CREATE A SIMPLE BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR CAKE BUSINESS
Having a business plan is one of those things that everyone starting their cake business stresses out about. It seems like one of those things you simply have to have if you want to be taken serious in your business. However, unless it’s something you have been asked to produce to receive funding, or other help for your business, I don’t believe it’s some huge document that you have to slave over.
When you Google business plan template you will be faced with hundreds of multipage documents that cover every inch of your business. This will obviously take a lot of time, but it can become a distraction from just getting on with running your business. They are also often quite generic, and not geared specifically towards cake decorating businesses, bakeries or home baking businesses.
With all that in mind, it can be useful to have some kind of guide to keep you on track, focussed on meeting goals and growing your business.
A one page document, noting down some important figures, targets and goals will help you to learn from what you’ve done already in your business and make decisions about how best to move forward. I’ve created a template for your and I’m going to run through all of the headings and explain why I think they are the only important bits of information you need to track on your business plan.
This is one of two sentences that define your business and your overarching goal for it. For example - ‘To support myself full time by created the best tasting wedding cakes in my area’. This type of statement is good because it not only focuses on the business side, and how your target is to go full time and pay your bills with your business, but also explains very simply what you want your business to be known for - delicious wedding cakes. Having this written out very simply at the top of your business plan will allow you to keep it in the forefront of your mind whenever you have an important decision to make, and wonder if that move will keep in line with your mission statement.
WHAT HAS WORKED WELL IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS
Look back at the last year in your business and track what you think has worked well for you. Maybe you had a really successful farmers market, or maybe one wedding you did had brilliant reviews. By looking back at your successes, big or small, you will feel motivated to continue to grow your cake business and be even more successful in the year ahead. It will also help you to start thinking about what areas you should be focusing on in the future.
THREE MAIN SOURCES OF INCOME
As with the above section, this section is all about tracking where you currently are, to create a plan of action for the months ahead. Look back at your sales for the last year, or however long your baking business has been running, and tally up where you have made the most money. Has it been bespoke birthday cake orders, farmers markets, weddings, wholesale to local businesses. Note these down and these will be the areas to focus on this year.
THREE MAIN SOURCES OF ORDERS
Again, as above we are focusing on your areas of success. Where do you find you gain most orders, and where does most of your business come from. If something is working there is no need to go and reinvent the wheel. Double down on these areas and you will see even more growth in the future.
TOP THREE GOALS FOR THIS YEAR
Now we’ve reviewed where you are at, you can jot down your top three goals for the next 12 months. These goals may require lots of mini goals to be met before you get there, but by writing down the three main things you want to achieve they will become tangible and you will be more inclined to actually stay on track to meet them. My plan is that this business plan will be printed out and frequently referred to by you, this constant reminder of your top goals will make achieving them easier.
Sometimes in business we can tend to live order to order, and rarely sit down and tally everything up. If you don’t add up how much money you are actually bringing in, how can you know if you are growing? It can also flag up areas where you are not doing so good, but until you see in in black and white you won’t really be aware. Add up all of your sales from the last year, or if you don’t have a full year in business, however long you have. Write that down. Are you happy with that figure? Do you want to improve? By having this figure, next you your target figure, you will be able to be more specific about how much you need to earn every month/week.
Get more specific about where your income is going to be coming from, and this will help you to plan where to focus your energies in your business. I’ve populated a couple of examples but these should be edited to suit your baking businesses specific products.
As with the income goal, if you don’t know where you are in terms of marketing, you won’t be able to track your improvement. Obviously social media followings aren’t everything, and won’t be the make and break to your cake business, but it can be helpful to have a strong Facebook following, or a growing mailing list.
So there you have it! Not much to it, but you should be feeling pretty well informed about the state of your business currently and where you plan to take it over the next few months to a year. Good luck and if you have any questions about the business plan or the download, please in touch via the links below.