Have you decided to start a home-based bakery but need ideas for how to sell without a storefront? Are you looking for exciting new ways to get your products out there?
I’m going to share two methods you can use to sell your baked goods and build a loyal customer base that buys from you regularly.
Why am I qualified to share tricks to sell without a storefront?
The internet is full of advice and information, so what makes me qualified to share these tips with you? If we haven’t met yet, let me introduce myself. My name is Allyson and I share my experiences as a bakery business owner in the hopes that it helps you grow your baking business.
Started as a home-based bakery without a storefront
About twenty years ago, I opened my first home-based baking business. I made a lot of mistakes and learned some lessons the hard way, but I made it through my first year with booming sales. The tips I’m sharing here are things that I’ve done that have worked.
I help bakers like you get their businesses up and running
I started this blog to help bakers like you build your baking business. I invite you to join my email list. Each week I share specific tips you can put into place in your business.
To get baking tips sent to your inbox, you can sign up here.
Now, let’s jump right into the subject of how to sell without a store front
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I’m going to share two main ways to get your product out to potential buyers. We’ll look at the local farmer’s market option for selling, as well as go over the key steps to selling baked goods online.
You’ll want to explore your local cottage laws so that you understand what you are allowed to do in your state.
If you are looking for more information about cottage laws and baking requirements, I invite you to read more about it in a course that I wrote to help bakers get started selling from home.
Local farmers markets are great for bakers looking to sell without a storefront
Selling your baked goods at a local farmers market or craft fair is a great way to talk directly with your customers. You will also get lots of foot traffic from people who don’t yet know you. You’ll want to do some advanced planning for your booth display, your menu selection, and your packaging plan before the big event.
Set up and display ideas for your stand or booth
One of the biggest worries that bakers have when planning to sell at a farmers market is what to include in their display. Here are a few tips to get your creative ideas flowing:
- Use vertical space to create interest. The main idea here is to get things up off the table and into the line of sight. As they say “eye level is buy level”.
- Get your brand out there. Have information available to promote yourself like business cards and printed menus. Be sure to tell people how they can contact you and how they can reorder your products.
Packaging ideas for farmers market baked goods
This article is being written post-2020 and public safety concerns are more heightened than ever. Since the pandemic is still a major concern for farmer’s market shoppers, you will put your customer’s minds at ease when you serve everything in sealed packages. Here are a few more tips for your market packaging:
- Clear bags to show off your products- Clear cellophane bags are a versatile packaging option for lots of different products. Customers appreciate being able to see what they are buying and they fit easily into their shopping totes or baskets.
- Use labels to answer questions- Your labels can help the buyer identify you for a repeat visit in the future, as well as answer their questions about ingredients, allergens, and contact information. Use labels to your advantage to answer the most popular customer questions.
Best selling baked goods for a farmers market booth
Are you wondering which menu items you should prepare for the market? You want to be strategic about what you bring to sell so that you can maximize sales and minimize waste.
Here are a few things that can help you decide what to sell at the farmers market:
- Scope out the market before you participate- Take a walk through the market before you are planning to sell. See what other vendors are selling and find a product that fills a void.
- Compliment, don’t compete- Being part of a farmers market community means being supportive of other vendors and their products for sale. If you sell something that competes with another vendor, then you won't face a warm welcome into the community. Remember that you need their support.
Sell without a storefront using Facebook and Instagram
Selling your home-baked goods online is an easy way for beginners to get started and can become a good source of income if you follow these tips.
Start a social media business page
One of the most strategic things you can do for your home baking business is to give it a platform. Facebook business pages and Instagram accounts can give your customers direct access to your information and be a good starting point if a website is too daunting in the beginning.
Post photos of your work
Showing off your baked goods to your customer is a key step to get them confident enough to buy from you. You’ll want to keep photos available so they can see your offerings.
Announce your sale
To sell online, you simply need to make an announcement to your customers. Tell them what you are offering, when they need to order by, and when they can pick up their items. My best tip is to start with a simple menu and get a few sales under your belt before you expand your offerings and pick up times.
How to take card payments with a mobile business
Whether you plan to sell your baked goods in person, or online, you’ll need to be able to accept payments. Here are some options to get started.
Using Venmo, cash app, or Messenger pay
When you are just getting started you will probably want to go with the simplest method available. Think about accepting payment in a format that is most convenient for your customer. If you are taking orders inside the Facebook messenger app, then messenger pay may be your first choice. You can also accept Venmo since it’s an app that most people already have downloaded.
How to accept credit cards when you sell without a storefront
When it’s time to get more serious about your farmer’s markets and online pop-up shops, you’ll soon learn that it’s in your best interest to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Not only does it make you look more professional, but it’s an added convenience to your buyers.
Here are the steps to getting set up for taking credit cards
- Set up an account- You’ll need to choose a merchant service to work with. They usually charge based on a small percentage of the transaction amount and sometimes a small fee per transaction as well.
- Get a card reader- Look for a merchant processor that offers a free card reader with an activated account.
- Smartphone app-If you choose a company that has a mobile app you’ll be able to use your phone as a “cash register” when you are ringing in orders.
Here's a link for a free card reader if you want to get started with Square.
You can now see how it’s possible to sell without a storefront
By participating in local farmer’s markets or by using social media as a platform for your home-based business, you can sell your home-baked goods directly to your customers without the costly overhead of a bakery storefront.
Wishing you the best of luck in your home baking journey!