I love baking for my friends and family. And I've always done it for free. What started out as a small hobby has really grown into a passion though. I'm investing a lot more money and time into what I do. So my questions is - how do I start charging for cakes that I always gave away for free? I'm starting to get some outside requests (non-family/friends) so I feel like I'm at a crossroad. I just want to earn back some money to keep this passion going because it's costing me a lot.
Part of my problem is that I am usually the one who initiates the offer to bake and bring a cake to family/friends parties. So now I wonder should I just stop offering and see what happens? I know at this point some people expect it of me to always show up with a baked good in hand. Have any of you been in this same circumstance? Part of the solution is I simply need to stop offering to bring cakes to parties. While I love using these events as excuses to make a cake I have stuck in my head...I know I have to make the transition. And a big part of me really loves being able to make all the decisions about the cake/decoration directly because no one is paying me so in my head its "my cake". I realize I will lose some of that control once someone is paying me. But I know I've come to that point that I need to draw a line in the sand and start charging for my work out of necessity. Do I just get some business cards and let that be my message to everyone that I'm legit now? LOL
Thanks in advance for any input you can provide. I hope I don't sound weak but I honestly just want perspective from other home bakers. Any others I know do this for a living so it's obviously a non-issue. But to me - friends, family and favors is inevitably a recipe for disaster! I just want to find an approach that has the least emotional backlash!