I sell my cakes for a decent price (organics, so a bit pricier ingredients), but... I made FOUR cakes for yesterday FOUR!!!! I worked from 7 am to midnight on Saturday practically nonstop... had to order pizza for dinner (bites into profits too!) and at the end of it all, when you count in design time and such, I "earned" about $7 an hour OR LESS and I worked sooooo hard and long that it took me all day yesterday to recuperate and they aren't even spectacular cakes!!!!
How do I crank them out faster to make it worthwhile? My cakes were 3 for $50 and one for $65, when you take out the ingredients and supplies, it's $150 profit (at MOST) and I know in the end I worked like 20 hours (did cleanup on Sunday) and did design work on Friday... Saturday was just baking and decorating and minor clean up...
What am I doing wrong???? or am I just terribly slow?
Do all of your customers want organic? I'm just wondering if you're offering Cadillac cakes to some folks who would be just as happy with a skateboard? Maybe two levels of pricing? For those who DO prefer organic, you could add an upcharge for those pricier ingredients. For those who want "just regular" cake ingredients, charge your standard pricing.
It may be a way to cut your costs on cakes made for customers who dont' have a preference.
When you made these 4 cakes, did you make them one at a time, or do you do an assembly line type of production? crumb coat all .... let crust, then ice all ... then add borders and basic decors that are common to all. THEN the detail on each one. An assembly line would enable you to work a bit faster than doing one cake in it's entirely ... setting it aside; doing the 2nd cake, etc.
But I also know you have a full house to contend with, and it's harder to keep the momentum going when you have so many little folks fighting for your attention!
I did the assembly line approach as best I could, but I'm not FAST at the decorating part!
I would maybe do some non organics too, but I don't do it enough to rationalize. I use organics for my own cooking, so I use what we have. If I were to buy the cheaper stuff, it would be wasted if not used all the way. Plus, most of my customers come to me BECAUSE of the organics... I just realize that on average, I need 5 hours for a cake start to finish with clean-up... Four minimum when I count in the shopping for materials and delivery too!
I use organics for my own cooking, so I use what we have. If I were to buy the cheaper stuff, it would be wasted if not used all the way.
Oops, I didn't factor that one. I knew you preferred organics with your own family, too, but just didnt' know how big your organic customer base was. Without knowing the size of the cakes, your pricing sounds pretty standard .... for all organic, I would expect to pay a bit higher for higher quality ingredients like that.