You love being the owner of a bakery. So much so that the year has barely begun and you already think about what you need to do to ensure the success of your business. If you’ve identified with this scenario, you’re on the right page!
In this post, you will find out how to stand out from the competition, how to attract more customers and how to have a successful bakery. The objective of this text is that you can organize your establishment, control your inventory, optimize your relationship with customers and enhance your word of mouth marketing.
So don’t waste time: see right now what else you can do to improve your results. Shall we?
1. Organize the bakery
This aspect is fundamental because it is directly related to the first impression that the consumer has of his establishment. Also, the organization makes customers feel better and find the products they are looking for. The result is an increase in sales and an improvement in the quality and agility of service.
But what exactly does the organization of the bakery mean? It goes beyond the simple position of the products. It also contemplates the whole structure, including the entrance, the spaces available for parking, the space for queuing and for internal circulation, the counter.
Of course, hygiene is also all about organization, and this is an aspect that should never be forgotten since this failure will represent the ruin of your business.
Considering all these elements, it seems difficult to see how to prioritize them. The first step is to think about the clients because they are the difference between success and failure. Then, you must take into account the products.
From that, you can follow some main tips that will make all the difference. See what they are:
2. Group your products
The organization of an establishment that sells food must be careful and very careful to avoid that customers have difficulty in finding what they are looking for.
The ideal is to group the products according to their sections. For example canned food, bakery, frozen food, etc. Perhaps your establishment does not sell so many options, but this is quite common nowadays.
Product prices are another crucial element since they must be clearly visible and legible. This is a requirement of the Consumer Protection Code (CDC) and you must follow it strictly. Such care includes specifying, on individual labels, the cases of products with different weights.
Finally, you can signalize the sectors discreetly, just as a way to indicate to customers.
3. Empower your employees
Employees working in your bakery should be well trained to explain any doubts to customers and to perform their duties properly.
This indication applies to everyone, from the cashier to the clerk and the baker. Everyone, without exception, must be inappropriate and clean uniforms, highlighting the symbol of their business.
Employees must also be trained to offer excellent service, with a lot of education. The ideal is that customers realize that they are available and that they know the products they sell.
Remember one thing: the service is a great differential and it is a variable that needs to be worked on frequently.
4. Be demanding with hygiene
As an entrepreneur, you know that health surveillance makes various demands on food establishments. Hygiene is a major concern, as lack of care can lead to health problems for consumers.
Despite this obligation, the ideal is that you are even more demanding and have extra care with spaces that are not accessed by customers, such as stock and kitchen.
This should occur for 2 reasons:
If the customer requests, he has the right to access these spaces;
and the health inspector can make an inspection at any time.
It is also recommended to have garbage cans, even if your establishment does not have a dining area. Bags, baskets and bread pickers should be clean and kept at appropriate places, away from dust and insects.
5. Optimize your space
Ideally, your bakery space should be optimized. The best way to achieve this is to hire an architect or decorator, who can think like the client and create an environment where everyone feels at ease.
It is necessary to think about ventilation, since it is uncomfortable to have the smell of frying on the plate, for example. Boxes, counters, and shelves should be organized in the right way to facilitate consumer access.
The environment must still rely on design and visual identity, because these factors create an even more pleasant atmosphere, and thus customers can identify more positively with the bakery.
6. Arrange the furniture in a functional way
This tip is directly related to the previous one. But specifically dealing with furniture, it is recommended that the counters be located on the sides and walls so as not to take up too much space.
Frozen foods can be located on islands or, if the environment is small, in vertical freezers. Another idea is to place tables for the exhibition of new or fresh products or to offer some tasting.
7. Think about a route for the client to take
To sell more, you should consider a possible route that the consumer should take. The idea is for him to go through strategic products while he is in the bakery, which increases the possibility of him buying something on impulse.
In general, the products are arranged as follows along the way:
- the salty ones are located before the sweets;
- the frozen ones stay close to the food in the pantry
Also, space must have baskets or trolleys adapted to the environment. If there are larger products, the tip is to leave them near the exit, to be easier to carry them and not to have unforeseen events, such as the fall of other goods.
8. Lock up your stock
Only authorized persons should access the inventory environment, as this greatly facilitates the process of counting products and raw materials. You should count units and volume and then lock the space. That way there will be no problems.
9. Have a control sheet
The input and output of products and raw materials must be well controlled. There is no better way to do this than using a specific spreadsheet or even software for inventory management.
In any case, the monitoring should be valid for all shifts and contain information such as casualties, quantity, loss, receipt, and balance. Each operation performed must also count on the date that happened and the signature of the person responsible.
10. Delegate responsibilities
Since the stock should only be accessed by authorized persons, you need to delegate responsible persons to make the movements. Each shift should have an employee who takes care of this part, and he should find the items that are missing and log off the software or the monitoring spreadsheet.
He will also sign each movement performed and indicate when it is necessary to purchase certain goods.
11. Pay attention to the most expensive products
Goods in stock are synonymous with loss of money. When this happens with more expensive products, then the situation is even worse.
They should be treated differently, and it is recommended to make a separate analysis. Study and make graphs that show which are mostly used for the manufacture of bakery products and which are sold readily.
Identify the possible periods of seasonality (of greater or lesser demand), the quantity required and its representation in costs. Another important item is the profit margin that is achieved with these products.
12. Count the products frequently
Stock accounting should be done weekly. This short period should be respected because stock control in bakeries only works properly when performed at short intervals of time.
13. Use the technology to your advantage
As we have already indicated, you can use stock control software. This is a valuable tip because manual and computerized counting can differ. In this case, it is essential to look for what happened and identify the error.
To avoid these failures, it is recommended to install a computer directly in the inventory environment so that the casualties are made immediately.
