Earn money baking from home: is it possible? Find out how I legally make money baking at home

If you’ve always wanted to make money baking for other people, I’m here to tell you to forget about it! Well, let me make it clear that if that’s what you want to do, you’d better be a tough cookie. However, hard cookies may not be a good description if you want to make money baking. At this point, you’re probably thinking that I’m a bit of a middle ground myself.

Seriously, I’m not writing this to be a dream killer, I just want to help you make your dream come true, and more importantly, I want to help you avoid the pitfalls I encountered when I started my home-based corporate catering business.

This is a pretty long story, and we’re going to have to spend a little time together to get through this, so maybe I should introduce myself and we can get to know each other. I am a mother of twelve, (yes they are all ours). She had searched for many years for the answer to successfully working from home. As you can imagine, in that long search, I came across many scams and wasted more than a few dollars buying empty promises.

I’ll give you a little background to help clarify how I finally decided to start my own business. To help raise money for a church building expansion project, I started a baking drive that was very successful. Soon I had other churches asking for my help. I often heard “you should start a business doing this”. To cut a long story short, I finally decided to do just that. I ran that business, mostly from home, for ten years.

I made every mistake in the book and then some. I started by taking classes on how to start a business. It was good, but lacked in many ways. I thought I checked the education box. I wasn’t experienced enough to recognize that many of the commonly accepted practices for starting a business didn’t sit well with our family. For example, it costs money to start almost any type of business. The common practice is that businesses are run with OPM (other people’s money). Unfortunately, we accepted that advice and it cost us dearly.

One of the realities is that many small businesses fail and the percentage in the food business is higher than most. There is certainly a lot of debate about the actual failure rate, but that is beside the point. The real problem is that no matter what business you decide to go into, most of us don’t want to be a statistic. Some of the best advice I can give you on this topic is to dip your toe in the water, start slowly, and build up some savings that you can use to start your business.

If you really want to get started, you can find a licensed kitchen that you can use, and many times you can find one that you can use for a very cheap price. I started using our church kitchen for FREE. I agreed to make sure the kitchen was cleaned well and was the contact person for the health department when they needed to inspect it. I know others who have an agreement to be in charge of the kitchen when it is rented for parties. It really is possible, you may have to trade in some time and effort, but having the ability to get started with a very small investment is well worth it.

After a while, I really wanted an arrangement that was more convenient. When I used the church kitchen, I had to grab all my supplies in the middle of the night, bake, clean, and get home by 7:00 am so my husband could get to work on time. I also had to get my orders delivered. It was for that reason that we decided to consider adding a licensed commercial kitchen to our home. Remember at the beginning of this article I said I would have to be a tough guy, well I said that because dealing with the health department to add the kitchen to our house was an uphill battle.

There were permits, zoning issues, compliance requirements. It was a lengthy process and there were many discussions with the city offices. In the end, they gave us the permits and we started the construction. It was by no means cheap, but compared to the cost of leases and lease improvements, it was certainly a great choice. Keep in mind I didn’t have a retail business so there was no traffic at my house, I delivered all the orders. On top of that, another concession I made was that I didn’t have delivery trucks coming to my door, I had to pick up all my supplies. Again, those were minor issues in the grand scheme of things.

We finally met all the requirements and added the commercial kitchen to our home. It was worth the fight. I have loved having the opportunity to work at home, doing something that I have always enjoyed. In addition to the ability to generate money for our family, I have had the ease that has allowed me to continue helping youth groups raise funds for mission trips and other charitable causes.

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