What do you need to know to start your own cupcake business?

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Cupcakes are a perennial favourite with consumers in all market segments; they are small and affordable indulgences which provide a comforting treat at any time of year. If your bakes are raved about by people around you and you dream of opening your own business selling cupcakes, there’s no reason why it can’t become a reality. From being a home baking star, to opening a stall at a farmers market, you can progress to a fully fledged cafe in no time. Here are a few things to consider at the start of your journey:

Planning your strategy

In the early stages of any business, owners have to be ready to do most of the work themselves. This will include more than baking and icing, you’ll also need to consider whether the concept you have in mind is viable. As well as market research into what kind of products sell well in your area, you’ll need to think about how to fund a new company, write a cost projection to demonstrate that the idea is feasible, and formulate a business strategy. This could include pricing up the costs involved in making a single cupcake, in comparison to half a dozen cupcakes. The figures will give you an idea of what you’ll need to charge for the finished product, bearing in mind any other overheads.

Gaining a competitive advantage

Will you be creating new flavours and quirky toppings, or taking a more sophisticated approach using classical techniques? If there are no other bakeries nearby offering the same service then you’ll have the competitive edge and be more likely to draw people in time after time. Flyers might help you letting your target market know more about what you do that’s unique, and where they can buy your cakes.

Finding your niche

Create original branding which includes a logo and name, this will ensure your business is instantly recognisable to the public. Pick a name that reflects your product and follow the brand theme through to all elements of the marketing process. The cupcakes you sell should also be allocated titles that reflect their appearance or flavour, giving your product individuality and setting your treats apart from the crowd.

Promoting and advertising a cupcake business

Open accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and then link up with other pages that serve your local area. A well maintained website is always an advantage, but social media is also an excellent tool for connecting with people, so long as you keep the content fresh and relevant. Post attractive pictures of your cupcakes alongside a steamy cup of coffee to make your followers look forward to their next visit, then have a ‘Star of the Day’ cupcake to promote the different choices on offer and maybe run the odd competition, to gain a wider audience on each platform. In the early stages leaflets might be helpful, hand them out in the surrounding area and maybe include a map or discount coupon that motivates people to pop in immediately.