A few years ago, baker and entrepreneur Mimi Fix was in the middle of major life changes and in need of a new source of income. She turned to something she was good at that she could do from home: Baking.
Ms. Fix isn’t the only one who has discovered that baking can be a boon when you want to start a business but have barely any start-up capital. It is, and perhaps always has been a business with low barriers to entry including low start-up costs, minimal education requirements, and low overhead if done from home. While many people have sold jams and pies out of their homes in the past, in recent years home-based cupcake businesses have become trendy.
Having a home-based food business is “especially helpful for people who are not satisfied in their present job or career, because it can be a way to ease into the food business without leaving the security of a job,” says Fix in her book, Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business.
People with children may also find that it is a business that can be run while caring for kids, as it can be done in their own time, without the need to pay for daycare or babysitters as they work (as long as the kids are safely out of the kitchen and all food safety rules concerning preparation are followed).
After running her own business for several years, and working in bakeries and commercial kitchens and in corporate food research and development, Fix expanded her enterprise and turned to teaching baking classes at several locations, and writing books such as Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business. The book teaches other food entrepreneurs how to start and run successful bakeries (and other food enterprises) from home, while avoiding some of the pitfalls she faced herself when she started.
According to Fix, some of the most important things to consider are local laws concerning food safety and packaging, and what the rules are about home-based food businesses in your area. Research, ask questions, educate yourself through reading and classes, and practice making products until they’re good enough to sell.
Also, learning a bit about running a business never hurts, such as learning how to properly inventory supplies, how to calculate ingredient and recipe costs so that products can be priced appropriately, and how to market and sell wares.
Running a home-based food business is a dream come true for some, like Fix, who said in her book, “For many people, the idea of owning a food business is a fantasy that seems unattainable. But with a few simple steps and very little expense, anyone can start a home-based food business and make money.”
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