The food industry is going through a massive churn and in recent times, baking has too. Baking today is no more about just franchisees or bakery chains. In fact a huge segment of the industry today is small bakery businesses. There is a shift from big factory produced baked goods to artisanal products, handcrafted goods or family businesses. Now, let’s discuss how you can take advantage of this industry trend and grow your business.

You will need creative ways to grow in the business today as novelty is key and so is innovation.

Advertising Is Key

First, piggyback on your deliveries. Meaning every time you pack your goods for the customer, add in your direct mailers, promotional fliers or coupons in the bag. That way you save on postage.

You could also participate in direct mail campaigns by purchasing a residential mailing list and sending postcards with information about your bakery. Add in a few coupons to sweeten the deal!

Related: What Is The 3 Target Marketing Strategy? Use It To Grow Your Culinary Business

People Love Samples!

Hand out samples of your products to passers-by. Put it up in your store front. People may actually end up walking into your store for a taste and make a purchase. Send out sample boxes or complementary treat boxes to special customers or if it’s a kid’s birthday. Even if they are small treats, gestures like these go a  long way to build and grow loyalty and create word-of-mouth publicity.

Partnerships Are Great

Tie up with local caterers to perhaps do the desserts and other baked goods. Spread the word about customized cakes and desserts or baked goods that you can manage and take specialty orders. You can even tie up with clubs or kitty parties and do a special bake off. Just putting up a pop-up stall to create interest and spread the word can also work wonders!

A partnership with allied businesses that go hand-in-hand with parties or occasions is what you need to grow your baking business. Florists, decorators, and event managers can easily refer to you to their customers and you can do the same for them. Work with each other to bolster each other’s business.

Baking Classes

 Run special baking classes, especially before special occasions and festivals. While you’re at it, also offer kids’ baking sessions. This would mean that the kids would be accompanied by their guardians and parents. And now there is a nice chance that some of them would become your customers!

Related: How To Hold A Virtual Cooking Class To Expand Your BusinessHow To Keep Track Of Expenses In A Baking Business

Showcase Your Talents

Keep a tab of local events in your areas. Maybe you can put up a stall or a pop-up booth. You could also do cooking demonstrations or even hand out samples to prove that you are a damn good baker!

Show That You Care

A lot of the world today is very specific about what they eat and how they eat and what suits them. There are vegans, gluten intolerants, lactose intolerants, and diabetics. There is also the health conscious crowd. See if you can cater to them and create products to suit those needs. This attention to detail and concern will make your customers come back for more and even spread the word.

Offer Loyalty Programs

Now who doesn’t want a returning customer? Start a loyalty system going to encourage people to buy more. Give rewards and discount cards too. This can create regular customers. For example, a guest can get every 5th or 10th coffee or croissant for free. Or you can give coupons for the next purchase every time a customer buys pastries for more than $25 or after they spent $100 since they got their discount card.

Go Healthy

Baked goods don’t have to be unhealthy and you can walk the talk in that department. Create a menu for the health conscious. Think low-cal, low-carb and organic. Create special products for this target audience. A line of better-for-you products is something you can seriously consider.

Also Read: 9 Ways To Stay Healthy Inside Out

Don’t Forget The Kids

With every child that you think of and wish came to the shop, remember that along with them comes an adult. Strategize and see if you can offer the kids baking classes, or theme-based cakes and goodies and you have a winner. Throw in a few beverages for both parents and kids alike; think coffees and slushies and milkshakes, and now everyone walks out of your shop happy!

Offer Varying Portions

Not everyone wants to buy a big cake or that jumbo bun. How about letting them buy a slice or getting a smaller version? They will thank you and you can thank us later. Portion sizes make a lot of difference to a purchase and with people getting more health conscious or simply not wanting to indulge as such, they could do well with a smaller portion size offering.

Go Gung-ho About Social Media

 You can’t think of growing your baking business without having a social media presence. Videos are key to promoting your business. Add posts on Facebook and Instagram with the necessary hashtags so that you have a wider reach.

Going live while you bake can work greatly to your advantage. This way, you can interact with your audience and engage helpfully with them.

Related: Your Social Media Strategy Guide For Your Confectionery Business

The Online Storefront

Create a website and social networking page for your business that features many photos of your baked goods. Offer online specials and discounts to those that join your mailing list. Make your site appealing and provide the information necessary to easily access your bakery. Consider setting up an online mail-order site for customers to order goods online for local pickup or shipping. Maintain a list of the emails collected from visitors and customers and launch an email campaign to announce specials and new items.

The industry is rapidly growing and there’s heavy competition. And in order to stand out, the key is innovation, customization and most importantly empathy. All the best for your baking endeavors!

See Also: How To Start A Food Business from HomeHow To Build A Website For Your Food BusinessBiggest Learnings And Marketing Tips For A Baking BusinessHow To Keep Track Of Expenses In A Baking BusinessAdministrative Tasks Checklist: Bakery Business Edition