Baking for Money, Is it Possible?

You may be wondering, just how did I get started? I have to admit, although I loved the thought of baking for people and getting paid for it, the actual process of running a business  was beyond my expertise.

Initially, although I had secretly dreamed about taking my skills at baking and starting a business, I had not seriously given it a lot of thought until a friend that I worked with part time in a catering company  asked if I had ever considered starting a business featuring my baked goods. [Read more…]

Do You REALLY Like to Bake?

Is it Done Yet?

Do your family and friends walk into your house and just gravitate to the kitchen? Does the aroma of your favorite recipe lure them toward the oven in eager anticipation of the moment you take your creation  out of the oven?

If you answered yes, than I would guess that you would answer the question about liking to bake with a resounding yes.  I am asking you that because baking for a business is really hard work. It requires long hours on your feet, very early hours, heavy lifting, you know what I mean.

When I had my catering company, I was often jumping out of bed at 2:00 in the morning to start baking the bread and breakfast items. During the busy holiday season, it was not unusual for me to get four hours or less of sleep a day.

The point I am making here, is that if you don’t have a great love of baking, you may soon grow to hate your business. If you love baking, but that scenario is not for you, perhaps you need to tweak your idea for a baking business to fit your desires. It goes along with determining if this particular bushiness is a good fit for you and the life you want to live.

When I started my home based catering company, I loved walking out into my kitchen. I still do, and I still enjoy baking as much now as when I started, probably more.

For the most part, I enjoyed the early hours. I got so much work done before most people even started their day. I totally enjoyed having my kids pop into the kitchen in the morning to see if I had made extra for them. (They were the self appointed product testers.)

I was energized by the fact that we could make breakfast for 75 people, and have it delivered in time for their 7:00 am meeting. It was fun to race the clock to get a big lunch delivered before 10:45am.

As we gained more experience, we constantly increased our capacity to get things done,  & work more efficiently. It was awesome to accept the challenges and figure out how to overcome them. We developed shortcuts to make the work go faster. Then we would  access if we wanted to incorporate those shortcuts into our system.

I could go on, but I will wrap this up by answering my own question. I REALLY do like to bake, and if you do too, I will l continue to try and help you figure out the best way for you to build your business around that love.

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I will do my best to answer, and I hope that others will join the conversation as well.

We Started a Home Bakery

I have a licensed commercial kitchen that we added to our home. I can’t tell you what an absolute blessing it has been. I am often asked just how we did that. For ten years I ran my home based catering company from home, and did it legally.

I wanted to stay at home with my kids, and investigated all sorts of ways to help generate income. One of the things I was pretty good at, was baking, and many friends suggested I start a business selling some of the great homemade baked goods I made regularly. After investigating the possibilities, I decided to give it a try.

I started my business working out of our churches kitchen. It was a true gift, however, proved to be a lot of work since I had to work in the middle of the night, clean the kitchen and be out by 7:00am in order to get the deliveries made for the corporate breakfast meetings that I baked for. I used that kitchen for about nine months, and then decided I needed my own space.

Okay, this is a long story!

Let’s face it, the story spans ten years, so it will take awhile to tell the whole story. I have decided to break it into bite size pieces, I will include a “To Do” list for you if this sounds like something that fits your dream. Rome was not built in a day, and neither are most successful businesses.

I am an impatient person, you may be too. I can’t stress enough that a fatal mistake too many small business owners make, is lack of complete planning.

I know you may need to start making money now, most of us do. You might not like what I am going to tell you, but realistically, if you are at the very beginning, you could be 2-3 years away from running a profitable business. Please don’t get discouraged right off the bat, if I can do it, chances are really good you can too!

Well, I don’t want to overwhelm you here, so I will end on this note. If you have not read a book in awhile, today is the first day of the rest of you life. The library, bookstores, Amazon, the internet, podcasts, online classes, audio books are about to become a BIG part of your life from now on.

The first thing on my suggested “TO DO” list is to go to the library and checkout “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It is available on audio, you can listen while you work, drive, walk etc. If you would like to add this book to your personal library, below is a link to Amazon. I must tell you that using this link is a blessing to my family because it is an affiliate link, however there is no additional charge for you. If you prefer, you can simply go to Amazon and search for it by name.

I know that you probably are thinking, what does that have to do with baking.You are right, I don’t think he was known for his baking skills. He does however, provide a critical foundational piece to the success of any business, it is his recipe for success, in business and in life. Enjoy, I’ll talk to you soon.

Please leave a comment or question, I would love to get some great dialog going here as you embark on the path to your specialty baking , and hopefully starting your home bakery business. We can all help each other.

Market Research Really is Your Friend

I would like to tell you a true story.

I had been working with a woman’s business center. One day the director asked me if I would talk to a customer of hers in another state. I told her I would be happy to offer her any help I could.

The next day, the woman called me and we had a long conversation. Basically, she was considering opening a store selling her baked goods, because all her friends were encouraging her to start a retail business. She was convinced that since everyone LOVED her baking, she could open a shop and the customers would simply flock through the doors.

Boy, I have to tell you, she reminded me of me. I had heard the same thing from friends I had. When I started asking my friends opinion about opening the coffee shop, encouragement was coming in from every direction.

I asked her who her target market was, and her answer was “Everyone”. She had never heard of anyone who did not like what she baked. I cringed at her answer, but I totally could identify with it as well. I felt like I was hearing a recording of conversations I may have had years earlier.

