If you are thinking of starting a cookie baking business – of any kind, it is no small feat. As someone who owned a bake shop for over 10 years, I can tell you that it is a lot of work! But there is also a lot of reward. Cookies were what built my business and are still one of my favorite bakes today. So, I’m sharing five important tips for how to make money selling cookies.
Maybe you are thinking of starting a bakery, a catering business, or even an online cookie business. Or maybe you just want to start selling cookies to your friends and family instead of giving them away for free. But, please, if you are going down the cottage kitchen route, be sure to look up the appropriate laws in your state in order to legally bake and sell food out of your house. Call your local health inspectors office if you are unsure where to start! Or email to work with me one on one at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Or maybe you already have a restaurant, and you are looking to make cookies part of the menu. Any way you want to make money selling cookies, there are some key things that will help you become successful. I hope all your cookie dreams come true, in any way that you want to make cookies part of your business. So, today I am sharing my top five tips for how to make money selling cookies! If you’d like to work with me one on one, I do consulting for bakeries, restaurants, or home based catering businesses. Just shoot me an email email@example.com, I’d love to discuss your project!
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Offer Something Unique
Cookies are a dime a dozen these days. You can find cookies at every single grocery store. You can walk into a gas station and see them. And you can even get a free cookie with a sandwich or when you give blood.
So, how do you set yourself apart from all these mediocre cookies if you want to make money selling cookies? Offer something unique! When I started my bake shop, there wasn’t a single organic cookie on the market besides a couple grocery store offerings from Newman’s Own.
So, I realized there was a hole in the market, especially in the fresh baked cookie bakery space, so I took advantage of that and carved out my niche. I was offering fresh baked organic cookies when no one else was doing it. So, when people walked into my small bake shop and asked what was different, I had a clear answer.
I could tell customers that they could not get a 100% organic fresh baked cookie anywhere else in town, or even on the internet! And that was a big deal, because I had something that no one else had.
So, if you are wanting to make money selling cookies, offer something unique that they can’t find anywhere else. What do you make that no one else makes? Or what sets it apart? Of course, you can always make classics and do them well, but you will have a better chance of success if you have unique offerings.
Once you have something unique, you want to create demand with your customers. If your customers know they can get one of your cookies any day of the week, it may not be as special to them. There’s no urgency there.
So, to create demand in the cookie space, you can offer seasonal flavors. Offering seasonal flavors is a great way to create demand in the food space. Obviously, you’re all familiar with pumpkin spice season and Christmas cookies like gingerbread and peppermint.
People flip out for these seasonal cookies, partly because they know they can only get them for a short period of time. So, they know they can’t wait and they need to get a gingerbread cookie every day during the month of December to fulfill their gingerbread craving for the entire year.
You can do this during other times of the year and offer seasonal flavors using in season fruits or other items. This can create this demand year round. Be sure you are marketing these as limited time only or seasonal to create the scarcity people need to see in order to need to have it right now!
Price Cookies Properly
The biggest reason bakeries don’t make money is because they are not pricing their baked goods properly. So much goes into pricing your artisan products that you need to spend time doing the work, because it’s a big part of actually making money.
I have a guide titled How to Price Baked Goods to Actually Make Money. And if you’re starting a bakery, cookie shop, or even a home cookie catering company, then you need this guide!
Estimating your retail prices or going off competition is not enough to properly price cookies to actually make money. In my guide titled How to Pice Baked Goods to Actually Make Money I give you step by step instructions on how to accurately price your baked goods to be profitable!
Want to know how to price baked goods to make money?
Start making money selling food!
This downloadable step by step guide is easy to read and each chapter comes with a simple action item to give you knowledge, get you organized, and to walk you through pricing out your entire menu so that you can make money selling the food you love to make!
What are you waiting for? If you want to sell baked goods (or any food) to make money, then this step by step guide is for you!
Learn When to Say No
Knowing when to say now and learning how to say no is the biggest challenge when you are a small business or when you’re in the business of pleasing people. And if you’re baking cookies, then that is your niche! But learning to say no is going to play a big factor in making money selling cookies.
I know you might want to say yes to every request because, hey, it’s an order! Money is money right? Wrong! If you are baking a cookie order for someone that is too time consuming and you are not pricing it right, you can actually loose money!
So, if you say yes to every order that is custom, without properly pricing it out, you could actually be losing money on multiple orders! Sometimes a customer request just isn’t possible because it would take too much time, and then the cost of that time would be far more than a customer would want to pay because it would be so much higher than a similar cookie. And, hey, that happens!
So, learning when to say no in those situations is crucial to making money selling cookies. I know it may be difficult; but know when to say no and actually do it!
Use packaging that is easy to get, cost efficient, and has a professional look and feel to it. All of this matters, especially when you are selling cookies. It’s way different than just gifting cookies to friends.
You want to make sure your packaging is cost efficient, and that you add that into your costing. I have a whole chapter on this in my course, How to Price Baked Goods to Actually Make Money!
But, you also want to make sure your packaging looks professional. Because if you are selling something, the customer needs to feel that they paid for something of value. So, invest in a cellophane sealer, have stickers with your logo and website printed, use a ribbon or something to differentiate yourself from others.
When a customer gets your cookies delivered, shipped, or handed to them, they need to feel like they are happy with what they paid for. This is the icing on the cake, so to speak. While the cookie may speak for itself, if it’s wrapped in plastic wrap and has nothing else, it may undervalue what you’ve created. And that can be reason for a customer not to return.
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Make sure to check out my Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, which I’m sure you’ll love too! And, share it with someone who you think may also like it!