How to Start a Home Based Cookie Business

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Planning to start a cookie business because all your neighbors and friends crave those delicious mouth-watering cookies you make?

Tighten your seat belts as I teach you how to run a successful cookie baking business from the comfort of your home (works for cakes, cupcakes, all things sweet).

What’s your vision for the business? Do you plan to sell cookies in your city (your neighbors, friends, people within a radius) or do you plan to create a proper brand and sell it nationwide (city, state, nation)?

Selling just in your city means you want to operate on a small-scale basis while having a nationwide approach means creating an actual business with systems and processes in place.

Anyway, this article focuses more on how to make money starting a cookie business whether it be nationwide or within the city.

In the work from home cookie business, you need to ask yourself seven questions

1. What’s Your Product Line – Types of Cookies you plan to sell?
2. Which laws come under the food selling business?
3. What’s your business name?
4. How to make the most delicious cookie (recipe)?
5. How to find and sell cookies to new customers (consistently)?
6. How to package your cookie for repeated purchases?
7. How to ship your cookies at low costs?

If the answer to these seven questions excites you, it will excite your potential customers too. This article will focus on answering these 7 questions.

I’ll also share best practices to follow in the cookie business. But before we begin, let’s address the elephant in the room – Our Price Point (the price at which we’ll sell our cookies). Here we go!

What’s Your Price Point?

Don’t pick a random number and set that as your price point. Calculate your cost of goods, this includes your cooking ingredients, equipment, and vessels, approximate cost of oven/microwave (if required), advertising costs, packaging costs, traveling costs, etc.

Get your per-unit cost price. Then ask yourself how much profit would you prefer making on each cookie, add this number (profit) to your cost price and you have your selling price. Cost Price + Profits = Selling Price.

A well-organized budget should help you keep a track record of costs and other expenses.

Few points to consider:
1. Take competitors prices into consideration
2. Maintain slightly more profits than you want to keep (if you feel profits per cookie should be Rs 50, keep it Rs 60)
3. Try different price points and find out at which price point do you get more sales.

Ditch The Business Plan

Under most circumstances, I like having a business plan mainly because it clears out the vision for our new venture. But in the stay-at-home cookie business, you don’t need a cookie business plan. Your business is to make, sell and promote cookies from your home.

It can’t get any more complicated than that, so ditch the business plan and focus your time on promoting your cookie dough business. Anything you have to deal with, write it down on your to-do list, it’s not necessary to have a concrete business plan. 

Instead of creating a business plan, I want you to create a marketing plan, take up a few online courses to learn marketing as even a bad product can make money learning marketing strategies, a good product can make enormous profits doing the right type of marketing. We’ll talk more about marketing strategies later.

1. What’s Your Product Line – Types of Cookies

types of cookies

What type of cookie do you prefer baking? Which cookie do most of your friends die to eat? What kind of segment do you want to discover in cookie baking?

Everybody offers the standard chocolate chip cookies, try to give your customers something new. Today people are shifting their focus to healthy products, so you could try coming up with a healthy recipe to bake cookies.

Some healthy cookie niches are paleo diet cookies, keto cookies, protein-rich cookies, healthy fats-rich cookies, low-carb cookies, healthy meal replacement cookies, and vegetable cookies are a few ideas you could brainstorm on.

If you’re handling the cooking, packaging, shipping, selling, and designing process yourself, keeping different types of products might get overwhelming, but it’s not impossible if you’re ready to put in all your energy.

2. Which laws come under the food selling business?

Starting a business without having some prior knowledge about rules and regulations to start a cookie company is like gambling at a casino. Use Google Search to find out the laws you need to follow when starting a new venture in the baking space.

Ask people who know more about laws like an accountant; the last thing you want is the tax department knocking on your front doors.

Some countries have flexible systems to start a business while some need you to do a lot of paperwork, get in touch with an expert and sort these things out before you start running a business. You may also need a permit or license to start a business, do your research.

3. What’s your business name?

You don’t need to spend too much time brainstorming for a business name, people like interesting names but no one buys anything from a shop because the name of the company is awesome, right?

Make a list of all the names that you come up with and check on any domain selling website if your business name is available for sale (If you want to start small and sell locally, you don’t need a website).

Once you finalize your business name, go to the top 5 social media platforms you may need and create an account. This will ensure you have a social media presence.

You only need to activate your account, it’s not necessary to use all 5 social media platforms to grow your cookie business. 

4. How to make the most delicious cookie (recipe)?

Most people skip this step but I want you to spend some time here. You either have a unique cookie recipe that everybody loves or you have to create a new cookie recipe.

In both cases, I want you to experiment with different cookie recipes, try out variations in an already existing recipe. Maybe you could add some vanilla extract or almond butter instead of peanut butter or stevia instead of honey.

You may already have a cookie recipe that your grandma taught you, I’m not against that recipe but if you could bring some new concept to it, it may sell better.

Again, it’s all trial and error, at the end whatever cookie recipe you, your friends, and your family fall in love with is the recipe you’re going to put on the menu.

