Your love for pastry making and the impressive skills you’ve learned over the years will soon be put to great use once you get your cookie business up and running. The good news is that the property is securely in your hands. Now, you need to put this house in order. Here are guidelines for starting your own cookie business.
1. Repair the Roof
The newly acquired property may have been lying idle for a while, and it would be ideal that a roofing expert inspects it before starting your own cookie business. Roof repair for a commercial facility mostly involves preventative treatments that’ll protect you from the severe effects of the elements while enhancing your roof’s life. Among the most common roof problems in commercial buildings are punctures or surface rips, poor sealing around roof penetrations, failed roof flashing, and aging materials.
When planning roof repairs, hire a roofing company to inspect the roof. They’re professionals and can diagnose problems with your roof. You don’t want to deal with an inexperienced contractor, as roofing is expensive and delicate. Ensure your contractor will give a warranty that covers issues arising from the installation and roof repairs. Please read and understand the fine print in the warranty, such as what it covers and doesn’t.
2. Upgrade Your HVAC
A properly functioning HVAC cannot be underestimated if you plan to start your own cookie business. The changing seasons demand different services from your HVAC system, such as heating and air conditioning. An upgraded HVAC is energy-efficient and has energy-saving technologies that will help you reduce your energy bills. A new system is unlikely to break down soon; hence, you’ll save on maintenance and repair costs.
With a functioning HVAC system, great air quality inside your business premises will enhance your employees’ health and comfort. The AC repair services will positively affect your business, and the environment will benefit from reduced carbon monoxide emissions.
3. Create a Beautiful Exterior
Do you want to keep customers coming back again and again to your premises? First, ensure your products, the cookies, and other munchies, are worth buying repeatedly. Now look outside your window and imagine what your customers will first experience when entering your business. Exteriors are what they’ll engage with first. The beautification must be done thoughtfully to give customers a sense of security, warmth, and satisfaction. Purpose in your heart that beautiful exteriors will be part of starting your own cookie business.
Ask for landscaping referrals from fellow business colleagues. A reputable landscape company brings the captivating outdoors to your business. Secondly, go online and search for and read the reviews of various landscapers. Book an appointment with your preferred landscapers and have them inspect your business premises outdoors.
A professional landscaper should be able to recommend what to do for your exteriors, including pruning existing trees, excavating root collars, shrub care, and stump removal, among other tasks to improve your outdoors. A well-thought-out commercial landscape not only impresses customers but also offers comfortable working conditions for your staff, promoting positive feelings of belonging with your team. A good landscaper will do this for your business effortlessly.
4. Decorate Your Interior
Once you’re done with the outdoors, plan to decorate the interior of your business. This should be part of starting your own cookie business because looks matter in the food business. The layout of the interiors plays a big role in bringing and retaining customers. So, before you design, think of the image you’d want your cookie business to portray to the world, which reflects the type of customers you want to attract.
The use of colors is key in your interior design. Darker colors make a space look smaller, while bright, airy colors are eye-catching and add space and warmth. This is a good thing for your business. Soft lighting combined with neutral-leaning colors goes well with serving an upscale neighborhood, while brighter colors create a more playful, casual-leaning, fun, and carefree atmosphere.
Remember you’re in the food business. The cookies must be sold for the business to remain relevant. How you display your products can bring in or shoo away prospective customers. Place your display case strategically so the customers can’t miss it.
Do not put the ovens and other heavy baking machinery in the front; they belong in the kitchen or back room. If you must put any equipment in the front area, keep it behind the counter, where customers can’t see it. Constantly change your displays to give customers a delightful new surprise whenever they visit to keep them coming back.</>
Do not over-decorate the interior to avoid making customers feel crowded in a small place. Avoid placing flowerpots all over the aisles and sitting areas. You want your customers to feel comfortable. Ensure the entrance is not cluttered and accessible to all, regardless of age. Seats must be available and sufficient for customers to sit and relax while shopping for their favorite snacks. Think about custom mantels thoughtfully placed at the most prominent place in the front to keep customers interested in spending time on your premises.
5. Invest in a Generator
Once your business starts running, the least you need is power outages when you’re right in the middle of taking customers’ orders or processing payments. You can imagine the losses when your baking ovens stop before the cookies are ready just because a blackout paid a sudden visit. With a standby generator, your business will enjoy little to no interruptions in case of power blackouts. Your lights will stay on, ovens will not grind to a halt midway in a baking session, and other critical functions will go on for your business to maintain its normal production capacity. This should be reason enough to invest in an emergency generator.
You need to buy the backup generator fitted with an automatic transfer switch, which kicks into action within seconds of a power outage. In the same way, once the normal electricity supply is back, the generator is prompted to stop its work and goes back to standby mode. The standby generator should be part of the ‘starting your own cookie business’ budget.
