I live in a small town where there is one bakery and home bakeries are not allowed. I want to open my own(not a home bakery)My concern is the competition.This lady has been in buisness for years and her shop is in the historic down town area.She do not do fondant and her display in the window is dirty and out dated.She serves sandwiches and slices of cakes as well. To be short about this,her set up is bad but people love the taste of her cakes. I am afraid people are not going to take well to a new bakery.How can I get my name and cakes out to the community?Thanks
Be everything she isn't and you'll have a different client base.
Donate to organizations and businesses and offer fondant. Fresh sample cakes in the window and lots of interesting cakes when they walk in the door. If she is an older bakery she probably offers a lot of other bakery goods. Focus on cookies, cakes, cupcakes, etc and it may be no one in the small town has tasted many other wedding cakes.
She may not offer new designs and only buttercream which is limited. I am an older baker and learned buttercream and have an older friend that doesn't want to learn fondant or new techniques. There are so many new things and tools that someone young has a much broader world than I did at that age.
I lived in a very small town and didn't even have access to any Wilton stuff except by mail. Very few magazines, Mailbox News was popular. The Wilton yearbooks and books were still mostly in black and white.
I'm still under 60 and love the world of cake decorating and teach classes at a community college. Ebrace your dream and be creative. It is a lot of hard work, but I am sure you are up to it. Good luck on your new adventure.
I think the first place to start is by knowing that you can do it. Stop focusing all of your energy on what your "competition" is doing, and concentrate on what you do. (by focusing on the competition, you are giving all of your power to the competition!) Do what you do ... AND DO IT WELL!!!
The taste of what you do and the quality of what you do will speak for, and sell itself. You know to only put out your best ... then let potential customers make the decision on where they choose to buy. Those customers who come to you are for you. Those who don't ... aren't!
So long as you are putting your heart and soul (hard work) into your creations ... people will come. And yes, advertise as well. All you need is one, and that one could bring you many. The success of you, starts with YOU ... NOT the competition!
Change your way of thinking and your vision for your shop will reveal itself even clearer to you. You can do it ... I faith in you!
The first thing you'll need to worry about is your business plan. Will you be able to stay in business focusing on only cakes? Do you need a retail storefront? What will your prices be, and how do they compare to the competing bakery? What are the demographics in your area? How is the local economy and average income?
You may very well find that it is not feasible to open a competing bakery once you complete your business plan.
Offering classes and products are also a possibiity
yes to the "busines plan first".
yes to "stop worrying about what she is doing."
Is she successful because she's good? Or because she's the only game in town?
Dont' worry about trying to do what SHE is doing. Concentrate on what you do well and how you can fill the consumer-demand-gap in your area. (there's actually a section in a business plan format where you have to address this.)
I agree a business plan is a must, but check it out.
Thanks ladies for your help.I feel much better about this.I guess I was giving to much thought to the competition and not enough to a plan. I love the idea of giving samples of cake to organizations. Thanks CC friends!
Also think about where your shop is going to be. The lady you're talking about probably gets business because she's in the historic section where I assume there's a lot of foot traffic?? There was a bakery where I used to live that sold the worst stuff I've ever eaten, btut they were always packed. Why? The only reason I can think of was the they were located right in the middle of a very busy retail area, right off the bus and subway lines, and got a ton of foot traffic. People went there for convenience, not for the taste (ugh).
Don't open a shop in the back of a mini mall where people have to drive to get there. You want to be the equivalent of the pizza place that's open from 9pm to 3am in the party district of town near a college campus!