Years ago I took a Cake Business class with Ruth Drennan of Ruth Drennan Cakes and I have been thinking about some Words of Wisdom that she gave us at the class.
I have applied them to my own little cake business
and I hope they can be of some help to you too.
-Everyone wants something for free or for cheap: Know that you need to earn money, but more important know what you are worth. There will be many times, specially at the beginning of your business, where people ask you for free cakes for events or special occasions. They will also ask you for big discounts promising you exposure in Facebook, Tweeter, their webpages or their own blogs. Believe me, I have made a few little mistakes along the way and I am still waiting for the exposure! I will do a few freebies here and there but only with people that I know and I have worked with in the past.
-Advertising opportunities abound: When you start selling cakes your budget will be small, be selective about where you spend your money. Ask yourself if placing a paid ad with a website will expose you to the clients you want to reach. I always recommend setting up a good website, with plenty of information and pictures ( your own, please) for clients to see your work.
-Don't accept every job that comes your way: At the very beginning you might find yourself doing that, it is very tempting, but as much as you can try not to do it.
.If you take too many cake orders and you also have a full time job on top of being a mom,I can assure you that your health and sanity will suffer.
. If you are not charging enough, you will lose money
.If you really don't like what someone is asking you to do, don't do it.
.If you feel that you do not have the skills to do something, is better to say no, than having an issue with your client later.
-If you go into business with a partner, that can be a blessing or a course: Make sure you are both clear of which responsibilities you are having and what role are you going to play in the business. When you work with someone else, you will need to trust and depend on each other completely. In my case, even if I just have this little business going on,I like to work in my own, make my own decisions and take responsibilities for my own work.
-No one gets rich making cakes: Well, at least not me!! if you are...awesome!! and I am sure the big cake designers out there might disagree with me. If you work for yourself, you can make a nice leaving making specialty cakes, but you really have to work very, very hard. There is so much competition out there.And if you really think about it, paying kitchen rental, supplies, paying yourself...there is not too much money left!
-Strive for balance: When you are a mom, wife,run a house, work out of home and to top it off you make cakes to sell is difficult to make time for yourself. I feel that there is always something that needs to be done! Make sure you take time out for you and your own well being, if you don't, you will find yourself feeling burned out and unhappy instead of enjoying what you do.
Any more suggestions are always welcome!