Will someone tell me how they did it? Or just do it for me?
I have finally found and accumulated all of the data (I think) I need to complete my business plan, and even most of what I need concerning competition, but I don't know what to do with it now.
Do I combine the data (avg. ages, income, etc.) from each zip code into one statistic, or keep it seperate and create a bar graph? Any suggestions?
Are you doing this for a loan or for yourself? If it is for yourself, look at your competition and yourself. Determine how many in your area can and will afford your product, based on the income data that you have gathered. How much of that business does your competition have? Do this by estimating the operational costs of each business, and assume they are meeting this in revenue. Now the big one... Plan how you are going to reach this market to add to the local sales in that industry and how do you plan to take business from the existing competition. This costs money. Once you have the marketing plan, get specifics on how much the plan will cost, both startup and monthly maintenance. Add this expense to your other operational expenses and determine what you have to produce just to stay even. Then you can decide what you will do above that to make your money.
I owned a marketing company. If you want it broken down farther, I will be happy to help.
Thank you for responding...you really know your stuff. I might take you up on the offer for help. I called around the local Health Dept's today and couldn't find any info - finally got a call back from the person who is in charge for the whole state. Hoping she can get me some more specific information on other licensed home bakeries in this area!
You may also want to go to your local library and get specific data on bakeries in the area, go to the Business section, there are a number of Baked Goods Market Research Reports, Bakery and Pastry Market in the U.S. This is what librarians do and they are most resourceful. You can also see if they can research and email the information to you. At present there are not many states keeping data on home-based bakeries, but I am certain that will change in the near future.
Just google your area and get the locations of the bakeries. Call the leasing agents or a real estate agent you know for an estimate of rent. People on this site with storefronts can tell you utilities, etc.
For demographics, go to your Chamber of Commerce. They have all of the data you need. Their job is to lure new stores and industry to the area, so a financial breakdown of the area is ready information.
An idea of the wealth of the economy can come from observation also. How many luxury car dealerships, private schools, pool companies, landscape architects, country clubs/golf courses, pricey restaurants? A look on the internet under real estate can give you a count of subdivisions in th 300k, 400k range. Drive through and count the houses (estimate).
When you find your market, do what many small businesses don't do correctly... make a specific plan as to how you are going to reach them. Do not wait for them to find you. The right people knowing of your business will help you turn down those people who try to get you to lower your price.
I finally got a response from the legal dept at the Dept. of Agriculture, so I know how many other licensed home bakeries there are. I've asked for more information, but it's like pulling teeth.
Wouldn't business names, locations, etc. be considered public information, too?
It is all a slow process. Just wait until you get started on the construction.
Luckily, I'm able to bake out of our home kitchen for now. My catering partner owned a restaurant we worked out of and it burnt down and had to be rebuild - what a mess! I'm keeping it small for now.
I wanted to update that, with some urging, I did get them to release the business names (i.e.) competition in my and surrounding counties. I really want to have an accurate business plan, even if it is 'just' a home bakery.
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