Firstly, I have to say I love my job and a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like work but don’t get me wrong, running a business, any business, is hard work. I run my cake decorating business from home and mostly that is a positive experience but it does have its downside.
- I can set my own work hours to a certain extent. As long as a cake is ready for collection on time then my work hours are flexible. This means I can take a morning, afternoon or evening off to catch up with friends etc (Also see under ‘The bad’)
- I can watch TV or listen to music etc while I work
- I don’t have to commute
- This first one goes along with the setting my own work hours mentioned above. When I am very busy and have several cake orders to complete in a week, there aren’t enough hours in the day. I will often work all morning, afternoon and evening. Many cake decorators are familiar with the ‘up until 2am’ moments. This is usually only something that can happen if someone works from home.
- Other people not taking the business seriously because it is run from home and not understanding the work involved in running a business. Its not just the actual cake production, its also the many hours of designing, paperwork etc
- very occasionally customers will turn up without making an appointment
- as with other self-employment there are no perks, no holiday or sick pay, regular wages etc. If I don’t work I don’t get paid.
- a particular issue with family members is them assuming I can run certain errands for them because I don’t have a boss to answer to. Yes at times this is possible but during very busy periods it isn’t. Every cake I make has a deadline and even if I can make certain decorations ahead of time, a cake is a fresh food item and has to be made as close to the celebration as possible.
- it can be lonely at times
The ‘I Quit’ moments
These don’t happen very often but usually result from having numerous cake orders, some members of the family not pulling their weight around the house (I still have to cook, clean etc) and me feeling a little overwhelmed because of my lengthy to-do-list. I wonder if it would be easier to give up the business and go out to work.
It may seem that there are more bad points than good but for me the good points outweigh the bad because I love what I do and couldn’t imagine not baking and decorating cakes.
I’d be interesting to hear of others experience working from home. Do you find the same lack of understanding from others? How have you tackled any problems that have arisen?