Best Advice You Never Got

Business By jillmakescakes Updated 20 Apr 2009 , 12:24pm by marmalade1687

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:00pm
post #1 of 39

Ok, so here is my question:

What is the best advice that you never received? What do you wish someome had said to you before (or while) you were in business?

Funny responses get bonus points! (I'm not sure what the points are good for, but who doesn't want bonus points!??)

38 replies
-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:13pm
post #2 of 39

Oooh, I want the bonus points!!! I want the bonus points!!!

Geez a few threads ago I wanted a pretty wedding and I was called a shameless hedonist on the fast track to a firey hell. Wonder how lusting for bonus points will affect my image?

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can't think of anything....could you hum a few bars for me???

In other words, what did I learn the hard way--everything!!

am I funny yet??? does pathetic count??? icon_biggrin.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:22pm
post #3 of 39

"What you've said is not anywhere close to a correct answer.... I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul" Billy Madison movie. icon_lol.gif

I'd award points for that one!

I'm learning stuff the hard way too (like get Quickbooks started and set up BEFORE the orders come flooding in). Just thought I'd put it out there.

Does 6 occasion cakes this weekend count as flooding? I've only been "open" for 3 weeks. I also got a last minute bride for a wedding next week!

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:32pm
post #4 of 39

Bwuwhahaha: icon_lol.gif

Let's see 'mercy', 'bonus points', it's all the same to me. I'll take it!!!

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emiyeric Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:39pm
post #5 of 39

I've learned that if I'm going to work on cakes after I get off of a 36-hour call (I'm a pediatrician), I have to write out very explicit instructions for myself as to what I need to do and follow them exactly. While putting together a simple two-tier cake is not a big deal when I'm awake, if I don't follow instructions to myself post-call (no lies!), I end up stacking with no supports, or stacking before I've covered with fondant, or setting up my whole table and instruments to get ready to fill the cakes and stack them before I've even made the filling, or things along those lines. Post-call Emi CANNOT multitask, either! I won't even get into what happens when I try to do two cakes at the same time .

Plus, I'm a sucker for a satisfying ending, so I leave myself little love notes at the end of my instructions to myself: "Good job. Now go take a hot shower". Or things along those lines icon_smile.gif.

jlynnw Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:41pm
post #6 of 39

K8 - they can get over it! That was all just too sad icon_sad.gif

Get organized and when your think your done, organize so more! icon_biggrin.gif Make sure you have a order tacking system going. I have a day planner, a "at - a - glance" white board, and a computer date book. I plan for 3 decorators and it gets busy. The worst thing is to lose an order or make it ahead of schedule. NEVER take order "off the clock". I don't care if people know that you do cakes at the grocery store, church, the PTA whatever, do not take the order there! That is like asking your doctor or dentist to take a look icon_eek.gif Just polietly ask them to call you during your business hours, you would really hate to misplace the order or not get all the information and quickly change the subject.

Do I get the bonus points???? icon_biggrin.gif I like bonus points. Maybe I can buy more time on CC with the bonus points icon_lol.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 6:55pm
post #7 of 39

Bonus points are awarded to jlynnw for shameless use of emoticons! icon_biggrin.gificon_smile.gificon_lol.gificon_cool.gificon_razz.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gifparty.gif

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:11pm
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

I've learned that if I'm going to work on cakes after I get off of a 36-hour call (I'm a pediatrician), I have to write out very explicit instructions for myself as to what I need to do and follow them exactly. While putting together a simple two-tier cake is not a big deal when I'm awake, if I don't follow instructions to myself post-call (no lies!), I end up stacking with no supports, or stacking before I've covered with fondant, or setting up my whole table and instruments to get ready to fill the cakes and stack them before I've even made the filling, or things along those lines. Post-call Emi CANNOT multitask, either! I won't even get into what happens when I try to do two cakes at the same time .

Plus, I'm a sucker for a satisfying ending, so I leave myself little love notes at the end of my instructions to myself: "Good job. Now go take a hot shower". Or things along those lines icon_smile.gif.




