If you love food and you bake well, marrying your talents to a profitable business venture is a no-brainer. While you can never guarantee success, working at a job that you love will make you happier than slaving away in an office, and if you do the right research, you can map out a plan to achieve your goals. Opening up a home bakery allows you the flexibility of working from your home getting a free lunch, too!
Become legal. To open a home-based bakery in New Jersey you need to obtain a business license from the Department of Commerce and a tax ID. Many suppliers will not sell to you without a proper tax ID number. New Jersey is one of the only states that allow home-based food businesses anywhere in the state, but it requires a kitchen inspection from the Health Department.
Write a business plan. This will help you to strategically plan your goals and objectives so that you have a higher chance of success. Lay out your plan, including operations, procedures and marketing. You will also forecast financial projections so you'll know whether or not this venture is likely to earn you a feasible income. You can get business-plan assistance as well as other business help through your local Small Business Association branch, based in Newark.
Obtain any necessary equipment and supplies. In order to guarantee consistent results, you may want to purchase a commercial oven. If you don't have room for extra appliances in your kitchen, you might need to renovate another room in your home for business use, and the Health Department might require this as well. You may have to make additional renovations or purchases as per Health Department inspection recommendations.
Figure out what people want to buy. Solicit advice and feedback from friends and other community members. Check around town to see what's popular at other bakeries and what's missing that you could provide. Join online forums like the NJ Community Forum to post questions and get objective responses.
Attend community fairs and trade shows, always keeping your business card handy. Advertise in local papers such as the Newark Star-Ledger or in papers in your neighborhood.
Don't start before you get your license. If something goes wrong, you could end up with a legal mess.
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