I'm Thinking About Holding Classes...

Business By ButtercupMama Updated 26 Jul 2009 , 3:59am by ButtercupMama

ButtercupMama Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 3:40am
post #1 of 10

I keep getting inquiries about cake decorating classes at my shop. I have not really taught before, but am starting to wonder if it might be a good idea. I mean, I have trained employees and stuff, but not taught "a class" of any type. I am not sure where to begin; how much to fit in a class, should it be a demo only or hands on type? What to charge for such a thing?
And really, would I offer some sort of certificate upon completion, or how the heck does that work? Can anyone be a school? What the heck?!
I'd be happy for anyone's random thoughts here, just dive in!
Thanks, all!

9 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 3:48am
post #2 of 10

What type of shop do you have? Supplies or a bakery? If it's a bakery, I would say no, because each person you teach to decorate a cake is one less cake sold.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 3:53am
post #3 of 10

What type of shop do you have? Supplies or a bakery? If it's a bakery, I would say no, because each person you teach to decorate a cake is one less cake sold.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Mensch Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:19am
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

What type of shop do you have? Supplies or a bakery? If it's a bakery, I would say no, because each person you teach to decorate a cake is one less cake sold.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




I believe this is very untrue.

When I first opened my shop (bakery only) I had no intention of selling supplies. At all. Whatsoever. Why? Because I had the same thoughts.... I mean, why should they order a cake from me if they can make it themselves, right?

The demand to sell supplies became too great and I installed a simple shelf unit in the corner. I sell fondant, GP and modelling paste, some cutters, lots of muffin papers, basic colors, gold/silver/pearl dusts, tools, etc. Very small display.

I'm still fully booked every weekend with orders and still turn down more that 10 orders per week, PLUS I've increased my daily OTC sales by more than $100.

People ask every day about classes.

I finally saw the light, got my mess all in one bag, and now I'm in the procecess of renovating a new premises, about three blocks from my bakery. I'll be selling lots more supplies and giving classes. I'll be teaching and 'importing' sugar/craft teachers to lead classes.

I've realized that those who make their own cakes probably never were a potential customer in the first place.

playingwithsugar Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:25am
post #5 of 10

I'm honestly happy for you, but I can only go with what I see in my area. Here, they take the lessons and never buy a cake again.

Oh, well, it's our differences that make us interesting, right?

Theresa icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:26am
post #6 of 10

I'm honestly happy for you, but I can only write according to what is happening where I live. Here, they take the lessons and never buy a cake again.

Oh, well, it's our differences that make us interesting, right?

Theresa icon_smile.gif

CakeForte Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:39am
post #7 of 10

But they might come back to order supplies from you if you sold them ones that they couldn't get at the craft store....so in the long run, you'd earn more money from the sale of supplies versus the "once every few months" cake order.

The reason I shop at my local supplier, who is also a competitor, is because they have a better selection of items that Micheal's doesn't.

cylstrial Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 12:04pm
post #8 of 10

I think that if you want to hold cake classes that you should. And I think you can give out certificates if you want to. I don't see why you couldn't. It would be your cake school or cake class. And if you want to give them a certificate...do so.

itsacake Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 9:19pm
post #9 of 10

If you want to give classes and be able to advertise for those classes, be sure you are in an area whose zoning allows that. I'm having that issue now as I look for a property for my shop. Nowhere that I'm looking will allow me to do classes. Some say I can apply for a permit and it MIGHT be conditionally allowed. icon_cry.gif

I'm looking in industrial areas, as it is what I can afford, so if you are in a retail area this is probably less of an issue--though some of the retail places around here also require a special use permit to allow classes in that zoning.

ButtercupMama Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 3:59am
post #10 of 10

Hmmm, I never thought about zoning issues! But I am in a retail space, and so I doubt there will be a restriction. I will surely check first to be on the safe side!
As for losing customers, I don't think it would be an issue for me, personally, although I absolutely see your point!
Once people actually make and decorate a cake or two, they realize the time and money (ingredients, supplies, tools) involved. Not to mention that most folks are not talented right off the bat. So they may make a cake or two for home, but most will come back to me for special occasions. And those who a)have the time, and b) enjoy the craft enough, would probably not be my customers in the first place. To put it bluntly, many of my customers are so freaking fussy, they could never live up to their own standards! Hee hee hee!
And it would really be enjoyable to be around students who are so excited about the art; maybe it would help remind me why I got into this in the first place. And it would certainly be smart to sell supplies, I suppose. I hadn't even thought about that!
Any other words of advice?
This is wonderful; I certainly appreciate the brainstorming!!

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