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Start Your Home-Based Baking Business!

Do you have a dessert or pastry that receives rave reviews every time you make it? Have you ever wondered if your product would be successful on the market? Are you in need of additional income or a getaway from your current job?

A favorite product that you've made time and time again, could be the answer to your questions and your financial dilemma. You could be holding the recipe for the next million dollar pastry. Generally, repeated compliments from mixed audiences, suggest that your product has market potential. Restaurants, cafés, sandwich shops, caterers, hotels, local retail shoppers, online shoppers, etc. are looking for new products; and quality products are always in demand.

Now, before you begin selling those wonderful baked goods, there are essential things that you must put in place to make your business legal. While there are many important steps to starting your home-based baking business, I've decided to focus on the two most important that will lay a great foundation for a successful home business.

The first step in setting up your home baking business is finding out if you will be able to acquire the necessary licenses and permits to operate the business. Before continuing with this step, I should tell you that you will not be allowed/licensed to prepare food for commercial sales from your personal kitchen (the kitchen used to prepare your personal meals). You will be required to setup a separate kitchen for the business. It is my understanding that every state in the U.S. enforces this regulation/health code in addition to others. Your local governing agencies... business license office, zoning department and department of agriculture/health can answer any questions you have concerning regulations and preparation of work space as they pertain to your area.

Keep in mind, not all cities, counties and states have the same ordinances, regulations and codes. For example: ordinances in your city or county might prohibit the operation of food businesses in the home, OR, the location of your home might fall in a restricted zone for home-based food businesses. Invest a little time and effort in a few phone calls or in-person visits to these offices.

Once you have a "YES" response that will allow you to set up a home food business, the next steps are: choosing a room or area of your home for baking, getting estimates for renovations, pricing equipment (only what's necessary for startup), creating a much needed startup budget and writing a business plan (even if brief, for your personal use only).

Because many questions have been asked concerning the difficulty in setting up a home baking business according to codes and regulations, I felt it necessary to briefly discuss the subject from an experienced point of view. The level of difficulty in setting up your home business is, more often than not, minimal in comparison to opening a bakery in a commercial location. The amount of work to be done will vary, for each person, depending on the current condition of the designated work space. If the chosen work space has no electrical wiring, plumbing, finished walls or covered floors, of course, your startup cost will be more than it would be if some of these things were already in place. To make an informed decision, you must first determine the actual cost of renovation. Don't leave out any cost, not matter how small. It can negatively impact the bottom line.

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