- For those readers who may be new to the blog, Dancing Bee Baking is my Cottage Food baking business in Washoe County, Nevada. I specialize in cookies and I’m in the start-up phase of the business.
Even more, to do it for so called retirement? How crazy is that? My kind of crazy, I guess, because that’s exactly what I’m doing!
Also in my crazy way, I’m thinking it’s time for a report card on Dancing Bee Baking. After all, we’ve been operating for several months and we need to assess progress and look at where we need to improve.
Of course, financial results are the first measure of most businesses and in that arena-oops, we’re losing money. Yes, our bottom line (net income) is …….. red. That’s expected at this point in the life of a small business, so I’m not crying over it. But it’s a bit scary to see all the red ink. No hope of a raise, just a hope that someday I can pay myself something. Grade on this financial objective so far: C
Darn it, I thought I was going to get rich quick at Dancing Bee Baking!
Nah, that won’t ever happen with a home-based cookie business, sorry to disillusion you. Although I do expect to someday earn enough money to make a difference in my life, there are also several other important reasons I’m running Dancing Bee Baking. Here are my grades in those areas:
- To keep learning: Oh, yeah! I’ve been learning lots and lots. I now know (roughly) what SEO is and why it’s important. I know the Nevada laws for home baking businesses. I know how to adjust a recipe for our elevation. I’ve learned a lot about how to be more efficient in the kitchen, how to reduce errors, how to produce hundreds of cookies instead of 3 dozen. Learning is happening, for sure. Grade on this objective: A
- To engage with people in this area, which is new to me: Yes, I’ve met several neighbors just because of the business, and many people at Chamber meetings, the Capital Business Network, and other places. I know I’ve met and enjoyed getting to know many, many people I would never have had a chance to meet if it weren’t for Dancing Bee Baking. Grade on this objective: B+
- To contribute to my community: I planned that through the business I would find a way to help some non-profits, maybe teach some kids to bake, or support the community in other ways. I still think I can make this happen, but it’s been slow so far. I took cookies to the local fire station as a thank you after a horrible wildfire in our area, that’s one plus. And some for a special chamber meeting. But that’s about it. Grade on this objective: D
- Ok, this is the last one- To do things I love doing, namely bake and write: Done, done frequently, and done with increasing skill. Hooray! One that’s materializing right on schedule. Yay! Since I started logging my cookie batches (along with ingredient lot numbers) five months ago, I’ve logged in 172 batches. And many of those batches were doubles, triples or more. So yes, I have been baking. And baking. And not feeling guilty! It’s my job now. Writing this blog is my job now, too, and I am doing a fair amount of writing as well. So, Grade on this objective: A+
Maybe I’m not out of my mind for starting up a small business in my “retirement” after all!. Instead, maybe I know just exactly what I’m doing and why. Wow, this is a new thought for me!
Maybe I should stop and pat myself on the back. Then get back to if hard and fast to get even better results.
Thanks for helping me figure this out! I’m so glad you’re along for the ride, it’s nice to have company!
Until next time,
Diana and the Dancing Bees