Do You Really Need Cakeboss?

Business By cakesbydina Updated 9 Mar 2009 , 8:18pm by dcasseus

cakesbydina Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 7:45pm
post #1 of 25

I purchased cakeboss and was overwhelmed on how to price specialty cakes such as 3d and sugar work such as handmade fondant flowers and figures. I can not estimate and price this by the hour ( like cakeboss wants you to do) in order to price it. I don't know how long it will take me nad each order is different. My question is....Is Cakeboss worth it if you have a set price per serving for buttercream and fondant cakes? I think pricing out my embellishments made of fondant per order individually may make it easier. Any suggestions on pricing fondant decorations? or a better software to use other than Cakeboss to manage expenses, invoices and reciepts

24 replies
cakesdivine Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 25

I am in the same boat. It really doesn't do what I need it to do. Right now it is just a very expensive electronic order/client organizer for me. But, some of the things that they are working on will eventually make it better for cake people like you & I who have set pricing. Right now, although Kelley swears it accommodates fixed prices, it really doesn't, not in the way a fixed price shop needs it to work.

I need to be able to select a quarter sheet kit cake or doz cupcakes and it pull that price to the customer and the cost to produce that cake as well into the order form. One can only hope that they will get that done soon.

kelleym Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:47pm
post #3 of 25

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have a problem.

cakesbydina Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:50pm
post #4 of 25

cakesdivine,

do you have another system you use other than cakeboss since you are not happy with it? I just purchased CB and can still get my money back.

Thanks

cakesdivine Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:02pm
post #5 of 25

No, but don't get rid of CB just yet. They do have many things in the works that will make it more usable for our type of cake shop. It still will give you an orderform, and very useful reports. They have upgraded the ingredient inventory area that is pretty cool. And they are listening to the customers requests. I am hoping they will eventually add a vendor module, a true inventory module, and a set price module. I do like the fact that is does give me an actual cost on each job, a bit PITA to produce that but, it does beat doing it the old fashioned way.

Hang in there with it unless you know for sure you aren't willing to wait for the upgrades.

cakesbydina Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:10pm
post #6 of 25

since we both charge the same way do you add addtional charges for fondant figure/flowers? This is the only problem with pricing I am having..on cakeboss they say to charge per ounce of ingredient nad time it takes to make it. I dont have the answer to that as each fondant figure is customized and I don't know how long it will take me.

Doug Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:20pm
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

since we both charge the same way do you add addtional charges for fondant figure/flowers? This is the only problem with pricing I am having..on cakeboss they say to charge per ounce of ingredient nad time it takes to make it. I dont have the answer to that as each fondant figure is customized and I don't know how long it will take me.




in a word: ESTIMATE!

----

I bet if I took your figures and weighed each and every one of them, a pattern would soon emerge.

small ones would be oh, say one ounces.
middle size ones maybe 3 ounces
large ones 5? 6? ounces.
ginormous (you're trying to make one look like me) oh...maybe a pound?

come up w/ a set of numbers for S, M, L, XL, "doug size" figures and then just use those.

in the end it will all even out -- a little over here, and little under there -- but still "close enough"

ditto to the time --- which I bet you can estimate even if the estimate might be a bit off

create general time values for levels of difficulty such as:
easy peasy
hmmm....this is interesting.
oh my fingers ache
well, there went the night
ok, building the taj mahal here!

or what ever levels in intricacy would be appropriate for how you work and what you create.

so an order might look like

ginormous easy peasy

or

S taj mahal

-----

to develop this, just think back over all the figures you've made lately and I'm sure you'll see patterns time and supplies involved.

cakesdivine Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:50pm
post #8 of 25

Go to my website and look at my wedding cake page. My cakes are broken down in 4 levels of decor/architecture and further into 3 icing types. The actual price range is determined further by how many servings are being purchased. My price per serving breaks are at 101, 151, 201 servings.

The level designation takes into consideration the gumpaste flowers & figures, swags, overpiping, etc. The only items not included in this price are cake toppers custom or otherwise, fresh fruit fillings, delivery, and equipment deposits.

Oh and if they want real flowers I tell them they must arrange that with the florist.

