If you plan to start a small bakery, it’s important to think about how you’ll turn your business idea into an operational success. An operational plan for a bakery business will help you determine what you need to make it run smoothly. 

An operational plan details the physical requirement of running your business. It describes how you’ll organise your business day-to-day, achieve your tasks, and earn a profit. But if you’re not sure how to write one, we can help. 

This article covers how to write an operational plan for a bakery business, including: 

  • Objectives 
  • Location 
  • Supplies  
  • Structure
  • Finances 
  • Timeline 

Determine your objectives 

The first section to add to your operational plan is the bakery’s objectives. This part is essential to determining what to focus on and work towards with your business. List some short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives. 

To make your objectives strong and manageable, use the SMART method, meaning they’ll be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. 

With your bakery business, short term objectives might be to source and prepare a bakery shop and design a strong website. Then, you could create a medium-term objective to sell more bakery products and develop an online shop with shipping. Long term goals could be to expand your shop to new locations or offer baking lessons or catering.  

Decide on a location

Next, you’ll need to outline the logistics of your business. What location will you use for your business? Provide an address if you already have one, and if not, outline where you’ll open your shop and why. If you plan to start a bakery from home, outline where and how you’ll sell your goods. 

In this section, also list the operating hours of your business. Which days and what times will your shop be open to customers? You can also outline your baking hours or time spent managing your operations and finances after shop hours. 

Also, consider how the shop will run. Will you offer seating for customers, or will it be only takeaway? Will you also offer drinks or just baked goods? Will you supply your baked goods to other cafes or restaurants? 

List your supplies and equipment 

Another essential part of your operational plan for a bakery business is outlining what you’ll physically need to run your small bakery. For example, aside from a shop with a kitchen, you’ll likely need bakery equipment like: 

  • An industrial oven  
  • An industrial refrigerator 
  • An industrial stand mixer 
  • Baking supplies and equipment (mixing bowls, measuring cups, whisks, spatulas, pans, baking trays etc.)
  • Proofing cabinets 
  • Break slicers
  • Bakery cases 
  • Plates and display trays 
  • Takeaway packaging 

Aside from sourcing the right equipment, consider what supplier you’ll use for necessary baking ingredients. These ingredients may vary depending on your recipes and the bakery goods you sell. 

But generally, you’ll likely need a food supplier for:

  • Sugar 
  • Butter 
  • Flour 
  • Eggs 
  • Yeast 
  • Bicarbonate soda 
  • Bicarbonate powder 
  • Spices 

As you outline what you’ll need, consider how you’ll manage this supply chain and organise your inventory. It’s crucial to stay on top of what you have and what you need to continue to make baked goods and meet your customer demand.

You might want to keep backups of dried goods that won’t go bad, like flour and sugar. This way, if there’s a shortage, it may not negatively impact your business. 

Outline your structure 

Another thing to include in your operational plan for a bakery business is how you’ll structure your business and organise the daily workload. In this section, think about which baked goods you’ll sell and how much you’ll charge for them. Also, outline how you’ll accept payment from customers and manage your shop and baking needs. 

Discuss your finances 

Next, outline what it’ll cost to produce your baked goods and run your business overall. Consider each part of your operations and much money it’ll need. 

First, think about startup costs, essential expenses to getting your business running. These costs could include necessary equipment, registration fees, marketing, and website building. 

Then, you might outline the rent, electricity, water, and wifi charges of running your shop. Also, calculate the cost of your ingredient orders and how often you’ll need to restock. 

Once you know the money you’ll need, consider how you’ll get it. So, you might include your plan to secure funding through an investor or lender. 

Accounting tools 

On top of this, you’ll need to consider your financial accounting methods. It’s crucial to maintain accurate business records, which you can do by opening a business current account and using modern accounting software, like Countingup. 

Countingup combines a business account with accounting software, making it easier to manage your finances in one place. You can save time with automatic features like automatic expense categorisation and cash flow insights. These tools help you track your spending and the cash coming in and out of your business over time. . 

Determine a timeline 

Consider the timeline of your business operations to give you structure and purpose each day. For example, you might outline the typical day at your small bakery, including when you get into the shop, bake your goods, and open and close the shop.

Discuss how you’ll juggle your tasks and organise your calendar to manage your time well. When will you spend time organising your bookkeeping or ordering from suppliers? With the right business management tools, like Google Workspace, you can organise your contacts, projects, and calendar altogether. 

In summary, setting up your bakery’s operational plan will help you structure your business for success. Just be sure to outline the who, what, where, and how much so you have the essential detail to make it happen.

Simplify your bakery finances with Countingup

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Apply now.