Tips for Starting Your Own Business Making Cookies
Gourmet-related businesses are one of the most popular categories of home-based business ideas and a large number of people are turning to cookie making, cooking classes, and online cooking recipes as an opportunity to make money.
If you are interested in starting, chances are that you already enjoy baking and your cookies win the approval of friends and relatives. However, if you’d like a little more training, check out the culinary schools in your area. Baking classes can be a good way to learn more.
Starting this type of venture is appealing to a lot of people because it requires a minimal investment. You may already have most of the equipment. You may need to buy additional bowls, mixing tools, or cookie sheets.
Plan to spend about an hour to make cookie dough, another hour to bake batches and package, and additional time if you are delivering still-hot cookies to a location. After hours include bookkeeping, checking email and voicemail, and preparations for the next day.
Equipment and Supplies:
- Mixing bowls
- Cookie sheets
- Cooling racks
- Great recipes – Grandma’s secret recipe is good!
- Vehicle to deliver cookies to stores or customers
- Food ingredients
- A reliable oven good working condition
- Packaging for cookies
- Separate warming portable carriers or units
- Postal scale and packing materials to ship cookies
- Unique packaging
Expenses and Operating:
In addition to the common business expenses, your Cookie making business will require a budget for the ongoing cost of baking supplies and packaging.
If you are working out of your home, check the zoning regulations to make sure you can operate there. Also, you’ll need to register with the Department of Health as a baker, provided you meet the guidelines set by the FDA and other legal requirements mandated by your locality. Also, See Our Page on Licenses and Permits
Startup Cost Considerations:
Naturally, the cost of your startup depends on the size of the operation you’re planning on. If you’re looking at a side business to make some extra money then a few hundred dollars will get you up and running.
If you’re thinking of a production facility to mass-produce your cookies, then you could be looking at a few million dollars to get started. No one can give you an estimate of the cost unless you know what you want to accomplish. You may start off small and expand as you become more experienced and your product gains popularity on the market.
Tips & Considerations:
- What will you do that will make your cookies special enough for people to drive across town in order to buy them, or dig out their credit card and pay for them through your website? Perhaps it’s your decadent dark chocolate or the special design of your cookies, or that your cookies are made into cookie bouquets or cookie baskets.
- Your ingredients could connect with a particular market and attract particular customers. Are your cookies low carbohydrate, vegan, or do they contain only organic ingredients?
- Test your original cookie recipes on your family and friends to find the most appealing cookies to sell. You might need to add a secret ingredient to certain recipes, to set them apart from the competition.
- Create cookie baskets to donate as prizes for a school or church auction.
- Rent a booth at a craft show and sell cookies. Have your business card and a brochure available so customers know how to find you again.
- Contact locally owned grocery stores and coffee houses about carrying your products. Locally owned stores may be able to make simple buying decisions other larger chains can’t
- Find gift basket businesses in your area, and suggest they include your cookies in their baskets.
- In addition to a love of creating edible treats, you’ll need to develop a solid understanding of running your business. Finding resources for your supplies, negotiating the best prices, keeping track of inventory, and determining the retail price, are all necessary skills.
- Before you select a name, make sure no one else has already claimed it. Search your state’s Secretary of State website’s corporation naming listing. Type your proposed name into the search engine to see whether it is already in use. You can also look through the yellow pages website. Consider names that make a play on your own name: “Katie’s Kookies” or something more upscale such as “Frances’ Gourmet Desserts.”
- Join a cookie industry organization such as The Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association, which offers educational seminars such as their cookie and cracker manufacturing course, the only self-study course designed for the baking industry, plus annual conferences, webinars, and a membership list.
- “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” – Debbie Fields from the Mrs. Fields(R) cookie franchise.
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