14. Avoid waste
Work with the idea of minimum stock, that is, a minimum and a maximum quantity of goods stored. You must make sure that there will be no shortage of products or ingredients, but you also need to take care that the items do not overstock and have to be thrown away.
15. Have reliable suppliers
It is essential to have reliable and honest suppliers to ensure that your establishment can rely on them whenever necessary. The supplier must have quality products, offer the exchange of products and guarantee a short delivery time. This way, the stock is maintained in a more efficient way.
16. Order your stock
The stock needs to be well organized for all the previous tips to work. After all, disorganization also makes it difficult to search for goods both for counting and for immediate use.
Products should be organized on shelves, and the older ones should stay ahead of the younger ones to avoid spoiling them. Similar products should be kept close together.
Regarding the ventilation system, care should be taken that the environment is not too humid. In addition, it is essential to take care of possible rodent and insect infestations.
In other words, the stock should be well ordered and clean, and the items should not be on the floor, as this affects the quality of the final product.
17. Optimize the relationship with the customer
The customer is the most important part of your bakery since it is from him that you will have sales, billing, and profit. The problem of many commercial establishments is not to pay much attention to this relationship, which can cause various damages to the image of the place.
The best thing is to optimize the relationship with the customer, understanding their demands and needs. Keeping an eye on consumers is also a way to identify opportunities to stand out from the competition and attract more consumers.
18. Evaluate customer needs
As you know the demands of your customers and understand what makes others buy the products from the competition, you can improve your services and bring news that will catch the attention of consumers in general.
For example, if a large portion of customers buy from another bakery because it has a product that you do not yet sell, there is an opportunity to do better and invite consumers.
19. Draw up a market strategy
Even if you already have a defined customer base, you need to have a market strategy to optimize the relationship with your customers.
The question you should answer is: “what should I do to get customers to come to my bakery? From this, you can better position your bakery in the market and start to stand out.
20. Promote your bakery and the products you sell
There is no way that consumers and potential customers will know what you sell if you do not disclose it. So invest in disclosure inside and outside the bakery. Some ideas are pamphlets, folders, profiles on social networks, websites, etc.
21. Offer special services
This is a way to personalize the service and get more attention from potential customers. It is also an effective way to ensure that current customers will buy back in your establishment.
Some tips for special services are home delivery, party orders, term sales, etc. To know what to implement, check what is already offered by the competition and do it differently.
22. Promote the products
That’s still a form of disclosure. But the idea here is to offer the tasting of the latest products or those that are considered the best. You can put them in closed packages or trays, directly in the self-service part.
23. Accept criticism and praise
Everyone likes to be praised, but accepting criticism is not always easy. If you have any difficulties, start seeing criticism as opportunities for improvement.
You should take note of all evaluations passed on by customers because this offers a broad understanding of what they think about your products and services.
When receiving a review, reflect and think about what could have been done differently to make the customer more satisfied. Take this comment as a customer tip so that your bakery will improve and grow in a sustainable way.
24. Improve your word of mouth marketing
We now come to the final part of the tips to raise the success of your bakery. So far, we’ve talked about the dissemination and promotion of products and services. But there is also word of mouth marketing, which is still a key point today, especially for this type of business.
Currently, word of mouth marketing can occur between people chatting or even in the digital world, via the Internet. Therefore, it is worth encouraging this habit, taking care not to be seen as opportunistic or invasive.
And how do you achieve this balance in marketing potentiation? That’s what we’ll show in the following tips:
25. Participate in your community
The bakery is a local business, and this type of company is being increasingly valued. You can benefit from this movement by acting on behalf of the community and showing that you care about everyone’s well-being.
You can participate in social causes, contribute to NGOs and charitable organizations or encourage employees to do volunteer work. Any of these measures are well seen by consumers, who often seek responsible companies to purchase their products and services.
Another positive point of this action is to make customers speak well of their brand to other consumers.
26. Share good news
In a world where bad news spreads quickly, why not make a difference and start sharing positive news? Of course, they should be related to your business and show customers that their trust is working.
For example: spread the word when the bakery hits a goal to sell wholemeal loaves of bread, when it has a positive action or when it opens the site. The goal at this time is to remind consumers that the business is expanding and bringing benefits to all.
27. Take care of old customers
Did you know that it costs between 5 and 7 times more to get a new customer than to keep an old one? This means you should never forget your loyal customers because they are the ones who will have the closest relationship with your bakery.
As you have known them for a long time, offer them a product they like or a new commodity they can try out and start buying.
If they don’t show up for a while, try to get in touch to see what happened and offer some tasting, promotion or discount. When they come to the store, ask them how they are and talk a bit. That makes all the difference!
28. Ask for help whenever necessary
If your relationship with clients is difficult for you, ask for help without fear. You can hire an expert or social networking tools.
Another tip is to use Customer Relationship Management software (CRM or customer relationship management, in Portuguese), which are systems that gather information about consumers and optimize the relationship with them.
With CRM you can, for example, write down the customer’s most recurring order. Thus, when he arrives at the checkout without the product, you can remind him, asking if he does not want to take that merchandise anymore. This attitude will make the customer feel special and important. And believe me, it’s going to work out a lot.
29. Talk to customers
At this point, the purpose is not to chat in a casual way, but to check the consumers’ opinion about the products and services purchased. Expect feedback and improve on points that are identified as negative.
With this practice, you may find that the service is being poor at a certain time of day, for example. From this information, you should think about whether there is a lack of training for employees or whether it is necessary to hire more people to meet all the demands.
The client’s opinion, therefore, should always be seen as an opportunity to make constructive changes in your business. So, follow what is recommended, because success will be sure in this case!
As you can see, succeeding with your bakery does not require much work or large investments. All it takes is a little effort and using the clients’ opinions to your advantage.