Do you have staff working with you at home? Do you get asked this often and do you think someone will make a decision to go with you based on if you have a lot of staff? I had some parents meet with me today and asked if I did everything by myself. Somehow I felt a bit embarrassed to say it is just me and another person who washes up and does cleaning for each job. They seemed amazed I did it all by myself. Was wondering if that could be a turn-off to tell 1st time customers. I have reached the point where my business needs to expand beyond my kitchen and with more staff because it limits how many customized orders I can take on every week but I haven't found any commercial kitchens as yet for rent.
Use it as a selling point. Because it is only you, they will get the same quality each and very time, when they hire you to make their cake, they are guaranteed you will be the one actually making the cake. Because you are the owner, you have an investment in everything turning out perfectly, more so than an employee ever could.
See if you can find somebody to do flowers only, and only when you have large orders.
Tell the customers who ask, "we have help on call but I supervise everything myself to make sure it is perfect".
Customers are curious and don't realize how their questions affect people. I would put this question in the nosey neighbor category. You can change the subject or give a simple yes.
They might simply want to make sure they will still have a cake if you are sick/unavailable/etc.
I have reached the point where my business needs to expand beyond my kitchen and with more staff because it limits how many customized orders I can take on every week
If you are at 100% capacity another way to approach this would be to increase your prices to reduce order volume but increase margins.
Employee(s)? Check with your city... most cities will only allow one employee besides yourself at a home-based business.
I think most clients wouldn't expect a "staff" of employees working in a residential neighborhood, and would probably already know about the local employee limit for home-based business.
Was wondering if that could be a turn-off to tell 1st time customers.
If it's a turn-off, the answer is easy... refer to the employee limit regulations that your home-based business is required to follow. (Which surprises me that your city hasn't already informed you what that limit is.)
Thanks for the responses everyone.
I have a lady who I outsource all my wedding cake sugar flowers to. It really eases up my time and I can do more orders in a week now than when I did my own flowers.
True - they will want to know if I have back-up staff in case I get sick or can't do the cake.
Yes it does look like it is time to increase my prices and margins to control volume. Perhaps the days for $50 cakes are over...every week I get a mix of cakes - large and then small bday cakes. I feel i've reached my peak of this growth stage..with many more growth stages to come. There aren't commercial kitchens for rent here like in the U.S. I only learned that this existed when I joined CC. Most ppl either do it from home or open a store-front / bakery.
I ought to go to our Labour ministry and find out. Never knew there was a limit on employees at a home-based business. I'm not in the U.S. so our country laws may be different. In fact, I would be surprised if we had laws on the no. of employees allowed. Our laws are very relaxeeeeeeed in a lot of areas.
I was surprised that they asked. Most home-based bakers that I know operate solo or with the help of a family member who lives with them or friend or wants to learn. Haven't met any who had help.
Thanks everyone for the responses and advice. As usual, it was good