From the well-known chocolate chip cookie to the more obscure strawberry cookie, most people have a sweet tooth for at least one type of the delectable treat. If you enjoy baking cookies, you may be able to earn money while cooking up your favorite recipes. Whether you want to start a small out-of-the-kitchen cookie business or you have dreams of starting your own cookie shop, money certainly can be made with the small snacks.
Determine your business options. You can either sell your cookies from home or set up a physical business. Selling from home is less costly, but requires more marketing and promotion. If you choose to set up a physical business, consider mall vending carts, rather than a brick-and-mortar business, at least to start off. Vending carts can cost thousands of dollars per month, so make sure you have the necessary capital before starting the venture.
Expand your business by baking different kinds of cookies and offering various packages. The types and amount of cookies you sell depend on the type of business you run. For example, if you’re selling cookies from home, focus on selling boxes of cookies. If you’re selling them from a vending cart, offer customers the option of purchasing single cookies and boxes.
Promote your business. Hand out leaflets to friends and family, create an advertising campaign and offer deals to bring in new customers. For example, you could create a cable TV advertisement; quickly explain what you offer; and tell listeners if they order a dozen chocolate chip cookies before a predetermined date, they will receive a half dozen peanut butter cookies for free.
Ask for feedback. With each sale, include a small survey. The survey should ask for the customer’s favorite cookie, his opinion of the cookies he purchased, what your business could do better, and whether he’d recommend your business to his friends and family. Study each survey and adjust your business accordingly.
Bake seasonal cookies. Offering seasonal items serves as a promotional and sales tool. It garners interest in your product, because you’re offering something that’s only found during a certain time of year, so people are naturally more curious to try it out. For example, between fall and winter, you could offer pumpkin cookies, and for winter, you could offer a variety of decorated holiday cookies.
Check with your state and local governments to determine the exact permits and licenses you need before establishing your business.