How to Start an Online Bakery Business By Amrit Sharma - September 3, 2020 Last Updated at: Oct 30, 2020 5935 Over 60% of Indian respondents in a recent survey said they would prefer some form of contactless shopping over physical stores. This sentiment furthers the cause of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), a call from the Prime Minister to India’s small businesses to rely on locally made products. Respondents said that they were willing to buy bakery items, mithai (Indian sweets), and gift boxes online, were they to be available. Are you looking to start an online Bakery Business? Great decision indeed! If you are already in a bakery business, you can easily move your operations online. Alternately, if you are hatching a business idea to start an online bakery shop, there is always a better time to do so. However, there are certain steps you need to take to start an online bakery business. How to start an online bakery business The step-by-step procedure mentioned below will give you a fair idea if you are thinking of how to start an online bakery- Step 1: Make a proper bakery shop business plan The first step is to ‘discover’ your catering niche. Study the market, try to get authentic feedback from potential customers, and think of how you can ‘fill the void’. Look for opportunities and trends in your target market and try to leverage demand. You can create a menu for each of the areas you have finalized. Next, you should decide on the space you need and your storage requirements. If you are looking to start an online bakery shop or a part-time business, you may rent kitchen space to suit your needs. Step 2: Plan for the logistics Don’t ignore the fact that most of the baking products are perishable goods. Therefore, you need to plan for how you are going to deliver your products to the end-customers and how long the delivery will take. You also need to plan for storing the raw materials and finished items so that you can cover for possible fluctuations in demand. Step 3: Decide on your budget & capital source The budget may vary according to your preferences. You must also make a plan to spend your money efficiently on on-site equipment, licenses, logistics, rental costs, and other such expenses. If you do not have enough money to start the online bakery shop, you can start approaching investors. If you can present your business as a lucrative and promising one, you will be able to attract investors easily. These days, different Government departments offer schemes to small business owners. You can also approach these agencies/departments and avail loans and other financial benefits. register your business Step 4: Create your online bakery business platform After you have done all the planning, it’s time to build your online presence. The first step is to create a website, either by using a web application or by using a custom domain. On the website, use a landing form to reach out to the targeted customer base. With this, the customers can leave their details and place an order after going through your menu on the website. Make sure the customers find it easy and hassle-free to buy from you and to make payment. You can give your customers an enriching experience by using site builders and modern tools such as Wix, WordPress, Paperform, Jotform, and so on. Moreover, you can also feed high-quality content on your website to showcase your items to a larger audience. You can also publish blogs on bakery items on your website to engage potential customers and to build trust with them. Step 4: Get the license /registration for your online bakery business You need to register and obtain different types of permits and licenses before starting your business. The Government of India issues quite a few licenses to businesses that deal with food items. But, the registration with FSSAI is mandatory to produce and deliver your baked goods to the customers. Get in touch with the local authorities to know more about the required approvals/permits so that you can avoid all legal/statutory hassles in the future. Step 5: Build your brand Let’s assume your products and the online platform is ready to set off. The next important step is to build a unique brand. What is the unique ‘thing’ your business is promising to the customers to add value to their lives? Further, what is the core value aligned to your business? What underlying needs your business will satisfy? Communicate all these to your potential customers with a ‘touch’ of quality and authenticity. This will make your brand special and will help it stand tall amidst the competition. Step 6: Focus on marketing You can’t afford to ignore the value of marketing in this age. You can use the below-mentioned marketing techniques to generate leads and convert them into customers for your online bakery business. Use the power of social media- Most of the millennials and other potential customers are available on social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram. You need to mark a consistent presence on these platforms and generate fruitful connections. Offers and campaigns- Organise campaigns in banquet halls, malls, and other prominent places. Provide offers to repeat buyers and look for referrals. Word of mouth- This is very important for an online bakery shop. Build a personal touch with your customers so that they spread good ‘word of mouth’ regarding your offerings/services.