How to sell the baked goods you make at home is a question on a lot of peoples mind. Cottage Food Laws open the door to making money baking at home, but that is just the beginning. There are obstacles for every business, and one of the biggest challenges is how to sell your product. If you are operating under the cottage food laws, you probably are not going to have a designated sales person. Face it, in the beginning, just like any small business you get to wear all the hats.
I introduced you to Anna-Marie in my last post. She mentioned is that one of the hurtles she has encountered is convincing people that food made in a cottage kitchen is safe. So how do you combat that, because if we are honest with ourselves, we are all a little leery of the sanitary conditions of kitchens outside the radar of inspection by the health department. So how do you break down the skepticism of your potential customers? The same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.
Overcoming fear is often done by learning more about what you are afraid of. So all of us need to get busy and start education our customers. To do that, you have to have a way to get in touch with them. Bakers selling under cottage food laws will do a lot of face to face selling, but that is going to require you pounding the pavement. It could be meeting your friends and neighbors and telling them that you are available to bake for them when they don’t have the inclination or time. Sometimes just meeting you and seeing who you are will build an initial element of trust.
I invite you to read how I got started . I had been baking for fund raisers at church for many years. That gave me the opportunity to introduce my product to a potential market. It was easy to build trust when I could consistently deliver a product that people loved. I developed a reputation as the “cinnamon roll lady” and it spread by word of mouth. The other part of that was that since I was working within my own church community, I had a relationship with many of those people, and so they felt comfortable buying from me. The point here is that I built trust and developed relationships and was able to easily sell my product.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
You have to come up with a plan to develop the trust I am talking about here. Here are a few suggestions for building a reputation for your product.
- Donate to bake sales
- Donate to Fund Raisers
- Bake for friends & relatives
- Take food to church
- Bake for meetings
- Take food to the office
- Bake for your kids teachers
- Send food as thank yous
- Bake for gift giving
- Give free samples when you selling at Farmers Markets
- Talk with people, be friendly, tell them about your product and answer questions
Fear of strangers is something that is a basic instinct. Getting to know people erases that fear. You will be able to instill confidence in your products when people have confidence in you.
A Website Can Open the Door
Building a website is an easy way for people to get to know you and erase fear they may have about your product. It is why I talk about using WordPress on my site. I don’t mean to nag, but what are you waiting for? If one of the barriers to selling baked goods you make at home is fear, why not just erase that fear once and for all? Let people take a peek at your kitchen. Now I am not talking about inviting strangers into your home for a personal tour, but you can do that virtually.
Not convinced, well take a look at the article about Anna-Marie. Just seeing her holding the tray of biscotti makes me feel a lot more comfortable buying her products. Being able to visit her website adds another layer of comfort, after all, if she has a website , she must have a business. On her website she can start blogging, and reading what she writes increases the relationship she has with her customers. It is all part of educating the market, and we all know there is a lot of work to be done there.
Be sure to start your website instruction by searching WordPress in the search bar on my site. There are lessons on how to get started, and I am adding more lessons in the near future. If you would like some help right now, I would love to help you get started. In just a couple of coaching sessions, you will be ready to build and operate your website by yourself.
Have a blessed day,
photo credit: simplesolutiontech07