Practice Inventory - What to Do with It?

Forgive me if this seems like a strange "I should already know" question, but as you all practice, to whom or where to you give all of your practice inventory? How many practice cookies at a time are you using? I find myself making at least a dozen per practice, usually only doing 3-4 cookies each decor? I'm home-based, but do not have a lot of business, so I need to watch how my product is used. Any suggestions would wonderful. 

Thank you 

Charlette 

Ms. K's Goodies N Things

Original Post

I  just in the baby stages of my home based business.  I do a couple of practice cookies. If they turn out well they are sold but if I mess any up, and I usually do, I refer to them as casualty cookies and my husband and son eat them lol.   Or I feed them to my chickens.  i am finding the more cookies I make the fewer practice cookies I need to do. I also practice on parchment or waxed paper too. 

Good luck and happy cookie-ing ! 

Hi, I do not know what you mean by "only doing 3-4 cookies each decor", but a dozen practice cookies per order sounds like a lot. Certainly it would be tough to make money if you have to create that many surplus cookies per order and don't charge for that time. I'd suggest only selling designs you are comfortable making without much practice, so that you don't lose your shirt, so to speak. But allot other time to cultivate and practice new designs for selling. Of course, there are costs with this practice too, but they can be computed and  spread as "overhead" into your overall cookie pricing, to cover the cost of practice time.

Thank you so much Julia, yes when it comes to filling an order I only do what I'm comfortable doing.  The cookies I was asking about were the cookies that I use to practice on ( Usually a minimum of 12 using 4 designs and 3 cookies per design) anyone did something special with theirs? EXCEPT EAT THEM ! hahaha I mean do you all donate them or throw them away or just what?  I know that the costs are compute as my overhead i just hate to have then go to waste lol. I apologize if first message wasn't clear. I do not charge for any practice time i just do it when I can. Again Thank you for your response!

I sometimes donate cookies to a nursing home I have been working with, usually when I have some leftover from doing a stall. My practice ones though, some of them get eaten by family, sometimes one or two go in the bin, if it's quite a plain cookie or still naked, I keep it so I can practice on it again or for instance try out a lustre dust on it to check how it would look. 

I force my cookies unto just everybody that crosses my way - family, friends, colleagues, I even gave some to my frozen goods delivery guy once. So far nobody seems to mind, at least they don't run away screaming when they see me approach with another carton

I'm absolutely sure you will find a good way to get rid off your practice cookie. My next plan is to sneak-spread them throughout town by just putting them onto peoples doorsteps.

Ms. K posted:

Forgive me if this seems like a strange "I should already know" question, but as you all practice, to whom or where to you give all of your practice inventory? How many practice cookies at a time are you using? I find myself making at least a dozen per practice, usually only doing 3-4 cookies each decor? I'm home-based, but do not have a lot of business, so I need to watch how my product is used. Any suggestions would wonderful. 

Thank you 

Charlette 

Ms. K's Goodies N Things

Hi Charlette - not a strange question as we've all experienced the challenges of starting a cookie business, or even doing it for fun, and expanding our skills.  For me, I saw a cookie, made a batch of about 15 cookies, and when done, gave them to family members.  That was 3 1/2 years ago and I can't even give my family cookies anymore they get so sick of them.   But...there will always be people who will gladly take them along the way.  You just may have to find new ways to distribute your practice inventory (charities, senior living facilities, friends, etc.) I don't think this will be a problem.  And don't think that people won't purchase your practice cookies.  That is how we all learned and kept on going.

So, to you I say this, always make a full batch of cookies (before you know it you'll be making double batches) wether you have an order or not. Then create what interests you.  I was lucky to be able to sell my cookies straight away when I started and priced my inexperience into the price.  Of course you'll underprice yourself in the beginning as well because we all think we're not that good! Alas, that will change.

With regard to how your product is used...the more hands you get your cookies into, the more low-cost advertising you get.  When I was selling cookies, I made free cookies every week and gave them out, sometimes randomly, sometimes to people who knew a lot of people, sometimes to groups.