6. Find a Waste Management Solution
Before opening your cookie shop doors, ensure your establishment is properly cleaned and set up. Remember, you’ve had a lot of repair work, and there must be waste to get rid of. When disposing of large amounts and different kinds of waste, renting a roll-off dumpster is convenient and cost-effective. The roll-off dumpster is cheaper to rent, use and pay for your waste disposal. This saves you the cost of buying large waste disposal containers.
When you choose roll off dumpster rentals, you can choose the size of the dumpster you want to rent, depending on the amount of waste you’re disposing of. Another cool thing about the rented dumpster is that you can have it delivered to your premises and picked up as and when needed. This means you won’t need to heap garbage in bags outside your cookie shop while waiting for the garbage collection truck. Remember to factor in this necessary expense when starting your own cookie business.
7. Offer Benefits for Employees
In a business, the heaviest, yet most fluid investment, is the employee. Staff can easily go unnoticed and unappreciated. Your business should be different. Your staff will work in a tough environment, with long hours standing or moving around while meeting customers’ needs. The chefs in the back room stay long hours in the kitchen environment, which can be hot and uncomfortable.
As you source for the best talent in the market, think of motivating them well enough for them to want to stay with you. For starters, provide employee health insurance for each member of staff. This is a need, especially for the nature of work they’re engaged in.
Your staff will be more efficient when you take them through regular skills training. Some would be interested in learning a new baking technique. The customer attendants could do with an extra course to polish their customer care skills. There are numerous ways to keep your staff interested in their jobs and happy to stay with you. Among them is to pay them their dues on time and increase their pay over time.
This being a growing business, lets them feel comfortable trying out new ideas they feel can respond to customer needs and boost business. And since they’re human, expect that they’ll make mistakes from time to time. Your role as their leader and vision bearer should be to provide mentorship and opportunities for growth. Employee benefits must be an integral part of starting your own cookie business.
8. Get Merchandise
You want to hit the ground running once the doors of your cookie shop are open. Marketing has always been challenging, but the results pay much more. A good marketing strategy can catapult your business from oblivion to expansion.
Using branded products for promotion is among the easiest yet most effective options for a new business. Branded merchandise gives your business a unique edge and makes it stand out. When a person receives branded merchandise, they’re more likely to recommend the product to someone else, and this way, your business benefits from credible referrals.
A thoughtfully designed message on a tee shirt, a cap, or a bag, will pique any potential buyer’s interest. Those who receive merchandise are highly likely to remember the business, which is your business’s main goal. Pick up the business directory and look up contacts from the promotional merchandise companies within your hood. They should show you their sample merchandise without much fuss. Check their reviews, which are in online communities for all and sundry. As you plan your marketing activities, ensure branded merchandise makes the To-Do list for starting your own cookie business.
9. Offer Delivery Services
Many food businesses in America thrive on food delivery. You see, there are days when a customer wants to binge on their favorite cookies in the house or office. This is where your business comes in, and it should meet this need urgently. Either team up with a software developer who can create a cookie shop app for your business to enable customers to order their takeout cookies from the comfort of their smartphones. Of course, they can still call the customer service desk. The food service solutions business is highly lucrative. Your cookie business stands a real chance of success.
You could also deal with only one delivery company to ship all your orders. This option makes your customer feel safe knowing they’re dealing with an identifiable person or company that your business has entrusted with delivering their products. Consider including delivery to starting your own cookie business strategic plan.
10. Give Customer Incentives
Your products need to keep selling, and who is better placed to keep you going than your customers? First, your cookies must be the best around town or nearby. When a new customer comes to your shop, offer them something unique to sample. For with food, tasting is believing.
Another trick is to pay close attention to returning customers and note their preferences. These repeat customers lead to additional revenue, as they’re likely to spend more whenever they visit your shop. Give them an incentive to appreciate their loyalty to your brand.
Invest in programs or ideas that enable customer retention, such as giving loyalty programs. This can help you gain more loyal customers. Also, remember that repeat customers are more likely to refer your business to their friends and family. The more repeat customers buy your cookies, the more money they spend on one visit. They are also less likely to hesitate to buy from you because they’re confident about the quality of your cookies.
These few guidelines can get you off to the right start in your cookie shop business. They’ll cater to its interior as well as exterior needs. However, this is not all. The world is getting ever more innovative by the day, and working hard to capture and keep clients requires tact, innovation, and ingenious marketing. Think along these lines, try new ideas, and collaborate with like minds in business, and soon you’ll be riding high. Who knows, your cookie shop could be the talk of the town not long from now!