5. How to find and sell cookies to new customers (consistently)?

The problem with most homemade cookie businesses lies in their ability to generate revenue on a consistent basis. They’ll get 4 orders today, then nothing for 2 days, then 2 orders on the third day.

Your goal from Day 1 is to get orders every single day no matter what. This will be possible if you spend less time baking and more time marketing. 

No matter how good your business is, if you don’t spend time marketing your cookie company, you’re not making money. You must spend 70% of your time marketing and 30% of your time figuring out the rest. 

Your marketing strategy should include details of how you’re going to find and attract customers and how you’re going to ensure they buy again (re-orders).   

Click Pictures

Click pictures of cookie busines

You’ve got to tempt your customers to buy your products. What better way to do that than a photoshoot. Pick up your phone and start clicking photos of your cookies. Upload it on your social media profiles and get them drooling.

Don’t forget to include a Call-to-Action (Buy now, message me to order, visit the bio link to place an order) every time you upload an image.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is good, it brings credibility but the process is very slow. Your word of mouth strategy should be strong but relying solely on this is a bad idea. Ask customers to put up an Instagram Story of your product and ask their friends to try your products. Doing this should get you some customers.

Social Media

Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and any other social media platform that grows a business comes in this list. For most young businesses, Instagram seems to be working great but Pinterest does a great job too at bringing more leads.

You could also purchase magazine ads to amplify your sales. There are many digital magazines out there that will love to collaborate with your cookie jar business.

As of May 22 2021, I have over 300K monthly views on Pinterest, check out my Pinterest profile and follow if you haven’t yet 🙂 I’m not trying to boost my Pinterest success, only stating that all social media platforms are great sources for leads. Figure out what works best for you before focusing only on Instagram.

Approach Local Bakeries

You’ll be surprised to know that most local bakeries outsource their products to larger bakeries. That’s simply because they don’t have the capacity and money to create a wide range of products at an affordable cost. So they outsource.

You can approach local bakeries and ask them to promote your cookie brand name to their customers. You could either store your products on their display (best option) or hang a banner in their shop.

People look at the banner, ask the bakery man what this is and the bakery man refers to you. Try getting your products on display, customers are willing to purchase if it’s right in front of them instead of reaching out to make a purchase.  

Sell It Everywhere

Take samples with you when you go to a mall, take them when you’re walking to a garden, to bake sales and to local food shops, give them your samples, brochure, website link (not compulsory).

If you have a delicious product along with beautiful packaging, a Yes from local shops won’t be so tough. Take them to the farmer’s market and sell them there. You’ve got to sell it everywhere!

6. How to package your cookie for repeated purchases?

How do you plan to pack your cookies so it doesn’t become a bag of crumbs by the time your customers eat them? 

You’ll need to Google your way out of this. A few suggestions could be to use bubble wrap, bring sticky labels to stick them over your packaging

Add a note to every cookie box you sell, saying ‘thank you’, ‘order again’, ‘it was great serving you’, and some lines about your venture. People love reading notes and stories of young start-ups. Ask them for an Instagram Story if you don’t mind, it’s an easy way to get new customers.

Sage Tip: Your packaging must include your business name. People need to remember the packaging and connect instantly, an interesting packaging with your brand name increases brand awareness. 

7. How to ship your cookies at low costs?

Did you know that transportation costs are very expensive? It’s not shocking that transportation costs can be 20% of your cost price. You must try all possible ways to reduce your shipping costs from day 1.

This could mean delivering all orders once a day. Also if you could deliver it yourself, you might save some cash.

Transportation is important, if you’re outsourcing it, don’t choose a company with a bad track record just to cut costs, that’s a bad idea. See what works best for you but don’t spend too much money on transportation.

Here’s an article by The Little Kitchen on How To Package and Sell Cookies.

Create a Work System

A system makes work easier to do. You could make early in the morning, run advertising campaigns after that followed by packaging and delivering these scrumptious cookies in the afternoon.

All orders need to be delivered at one time, doing that reduces your transportation costs (if you’re delivering) and saves time. This logic even works when you have a delivery person, you’re likely paying him/her for every ride + time he spends.

How Profitable is Your Homemade Cookie Business?

Profit comes from sales, sales come when people try your products, people try your products when they realize you exist and for that to happen you need to learn and experiment with consistently new marketing tactics while focusing on social media marketing.

Any business has the potential to be successful as long as you understand what customers want and give it to them on a silver platter at an affordable cost while offering a high-quality product.

If you enjoy cooking cookies and everyone you know keeps craving for more of your cookies, you can start and make this a profitable business. 

I’ve seen many people selling cakes and cookies, most of them don’t sell that many because they don’t invest time in marketing. You won’t make enormous profits selling cakes and cookies but a small part-time business as a cookie owner will surely bring you happiness, learn to scale it and you’re looking at good profits.

Once you become famous for selling cookies, you can create new products that make baking cookies easy and sell these products to your customers.

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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