Bread is one of the most common staple food in Africa. You can purchase different varieties of bread of different shapes, taste and sizes at affordable prices, and because of the enormous number of people who consume bread daily, this presents a very great business opportunity to intending entrepreneurs.
Starting a bakery business requires you to carve out a unique taste, flavour and quality associated with your brand of bread, and you need to consistently keep up with it as your unique selling point.
Steps to start the business
A bakery business doesn’t require much to set up, if you already have a business name and necessary authorisation, then you are almost ready for business. Here are the steps you should take to start the business :
1. Get trained: Before venturing into this business, you will need to know the nitty-gritty of bread making, you need to learn how to mix the dough well, and how to make various flavour and quality of the product. All these characteristics require that you undergo training on how to bake and manage the operations of a bakery.
Don’t underestimate the need for training, as this will arm you with the basic information that you need to start and succeed in the business. Training will also help you to carry out informed feasibility studies based on your knowledge of what would be involved in running the business.
2. Carry out a feasibility study: This involves checking for the chances of succeeding in the business considering the resources you have, your potential business location and your target market. Writing a business plan will help you to carry out a good feasibility study.
3. Get the needed finance: The amount of money you will need is dependent on several factors, which includes: the capital ( personal savings ) and equipment you already have in place, the equipment you need to buy and your planned size of business you wish to establish. You can source for loans from family and friends, banks or you could borrow from a cooperative society. See other sources of capital for business.
4. Get a good business location: Where you locate your business matters a lot. It is better to locate your business close to the consumers of the product and the source of raw materials. Many entrepreneurs prefer locating the business in densely populated areas in order to enjoy high level of patronage.
5. Get the needed equipments:
If you are going into large-scale or small-scale production, you will need various kinds of equipment to help you achieve the results you want. Subsequently, I will let you know the list if equipments you will need to get to start a bakery.
6. Recruit competent personnel: You also need to recruit competent personnel to help you with the business operations. You will need factory workers, a supervisor, cleaners, driver and security personnel. Ensure your personnel are trained.
7. Get the approval of aappropriate regulatory bodies: Depending on your country, there are one or more regulatory authorities that you would need to get their approval before you can start your operations. In Nigeria, you need to get the approval of NAFDAC before you can commence food production. It is better to be aware of their regulations and requirements from the onset regarding the establishment of bakery and ensure you meet the criteria, as this will help your approval to be easier.
8. Start your business operations: After you have taken the above mentioned steps, it is now time to start your operations and open your business doors to the public.
Do not forget to use various means of marketing your products and businesses. As effective marketing is key to the growth and success of any business.
Equipments needed to start a bakery business
Here are the basic equipments you will need to get:
- Oven: There is an industrial standard oven for large production, and a mini oven for home production. The industrial standard oven is quite expensive but very efficient for commercial use and it is recommended for large production.
- Flour mixer: This can make your job easier by mixing all the dough and every other ingredients together before adding to the baking pans. Flour mixers can be electronic or manual.
- Baking pans: This comes in different sizes and shapes. Get various sizes in order to have suitable variety.
- Source of power supply: If you don’t have a stable power supply in your state or country, you can either choose to buy a suitable power generating set to provide constant power.
- Bread wraps: You will need to consider the kind of wrapping you will use to package your flavoured bread. Most popular bread wraps are transparent with little or no design on the wrapper. You can choose what suits you best and ensure you don’t run out of it.
- Delivery vans: You can either choose to hire or purchase a delivery van, pending on the finances available to you. The delivery van helps you supply your products to various destinations and gives you a wider reach for your business. While starting out, you may use hired delivery vans, but plan to get a delivery van of your own as time goes on as it is more cost-effective.
- Slicing machine: Depending on preference, some people love sliced bread while some others don’t, but this machine is essential for your business. You need to produce both sliced and unsliced bread to give a variety to your customers
Risk involved in bakery business
- Theft: You may have greedy staff that may want to steal your products, and this may reduce the results of your input.
Get trust-worthy staff and supervisors for your business. Also, you can give out some of your products periodically at discount to them. Ensure that you have proper systems in place for accountability.
- Product spoilage: Different factors can cause spoilage of your product like poor sales and various other handling factors which you need to observe and correct, so as to maximise your losses.
- Meeting set regulations: Get the right authorization for your business like NAFDAC license so you can operate freely without hindrance from any regulatory agency. In Nigeria, without NAFDAC approval, your product will be considered as illegal, and it cannot be exported out of the country, nor will it be accepted by everyone in the country. It is believed that people avoid getting NAFDAC approval, because they want to use substandard ingredient in the business which is often dangerous to consumers.
Kinds of bakery you can establish
- Online: You may decide not to have a shop space but bake from home, get good pictures of your products and market online, you will also want to have a website for this. You can contact us to help you design a good website for your business.
- Sitdown kind: This is where you have a sitting space for customers who has purchased your products and want to eat it there without taking it out. This gives you more profit especially when they purchase your bread with a drink or something to eat with, and it affords them the opportunity to buy more before leaving.
- Counter service: This provides a walk-in that allows the customers to purchase the product and leave.
How to make your bakery to stand out from all others
- Have a friend and family policy: You don’t keep giving discount below your cost price simply because you are doing it for your family members or friends. If your family and friends cannot show their support to your business by buying it at a rate that will enable you make profit, then you may have a problem because you haven’t defined the lines between business and pleasure. No man is an island, you need to surround yourself with people who will cheer you on, give you both positive thoughts and constructive criticisms about your business, so you can improve.
- Set appropriate prices: Do not forget to consider your time spent in production, your cleaning up time, packaging time and so on, before tagging a price to your products. Most times we have entrepreneurs who consider the cost of production without considering the time spent in producing the products.
- Be unique: most entrepreneurs make mistakes when they tend to copy what someone else has done. Be yourself, be real with your products. Focus on the kind of bread you will be best at, and amaze your customers with great taste.
- Use effective marketing strategies: Use different marketing techniques to advertise your products. In recent times most entrepreneurs use social media platforms, websites and blog in carrying out marketing. Use every viable means available to you.
- Seek customers feedback: Look out for feedbacks from your customers, ask them about it, encourage them to tell you where they want you to improve etc, ensure you act on these feedbacks.
- Diversify: You need to seek different ways of making daily income, try out various shapes of bread, and make varieties like the sardine bread, coconut bread, milk and chocolate bread, sugar-free bread, wheat bread, etc. This varieties will offer people different options to pick from and some customers will to pick many varieties.
Bakery business is a great business where you factor in all kinds of customers and give them products that suits their taste.
Ensure your don’t forget the role of advertising your products through digital marketing which is the most effective means of advertising and just a little traditional marketing to help increase your reach.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask using the comments section and we’ll answer as fast as we can.
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About The Writer : This was written by Salome Precious, senior content developer at MyAfribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion. Additional content and reviews were added by Gospel Emeka.
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