About this module
Learn from industry professionals as they share experiences and valuable tips that every budding food business should know. We also talk to some home bakers and get them to discuss their growth from hobby to full-time brand. Find out more about the essential skills and goals to set, along with important management tools that’ll benefit your business in the long run.
Many things actually happen in the Business World and entrepreneurs starting their business have a leadership role. A home baker is the executive chef, the CEO and leader in the business.
In short, what kind of a boss will you be for your own business?
As the boss, the first thing you must Know, is what kind of Business you are getting into.
In my line of work, I’m actually very privileged because I get to meet a lot of home bakers, who come to us because they want to improve their skills and knowledge in baking, so that they can bake better tasting products for their friends and family.
By the end of the course, many of these homebakers would have started selling because the very same people that they share their products with want more. This is how many home baking businesses start.
The home baking business have grown so much recently because who doesn’t want to be treated like a VIP? Imagine walking into a bakery, getting to speak to the head chef, telling the head chef how you would like a product to look and taste like.
This is the sort of flexibility that the home baking business gives. To succeed in the home baking business, focus on what you’re good at, differentiate yourself from other home baking business and know your customers. This is what we mean by ‘Know the Business’.
Do you want to position your food business to cater to the masses, the medium range or the high end niche market?
The different targets will require you to lead your company and set up the processes and expectations accordingly. Try to identify this and you will then be able to take a look at the next area, which is knowing the industry.
In the baking industry, there are more to just bakeries, cafes, hotels and more recently, home baking businesses. Behind the scenes are the industries that are supporting it. For example, your training and education, food manufacturing, ingredient and equipment supplies as well. The baking industry in Malaysia especially is very diverse. So, take the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the industry. Who knows? This might be a chance for you to meet new clients and business partners that will help you grow your business.
Knowing the industry helps you to avoid the common pitfalls that new entrepreneurs may face.
Thirdly, as the food industry is a specialised field, You MUST have the Skills to go along with it.
Recently I did a research on successful chef entrepreneurs in Klang Valley and I realized that these chef entrepreneurs spent a lot of time and effort in developing their skills. In the home baking business, you cannot afford to NOT fulfill your orders. In the event of any manpower shortage, you as the owner, business owner should be able to step in. Next is in terms of finances. At the most basic level, you need to be able to manage cash flow in order to buy materials to fulfill your orders. Essentially having the skills of both a homebaker and a business owner is essential to ensure that your homebaking business is a success. Lastly, Marketing, you need to be prepared to put yourself out, promote yourself and the business to secure market position.
Whilst hiring people with the right skills may help the business, having basic skills directly related to the area of the food business that you want to go into will allow you to be a subject matter expert.
And finally, Know the Challenges that are in front of you.
Know the challenges ahead, because knowing this will help you manage the business better. When it comes to managing your very own home baking business, you have two roles to play: One, of the baker. Two, of being a business owner. So the challenge here is really about juggling both of them. In the home baking business, most products are based on competitive pricing. If you are in this sort of business, the challenge is about managing the staff that will be able to produce high volume products consistently for your business. On the other hand, you have a business model that produces high value products, with higher profit margins. If you are in this sort of business, the challenge is about recruiting, training and retaining these high skilled talents to be able to produce products for your business.
Knowing the challenges ahead will equip you to make the right decisions in various situations and propel you through the stages of Survival, Growth and eventually Expansion.
We’ve covered the four aspects of an organisation, which is to have excellent products, delivery systems, awesome people and a service mindset.
By also knowing the business, knowing the industry, having the skills and being aware of the challenges ahead, you will be the best chief that your business needs.