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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cookiepreneurship 101- Time Management and how it Impacts your Small Business

The cold hard fact is ….. How well you manage your time can make or break your small business.

One of the greatest challenges that I faced when I first started The Wacky Cookie Company was having to do everything on my own.  As a Cookiepreneur, with no assistance you are probably juggling all of these tasks almost on a  daily basis.  If you do not manage your time correctly, you will get very little done, no matter how talented or creative you are.  

·         Marketing/ Advertising
·         R&D ( Research and Development) of new Products and recipes
·         Expand  and Learning New techniques
·         Quote Custom orders
·         Baking
·         Decorating
·         Packaging
·         Shipping
·         Customer Service ( Answering Emails/ Telephone calls)

Anyone trying to do all of these things every single day is bound to go nuts or burn out sooner or later, therefore I have a few general tips to help you bring this under immediate control starting with the most important.

Tip #1- TMS Yourself-  Time Management System 

Get a superior time management system. There are tons of them on the market, look around and find something that works for you. Over the years I tried calendars, agendas, notebooks etc until I found Simpelology.

All I can say about it is WOW! Either go get this book (by clicking on it) which I highly recommend , or go to their website and sign up.  If you get the book, it will be much easier to understand how it all works, at least for me it was at first.

An added bonus of Simpel.ology is that it basically is a Business Guru in a box type website. The founder Mark Joyner, is an expert at marketing and this guy knows and has worked with some of the top business people in the world , so hands down this is what I recommend but again, get whatever works for you.

Tip#2- DO NOT make a habit of overbooking yourself.  

We have all done it at some point, You know you are booked to the hilt that week and a good client approaches you, so you take that order ( I will squeeze it in for you, is my favorite thing to say).  Then another, and another until you have so many orders that once you come to realize it you have been working for seventy-two hours with only 4 hours of sleep.

Now, notice I wrote do not make a habit of it, not don’t ever do it.  Once in a while it’s okay to work really hard. As a Cookiepreneur, you will have to be flexible and sometimes you just have to stretch a bit, especially around holidays. Sometimes you may just want or need that extra cash and that is great but let me  give you a few of the most important reasons why you should not make a habit of it.

First, you will burn out. It’s impossible for any human being, no matter how healthy, fit or mentally sound to work at that level for any prolonged period of time without burning out.

Secondly, you will wind up feeling angry and resentful and start making stupid decisions as a result.  You will be cranky, and it will come across in your communication to your clients and you will start burning bridges and making overall bad decisions.

Remember, proper rest is paramount to running a successful business!

Lastly, You want to enjoy what you are doing for a living.  When you are churning out cookies like a machine, you lose perspective of why you are doing this in the first place. It stops being an artistic endeavor and becomes a factory like assembly line of cookies that become one big blur to you. 

In the coming weeks we will talk more about pricing your cookies properly so that you don’t have to work as hard and make a decent living doing this .

Tip #3- Leverage yourself

If you are very busy, hire help.

Let me explain to you why it is to your advantage to hire either someone to help you bake or perhaps hire an assistant or virtual assistant to help you manage emails, computer/technology related tasks like website upkeep etc.

I got to a point in my business where I was shipping out 30-40 orders a week last summer. Clearly, it was impossible for me to physically do all of that so I decided that I was going to hire a baking assistant to help me.

I met a wonderful lady who happened to be working at a local Subway sandwich shop that I frequented and I was so impressed with the way she worked the moment I thought about hiring someone, I thought about her and offered her the job.

I found out how much money she was making at Subway and offered her an extra dollar per hour so that she was making $8.50 per hour working as my part time baking assistant.

I trained her and taught her how to make my cookie dough and my icing. She already knew how to clean and organize things in the kitchen and her work ethic was off the charts. She helped me do everything except for the actual decorating, that is much trickier as you know but it was a match made in heaven.

Simple Math

Now for those of you who are worried about hiring someone because it will cut into your profits, let’s do a bit of simple math here just so I can give you an idea of how much you are leaving on the table by not hiring someone.

I was up to an average of 35 orders per week.  My average order is about $45.00  so that is $1,575.00.
I had my assistant working with me an average of 25 hours per week (About 6 hours per day) at $8.50 per hour which equals about $212.50 .  My gross income is $1575.00 before I paid my assistant so let’s just subtract $212.50 from that to make it $1362.50. 

