Starting a commercial bakery may not be a bad idea, considering the potentially large market for the product that exists in Nigeria. If you had breakfast this morning, there’s a fair chance that a few slices of bread were in the mix. This would probably be true for millions of people across Nigeria who consume bread on a daily basis. It is a fixture in the diet of households across the country, as it is in many parts of the world, so making and selling it to hungry Nigerians on a large scale is potentially lucrative.
But you would need more than just the knowledge that there’s a market waiting for you to conquer, to start a bakery. You will need to take these steps:
You should get some training in baking and the business of it. Visit bakeries, and find out how they are run; learn about the materials, equipment, product and processes, business challenges and best practices. Read all you can about making bread and making money from it. There’s a lot of information on the internet about all of this, available for free. Use it.
Prepare Your Business Plan
It is not enough to dream about having a grand modern bakery spewing out thousands of loaves every week and making money from selling them. If you are going to last in the business, you must have a plan. The business plan will detail the projected revenue as well as expected expenditure for the business over a period of time, especially the period within which you are likely to break even. You should also find out what the demand for the product is like in the area you intend to set up business and do a SWOT analysis of the enterprise beforehand. Also, decide how the business will be financed, and have this documented.
Choose Your Location
Factors to consider when deciding on what location is right for your bakery will include rent cost, in relation to the resources at your disposal; the availability of water; and market accessibility. You may rent or buy a facility for the bakery, or build it from scratch.
Get the Bakery Equipped and Staffed
Equipment you need for the bakery include the flour mixer, baking pans, an oven (a very big one, constructed for the purpose of commercial production), refrigerators and display cases. The quality of the bread wrapper also matters; people are attracted to products, at the first instance, by their packaging. Hiring should be done on the basis of the size of operations at the factory as documented on the business plan. Experience, as always, counts for much.
And make sure the facility is equipped with fire alarms and extinguishers. Baking involves a lot of heat, and there’s no telling when the flames become devastating infernos.
Do not expect to make a profit straight up. Allow a period of time for the business to find its footing- anywhere between 5 and 12 months. Ensure that your bakery is certified fit to function by NAFDAC. Registering with the Association of Master Bakers could give you some professional cover too. Keep up with market trends, so that you are not caught unaware by changes that could disrupt the course of things in your business and the industry as a whole.
Ultimately, your success in the business of baking rests on your ability to get the basic things done and adding an extra, unique touch to your product. It could be the price, packaging, texture, or flavour. Go for whatever you find can carve out a good share of the market for you. Define your advantage. Then get a stranglehold on it.