Survey your customers to learn how often they visit your bakery and what keeps them coming back. If you have an email list, online tools, such as SurveyMonkey, can help you create and launch surveys and evaluate results. With customer insights, you can better market your goods—and save by cutting what’s not working.
Shop their bakeries and surf their websites to research pricing, menus and target customers. Don’t rip off their ideas—instead, find out what they’re missing and determine whether it’s a hole you can fill.
Use slow periods to catch up on back-burner projects, like updating decor and completing general maintenance. In addition to researching additional revenue opportunities, Amber Barros of The Good Cookies & Beyond in Torrance, California, uses slower periods to revamp counter displays and make room for additional equipment.
Barbara Tracy at Marilyn’s Bakery in Hobart, Indiana, looks forward to downtime to train staff and try out new recipes. January can be a great time for cross-training and allowing staff to recommend new additions to the menu.