I will PM you my site address.

marmalade1687 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:59pm
post #9 of 25

Okay Doug, you make me laugh!! I'm just imagining trying to explain to my client the "Doug-Sized Taj Mahal" fondant figure she just got charged for on her invoice... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

mjcakes Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 25

Doug, you're hilarious! You helped me before. You have a wonderful way of explaining things. I, too, am considering Cake Boss vs Quick books. I did my first year of business without any type of software and I am scrambling to get it organized for my accountant for tax time. I assume you use Cake Boss?

FlowerGirlMN Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 8:09pm
post #11 of 25

I wouldn't bother. I can't see how Cake Boss would do anything for me that a regular spread sheet and word processor wouldn't do easier.

I don't like hassling with programs to do something fairly basic. Then you're limited by the program's set ability, and have to tweak yourself to fit. Too much hassle for me!

pinkbox Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 10:23pm
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerGirlMN

I wouldn't bother. I can't see how Cake Boss would do anything for me that a regular spread sheet and word processor wouldn't do easier.

I don't like hassling with programs to do something fairly basic. Then you're limited by the program's set ability, and have to tweak yourself to fit. Too much hassle for me!




Well, that may work for you, but as I am speaking for my experience only... I have HAD quickbooks... it is complicated, time consuming to figure out. Also tried the Excel spreadsheet option and if you are familiar with putting in the equations for a spreadsheet and getting one page to correlate with another, then great that is the way to go.

BUT for someone like me who has basic Excel experience.. it is more of a headache to try to get it all to work out... when Cake Boss has it figured out for me.

I purchased CakeBoss and yes it has some things that need tweaking, but it seems everytime I open up the program, there is a new update that enhances userability.

I also like that it tracks my customers... I know where I am getting the most orders ie, wedding, baby shower. Plus keeps dates, times addresses... so I can send the Congratulations card after the baby is born or on the 1st year anniversary.

I wouldn't trade it.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 10:48pm
post #13 of 25

I have been using Cake Boss for a couple of years now (since it was in its beta stage) and I wouldn't trade it in for anything else! It keeps all my info in one place, helps me make sure I am getting paid fairly for the work I am doing, makes giving quotes easy (I will never give a quote now without running it through the costing programme on Cake Boss first!), I could go on and on.

Yes, it does require some effort on the users part to input the info to get you started, but I fail to see how it's any harder than setting up a spreadsheet etc, but it offers so much more.

The customer service is beyond compare, Kelley's husband has actually remotely come on to my computer to sort things out for me when I've been too dense to do it myself- how many other programmes offer that?!

I love it and don't care who knows it!

pinkbox Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 10:51pm
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovibabe


The customer service is beyond compare, Kelley's husband has actually remotely come on to my computer to sort things out for me when I've been too dense to do it myself- how many other programmes offer that?!




DITTO to the CUSTOMER SERVICE totall awesome!!

jamhays Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 10:56pm
post #15 of 25

I can't wait until I can afford to get my own CakeBoss.

tlreetz Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 11:18pm
post #16 of 25

One word....Irreplacable!!! Cake Boss is one think I would NOT be without in my business. The program is invaluable, Honestly! I had the "spreadsheet" floating around here and it is a HUGE headache, not to mention extrememly time consuming!!! Cake Boss is so great. You enter the customers info, enter the order and Poof...Done!! You don't have to enter info on 15 different pages of a spread sheet to only find out you made a mistake on page 3...UGH!! Cake Boss prints off my scheduled calender for me, it does it all!! The customer service is top notch!! They are always there to help you with anything and everything!! I wouldn't give up my Cake Boss, you will have to pry it out of my dead hands! I recommend this program to everyone!! If you make cakes...you NEED Cake Boss!!

BarbaraF Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 12:17am
post #17 of 25

I have been using CakeBoss since I was a beta tester, and to be honest I can't even remember how I managed to get along before. All my orders are right there on the calendar so I can see what's coming up and plan my time accordingly. I even use the calendar for all my family scheduling. Plus I can see exactly what each cake is costing me out of pocket and how much profit I'm making on it.