Oh god Oh god, you said 'instruments' instead of equipment--you really are a sleep deprived Doc--I can just see you doing some doll cake appendectomies or tummy tuck & lipo-ing a coupla Cabbage Patch babies - lol

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KellBell22 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:17pm
post #9 of 39

Well I'm not in business as I'm fairly new...but I enjoy bonus points!! icon_biggrin.gif
For those of us still starting out and learning...YouTube videos and CC have been HUGE in showing new techniques. I tend to get frustrated easily if it's something that I get right away, and the rest of a class doesn't...so having personal video instructors is a ginormous help. (Come on, using ginormous in a sentence has to be worth a point or two...right?)

jlynnw Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 39

it better if the shameless use of emoticons works, then powerful word combos get double, like the scrabble thing right? icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Ayanami Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:32pm
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

I've learned that if I'm going to work on cakes after I get off of a 36-hour call (I'm a pediatrician), I have to write out very explicit instructions for myself as to what I need to do and follow them exactly. While putting together a simple two-tier cake is not a big deal when I'm awake, if I don't follow instructions to myself post-call (no lies!), I end up stacking with no supports, or stacking before I've covered with fondant, or setting up my whole table and instruments to get ready to fill the cakes and stack them before I've even made the filling, or things along those lines. Post-call Emi CANNOT multitask, either! I won't even get into what happens when I try to do two cakes at the same time .

Plus, I'm a sucker for a satisfying ending, so I leave myself little love notes at the end of my instructions to myself: "Good job. Now go take a hot shower". Or things along those lines icon_smile.gif.



Oh god Oh god, you said 'instruments' instead of equipment--you really are a sleep deprived Doc--I can just see you doing some doll cake appendectomies or tummy tuck & lipo-ing a coupla Cabbage Patch babies - lol

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif





That's nothing! I work in the automotive industry where we install aftermarket parts & I (at one point) also sold a certian "pink" cosmetic. I used to slip & tell my ladies how to "install" their makeup (instead of how to "apply" it) icon_redface.gif


KellBell22

Quote:
Quote:

(Come on, using ginormous in a sentence has to be worth a point or two...right?)




DH (& everyone else I know) used to make fun of me when I would say ginormous & now, several years later!, it's a "real" word in the dictionary!!! icon_eek.gif

Can I put a patent (sp) on my words?! Cause I make up stupid words alllll the time. Like, I was saying "sammies" instead of sandwiches years before Miss Ray came along. icon_confused.gif

KellBell22 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:44pm
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayanami


Can I put a patent (sp) on my words?! Cause I make up stupid words alllll the time. Like, I was saying "sammies" instead of sandwiches years before Miss Ray came along. icon_confused.gif




LOL...here's what I use instead of emo...
Emu: When life's so depressing you just want to stick your head in the sand. icon_biggrin.gif

bellatrixothersis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:49pm
post #13 of 39

ok, I'm getting serious here. I wish someone in my high school guidance office said to me...1. Don't confuse "gifts" with passion..(just because you are good at something doesn't mean it's your life's work) and
Don't confuse enthusiasm with "passion" either...Does anyone see a pattern here?

Twopeasinapod Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:53pm
post #14 of 39

My husband wishes someone would have told HIM that our freezer would see more of me at times than he does! icon_redface.gif

bakers2 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 8:06pm
post #15 of 39

some will...some won't...so what...

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 8:10pm
post #16 of 39

After reviewing the forum.... use of ginormous-scrabble-worthy-words is worth bonus points! Ruling on the field stands.

A few of my favorite non-words: guesstimate, ginormous, sorryboutcha (say it fast, you'll get it), navygreen aka hunter green, holymoly.

I especially like the advice about confusing passion vs calling. Sometimes it IS just meant to be a hobby.

emiyeric Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 9:00pm
post #17 of 39

K8! BUAHAHAHA!!! I laughed so hard I interrupted checkout rounds for the people sitting behind me icon_smile.gif.

Deb_ Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 9:48pm
post #18 of 39

Best advice I never got~~~~~~~~~~To keep this as a hobby, part-time business or I'd grow to hate my "passion", "calling", or whatever else you want to call what we do. I am SO thankful that I never tried to support myself making cakes, I know I would have been burned out by now if I had.

For me, it's a huge stress reliever to come home from the Salon, where I deal with the public all day, close the door to my kitchen, and just get creative w/icing, gumpaste, fondant, etc........then box it up and actually get paid for doing something that helps me mentally. icon_smile.gif

BTW......I have the highest respect to all of you that do this full-time. I don't know how you do it, it's a very hard job..........but, it is rewarding for sure. icon_smile.gif

jlynnw Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 10:27pm
post #19 of 39

dkelly - you have it right! Doing this to support the family turns it to a tapedshut.giftapedshut.giftapedshut.giftapedshut.giftapedshut.giftapedshut.gif . It is fun to come home and get behind locked doors and do something completely creative and wondermustly and get paid for it. It is like going to therapy and they pay you for it.

Bonus points - excessive use of emu's(like that one) and word usage (wondermustly) icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 10:34pm
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

K8! BUAHAHAHA!!! I laughed so hard I interrupted checkout rounds for the people sitting behind me icon_smile.gif.




I see bumper crops of sparkling bonus points in my very near bonus point filled future.

