I am not liscenced yet, so as of right now, I am just trying to get my name out and wha I do. I have had a few advertising opportunities. There were 2 Mary Kay things where I made some different cookies as well as mini cupcakes (to which I brought business cards). There have been several parties at family members houses where I made cakes and there were other kids and their parents there. Someone asked me for a business card yesterday at my Step Son's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese (I made an XBox 360 cake). Thankfully I Had a few with just my name, phone number, and email on them. I am glad I had the foresight to write on them my photobucket account with just cakes and cookies. My soon to be cousin in law's wedding shower is this weekend and I will bring wedding cake and bouquet cookies as well as mini cupcakes (chocolate cake, white frosting, and wilton sparkles). Plus the wedding the week after where I am making the groom's cake.
It is just kinda hard to put the work and time and money into some of this stuff and not be gettin paid. A majority of the stuff I have done I have done strictly for advertsiing. Not bc someone asked me to make these things.
I am just realizing it is hard when you are just starting out. Trying to stay positive!!! This time next year I will have a liscensed kitchen!!!
I just recently got licensed. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. We only have one income right now and sometimes my husband gets frustrated but you have to spend money to make money. Even though in the beginning you lose money, you do what you have to do to get your name out there! If I charged tons right off the bat with no word of mouth or anything like that, I wouldn't have any clients anyway. When I make things that I'm giving away to get my name out there, such as some small cookie boquets, I tend to buy my supplies at the dollar store. I figure "you know what, they are free..", such as my cookie sticks, styrofoam, pots, ribbon to curl, decorative tissue sheets, shredded colored paper, etc. When I get orders, then I put more money into the items.
You just have to work yourself up. Take some time buying equipment here and there. Consider getting second hand equipments from closing bakeries/restaurants. It sometimes takes time to be where you want to be. Some takes huge risks. The key is to spend your money wisely.
Good luck in the future.
I'm almost legal right now after 2 years of going through the same things myself that you are. I'm excited and nervous and a little apprehensive because I know that I will be working alot. I'm going to rent the kitchen of a donut shop in the afternoons and evenings for the next 6 months to a year with plans to open a storefront by then.
I have been amazed at the responses I've been getting just getting out and getting licenses, etc. I talked to my insurance agent - he wanted a cake. I stopped by the donut shop to talk to them for a couple a minutes and she had 2 people wanting cakes. I go to work and in 1 day, had 2 people wanting cakes. I don't have business cards and I have not advertised 1 time and I won't until everthing is legal.
I have spent a lot of money over the last few years as I got back into this hobby. I am very blessed to have a husband who said to me one day, as I was feeling bad about the money I had spent on cake supplies, that I shouldn't worry about the money on that. Between supplies and classes and cake shows, we've spent a fair amount of money but I/we have looked on this as an expensive hobby and, more importantly, training. My payoff will come when I open my business and I do start getting paid.
It is very hard starting out and that is why I'm starting part time. I will work my day job and then this at night. We did find a great storefront and seriously considered opening a storefront now but decided we'll build a customer base, keep an eye out for auctions and open next year - hopefully.
Sorry for hijacking the thread. Just keep your eye on the future and recognize this time for what it is - learning and networking. Good Luck to you!
I can relate to you. I really, really want to open my own business which I could do out of my home but we'd have to renovate our basement and it would cost $25,000. My DH says we can do it but he wants to see that people actually want to buy my cakes! No pressure, huh??
Right now I'm spending my own money, buying cutters, ingredients, etc. and just trying to get good at what I do so that I can convince him to let us spend the money. I have one cake order for September but that's it.
At least you'll be licensed soon! That's so exciting. Never mind about the expense for now. Just focus on enjoying what you do and Oprah says the money will come! I expect she's right.
I guest, you have to decided is it going to be a hobbie or a business venture. When I started making cakes, I knew that I wanted a business. So I bought, most of my stuff on ebay and clearence. I also made sure that I charged people for at least the up front cost of things to make their cakes- I mean baking supplies. and addition 15 to 20 dollars that will help me with the bills- RUNNING the oven cost $$. Don't loose hope. Here at cake central.com you will get the support you need. Just remember, when ever some one is starting a new business, they will not make much or no money at all the first three years. Hay, one thing you could take a look at is in your taxes, you can check out about a tax credit for hobby or something. just a thought.