Many home bakers are in such a hurry to get a storefront they haven’t even stopped to think of all the best things about a home bakery!
Sometimes you need a little reminder that right where you are isn’t so bad. Thoughts are if you have a storefront you will be taken more seriously, people will be willing to pay higher prices, and you will have greater success because you have a retail space. I have already shared my thoughts on these myths here and here. This post is reminding you of the best things about a home bakery, so I won’t rehash those things now.
I want you to see it could be you are right where you should be, doing just what you should be doing.
Perhaps this list of things will help you in that realization!
Best Things About a Home Bakery
1. You don’t have to pay rent!
This feels pretty obvious and like it doesn’t really need much of an explanation but here’s one anyway. 😉
Rent can be one of your most expensive factors of overhead. Depending on where you rent and what part of the country you live in, your rent could be quite substantial. I live in a very small town of around 15000 and the space I rented was located in a shopping center. It was around 1500 sq ft and was $1000/month.
That was before I had to pay for the insurance with a $1M coverage policy on it. Not to mention the utilities and what not. You are already paying a mortgage or rent on your home so why add to the stress? It’s great knowing you don’t have to write that huge check every month! Think about how many orders you need to take just to pay the rent compared to the number of orders you take now!
2. You don’t have to worry about the health department and their surprise visits.
I realize every state is different, but where I live, on the state line between two different states, both states’ cottage food laws are similar in that the health department doesn’t visit your home.
Now, here’s the thing. I want to get this out there right now. I’m not saying because you don’t have to worry about surprise visits means you don’t have to keep a clean kitchen or follow food safety guidelines! You absolutely must keep your kitchen clean and always, always follow food safety practices. I actually recommend you find out from your health department what they check for and then implement those guidelines into your home bakery.
But here is what I am saying. You won’t have to stop working in the middle of whatever you are doing to do a walk through with the inspector. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or how busy you are, as the owner you are expected to stop and comply with the inspection. You also must know all the safety guidelines and be able to answer any questions the inspector may have.
You will always be nervous to see that car pull in, even if you follow all the guidelines and never receive a violation! It’s just much less stressful not having to worry about stopping your work and doing an inspection! I’d like to also add, you should make friends with your inspector. Always listen to what they have to say, don’t hesitate to ask questions, and utilize the relationship for the tool that it is!
3. You can work less and make more money!
Yep. It’s true! Obviously the more overhead you have, the more money you have to bring in, the more orders you have to take. If you aren’t making the money you think you should or want to be bringing in, don’t make the mistake of thinking you will profit more money by having a retail space!
If you aren’t making the money you want to be making working from home, then RAISE YOUR PRICES!!
I know, it seems obvious but it’s actually the last thing a lot of people think about doing. Just because you work from home does not mean your time and talent is any less valuable than someone who works from a rented space in town! Promise!
Taking fewer orders will allow you to take more time to work on each cake so you can be sure they are excellent quality. This will allow you to charge what you truly should be for your time!
Don’t fool yourself by thinking people would be more willing to pay higher prices just because you operate from a storefront. They won’t. So don’t wait till you have a store to raise your prices. Just do it now! Take less orders, make more money, have more free time!
4. You have more freedom!
This is one of my favorites!
When you work from home you don’t have to worry about going into a shop to bake a billion different things for the day.
When you work from home if you don’t feel like working and you don’t have orders due, then you don’t have to work!
You can take your kids to the pool, you can read a book, you can peruse Facebook or Pinterest. You can do whatever your heart desires! If you need to stop and pick up your kids from school you can leave your mess and return to finish later.
You can bake and do a load of laundry, clean your kitchen, and play a game of Monopoly with your kids all at the same time. You can work on the order due Sunday all throughout the weekend as you have time.
When you have a storefront you have to go to work every day. You have to be there to answer the phone, speak with walk in customers, manage employees, take inventory, shop, network, clean, organize, reorder supplies, bake for your cases, etc. These things have to be handled on a daily basis. No closing just because you don’t feel like working!
5. You get to know your customers personally.
This is something I didn’t even realize made a difference. When I began cake decorating I worked alone and took every order myself. I got to know my customer and could get a feel for what kind of person they were. I could decide if they were laid back, extremely picky, micro-managers, or would give me free reign over the entire project. I could generally predict what their reaction would be when I revealed the final product to them. I had a pretty good feel for how things would go if changes needed to be made last minute or if I made any kind of mistake on their order.
This was all very beneficial and allowed me to give extremely good customer service and gain many longtime, loyal clients. It was personal for them and for me. They appreciated my work more, recognized me as a person supporting my family, and accepted the prices I quoted without any kind of offense. If there was ever an issue it was always addressed with me and not social media. They trusted me and looked at me as a person.
When I opened my storefront all that changed to a certain degree. I lost that personal touch with my customers because I was not the person they dealt with 95% of the time. So I was unable to predict any of the things I listed before and it made it more difficult for me to relate to my customers. They were quicker to complain and let Facebook know if they weren’t happy before they ever let me know. I was now just a store with a sign out front. I wasn’t a lady getting to be a part of their special occasions anymore. It caused me to become frustrated and want to give up all together. So I was happier than ever when I returned home and returned to getting to know my customers once again!
I hope this list of things has helped you identify some of the great reasons having a home bakery can be a really good thing! If you’re in a hurry to open that storefront, just remember these things, and don’t rush it! Your time will come, but for now, just enjoy the benefits of operating from home!
In the meantime, checkout my bakery worksheets packet to help you get organized and look more professional!
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