How to Estimate Sales for a New Bakery Business
Calculating the potential sales and profit margin of a new bakery allows business owners to make smart choices about how many employees to hire, how much to spend on advertising and how to increase the bottom line on profits. Coming up with an estimate can also help control food costs. Knowing an approximate amount of your business' total receipts for the year gives you the opportunity to plan for future growth.
Step 1: Estimate total food sales for the year. If your business is just getting started or you're not yet open for business, this can be challenging. Research bakeries in demographically similar areas and pay attention to the length of time the bakery has been open as this will affect food sales. For example, a bakery in business for five years will have regular customers. Ask the owner how many people he estimates are regular customers and how much his bakery earns each year. Be honest about why you want the information and talk to businesses in another town that are not your competition. Not every bakery owner will be willing to share this information, so ask several.
Figure out how many customers you'll have. Once you choose your location, visit local restaurants with a similar atmosphere, such as cafes or other bakeries. Visit during peak times like breakfast and lunch. Also, visit during off times, like mid-morning and mid-day. Figure out how many customers visit the store in a single day. Next, talk to workers and ask if they are always this busy and if any other days have a spike in customers. Repeat this process for several restaurants in the area.
Step 4: Calculate how much each customer will spend. Take mid-priced item from your menu and use those to create this estimate. Some customers will order lower-priced items and others will order the most expensive items on the menu. A mid-priced item will help balance these factors for your estimate. Also, figure that breakfast consumers spend less than business people visiting your establishment at lunch time and purchasing pricier sandwiches and drinks.
Step 5: See if your estimates are on track. Once you've been in business for a month, look at your actual sales receipts and compare them to your estimates. Decide if your business is doing better or worse than expected. Look at food trends in the area and see if there is any way to increase your profits. For example, if it is summer, add ice cream sandwiches made with fresh cookies baked in your bakery; if it is winter, add hot cocoa to your menu.
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