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Blog Archive

Monday, July 28, 2008

Homeworking idea : Homebaking, an interview with a baker.

There are many benefits in working from home such as setting your own hours, being able to raise your children, taking them to school, to sporting events and other extracurricular activities, taking care of elderly or sick family members, to name a few, and still enjoy the sense of accomplishment by being a provider for yourself and your loved ones.

Although not all personalities prefer to work at home and some may instead find a more social type setting more enjoyable, to a body odor sufferer, the more recluse home environment represents an escape from the constant ridicule and rejection from co-workers sufferers face in more social settings.

This is a very interesting interview with one of our own Body Odor Support forum member, Sonya (a.k.a. lucyloo2000), who operates her home cake decorating business. She shares with us the reason for her decision to work from home, the pros and cons, and tips on how to run a home business like hers.

Sonya, thank you so very much for sharing this information with us. I’m certain there are many sufferers out there looking for alternatives to their very difficult work environment, and you seem to have found one that works for you. Sharing your experiences with us can guide us in this very important decision-making process.

Click below to read my interview with Sonya


MARIA: What gave you the idea of starting a home cake decorating business?

SONYA: Well, ever since I was a small girl, I always have loved to cook and make things for other people. I was always drawing and doodling in notebooks. I carried the love of cooking and drawing with me into adulthood. I never knew that I could put the two together and come up with cake decorating. The first cake that I made was for my youngest son's 2nd birthday. I bought a Wilton book and followed the recipe and directions step by step. To my delight, the cake was beautiful, and everyone who saw it could not believe that I made it. My family members were my first customers. It was a great feeling, to know that I had a talent for something. I was already painfully aware of my odor condition during this time. I had lost several friends because of the condition, and I was very depressed. Getting into the cake business helped my self esteem and sense of self worth. It gave me an outlet to express myself.

MARIA: What would you say are the pros and cons of starting a home business venture like this?

SONYA: The pros of this business
+ You can set your own hours and work as much and or as little as necessary
+ The only interaction with customers is over the phone when the order is placed and when the cake is picked up. Very little on the spot interaction
+ I can stay home with my kids in the summer and also be here to take them to and from school, and work during the day when they are at school.
+ I am a shy person and this allows me to work at home and have a sense of accomplishment without having to go through the social issues in the workplace.
+ I order all of my supplies online, except the cake ingredients.
+ It is a creative outlet.
+ People buy these cakes for special events, and you have the opportunity to make their day a little nicer. You can add your special touch to their special day.
+Very little time is actually spent with the customer, and they are usually so excited about the cake, that they don't even seemed bothered with the BO issue.

The cons: - You have to take orders when they come.....if you have plans or events scheduled, you have to be available for the customer. When you turn down a customer, you may loose potential business from them or their friends in the future. My advice is always put the customer first. You must be available and flexible.
- Cake baking and decorating takes patience. It is a step by step process that cannot be rushed. You must be able to stand on your feet in one spot for several hours. it's time consuming.
_ the initial start up can be costly. I have over 100 pans, but it took a while to get all of them. I bought most of them on e-bay or at yard sales. This saved me quite a bit.
- for me the pros outweigh the cons.

MARIA: How do you develop a clientele, by referrals, advertising to wedding planners or to any organizations, etc?

SONYA: I developed a clientele by word of mouth. I took several cakes to school functions, and it snowballed from there. I made sure that I had business cards printed and placed on top of the cake boxes. Also I give several cards to customers when they pick up their cake. They give them to friends and relatives and more business follows. The best advertising I have found is by word of mouth. Make your cakes fresh and think of your customer first, Ask yourself what would I want this cake to look like, taste like.....if I were the customer.
Good communication is a must. The customer must get exactly what they ask for, because they are paying you for your services.
Another thing is to make sure your cakes are priced fairly. Don't overcharge. Look around at your local bakery and price your cakes slightly below theirs.

MARIA: Is there anything else you want to say to sufferers who might be interested in starting a home-baking business or a home-food catering business?

SONYA: If you are interested in developing your own home cake decorating business, go for it. Take classes if you don't know how to decorate. Use the internet as an instructional tool. I do this all of the time. You can find anything on the net. Don't give up on life. Find something you enjoy and go for it! I also love to take pictures, and I may get into that sometime. Do something as a hobby or part time before you go head over heels into it though. You have to feel out the waters and see if you get any bites.
Many of us have undiscovered talents. We can use our talents in home based business and in the process have a great time, and help support our families.


random homebaking links:
ideas : http://www.wilton.com/cake/index.cfm
ehow article : http://www.ehow.com/how_2056888_start-home-baking-business.html
motherearthnews article : http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1983-01-01/At-Home-in-the-Baking-Business.aspx

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