So, you’ve finally turned your passion into a career and launched your first wholesale bakery. Now what?Well now the next step on your to-do list is to get your first wholesale customer, so we’ve put together some practical tips to help you market your bakery and make that happen.
1. Use your existing connections
Your family and friends will always be your biggest cheerleaders so start with them when you're introducing your new business and the products you sell. Create a list of everyone you know - from former classmates to colleagues - who might be interested in what you're doing. Reach out to them and share your business vision and of course your product range!
This is a great first step, especially if you're not a natural salesperson, as you'll be talking to a friendly audience and be able to refine your sales pitch before expanding your network. And always remember as you go on to land more and more customers, word of mouth is still the best marketing tool you've got.
2. Give away free product samples
It may cost you a little, in time and money, but it’s a really effective strategy when trying to get the word out there about your bakery business. You can either deliver your free product samples straight to those businesses on your hit list or you can set up small booths or carts at Markets or Events where people can try out your products.
But don't worry if funds are super tight, you can still spread the word without breaking the bank. Which leads us to the next tip:
3. Build your online presence
Social media sites and other digital platforms really are some of the best ways to reach your market and land that first paying wholesale customer. We suggest you get started with Instagram as it lends itself to beautiful images to really showcase your products and through “hashtagging” you can effectively expand your audience in specific customer segments.
Of course, to really get traction you need to know the right types of content to make the most out of this platform. Here are some examples of engaging Instagram content to get you started:
- Beautiful, high-quality shots of your baked goods
- Photos of your bakery
- A short video clip of how your specialty product is made
- Tutorial videos such as how to decorate a holiday cake or the proper way to bake a cronut
- Exciting contests where your followers can win free baked treats or at least a free shipping code
You can also set up digital catalogues to promote your bakery and build your wholesale arm that way. Digital catalogues don’t require much in terms of funds, all you need to do is to find a platform and then fill it with beautiful photos of your baked products along with their descriptions and price points.
If you need help on taking great food photos with your iPhone, check out our handy tips here.
4. Go to trade shows, meetups, and conferences
This is obviously a much bigger investment in terms of time and money but trade shows, expos, and industry meetups are typically well attended by people interested in learning more about startups and uncovering the next big thing. So going to these events will help you broaden your network and if you do it right you can capture quality leads.
Once you’re in there, we suggest you make the most out of your event experience. You can make partnerships with other bakery owners or even sign-up for Trade Show events that allow you to pitch your startup in front of an audience.
If you're ready to make this commitment, here’s a comprehensive guide to participating at food and beverage trade shows.
Making that first sale on a product is the very best feeling for a business owner who’s just starting out and once you've secured one deal the others are sure to follow. So take the leap and get started!
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