New data from Simply Business reveals that the number of independent bakeries, cake makers and tea and cake shops has been consistently rising year-on-year.
The new series of The Great British Bake Off is in full swing and people are watching in record numbers – 9.4 million tuned in for the first episode.
With hapless contestants already being eliminated (sorry, Jamie), we delved into our data and found out that the number of independent bakeries across the UK has surged between 2016 and 2018.
Looking at independent bakeries, cake makers and tea and cake shops, we analysed more than 6,400 insurance policies taken out over a three-year period:
|Year||Number of policies taken out||Percentage increase between each year|
|2018||2,827||25 per cent|
|2017||2,121||31 per cent|
|Region||Percentage increase from 2017-2018||Total number of independent bakeries|
|South West England||34 per cent||575|
|Scotland||29 per cent||413|
|Wales||29 per cent||318|
|East Anglia||27 per cent||798|
|South Central England||25 per cent||599|
|North West England||24 per cent||866|
|North East England||24 per cent||858|
|Northern Ireland||24 per cent||64|
|South East England||23 per cent||647|
|The Midlands||20 per cent||791|
|London||17 per cent||504|
The majority of independent bakeries and cake shops are founded by women, who started 87 per cent more businesses than men over the three-year period. A total of 1,670 bakeries were owned by women between 2016-2018, compared to 206 by men.
In the last year alone, women opened up 38 per cent more bakeries and cake shops – this is a jump from 540 in 2017 to 878 in 2018.
Bea Montoya, Chief Operating Officer at Simply Business, commented: “Small businesses are vital to the UK economy, so the fact that so many aspiring bakers and pastry makers are making the leap is extremely encouraging.
“With the accessibility of social media marketing on their side and a demand for bespoke artisan bakers and dessert makers, business insurance is crucial in protecting a new venture.”
Considering there’s been a rise in the number of independent bakeries out there, you should make sure your business stands out. Do you have a speciality, for example? Maybe your niche could be in vegan or gluten-free bakes, or concentrating on cupcakes for children’s parties. Be sure to have a good sense of the local market too, as most customers need to be close enough for in-person delivery or collection.
You’re going to spend a lot of time making your products look beautiful, so photographing them and displaying them on your website will be key. Set up a website with important details covering what you do, where you’re based, and how people can place an order. Set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account for your business, keeping them updated with posts and photographs (and interact with other users and businesses too).
Even if you’re setting up a baking business from home, it’s good to get out and tell people about your business, developing a reputation locally. Consider applying for a stall at local events, including food markets and fetes. You can offer people free samples, sell cakes, and give out flyers and leaflets to promote your business.
As well as going to events and setting up social media accounts, think of more ways to market yourself. If you’re specialising in wedding cakes, try to put flyers in a wedding dress shop, or develop a relationship with a local wedding venue. You could try Google Pay Per Click (PPC) ads or Facebook advertising, but remember to narrow the audience down to your local area so that the adverts only appear for people within your delivery zone.
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
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