Had I not hired her, I would not have ever been able to maintain that volume of orders and would have burned out within a month or so. Because I hired her, I was able to take on even more orders, pay her even more money and grow my business. She was flexible and when things slowed down a bit, she had another part time job and it was a win-win situation for the both of us.

So, if you are afraid that hiring an assistant will cut into your profits I have some advice. Rather than focus on the money you will have to pay your assistant, do it like a true  Cookiepreneur  and focus on how much profit you will leave on the table if you decide not to hire her/him. 

That’s Called the Opportunity Cost of Capital by the way, and it means when making an investment decision, you look at how much you are going to leave on the table by not making that decision/investment v. how much it is going to cost you to actually do it you’re smart so I know you get the point! 

If you follow those three tips, you are off to a really good start about how to manage your time in order to make your Cookie Business a thriving success.  

In concluding today, I wanted to talk to you about a series of webinars and conference calls that l am going to host in the near future. 

Group Conference calls

Will be free of charge to everyone that is interested in participating. The only requirement will be for you to sign up so I know how many people are going to attend and these we are going to start offering once per month.

We will be discussing different topics and taking your questions beforehand, and answering them during the call. There will also be gifts and prizes for a winner chosen at random, after each call.

Cookiepreneur's Elite M2 Specialized Knowledge Webinars 

We are going to start offering a comprehensive webinar series on specific topics in the near future such as Comprehensive Cost Model Construction, Marketing, Branding, R&D etc.  Each one of these webinars will consist of two components. The Mechanics, and the Psychology of the Business of Cookies.  

These are going to be intensive elite level webinars that are intended for you, the most serious Cookiepreneurs that are truly want  to take your cookie business to that next level.

I will disclose upfront that  M2 Series of Specialized Knowledge Webinars will not be free of charge. I have invested countless hours on this comprehensive curriculum and am packing it full of every single morsel of information that I can possibly think of to help you surpass your wildest dreams and goals in this business.

Clearly, with something so intensive and involved,  there are certain costs involved that I must cover in order to host them, but what I can promise you is that 1. They will be incredibly affordable and give you MAJOR bang for your buck. 2.  We will go over the particulars of everything 3. You will have the option of adding personal email support from me. So there you have it!  

I want to give you ladies as much value as possible for your time.  My purpose is very clear, and that is to give you the tools you need in order to create your OWN recipe to success.


 Don't forget to sign up forour goodies and freebies  by clicking above in addition to  following our blog so that you don't miss out on all these special events .

Until next week , always remember what I know to be the absolute truth!

If you can see it, you can be it! Persistence is the key to success, never give up NEVER!

Wishing you an abundant and prosperous week.



  1. Your blog is going to be very motivating and inspiring for me! The list of characteristics of an entrepreneur, from your last post, can all be applied to me, and all this time I thought I was going wrong somehow! I can't wait to hear more, especially the time managements tips - they resonated with me!! Thank you, and I look forward to your next post.
    Miss B's Biscuits / Parkside Produce

  2. Thank you for your feedback Liz :) I look forward to writing more posts for you ladies. Glad these resonated with you :).

  3. I appreciate you taking the time to coordinate this blog. I look forward to getting more insight from the following:Marketing/ Advertising,R&D ( Research and Development) of new Products and recipes and Expand and Learning New techniques. I will be sharing this info on my business face book page.

  4. Thank you for joining Shauna, I look forward to sharing lots more information with you ladies :)

  5. I have just begun research on making cookies. At first it was just so that my soon to be born grandson would have cookies for all his special occasions as guest thank you gifts. I am already planning ahead. I have yet to even bake a cookie as I am still at the phase of putting together a list of must haves in order to begin. And yes, in the back of my head, I have thought I might be able to make some income from them once I learn. Your Blog is so perfect for me! I am so happy I found you, thanks to Simple Sweets by Honeybee who posted it on her Facebook page. Even if I don't start a cookie business, I am very eager to learn from you! Can't wait for webinars and conference calls!

  6. Diana, Welcome to Cookiepreneur. So glad to have you here and I look forward to being able to provide you with information that will help you with your future business.