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lazlo Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 8:51pm
post #21 of 39

can I just say for me going into a professional kitchen making cakes is way more calming then doing it at home. At home I can never find anything my newborn is crying and the tv is distracting. But in the pro kitchen I can get so lost in what I am doing I find myself more relaxed. Don't get me wrong doing desserts for a living everyday for 8-14 hours can burn you out, but there isn't anything quite like zoning out with everything you need right next you including the ginormous mixers that you can't even lift the whip because it is that heavy. Th best advice I never recieved was live up to your own standards and no one else's

Ms_Cake_Lady Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:20pm
post #22 of 39

My idea - that I should always have a clear idea of what I want to make. Draw, sketch it out. Sometimes ideas in my head are so great, then when I start decorating it looks like - well, like I have no idea what I'm doing! But, the cake turns out pretty good when I try it out first..

marmalade1687 Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:31pm
post #23 of 39

Learn how to say NO early on! Practice in the mirror if you have to..."N-O spells NO...what part of that do you not understand, the N or the O part??" icon_rolleyes.gif (That was my mom's saying throughout my childhood! icon_lol.gif )

Before I learned this magical word, I found myself booking too many cakes and stressing myself and my family out in the process. Now that I have learned how to say NO, I know my limit and stick to it. thumbs_up.gif

funbun Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalade1687

Learn how to say NO early on! Practice in the mirror if you have to..."N-O spells NO...what part of that do you not understand, the N or the O part??" icon_rolleyes.gif (That was my mom's saying throughout my childhood! icon_lol.gif )

Before I learned this magical word, I found myself booking too many cakes and stressing myself and my family out in the process. Now that I have learned how to say NO, I know my limit and stick to it. thumbs_up.gif




This is the best advice thumbs_up.gif When I first started my business I never said no to any order and ran myself into the ground. I now know the value of that one word No. The more I said No to people for short notice orders the more clients I got booking well in advance and now they know they must book early to get a cake. My sales have gone up by at least 20% each year and I am on track for a 90% increase this year over last icon_biggrin.gif

AverageMom Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:55pm
post #25 of 39

Wow! I don't have a business, and probably never will, but what a lot of good advice! My best advice had nothing to do with cakes, and it came from my father:
"Never date a man you wouldn't mate."

Moniquea Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 10:59pm
post #26 of 39

Label!

Label, label, label... I'd like to think of myself as an organizing freak but I'm not icon_wink.gif so over time I've educated myself and worked on this. For some it comes natural for others its a compulsion... I go thru phases. But no-doubt, I get far MORE done in far LESS time when I am organized.

Always start with the big stuff and work your way down. In the biz I wouldn't know where to start, maybe designs then you can base prices off of them based on work involved, time needed, and ingrediants. I like it too because everyones expectations are aligned - the last thing I want is some big vision that's... excuse the expresion 'half-baked' icon_smile.gif

The bakery I'm working at is fairly organized but the one thing we agree on is that if the owner was more organized things would be less frazzled... although maybe not as much fun icon_razz.gif

Best wishes, I hope to go legal someday... I've already tried but need time to work out some road blocks... in the mean time I'm doing an low-paid internship.... I like at home best bc it's mine. At work I have to use her organization, tools, visions and techniques. I pray I can pay the bills with this someday but till then I'll let the 'Big Guy' upstairs iron out the wrinkles and I'll just keep putzing along on the path he's put me on icon_biggrin.gif

Any points? icon_lol.gif

Cakebelle Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 5:05pm
post #27 of 39

At Cooking school, I asked one of my instructors what advice she would give someone like me, a novice, starting out in the cake world.
She said, "Never undercharge!"
Sorry nothing funny about that!! icon_biggrin.gif

Cakebelle Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 5:09pm
post #28 of 39

Oh yeah! And that was actually one of the best ones I ever got!
I'm so sorry to the OP I just didn't read the pasrt about the best advice I NEVER got!!!!!!!! icon_redface.gif

indydebi Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 6:19pm
post #29 of 39

No one said (or no one was ever DUMB enough to say) "It can't be done. Forget it."

Best advice I NEVER heard. I kept plugging away until it happened.

"She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it"
- Mary's Almanac


-----------------------------
Advice I didnt' realize, when picking out a shop, that I would share with anyone who is in the start up stage:

Get more footage than you THINK you need. You'll grow into it fast. Promise!

Moniquea Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 6:28pm
post #30 of 39

Indydebi,

yet again, another jewel of wisdom...

So funny but that's just how I live my life and I find it amazing how many people will put up their own barriers....

"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing, that we see too late the one that is open."

Alexander Graham Bell
1847-1922, Inventor

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