With lockdown making many become furloughed and many more lose their jobs, people have used their ingenuity and skills in the kitchen to find other ways to make money. And the past 12 months have seen the rise of the ‘side-hustle’ baker – chefs and good home cooks who started making goodies from their own kitchens and have suddenly found themselves with successful businesses.
Perhaps you’re being forced into a career change, or just need a bit of extra cash to supplement your income. Either way, your famous chocolate brownies or caramel flapjacks might be your next success story. Here are some steps you can take to start your own baking business from home.
1. Watch Tutorials
If you have great ideas, but your work isn’t quite polished enough to be able to sell commercially, then YouTube is your best friend. Watching tutorials is a great way to pick up new skills and expand your repertoire. Alternatively, you could take a course if there’s a specific set of skills you need to develop. The investment could well pay off in the long run.
2. Buy the Best
One of the main reasons people buy food from small businesses rather than big conglomerates is that they expect high-quality ingredients to be top-notch. Don’t skimp on this because even though it’ll make the cost of your product higher, it’ll also be one of your main selling points. Customers will also expect you to be able to say where all your food comes from, and traceability rules mean you have to keep track of this anyway.
3. Adapt your Kitchen
Make sure you have all the equipment needed to make larger batches than you’d normally produce, and ensure your kitchen has been adapted accordingly. You might need a larger oven, another fridge and somewhere to store extra utensils and machinery, so space may be of the essence. Stephen Lynskey, Head Designer at Hammonds Kitchens, says a lot of space is wasted in the corners of your kitchen, which makes it the perfect storage solution. The best way to maximize this space, Stephen says, is to add a le man’s pull-out tray, a handy device that utilizes every inch of space.
4. Create Brand Awareness
Consider the name and logo carefully, then promote what you do both online and offline. Social media is a great tool for this, and getting professional photos of your baked goods will set the mouths watering. Remember to interact with others on the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and it’s also important to create your own website – keep it simple, but make sure it showcases what you do and how people can buy it.
Getting stalls at local events will also help to get your name out there – people love to buy locally!
Who knows where this baking venture will take you? But you’ll give yourself your best chance if it’s a labor of love. If you enjoy what you’re doing then it’ll always be worthwhile come rain or shine.