I thoughtI had done my market research. In my mind, coffee shops had a great profit margin, and it was a no brain er that “Everyone” loved what I baked. I went to the library, took a look at the business section. There were tons of articles about how coffee shops raked in huge profits.

In addition to that, many friends and acquaintances assured me that “If you build it, they will come.” How could I possibly go wrong? I took the numbers about coffee shops to my class advisers, they took a brief look at it, nodded, and said it looked promising. That was it, market research – done.

The reality of the matter is, most often, people don’t go out of their way to do business with you. They may truly love what you do, however, the majority of us are busy, and even though people may love what you bake, if it takes much time to do business with you, they quite likely won’t.

The problem, is that to be convenient, you have to be in the right spot. We have all heard it, in real estate all that matters is location, location, location. The problem with that reality, is that location usually means big bucks.

If you are just starting out, unless you are independently wealthy, investing big bucks is a huge risk. My point here is that it is prudent to really have more than a hope and a prayer that your business will flourish. Please keep in mind that all those friends who are offering encouragement will not be putting their names on the dotted line, you will.

I guess you think that I am raining on your parade. Believe me, I am all about encouragement, as I have said earlier, if I can do it, just about anyone can. My point here is to follow the steps that help you avoid the pitfalls, and yes, signing a contact that will cost a small fortune is a big pitfall!

From my experience, I would want to advise you to truly take the time to identify your niche market. Being the best at something, is way better than trying to be all things to all people. That just makes you mediocre, and that is not the path to a successful business.

So……the “To Do” this time around is to realistically start your market research. The good news is that you probably don’t have to go to the library and start by looking us SIC codes, you can simply start by searching Google for keywords and the numbers associated with them. For example, if you are wanting to sell pound cake, using your Grandma’s favorite recipe, take a look at the interest in homemade pound cake.

There are a number of research tools you can use for that, Google “keyword research tools”. There are some free ones there and they will give you at least a good place to start.

If you have not yet signed up for my newsletter and top ten favorite ideas to make money baking, I would love you to do that now. In my newsletter, I will go into more details about starting and running your business. Please leave you comments and questions so we can get to
know one another.

There are ways to get around the problem of location, and in the future, I will talk more about that. After making an almost fatal mistake, I was able to regroup, work like crazy to clean up the financial mess I had made, and live to sell another day, another way.

I Decided to Fight Work at Home Scams Aimed at SAHM’s

Scammers Make Me Mad.

By reading the title, you probably have figured out that I have gone around or two (or ten) with work at home scams. I am the mom of twelve, and staying home with my children is my top priority, but contributing to the family finances was also important.

I searched far and wide for a legitimate way to generate money from home, and fell victim to more than my share of scams. You know, after awhile, you get pretty darn sick of that game. I finally wised up, and took a look at what I was good at and decided to do my own thing. I could bake well, so I started my own business doing just that.

I ran my business for ten years,
but there was something missing.

You get to a stage where you try and figure out what you want to be when you grow up. I started the search, and let me tell you, it was pretty hard. That really is an understatement, it involved a lot of soul searching, prayers, and finding the right people to mentor me.  I took all the skills and personality tests to discover my strengths and talents, I read lots of books, listened to a ton of podcasts, took classes, and finally the results are in.

I am passionate about helping moms.

Many moms want the privilege of staying at home with their children, but I know that many times finances make that hard to do. I have facilitated Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” classes many times, and know that extra income is important in lots of households. Therein lies the dilemma, how to generate the income needed AND stay at home.

I discovered that one of my gifts is teaching, paired with the fact that I love communicating with people. In my search for the answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided to see if I could teach baking skills to other people who did not have experience baking. Then I got a scathingly brilliant idea. My friend Judy cringed at the thought of baking, but she is a great sport, and agreed to let me teach her how to bake, and even let me video the lessons. Check out the videos in our recipe section. We have a great time, and Judy is becoming famous for her baking. All her friends and neighbors are lining up to get on her good side (she is spreading great food and good cheer to those near and dear to her.)

I wanted more proof, so I decided to teach a class how to bake, and had great reviews, so now I am going to open my doors and finally start helping stay at home moms learn to generate income for their families, and be able to stay at home with their kids. I have been greatly blessed and I am excited that I can help some moms do what I have done.

I will be posting more information in the coming weeks, and so watch for more information about how I can help some other stay at home moms generate money for their families.

Be a Work at Home Mom And Help Others

Don’t forget to fill out the survey after watching the video if this may be a good fit for you.

I Need to Contribute How Much Money?

Maxed Out
I guess you may be curious about a mom of twelve starting her own business. I did not start my baking career intending it to be a career. I just enjoyed the process, and others liked the product. It morphed into a career sort of out of necessity.

You see, our kids attended parochial school.It did not have a standard size gym, and there was a growing need for classroom space. One day we got a letter encouraging us to pledge a certain amount of money to the building fund. We agreed with the cause, but the problem was we did not have that amount of money to spare.

We believed in the time, talent, treasure theory, and decided to propose an unconventional way to generate our pledge money. I offered to host a cinnamon roll sale after each Sunday service one day a month, and donate all the proceeds to the pledge fund. That idea was met with let’s say a lukewarm reception and lots of doubt. However, the day of the first sale made believers out of everyone, including me. I began getting suggestions to start my own business, and I really thought all those people were slightly crazy.

The seed was planted though, and it took quite awhile to germinate. Check back soon, and I will continue this saga, as well as how I might be able to help stay at home moms, parents and earn some great part time income.