Questions About The Business Please!

Business By blessedist Updated 3 Oct 2009 , 4:10am by LaBellaFlor

blessedist Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:29pm
post #1 of 5

OK, so as I've been doing some major research through this site and online in general, I am learning a lot and absorbing. So, I see a lot of people have had issues with people wanting $ back, stopping checks, forgetting payments, blah blah.

So I have some questions for persons who are already in business. Is it safe to say to people that you will ONLY work in fondant? Like, to me, on a wedding cake or a bigger cake fondant looks cleaner (Even after viva method).

Next, I will be working from a rented space and I don't really have a desire to necessarily have a fully operating store front (all of the extra costs in maintaining my own just doesn't make sense to me in my scheme of things), and would be glad to rent the space and have only a "virtual" private shop.The space I am looking at has a consulting area, so that could be an option or I could meet the client somewhere that is, of course, convenient to them. Is it realistic to not have an actual storefront for a long time (talking years possibly)?

Next, would it be feasible to ONLY accept PayPal or cash BEFORE the deadlines? No checks (because people can stop them) or COD's whatsoever for any reason under the sun?!!?

Telling them that you (ME) can only place the flowers (if fresh) on the cake, not the florist? You and the florist don't have the same vision for the cake, so how can she put them on, I don't understand that?

Also, say you did a cake with about 50-70ish gumpaste flowers. You cut the cake for them, can you save those flowers and take them back with you for purposes of using them again maybe on display cakes or practice or is that tacky? Also, again taking things back like figures, separators, supports, boards, etc for your own practice, display, etc but not to give to another person?

Ok, I think I am done for now, any input would be greatly appreciated icon_biggrin.gif

4 replies
Deb_ Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:36pm
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedist


So I have some questions for persons who are already in business. Is it safe to say to people that you will ONLY work in fondant? Like, to me, on a wedding cake or a bigger cake fondant looks cleaner (Even after viva method).

I only worked in buttercream for years and just in the past year or two I've gotten comfortable enough to start offering fondant. I do think that limiting yourself to JUST fondant could be an issue. A lot of people have that negative image about what fondant tastes like. JMHO.

Next, I will be working from a rented space and I don't really have a desire to necessarily have a fully operating store front (all of the extra costs in maintaining my own just doesn't make sense to me in my scheme of things), and would be glad to rent the space and have only a "virtual" private shop.The space I am looking at has a consulting area, so that could be an option or I could meet the client somewhere that is, of course, convenient to them. Is it realistic to not have an actual storefront for a long time (talking years possibly)?

I work out of my basement licensed kitchen and I have for the past 5 yrs. I have never had a storefront, nor do I ever want one. So no I don't see this as a problem for you.



Next, would it be feasible to ONLY accept PayPal or cash BEFORE the deadlines? No checks (because people can stop them) or COD's whatsoever for any reason under the sun?!!?

I only accept cash of certified check. I'm thinking of adding paypal.


Telling them that you (ME) can only place the flowers (if fresh) on the cake, not the florist? You and the florist don't have the same vision for the cake, so how can she put them on, I don't understand that?

Nobody touches my cake but me. If there will be fresh flowers from the florist I put them on the cake. This is right in my contract.


Also, say you did a cake with about 50-70ish gumpaste flowers. You cut the cake for them, can you save those flowers and take them back with you for purposes of using them again maybe on display cakes or practice or is that tacky? Also, again taking things back like figures, separators, supports, boards, etc for your own practice, display, etc but not to give to another person?

Once I sell a cake everything is the property of the client (except the rented silver stands) I build the cost of all my support systems into the price of the cake. Yes, I think it would be wrong to take back the fondant figures or gumpaste flowers. They paid for them, they're theirs to keep.

Ok, I think I am done for now, any input would be greatly appreciated icon_biggrin.gif


-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:47pm
post #3 of 5

Even accepting credit cards and paypal you can get charge backs where they withdraw the funds right back out of your checking account.

You need to know that you are hearing horror stories--in all my years of caking I have had (that I remember) one payment issue. one

There's nothing to say about the other orders that were paid porperly. The squeaky wheel gets the attention type of thing. It is not common to have money issues. It does happen but please don't base 99.9% your cake life around the antics of a less than 1%.

It's like an airplane wreck it happens but we're all supposed to keep flying & be happy about it huh. Now don't take off without your parachute but...have fun with it anyhow.

costumeczar Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 11:58pm
post #4 of 5

1. If you want to do only fondant you can, but just be aware that you might lose some customers who really don't want fondant. No big deal, a lot of decorators only use fondant and seem to do fine.

2.I work out of my home, have for 11 years, and have no problems not having a storefront.

3. Paypal charges can still be pulled back if someone disputes them, so they're not totally foolproof. The most important thing is to have a clear policy on due dates, and give yourself plenty of time for final payment checks to clear. I have everything due three weeks before the event, and any payments less than three weeks before have to be cash only.

4. If only for health dept. reasons, you should put the flowers on the cake. I know a lot of florists who just stick the stems directly into the cake, which is nasty. They're not thinking about the food safety issues, they're just arranging flowers, so you should do it to make sure it isn't done in the wrong way.

5. You shouldn't reuse gumpaste flowers, they're technically considered a food product, so it's like reusing the garnish on a plate. You COULD take them back to use on a dummy, but it's better to just dispose of them. Some people do deposits on all of the plastic items like plates and separators, but I think that's more trouble than it's worth. I usually just build that into the cost of the cake, and the client can do whatever they want with the stuff afterward.

LaBellaFlor Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:10am
post #5 of 5

I think it would be tacky to take the flowers back. Didn't they have to pay for them so they belong to them. Or do you plan on giving them for free?

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%