I started taking cake decorating classes because I want to make my daughter's first birthday cake. I have really enjoyed them so far, and have taken my 'homework' cakes to work so we aren't eating a cake a week at home. Several co-workers and friends have said they want me to make their cakes for upcoming birthdays and the like. I'm not ready to start a business because I work 55 hours a week and have a baby, but maybe one day...
So my question is this:
Do you run your hobby of making cakes like a business? I'm not talking about price lists and insurance because again, I'm not looking to start a business right now. But, do you offer tastings for friends or have a flavor list, or anything else that would be helpful once a business was established? Or do you just let them tell you what they want and go with it? I can see the pro's and con's both ways so I was curious what everyone else thought.
I bake occasionally for friends. TX doesn't license home bakeries and I'm not ready to rent space for a business, so it's strictly a hobby for me. I don't offer tastings...they buy the ingredients, I make the cake, they're getting an awesome deal and that's it Most of them don't even care what flavor the cake is, I'll get, "Oh, anything, your cake is always good, we really care most about how it looks anyhow," which is frustrating to me.
I am doing cakes as a fundraiser, I plan to print out a list of the various WASC flavors to offer people if they want something other than chocolate or white. Since this is a fundraiser, I do not plan to offer tastings, it takes away money from my organization. The girls at work have eaten my cakes, and I do all the birthday cakes for practice, they pay me for the ingredients. They are my word of mouth on the flavor and moistness.
I live in a county in MO where a home bakery is legal under certain conditions. Because of that, I can have a SMALL business with very little advertising and building overhead. So yes, I do run my hobby like a business. I have business cards, a website, posters, price sheets, etc. You might check your local health department and see what you're able to do!
I'm in TX, so I understand that I can't have a home cakery.
Yes I also run my hobby like a business, I print my own business cards and had a website set up. I don't do tastings and 90% of my business is just done through the web, emails and then I deliver the cakes.
I do have a handful of wonderful customers who keep returning but it started with friends, and then friends friends wanted cakes etc etc and it just builds.
If you love it, do it!
All the best for success