Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The final push

I'm going on holiday. An actual away-from-the-oven holiday. Soon. If I can last that long, which is in no way a sure thing.
My business has several different types of customers. I have a bunch of private commissions, where someone rings and requests a cake for a specific date. Easy peasy, I just tell them I'm unable to take the commission for that period. I have the Cake Box Club customers, who get a mixed box of lovely things once a month: again, I can schedule that to suit myself. And I have two wholesale customers who have regular weekly orders to sell on to their customers. And therein lies the tricky bit.
They still need cake to sell. I've tested every one of my products so I know which cakes freeze well and which don't - a freshly baked cake, frozen, is still very nice when defrosted - so as long as I can bake enough cake/cupcakes/biscuits to tide them over, they will have stock to sell. But I work pretty flat out most weeks. How can I fit in an extra fortnight's work in at the last minute?
(It is a truth of clients that they want the freshest possible cakes at the last possible second)

In order to fulfil this, I have been baking like a woman possessed for the past 5 days. Yesterday I made 15 chocolate cakes and 90 scones. Today I baked 7 cakes and 250 iced gingerbread men. It's been a bit manic.
Unfortunately, I managed to get a chest infection as well, so I've been a bit unwell. This has added to the strain somewhat. My knees ache because I've been on my feet for so many hours in a row and I'm not sleeping well because my endless coughing keeps waking me up. And of course there's all the stuff that needs doing in order to facilitate a family holiday.
Much of that seems to be paperwork or laundry. Laundry, like the poor, is always with us.

Mark keeps telling me that self employed people don't get to take holidays. (It's remarkable that he doesn't get the odd smack about the chops, isn't it. I am a shining example of self restraint.) I know LOADS of self employed people. Most of them take holidays. Surely it's possible if you just plan enough and slog through the tricky bit.
Anyway, I'm not quite at the finishing line but I reckon I can see it from here. And it is a sunny, gorgeous finish line.
If I make it, I promise to send you a post card!

Quick update - I did it! I'm so immensely relieved and a bit giddy with excitement.

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