Hey Besties! Today we’re talking about a business model that is transforming the businesses of home bakers! As you know, I’m all about helping cottage bakers create thriving businesses doing what they LOVE! The talent and passion of home bakers never ceases to amaze me, as captured in our Featured Baker stories. And a big part of the excitement in this industry is that there are SO many different business models for everyone to be successful! The targeted model we’ll discuss today is what I call “Cookies for College Kids”, but it can really be any delicious goodie, not just cookies. Read on to see how you may be able to add this model to your business!
Cookies for College Kids
With kids everywhere recently going back to school, this really is the perfect time to add this model to your business. I’m aware of some bakers who are already having HUGE success with this but there is SO much more potential all over! If you live anywhere near a college, you’ve got a great opportunity to work this into your biz!
There are a couple different ways to work this…marketing to college kids because we all know college kids love sweet treats. But the real way to market this is to the PARENTS of college kids. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that a lot of parents really struggle with sending their kids to college. As much as we all want them to fly and succeed, it’s so hard for parents and students to be apart, especially that freshman year. What better way to let a college kid feel the love than a home baked treat sent with love from their parents?! I’ve seen firsthand how much it means to a college kid when they are surprised with a special home baked treat sent from a loved one…it’ll melt your heart.
How to Market For Success
For largest reach in this business model, you want to market in a few different ways. Ideally, you want to be marketing at the college and getting into the parent resources for the school. Colleges always have bulletin boards (some physical and some digital), which are the best place to start. Here you can market to the kids on campus, but I also recommend your marketing be set up for them to share with their parents. In your marketing, specifically say “Let your parents know they can have baked goods delivered to you!” Or something to that effect. Honestly, once a few kids on campus start receiving the goodies, it spreads like wildfire. That has been the experience other home bakers have had – word of mouth amongst college students is a golden ticket.
Also contact the college directly, letting them know you offer this service. Often, colleges have newsletters and parent outreach resources where they can include your information. Colleges want the students AND the parents to be happy and feel supported, so often times they’ll welcome sharing information that increases quality of life for their students and families. They may even have events you could attend to sell your goods or include your goods in their college tours. Again, your business serves to enhance their college experience so market it that way!
And of course, social media. Advertise in local groups and also see if there are any groups specific to the college or parent resources. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. You never know if one of your own friends or family members knows a kid attending the college and will share your information as well.
And don’t rule out making samples and handing them out with all your contact information attached! Like I said, if your goodies are delicious, college kids will share and tell their friends!
Make sure to consider what is going to be convenient for college students. Anything too large or that requires utensils will be a harder sell. But items like cookies, brownies, small cookie cakes, cake pops are all good choices.
When connecting with the college, find out any rules they have around delivering on campus. Obviously, you want to ensure you’re operating within their rules. But also remember that a lot of students live off-campus in nearby housing, which makes deliveries easy too.
Determine a set delivery schedule to make it very efficient for you. Maybe you deliver to the campus 3 days a week, for example. Make it work for you and have boundaries to ensure its manageable.
Cookies for College Kids – AS A Business Model
I know several bakers who have grown thriving businesses just focusing on delivering to college campuses. Like anything, it will take some time for word to spread and business to grow, so be patient. But if you are near a college town, I would seriously be considering incorporating this into your business model.
On a related note, if you have access to a military base, as a military wife or staff member, this model has proven to be VERY successful in that setting as well. Just ask our Featured Baker, Nicole, who has about 80% of her business going to the Air Force Base. One of her goals is to create a network of home bakers who can deliver to military bases all over to support these young adults and families!
As with any successful business, they seek to fill a need. College and military young adults need support and if you have a bakery near one, you can fill that need! Whether they are lonely, aced a big exam, got accepted into a new program or any other reason, loved ones will LOVE having your service available to them!
I don’t know where my kids will go to college in a couple years, but you can bet that if there is a home bakery near them, I’ll be placing orders regularly!
In the spirit of college, here are a couple fun college school cookies we made for kids that headed off to the freshman year recently!
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