and testimonials that discuss their delicious treats and the excellent customer service they received while visiting your home bakery. This is a sure way to attract new customers quickly, and it doesn’t cost one penny!
You will also get negative reviews that you must respond to as well. Read my blog post, How To Respond to Negative Online Reviews for help.
Network in Your Town and at Local Events
If permitted under your local cottage food laws, utilize the local farmers market, other local businesses, and local events where you can join in and sell your baked goods. Take advantage of offering free samples too. These are a perfect way to introduce your product to the community by actually tasting what you offer.
Getting involved and interacting with your community through local events, parades, holiday festivities, and bake sales are all easy and positive ways of advertising your home bakery and attracting new customers who may have never heard of your business before. (Source: Biz Fluent)
Consistent marketing is one of the most important things you must do to attract customers to your home bakery. Once you have satisfied customers, don’t forget to have them review your bakery online, post pictures, and spread the word about how excellent your baked goods are!
Get out in your community and share your delicious treats with others at events, local farmers’ markets, and community gatherings as a method of spreading the word and sharing in the goodness of your home bakery.
Have you gotten my Essential 5 P’s for Perfect Product Pricing pdf yet? I created this freebie to take the guesswork out of determining how much to charge. Sign up for my email list, and your very first email has the pdf.
Check out my blog archive for more helpful articles. Follow me on Instagram at @whiskwarrior, where I post weekly tips, resources, and personal experiences operating a home bakery and retail bakeshop.