Over the past several posts I've laid out a way of thinking of bakery economics, so that you can think critically about what is blocking you from building a business that works for you over the long term. A way to make the change that you desperately want but can't seem to afford.
This is not an easy road, but then again, neither was opening a bakery. You've already done some extremely hard work. You can do this too.
You Have Choices #
There are several levers you can use in support of your goal, from pricing to new products to production efficiencies to reducing operating expenses. Even reducing your compensation if that's what it takes.
You can use one lever or several, but they are all there for you.
Your Vision Is The Most Important Part #
This is much bigger than a math exercise.
This whole process is about building a business that supports your personal vision. Your vision of how you want to fit in your business and how you want the business to fit in the community.
There is no sense going after production efficiencies if you truly want to make custom orders for every customer.
There's no sense building a wholesale arm if you get all your energy from personal customer contact.
If you spend 80% of your time reflecting on your vision, the best levers to pull become much more apparent.
There is no single right answer. Just YOUR right answer #
There are nearly as many bakery business models as there are bakers. Retail, wholesale, subscription, pre-order, CSB, bakery cafe, bakery and beer garden, hub and spoke, farmers markets, and on and on it goes.
The intersection of the models that get you excited and the models that get your community excited is where you'll find joy.
You are not alone #
Don’t forget to bring your customers along for the ride as you figure this out. It takes a special person to support a bakery in this age of over processed factory food. They want you to succeed.
Your team wants you to succeed as well. If you succeed, they succeed. And they see things differently from the other side of the bench, from the mixer or the front counter. Even the dish sink. They'll be able to identify opportunities that you can't see.
And heck, your fellow bakers want you to succeed too. I want you to succeed. So don't be shy about reaching out to other bakery owners to share ideas or brainstorm new ways of doing things.
We are all better together.