December 28, 2023
If you’re wondering whether you can run a cake business from home, it is entirely feasible. Home-based cake businesses have become increasingly popular in the last few years, due to a rising demand for innovative products, the flexibility this work allows and a fairly straightforward route to entry.
Starting a home bakery business might seem like a piece of cake, but there are several factors to consider if you want to be successful. Whether you’re still considering your new venture or have your tried-and-tested recipes ready to go, you’ll also have to follow certain steps to become legitimate and comply with the law.
Beyond the first stages of setting up, remember that starting a business requires dedication and perseverance. Stay passionate about your craft, listen to your customers, and adapt to market trends to ensure the success of your home-based cake business.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to start a cake business from home.
Just like building a bakery in a store, you can use your imagination to come up with a range of products your business will specialise in, satisfying diverse tastes and a whole array of different occasions and sectors. Whether you deliver to customers, provide catering services to businesses or do a combination of both, there are many ways to get a slice of the pie and start bringing in an income.
Here’s a selection of the services you can offer and markets you can target:
Starting a cake-baking or decorating business can offer various benefits, both personally and professionally. Here are some advantages that may appeal to you:
Once you’ve shortlisted names for your cake business, decided on your specialism and fully committed to going ahead, there are a range of steps you’ll need to take to become a bona fide home bakery.
Here’s an overview of how to start a cake business from home.
Understand your target market, competition, and potential customers. Identify your niche, what will set you apart from others and what customer problems you can solve. Create a business plan outlining your business goals, target market, pricing strategy and marketing strategy. Determine your pricing based on ingredient costs, time spent, and market rates.
If you’re selling cakes from home, there are certain requirements in the UK that you’ll need to know about. You can check the regulations for home-based businesses when you set up. At the very least, you’ll need to register as self-employed with Gov.uk, deciding whether you want to set up as a sole trader or limited company.
Anyone preparing, selling, storing or distributing food will need to register. Even if you’ll be doing it as more of a part-time hobby or side business and will likely earn less than the self-assessment threshold of £1,000, you’ll still be liable for a fine if you don’t follow the rules.
You’ll need to abide by UK and EU food hygiene laws, so ensure that your kitchen and preparation areas meet health and safety standards.
You may choose to obtain a food hygiene certificate through a Food Hygiene and Safety course, which isn’t mandatory but it is recommended by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
If you’re wondering what you need to make a cake business, there are some essentials you should budget for right away. Invest in high-quality baking ingredients and decorating equipment, such as mixers, ovens, cake pans, and decorating tools. Establish relationships with reliable suppliers for fresh and quality ingredients.
Keep accurate records of expenses and income for tax purposes.
Decide whether you will offer delivery services and establish a reliable method for transporting cakes. You’ll want to make a good first impression, so invest in packaging that grabs attention, conveys your brand and ensures your cakes remain fresh and presentable during transit.
Getting clients for your cake-baking or decorating business involves a combination of effective marketing, networking, continuously making high-quality products and providing excellent customer service.
Here are some strategies to attract clients to your cake business.
Create a professional logo and establish a brand identity that reflects your style. Ensure that your branding is consistent across all platforms. A cohesive and recognisable brand helps in building trust with potential clients.
Build a website and harness social media platforms to publicise your offering. Utilise platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok, for inspirational brand content, behind-the-scenes snapshots and educational videos. Build an online portfolio so people can see your designs and commissions being enjoyed by customers and clients.
Introduce your business with special promotions or discounts for the first few orders. You could also implement loyalty programmes to encourage repeat business. Collect email addresses from interested customers and use email marketing to share updates, promotions, and new designs.
Consider running targeted ads on social media platforms to reach a larger audience. You can target specific demographics based on location, age, and interests.
People like to see social proof, so maximise the potential of customer feedback. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your website or on review platforms. Proudly tell people about these testimonials on social media, LinkedIn and your website.
Building a strong reputation can lead to word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business. Consider implementing a referral programme where existing customers receive a discount or incentive for recommending new clients to your business.
Growing your client base takes time, so be patient and prioritise making your existing customers happy with high-quality products and exceptional service. Customer satisfaction will play a significant role in the long-term success of your cake-baking or decorating business. Maintain clear and prompt communication with customers, responding to inquiries and orders quickly.
Host stands at local fairs, markets, and community events to sell your cakes to new areas and benefit from plenty of footfall. You can connect with potential customers by offering special discounts if they stay in touch by giving their email address, or following you on social media after the event and sharing your products. Offer cake tastings to allow potential clients to sample your products.
Optimise your website for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords related to cake baking and decorating in your content, and following the latest developments in nurturing organic growth.
Set up and optimise your Google My Business profile to improve local search visibility, so that people in your delivery area can easily find you through search engines.
Conduct cake decorating classes or workshops to showcase your skills. This not only generates additional income but also opens your business up to a new audience and allows your customers to get to know you personally, strengthening the relationship you build with them.
Partner with social media influencers who can introduce and talk about your cakes to their followers, expanding your reach. Send them your products so they can try them for themselves, and offer them discount codes to share with their audience.
Join local business organisations or the Chamber of Commerce to connect with other entrepreneurs and potential clients. There are also professional associations specific to baking or food trading that you can join, to meet others within the industry and collaborate with similar businesses. The British Sugarcraft Guild, British Society of Baking and Craft Bakers Association are a few examples. You may find unique networking opportunities within those and share knowledge. It can also help you to directly build a strong customer base.
Establish relationships with local event planners, florists, bridal shops, and other businesses related to events. You could offer to display your cakes in their establishments.
Of course, wedding and bridal shows attract couples planning their weddings. If this is an area you want to work in, participate in these events to showcase your designs and network with potential clients.
As well as networking in real-world settings, you can join online forums and groups related to baking, weddings, and events. Engage in conversations regularly and share your expertise to establish your credibility and provide value to others. The more people you help, whether customers or other businesses, the more likely it is that they’ll recommend you to people they know or share your online posts to their own networks.
Stay updated on the latest trends, follow what other bakers are doing and continuously improve your baking and decorating skills. Listen carefully to constructive feedback, as well as positive reviews, to give your customers what they want. Adopt a growth mindset to continuously enhance your products and services.
Taking out the right insurance is essential to helping your home bakery business rise. Protect yourself from potential claims being brought against you should unexpected incidents occur.
Protectivity’s home bakery liability insurance offers various levels of protection and cover options. Opt for up to £5m worth of public liability insurance, in case clients are injured or their belongings are damaged. Choose the products liability insurance extension for protection if claims arise from products and goods you supply. If you employ staff, choose our employers’ liability insurance with up to £10m of compensation.
Find out more and get an instant quote. If you need any support, our friendly team are available to answer your questions.
This blog has been created as general information and should not be taken as advice. Make sure you have the correct level of insurance for your requirements and always review policy documentation.