INFLATION is making it difficult for many people right after some release from the Covid-19 pandemic that has kept us locked down for so long.
But with the rising prices of goods and services, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many to meet their monthly expenses.
Some will have to review their financial situation, reduce their budget and even find part-time work to supplement their income.
Sure, there are plenty of part-time jobs out there, but relevance and timing are often the issue.
During the pandemic, many home kitchens have been transformed into mobile kitchens to serve meals, as food is something everyone needs every day.
If you’re a good cook or baker, it might be time to dust off your cookbooks to create what you could potentially sell to supplement your income by leveraging social media.
Many have done it and are making money from their efforts.
Roshan Bal is one of them who was forced to shut down his bricks and mortar business during the Covid-19 pandemic after suffering huge financial losses.
“Even though we had a bankrupt business, our entrepreneurial spirit was still high and with Malaysia’s booming online market, we knew selling products online was the way to go,” Bal said. He co-owns Spebels with his wife.
Both took the HRDF Entrepreneurship course in 2020 over a weekend and decided to create their Spebels brand on social media.
They posted cooking videos using their own brand of chili oil, nasi lemak blend and others.
“We have sold over 10,000 bottles of our products so far,” Bal said.
Likewise, Prema Mathibalan’s passion for pastry began at the age of 11. At 14, she was making cakes as door favors for weddings.
She also surfs social media to reach potential customers and those who want to learn how to cook.
“Growing up watching my mom cook gave me a lot of confidence and love for baking,” said Prema, owner of Aartisan Baking and Academy.
His advice is “make sure you know enough about what you want to cook and sell. It’s not just for cakes but for anything you want to make. Cooking is worth the effort if it is done well.”
Anna (pseudonym) sells almond butter online. She moved from her home’s kitchen to a ghost kitchen (a cooking facility) because her orders were piling up and she couldn’t cope from her small kitchen.
Bal said there are many ways to make money cooking at home. “You don’t need a lot of capital to start a small home business. You can start with what you have and upgrade as you go,” he said.
Sharing is an important part of getting people interested in your cooking, as people love posts that share recipes and steps taken to cook a particular dish.
“People love to see the whole process and the result. It’s important to be consistent when sharing on social media, so you can get more exposure for your food or brand,’ Bal added.
How much can you really earn in terms of income? Enough if it’s a hobby.
But if you make a serious effort, you can earn a decent income.
Some home kitchens have turned into large traveling kitchens during the pandemic. Some have had to move to larger facilities to meet growing demand. Some home cooking brands are causing a stir.
Cooking and baking is just one of the many things you can do to earn money. It’s about taking the first step with a clear mind to leverage your skills.
If this is your route, it’s time to perfect your recipe, create a brand name and a social media account. Start your journey by posting videos of your cooking.
Be authentic, special and consistent. Create your own style. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get many orders initially. Go ahead and keep posting.
But for some, social media can be intimidating. There is help as many offer a delivery service and there are many delivery companies around.
Jeffrey Chiak, owner of Diligent Smart Marketing, created the “Uncle Jeff” brand to help some housewives host their products on social media and community groups.
He even collects the products to be delivered to the customers and the deposits are made at designated places. Deliveries are mostly made on weekends.
“It’s something I started five years ago and today our offerings include frozen food and homemade snacks such as yam cakes, acar, apple curry puffs land and sardines, pau and teochew delights,” Chiak said.
“It’s our way of helping some ‘aunties’ who aren’t familiar with social media, but they’re great cooks and it’s a way of showcasing home cooking,” he said. .
Whatever your situation, tightening your belt is a must in these difficult times and if you have any skills, it’s time to put them to the test.
However, there are many scammers out there who pretend to be real buyers but don’t show up or pay. Be vigilant and protect your interests.