Running a baking business with a full-time job: My top 5 secrets
Updated: Aug 14
If you are nervous or scared like I was to leave your full time job to run a home bakery, then you are at the right place.
Because I was at the exact same place as you were - 4 years ago.
If you bake as a hobby and want to make it into a full-time business, you might come across the following thoughts:
Will I actually be able to set up a baking business?
Will I make profit or more realistically any money to be financially independent?
Am I good enough?
I faced all of these questions and more. It’s scary and I didn’t have a “baking mentor” who could guide me through this. But for 4 years, I made mistakes and learnt my way into building a baking business, without sacrificing my full-time job.
I’ve been running a part-time baking business called OvenBytes for the last 4 years that helps me generate a pretty nice side-income. And I’m doing this while excelling at my full-job as an analyst at an investment banking firm. #WomenInTech
Before I share my tips, let me give you a background about myself.
My neighbour introduced me to baking
When I was 6 years old, we moved to Switzerland. And yes, it is the most beautiful place with absolutely breathtaking views all around. In Zurich, our neighbour invited us to her home when she was baking some cookies and introduced me to the world of baking and I have been in love with it ever since.
When I moved back to India 8 years later, I slowly picked up baking again. With birthday cakes and cookies for friends and relatives and yearly Diwali stalls at my apartment complex, I took the decision to start a part time business. With the encouragement from my parents and brother, Oven Bytes was launched (I gave it the name Oven Bytes much later, in 2016).
Rewind back a few years, I graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Technology and took up a full time job as a Software Engineer which took up most of my time. Moving to a different city for the same didn’t help with my plans either. I didn’t know then how serious I was about baking, nor did I recognize the passion I had for it. So, I baked a little bit, as per mood, time. It wasn’t a business then.
In 2016, I moved back home to Delhi and that is where my journey started as a part time business owner.
So here is where I am now, I have been working as an IT professional for the past 6.5 years and as an owner of “Oven Bytes” for the last 4 years. Based on the knowledge I have gathered so far, I would like to share with you all my tips to start a home bakery as a part time profession.
So here goes…
1. Practice. Practice. Practice.
It is of utmost importance that you practice your skills. With such amazing bakers all around us, we need to be able to put up good quality desserts that need to look great and taste amazing. When clients come to you it is possible they want the latest trending cake or dessert. So keep your eyes and ears open, stalk social media, watch Youtube videos to know what is trending.
Here are my top 3 hacks to find the latest baking/cake trends:
Search for “Trending cakes 2020” on Pinterest
Follow social media influencers like:
--> Nerdy Nummies
--> Cupcakes by Jemma
--> Oven Bytes (me! :P)
2. Word of Mouth Actually Works
When you are just thinking of starting a home bakery, bake for every occasion you can. You need to go out there and pitch for yourself. So every opportunity you get, a friend’s birthday, a relative’s anniversary or a colleagues farewell, bake a cake and showcase your talent. Impress at the party, introduce yourself and the next thing you know you have a new client right then and there. Word of mouth goes a long way!
3. Social Media & the Internet
Create a page on Facebook, a business account on Instagram and even a website if possible. In the age of the Internet, this is the easiest and cheapest way to promote yourself and your talent. Click good pictures, use the correct hashtags and tag food bloggers and influencers.
4. Blockers and Solutions
This is a key step. Identify what are the issues you will face as soon as you start. For example, for me, it was finding the time to bake cakes after 12 hours working at my full time job or how I would deliver my desserts. Research your solutions too. Talk to like minded people, search the Internet or maybe read a book on the same.
For me, after a lot of research, I found FoodCloud. A platform based out of Delhi and Kolkata specially for home chefs. They gave me the ability to deliver orders 24 hours/48 hours after accepting the order and also pick the dessert from my home and deliver it at the customer’s doorstep.
5. Find Your Niche
If possible, try to do something that will make you stand out or is in demand. This will help you capture a specific clientele quickly.
Here are some interesting niches:
Vegan or Gluten Free Bakes
Cakes with unique fillings
So these were my 5 tips on how to start off your home bakery. I hope that it has helped you and got you thinking.
Let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below! :) If you’re interested to read more of my baking journals, subscribe to my mailing list here.