The Pandemic of 2020 has certainly turned the world upside down in a way that we in modern day society just never thought it could. It seemed like in an instant, the year took a downhill plunge and relief doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon.
This pandemic has affected everyone in some way, and this is most especially true when it comes to small businesses such as bakeries that count on sales in order to be able to make sure their rent and very livelihoods are taken care of. Without the steady flow of people in and out throughout a normal business day, money is lost that is desperately needed in order to keep going, and unfortunately many bakeries and other small businesses have had to shut their doors, either temporarily or permanently, in 2020, and it hurt.
Although conditions caused by the pandemic don’t seem to be easing up any time soon, it’s important for bakery owners still hanging in there to figure out how to make up for their lost income. We admit that it’s never as easy as when someone can just walk into the shop and buy your wares, but with some creativity, clever marketing, and time and patience to put into them, there are a number of ways to cope and to make these hard times just a little bit easier.
If you’re a bakery owner that has found yourself struggling to stay afloat in these uncertain times, first of all we want to say that we stand with you and support you, and to do our part to help, we’ve compiled a list of six tips for bakery owners trying to survive the pandemic that we hope will help you keep your doors open.
Emphasize Your Commitment to Your Customers’ Health and Safety
If you haven’t already, one thing that definitely helps any business right now is assuring your client base that you are going by the guidelines set up by the CDC and other health organizations in response to the pandemic such as employees wearing masks and gloves, having signage recommending that visitors wear masks, a large bottle of hand sanitizer by the door, and even having the option for contactless delivery or pickup. Giving your customers the feeling of being safe and letting them know that you’re doing all you can to make their experience safer will go a long way in retaining and attracting clients right now.
Develop An Online Presence
Whether you’re a small-time home bakery or a brick-and-mortar, if you don’t already have a business website and/or social media profile for your bakery, the time has never been more perfect. So many folks have taken to shopping online from the safety of their home in order to get what they want and need, so an online presence can help keep your bakery relevant to those looking for the goods you provide. If a full-on website seems too daunting of a task, social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram are great for keeping up with your regular client base as well as attracting new ones. Also consider making advertising posts on buy, sell, and trade sites to bring more attention to the goods you make and services you offer. Having the option for customers to order online and either have their goods delivered or a way they can pick them up without having to get out of their car or be around a lot of people will go a long way in bringing back and bringing in those who are more prone to stay in during this pandemic.
Partner with Local Influencers
If you’re unsure of what exactly an influencer is, an influencer is a person that has the ability to influence other people to buy certain products and/or participate in activities. To see an influencer in action, all you have to do is go to YouTube and find names like Jeffree Star, Liza Koshy, and JoJo Siwa and you’ll understand what we mean. Do you know an influencer in your hometown, or perhaps a friend or family member does? Whether they’re as famous as the three we mentioned above or are just local legends, striking up a partnership with them could be beneficial for you both. Their influence can bring you more new customers, while their partnership with you can benefit them in whatever way you are able to negotiate.
Consider Offering Online Baking Classes
Depending on what exactly you make in your bakery, you could start an online cake making, bread making, or even pastry making class in order to bring in some supplemental income. You can continue doing what you love to do while at the same time showing someone else how to do it themselves and offering something fun and different for many people stuck at home to do.
DIY Baking and/or Decorating Kits
Since the pandemic began, many people have started cooking and doing a lot more activities at home out of sheer necessity, and this sometimes means going without some of their favorite things including some baked goods. If your bakery offers baked goods like cookies and brownies, consider making up the dough and other components and selling at-home DIY baking kits. If you make frosted cookies with images, you could even do a package of cookies with the frosting already on and an edible “paint” for customers to “paint” their own cookies; this is an especially fun activity for children stuck inside as well, especially around holidays.
Use Your Downtime Wisely
Any time you aren’t baking or at the shop due to everything going on, you should definitely take some of that time to research and look into ways to help keep money coming in to help the business stay afloat, like you are right now. There are so many creative ways you can put yourself out there when it comes to your advertising and drawing in customers. Think about what hasn’t worked for you so far and consider putting that on the back burner in favor of little tips and tricks that have been proven to work by other bakeries and small businesses so far.
Take Care of Yourself
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of rest, eating right, drinking enough water, and washing your hands often. It’s also important to take time out to relax and not think about the bakery. I know that sounds counter-productive, but if you’re tired, stressed, and susceptible to sickness, you aren’t going to be able to fully invest yourself in your work; in other words, you cannot pour from an empty cup, so be sure to make time to take care of yourself and your needs.