Yes, if you have the expertise and a lot of extra time, you can spend hours and hours making spreadsheets that coordinate with eachother. But my time is precious, and CakeBoss is an affordable program that has already figured it out for me. I can spend LESS time messing with paperwork and MORE time making cakes and taking care of my kids. How much is THAT worth to you?

weirkd Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 12:33am
post #18 of 25

I agree with everyone else. I knew how to do spreadsheets in Excel and how to add formula's and all but to come up with something that is all in one place would be very time consuming not to mention nerve-racking! Its cheap, its quick. Done deal!

mjcakes Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 2:42am
post #19 of 25

All right, ya'll sold me on it!
I will be ordering it tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice!

tlreetz Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 11:03pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

I purchased cakeboss and was overwhelmed on how to price specialty cakes such as 3d and sugar work such as handmade fondant flowers and figures. I can not estimate and price this by the hour ( like cakeboss wants you to do) in order to price it. I don't know how long it will take me nad each order is different. My question is....Is Cakeboss worth it if you have a set price per serving for buttercream and fondant cakes? I think pricing out my embellishments made of fondant per order individually may make it easier. Any suggestions on pricing fondant decorations? or a better software to use other than Cakeboss to manage expenses, invoices and reciepts





This is actually very easy to do!! There is a "fixed price" option on Cake Boss. It's wonderful for things like roses, cupcakes, etc. Just put in the price per rose or cupcake, etc and that is all! Very easy! I do a lot os 3D cakes and strange things too and yes I agree it can be hard to guesstimate how long it will take. I guess an average number of hours based on a previous cake that may be of similar difficulty and then I add 3 more hours just in case there are "issues" that come up. That way I am never shorting myself.

CHoxie Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 4:43pm
post #21 of 25

I looked at CB, but I am still in the early stages of bakery, so i created an Excel spreadsheet to do what i needed.

I have a sheet for my customer information. I have a sheet for my orders. I have a sheet for my order form, with all the calculations I use to price the cakes i make, including a discount tab for friends/family...

My order sheet has hyperlinks to the original price quote, and a hyperlink to the photo of the cake when complete.

It does what i need it to do, and would be happy to share if anybody wanted it. I hope to do more with it when i have some free time.

cakesbydina Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 5:12pm
post #22 of 25

choxie...your a god send. Yes, I am interested in taking a look at your excel spreadsheet. I am dumb when it comes to computers. How can I get the excel spreadsheet for me?

cakesdivine Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 5:33pm
post #23 of 25

To add since my above postings Kelleym now has the fixed price function working! Now CB gives me everything I need. I simply add my fixed price items as a recipe. Then when someone orders let's say a 1/4 sheet I click on the fixed price button, and all my "recipes" are there to choose from. It is great! I love it now!

KHalstead Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 6:02pm
post #24 of 25

I totally agree w/ everyone that says they can't live without their Cake Boss!!!! It's so quick and easy to pull up the order even months after it's been done and over with!!! When someone calls me and I'm like......how do I know that name, I go to my customer list, pull them up and go oh....they've ordered 4 cakes from me......and I also have little notes w/ each customer if they were prompt with payment, hard to get ahold of, etc......way easier than keeping a million scraps of paper on each client in a filing cabinet!!!

As far as pricing the cakes, I don't see how it could be simpler without Cake Boss.
I have in my recipe section on their "1/4 sheet cake" and that includes everything it takes to make and box up a 1/4 sheet cake....so when I get an order for one, I just click on that recipe and I'm done!! It tells me how much it costs me to make without having to sit down with EVERY single cake order and add it all up......also makes it simple when I'm on the phone with a customer to get them a quote instantly.
I have recipes for;
cake mix cake
cake mix extender
airbrushing on cake
etc.

then it's a matter of clicking on how many mixes or whatever I need for a custom cake, I have my icing priced out per cup and even my boxes are listed as recipes, so if someone orders a tiered cake 6",8",10" I just go and click on 6" cake (it has everything I need to make and box it for travel), then 8" cake and then 10" cake, then I might add another $5.00 for a decorative cake board and I'm done.......then on the actual price of the cake I just enter my per serv. price and voila........i'm done.......it literally takes me less than 2 minutes to place an order for a tiered cake on cake boss.......
Before I had it I used to have to sit down and figure up all my cake mixes, the eggs, oil, pudding mix, frosting, fondant, cake boards, frosting ingredients, cake box, etc........now within a couple clicks I'm done and have a price to read off for my customer!!! Cake Boss is IRREPLACEABLE!!!

dcasseus Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 8:18pm
post #25 of 25

choxie...I would love to look at your excel spreadsheet. I am so confused on what to do to keep tract of everything. Thanx! My email address [email protected]

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%