Whether you’re a hobbyist selling baked goods on the side or a full-time baker running a small business, having a home-based baking business presents several unique challenges. The messy kitchen, the piles of dirty dishes, the sweltering air, the family members trying to sneak cookies past you, all of these common problems are just the tip of the iceberg. But no matter how hard running a baking business at home may feel like there are still a lot of ways to make life easier, and that includes other people in the household.
Here are some of the common problems that home bakers face and how you can overcome them:
1. Constant sugar rushes
Whether you’re a baker or a cook, you have to sample your creation to know that it’s good. However, this doesn’t mean you have to eat a whole slice of cake or gobble an entire brownie to know that your customers will love it. You also don’t have to lick off the mixer blades every time you’re done with a batter or eat a handful of chocolate chips for the cookies you’re making.
If you have a habit of eating or sampling too much of the desserts you make, you may suffer from constant sugar rushes. The next thing you know, you can’t fall asleep even with a cooling mattress pad or air comforter and your favorite podcast playing. And who can forget about the soul-sucking sugar crashes?
Avoid this problem by simply refraining from eating too much of what you’re baking. A teaspoon of batter or a small piece of pastry should be enough to tell you that it’s good. Apart from helping you avoid sugar crushes, doing this will also prevent extra pounds from settling on your waist.
2. Overheated kitchen
When your oven is on non-stop, your kitchen is bound to feel like the back of a commercial bakery. In the winter, this can be a good thing. But on any other day that’s not cold, a hot kitchen can make working needlessly difficult and uncomfortable.
Proper ventilation is the key to prevent your kitchen from overheating. While the oven is on, pop open the windows and turn on the fan to improve air circulation inside the room. It’s also a good idea to open the back door (if you have one in the kitchen) and place an electric fan facing outward to push some of the heated air outside.
3. Mountains of dirty dishes
A pile of dirty dishes is the price you have to pay for baking something beautiful. But when you run a baked goods business from home, the word ‘pile’ is an understatement.
The key to avoiding soiled dishes and baking equipment from piling up is to use as little of them as possible. Another good tip is to wash dishes during your idle times (e.g. when waiting for something to bake or letting the dough rise) so that you don’t end up with a mountain of dishes on your sink at the end of the day. And if you have little assistants (a.k.a. children), offer a sample of your baked goods in exchange for washing the dishes.
4. Limited space
The size of your kitchen will determine how many batches you can bake in a day, which ultimately sets the limit on orders you need to set. However, you also have to consider the fact that you need to use the kitchen to cook meals, too. And if you’re using every inch of space for baking, things are bound to be stressful when dinner time comes or when your family members start lurking around for a snack.
That said, it’s important that you save a bit of space for cooking if mealtimes are going to overlap with your baking sessions. This avoids the hassle of having to shove your equipment aside to make room for dinner’s ingredients, as well as the squabble when a family member wants to make a cup of coffee but the coffee maker is blocked by your stand mixer. If you have a small kitchen, bake only a reasonable number of batches at a time to avoid taking over the entire room with your ingredients, equipment, tools, and other baking paraphernalia.
Running a dessert or baked goods business out of your own kitchen is an excellent way to establish a brand without the cost of opening up your own store–or perhaps just to earn income on the side while engaging in your favorite hobby. And fortunately, the challenges that come with this type of hustle can be easily overcome, as made apparent by the things mentioned in this article.