Hey Guys! I am starting my home cake business within 2 months. I already have oven, microwave, fridge. I also have a few pans.....I was hoping you guys could tell me what you cant live without and things I will need to run my business.
also, do you keep a certain amount of supplies at all times?
Do you keep inventory?
how do you organize your orders?
Have you had any orders before? Is this out of your home or a shop? It depends. Some things are better to buy in bulk like sweetex and others are better to buy as orders come, It really depends on your place of business and the cliental you have. I always have supplies to make frosting. My cakes are extender or semi homemade so it's no big deal to run to the store when I get an order but I still keep some on hand. Boxes I buy a lot at a time because I have to travel to get a good price so I don't want to keep going back. Cake boards I like to have on hand and already covered with foil. Keep a list of the things you're running low on so when you do go to the store you can pick them up. Keep inventory of what you have on hand.
Ditto katwoman's question: Out of your home or will it be a shop. It could make a difference in what you might need.
lots of duplicate tips, plenty of couplers and at least one (I keep multiple) boxes of decorating bags. Food safe containers (NSF rated) for storing icing, baking powder/soda, sugar, flour, etc.
I keep track of my orders on an excel spreadsheet and a folder in the computer for every inquiry and order I get. That's not an easy question, really, because you need to find a system that works for you.
(I have recently created (what my kids call) "My Duff Wall" .... I print out orders two weeks in advance and they are hung on my work-wall so I can see what's coming up. I just started this a couple of months ago because I was feeling like I was losing control ... needed more visibility with the holiday volume.)
Inventory depends on your volume, your storage space, perishability and if you take orders more than 24 hours in advance. You wouldnt' want to buy a case of eggs if your volume doesnt' use them up and you end up throwing them out. But baking soda lasts forever, so buy the big bag at Sam's (and store in the NSF container).
REmember, inventory is just cold cash sitting on a shelf. I'd rather keep my cash in the bank, than in my refrigerator.
I notice you said it's a home business. Soooo are you a scratch or mix baker? Have you been making cakes for awhile? ... Like do you do more than one cake a day, week or what?
At this point I think the best help anyone can give you is to buy in the largest container you can afford....keeping in mind what Indydebi said. Even when I had my shop I bought grocery store eggs by the 3 (or is it 5?) dz container as it was far cheaper than buying from a supplier! Butter too. I bought those from Sam's c;ub if one is close to you. Try Costco is that's the one closest. Wal-Mart if nothing else Shop for your best price and be prepared to buy when you see things on sale that you use the most - like mixes, Crisco, eggs etc.
And until you do find you need larger quantities, and maybe even then...be sure not to be sucked into the warehouse mentality of "buying in bulk must be cheaper". That is such an easy trick to fall for. For my cheesecakes, if I were to buy my cream cheese are the local warehouse sort of place (Costco-esque), I'd be paying nearly 200% more than my neighboorhood supermarket offers for the same volume.
And for me, one thing I didn't think I needed for the longest while, but have come to absolutely rely on, is my cake lifter. I make a lot of sheet cakes, makes my life easy!
Best of luck to you in your new endeavors!!!
Hi, im not sure if you mean tools, etc but here's what i couldnt live without
Large Number Cookie Cutters (for cake toppers)
Tappit letter cutters, upper and lower case and numbers
FMM Funky Font Tappits
(its really worthwhile having so many different cutters as each cake is so different and you have different amounts of space)
Multi size circle, star, flower and heart cutters including plunger cutters
pastry wheel for cutting fondant
clay extruder (for lovely smooth edges)
leaf and petal veiner
2 of 6 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch cake tins in both round and square
at least 20 cake boxes and cake drums
other than that, ingredient wise i always have cocoa, butter, vanilla extract, flour, caster sugar, loads of icing sugar, glucose, gelatine and glycerine for fondant in my storecupboard.
I agree with everyone else.
Okay, I used to keep my orders on my computer, not backed up, my computer fried and I was sort of screwed. I do keep my emails organized similar to Debi, keeping every inquiry and email I get.
For the actual orders, everyone gets their order stored on the computer, then a hard copy in the file. I have multiple files and they progress as they make payments. So after we meet but before they made the first deposit, they go into one file, then after the first payment, they move to the next file, and once it's paid in full they move into the very fancy Paid in Full file. Until they make it to the paid in full file, they don't get made. Then, like Debi, they come out of the PIF file and get hung on clipboards on nails 2 weeks ahead. It may seem tedious, but I wasn't keeping up with payments well, like someones order would come up for me to start baking and I would realize they had not paid. Then I would call them and they would apologize and want to pay on Thursday for a Sat cake... That really all goes to say that you need to do what works for you.
It will be in my home basement spread throughout 3 rooms. A baking/prep room, a decorating/airbrush/fondant room, and a storage room. I already have an oven, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher. I am just starting out but I do on ave. 6 cakes/wk I've never owned a business but cakes are my heart! I am going to give it all ive got. how do you guys advertise when youre just starting out? Thanks in advance
Mandy, you have only two pictures in you're gallary and they are totally amazing! I'm sure you'll do just fine.
I wish you luck even though you don't need it.
Mandy ,those pics are unbelievable, what a talent! I can only dream!!
Just wondering if you have already checked with your local Board of Health and have gotten a permit to have a home baking business. So many states have really tough laws and some people have gotten burndt by the requirements.
I am sure that you have but just thought that I would ask. Good Luck with the business! It sounds like you are very excited and love this, that is half the battle....
.......mandy said:.........I've never owned a business..........
This is the downfall of most businesses Not that they never owned one before (everyone has to start somewhere) but that we don't know how to run one. I suggest you find & take all the business classes you can. Or have you already? Bookkeeping is sooooooo important!
If you do an avg of 6 cakes a week you must have most of the basic things already like pans, spatulas, tips, boards, boxes, & ingredients. Multiples are extremely helpful. No fun wasting time searching for your tip 233 or quick icer when you can just pull another one out & keep going.
Keep up with pricing of ingredients. As we said before Know what is a better buy - your local supermarket or a supplier or somewhere in between.
Oh, you don't mention a mixer. I suggest a 7 qt stand mixer *and* a 4 or 5 qt that you probably already have. IF you can swing the cost & can find one a 10 qt commercial is all the better