In this Undergraduate blog, Anika Khosla discusses how she used her entrepreneurial mindset to create Nikki’s Bakery and how the modules on her course at WBS has helped her build her business.
My name is Anika Khosla and I am in my final year studying BSc Accounting & Finance at Warwick Business School. I am a passionate baker (not only because I enjoy eating cake and have a sweet tooth) but because it is a skill that I have worked on developing since I was younger. My passion for baking has led to me setting up my own bakery business that I manage alongside my studies.
At WBS there’s a strong sense of entrepreneurialism amongst both the staff and students, it’s a great environment to be in especially when you are starting your own business. I grew up around baking, my aunt would always bake cakes for birthday celebrations and I was there alongside to help. I then started using shop bought cake mixes to create my own bakes and as I became more confident in my cooking skills I began using fresh ingredients and making cakes from scratch. I spent quite a long time perfecting my own recipe that I still use as a base to my cakes today. My passion for baking started with cakes but before I knew it, I was producing cupcakes, brownies and cookies. I started off using simple decorations and flavours and then as I practiced more I was able to push my boundaries and experiment. I then realised I could turn my passion into a business so I decided to set up Nikki's Bakery.
I began by spreading the word to my friends and family about my business and then decided to create a website and use social media platforms such as Instagram to promote my bakery. I use Instagram as my main social media platform because it is a platform based on photography, which is very beneficial when you are trying to sell cakes. The platform also appeals to my target audience. I also link my Instagram account to Facebook so all of my photos are posted onto the Facebook page simultaneously to target those who may not have Instagram. If you are looking to use social media to promote your business, then I would suggest creating a profile solely for your business and following the relevant accounts within your industry. If you use Instagram as your business platform, hashtags are the way forward. Do some research on the most popular hashtags around your business and use them on every post you do. Also make your own hashtags and get them trending. I use #nikkisbakery on every post and my clients use it when they post about my products. It all helps to promote the business.
The modules in my degree really helped me build the business. Studying Accounting and Finance involves a lot of cost and profit analysis and I was able to use this when pricing my products. Not only did it help from a pricing perspective, but my degree also gives you a business mindset. Studying modules such as Business Law gave me an insight into the regulations which may apply to me and how to deal with client data. These are areas which I might have over looked or not considered usually. The business knowledge that I have gained throughout my studies has enabled me to run my business more efficiently and overall successfully. Foundations of Management Accounting was another module which taught me cost/variance analysis and the importance of budgeting. These were vital concepts to me when it came to coming up with pricing structures for my bakes. As well as looking at things from an analytical perspective, the business school also encourages a lot of creativity in their modules, especially when it comes to group presentations. When I designed my business logo I was able to take inspiration from logo’s I had previously made within my course work.
Managing my studies with my baking has been a challenge but a great learning experience. What people tend to forget if they do not bake themselves is that baking is a time-consuming process that requires patience and an eye for detail. There have been instances in the past six months where I have had to put my studies before my business, but as with any business venture it’s all a learning curve. I have introduced a new timetable to help manage my baking jobs alongside my studies and tend to have clients contacting me in advance now in comparison to when I first started the business.
To any other students that are thinking about starting their own business I would say go for it! If you are thinking of starting a business whilst studying, then efficiency and effective time management is crucial. It is easy to become occupied in the planning and running of a business, especially because it is so exciting. I would also suggest making use of the resources that WBS have to offer and to take advantage of the range of elective modules within your course, which can focus on areas such as entrepreneurialism, marketing and strategy.
If you would like to find out more about the undergraduate courses that we offer at Warwick Business School then why not download our 2020 Undergraduate Brochure.