Hope this helps.  ~Diane

Laegwen posted:

I force my cookies unto just everybody that crosses my way - family, friends, colleagues, I even gave some to my frozen goods delivery guy once. So far nobody seems to mind, at least they don't run away screaming when they see me approach with another carton

I'm absolutely sure you will find a good way to get rid off your practice cookie. My next plan is to sneak-spread them throughout town by just putting them onto peoples doorsteps.

LOL!  I've seen your cookies...trust me, people will be running after you!!  I used to use them as thank you tokens when I went through a drive-thru, at my doctor's office, at Starbucks when I was blogging.  I was shameless...hmmm, still am sometimes.

Joanie posted:

You could also practice on a graham cracker or a Notta-Cookie - it's a plastic round disc that looks like a cookie, sold at KarensCookies site: https://www.karenscookies.net/...e-Cookie_p_2009.html

That is a great idea.  I never knew about that little invention but I do LOVE the idea of piping on a graham cracker in general...not only for practice. Love it so much I am definitely going to try it! Thanks for the tip Joanie!

 

Just remembered this little tip too, if you have cookies you don't want to give away because you don't think they came out good enough, put them in your freezer.  When you are ready to do something new, pulse them in a food processor and you can make cake pops out of them by mixing them with icing or I sprinkle it on top of ice cream.

Laegwen posted:

I force my cookies unto just everybody that crosses my way - family, friends, colleagues, I even gave some to my frozen goods delivery guy once. So far nobody seems to mind, at least they don't run away screaming when they see me approach with another carton

I'm absolutely sure you will find a good way to get rid off your practice cookie. My next plan is to sneak-spread them throughout town by just putting them onto peoples doorsteps.

HaHa!  Yes, Ring the bell and run!  We call that a ding dong ditch!  I think my neighbors would love to find cookies!

You girls are so fun! I always over bake. I photograph mine and have them on a Lenox platter on my formal dinning table until I get sick of them and then throw them out. The ones I don't use or like stay on the kitchen counter for about 5 minutes and someone eats them. If someone comes in and admires them I always give them some. I like that they are appreciated. 

I don't have a cookie business, although many people have asked me to sell them cookies.  I do "random acts of kindness" and simply send a dozen or more cookies to people I know from Facebook or in person.  It's always a nice surprise to them and gets me a lot of kudos.  I do label my cookies so they know who made them.  Good luck!  I also practice on parchment or wax paper.

Hi there!

Sorry but i don't have those. Usually if they request 30 cookies, i make 3 additional so I can take those I don't like that much or just in case some breaks.

If i don't use those 3 cookies, my kids and husband are there also waiting for them. Surprisingly, sometime my dough is not enough for spare ones.

If they're nice, give them to a friend or to promote yourself with a mom in school.

I'm

Queenb posted:

I don't have a cookie business, although many people have asked me to sell them cookies.  I do "random acts of kindness" and simply send a dozen or more cookies to people I know from Facebook or in person.  It's always a nice surprise to them and gets me a lot of kudos.  I do label my cookies so they know who made them.  Good luck!  I also practice on parchment or wax paper.

I've been thinking a lot about making cookies for the express purpose of handing them out to people I meet throughout the day. What keeps me from doing this is the fear that they'll think I'm some kind of nut and just toss the cookies in the trash. There was an article in our newspaper about a local lady that made extra loaves of banana bread to hand out to people waiting for the bus at city bus stops. It was noted that no one reacted with alarm, so maybe they'd welcome a decorated cookie???

I have used extras and practice cookies to experiment with freezing.  I heat seal my decorated cookies in individual bags, then group a few together, wrap in plastic, then wrap in foil, then place in a plastic container (with lid) then I put in the freezer. Each week I remove some cookies from the freezer. Keeping them in the heat sealed bag and place in the cabinet - dont stack them or the icing will stick to the bag during thawing. The longest I left in the freezer is a month.  It was as if time stood still, like they had just been baked and decorated. My experience, is get them in the freezer straight away. Dont wait a week to see if they will get eaten before freezing. If you do, then they taste like week old cookies . I have people ask how long they last. Now I can say, if you know you are not going to eat them right away, freeze them, if properly wrapped, they will last a month.  I need to next try 5 to 8 weeks. 

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Tina at Sugar WishesCHELY MoralesJoanie
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