I'm in the planning stages of starting a home-based cake decorating business in Iowa, and would like any advice I can find to help me out! (Though I've been devouring all info I can from this site! )
Right now I'm selling cakes legally under our state's cottage food laws (Which I have researched exhaustively, thanks to links from this site!). I would like to become a LICENSED business before trying any more advertising other than word of mouth. I have already called our local inspectors and such to find out what I need to do, I just plan on waiting for said inspection until after I have this baby (which is due TODAY). Who knows, I may decide it's not worth the extra work to take on a business. But I'm looking for all the info I can so I can make an informed decision.
I don't sell very many cakes right now, mostly because the people I know are the "we just want cake, who cares what it looks like" type people. Not that I'm talking down about them, they're just not the type of people to have a lot of disposable income for such things! To try to appeal to a different clientele, I found an upscale shop in town that will let me set up a display (business cards, brochures, small dummy cake, etc.) for somewhere between $10 and $50 a month, depending on how much space I would like to use. ($10 would get a shelf 18" high and three feet wide, $50 would get me a five shelf bookshelf with appx. the same shelf measurements) Would this be a good form of advertising, and if so, what would YOU put on a shelf? Anything I should be wary of?
I tend to do sculpting and carving on my cakes, so I feel like I need to get a few more "traditional" tiered wedding-type cakes in my portfolio before trying to branch into a full-fledged business. Any thoughts on that? I haven't put ALL my pictures in my photo album here, but you can at least get an idea of what I do.
I'm still at least a few months away from making any kind of commitment to a business, so I'm working on a business plan, contracts, and all that jazz... If anyone would be willing to share a copy of their contract or has a good place to look for templates for contracts and business plans, I would be most greatful! I will also be surfing through some more pages of the business thread, so hopefully I'll find some of what I need.
Also, I've been trying to get a good name for my someday business... My last name is Suchman, so I've been running with the name "SuchCakes" for the time being. Too cutesy? Too run-of-the-mill? Any other good suggestions?
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully I'll get some things ironed out!
Well, I found a link to an eBook about starting a cake business, the rest of my questions I'm still wondering about... Thanks for looking and reading!
I'm sorry I can't help you with any of the business portion of your question, but I *really* like the name "Such Cakes" or "SuchCakes."
People will not forget your name, and it's not generic.
Good luck to you!
I like the name! I like it when you can incorporate your own name into the business name but in an original way. Plus you won't have to worry about a bunch of other cake business having the same name!
Hello to another fellow Iowa baker! Which part of Iowa are you?
I love the name Such Cakes. It has a nice ring to it. Can you PM me any information you have from your county and State about getting a license?