Just for fun:
I'm your customer. I'd like a birthday cake for someone who is a huge fan of the movie It's a Wonderful Life. There will be about 100 guests at the party but size, design, flavors, fillings, etc is all up to you - and price is no object.
With that in mind, can you take me through the process you would go through to make this cake? Including where you would buy any thing you would need, when you would bake, when you would decorate, etc. I'd really love to hear about the detailed process you go through from design to end result.
I'm mainly hobby for family and friends, but here's what I'd do (sans pricing-- not too sure)
--research like-themed cakes, brainstorm the design
--run it by customer with quote
--brainstorm & list needed ingredients, materials
--scour the internet for Michael's coupons (to use for things like cake boards, cutters, or maybe a special pan I don't have)
--depending on how much/what I need @ michaels/a.c. moore, I start going there about 1-1 1/2 weeks in advance and buying things one by one (due to one coupon per customer/day rule)
--grocery shop.. time sensitive ingredients like sour cream are bought just before baking
--by the time 6-5 days before due date rolls around I am prepared and have everything I need.
--5-4 days before due date I am dying fondant in all the colors I need, sealing it in vaccuum reynolds wrap bags and getting all my ducks in a row.
--3 days before delivery: I usually bake on the third night before due date. For example I had a cake I just finished for sunday, so I baked late thursday night. cake was cooled by morning, promptly torted/filled and crumbcoated & covered with fondant. Decorating is spread out over the next two days before delivery.
research pics. take ideas from all of them. draw out a rough sketch and label each tier with what size pan and what flavors.
bake and freeze, take them out 2 nights before and start decorating
that's about it