Can A Sahm Have A Cake Business?

Business By MrsNancyB1 Updated 15 Dec 2009 , 1:18am by dreamcakesmom

MrsNancyB1 Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 10:47pm
post #1 of 31

I'm curious what others think about this. Do you think that a SAHM can have a cake business? I have 2 small children. One is in part-time preschool, and the other is just over a year old. I plan to send my youngest to part time preschool in about 1.5 years. Could I run a cake business, with 2 small kids to care for? What do you think?

Oh and just for posterity's sake, let's assume that whoever is running the business is legal. Just want to square that away before we proceed. icon_lol.gif

30 replies
cattycornercakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 10:54pm
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I don't see why not. You would just have to magage your time. At least you would have control over how much work you take in and you'd have to schedule things accordingly with your family commitments in mind.

Adrienne0317 Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 11:07pm
post #3 of 31

I have a 15 yr old son, a 6 yr old and a 2 yr old daughters, and I have been doing cakes at home since my oldest daughter was 18 months. You figure out was to work around the kids, and you have to be willing to work a few late nights, and it takes a little time, but the kids learn that mommy is working, and what that means.

When I have left over batter, I bake cup cakes or tiny 3 inch cakes and the day after my "work" is done, the girls and I have a decorating party with the left overs.

HTH

JuneBugBaby Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 11:17pm
post #4 of 31

Just wanted to say I am in the same situation! My oldest is 3 and she is in preschool and I have a 10 month old. So far I am just making my cakes for fun and not selling them but I hope to some day. There are times I find it hard to "work" on the cakes and also tend to my 9 month old but they always get done! icon_biggrin.gif I think it's fun to let the little ones "help". Good luck to ya! I know we SAHM got it in us!!

LaBellaFlor Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 11:51pm
post #5 of 31

Yes. I have an actual 2 & 1 year old at home everyday, with a part-time 3 yr. old preschooler, that goes along with...a 14, 11, and 8 year old. It is time management and it is also why I take a very limited amount of orders. If you know the time you can commit to your business, you can make it happen.

Kiddiekakes Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 12:24am
post #6 of 31

I have an 8 yr old and a 6 yr old and I have been running my home business since they were babies..You learn to time manage...set out limits of what you are capable of...How long it takes you to do what cakes...make embellishments in advance.Icings in advance,of course bake a day or so in advance.... and so on.My kids have never wrecked a cake or got into anything of mine because they knew at a young age not touch "Mommy's Cakes"...They go off and play or watch DVD's etc...It was actually very easy.You do have to stop and make snacks,lunches etc but if you manage your time it all works.

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 12:34am
post #7 of 31

It seems my opinion is going to go against alot of the others. I've worked on Wall Street for the first six years I had children. I was able to telecommute and have a nanny so it was doable. But I had A LOT OF HELP since I was making a lot of money! Now I'm launching a cake business (following my sister's footsteps who has been in the business for 15 years). I have children -- 7, 5, 4. I'm running back and forth to school and activities all day. It's so hard to have time to devote to starting up my business and I'm a very disciplined and motivated person. I wake up at 4:00 am to do cake stuff. It's not all about just making the cake. It's about marketing, a website, contracts, insurance. This all takes a lot of time. Making cakes for friends or family is one thing but actually starting a business is something else. I want to have time for my family. I think you can start a business slowly while you have small children -- like my sister did. But ramping things up quickly is just too difficult with small children and still give them the time they need. Just my opinionicon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 12:38am
post #8 of 31

ABSOLUTELY Pinklisa. ALL the things you listed have to be taken into consideration. So yes, I do hope all SAHMs think of the business side. It isn't just the cake part, but it can be done.

Edited to add: It also is a little easier as I do not have a storefront to run.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:08am
post #9 of 31

Blessings My Friend

The fact that I am now a SAHM (I was working back home in NY) and also new to Georgia is the reason why I am conducting my cake business out of my house. My daughter is 8 and my son is 3. My business is slowly building and I like the speed that it is moving. All of my business is done late in the evening and at night ... late nights included!

Go for it! Dont let fear hold you back and dont ever let there be a time when you say "I wish I had at least tried it." Put your all into it and give it your best. If I have a project that I need to do and it is on the weekend, my kids know not to bother mommy so much because I have to finish my cake.

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:09am
post #10 of 31

One big problem with running a business with children is them making noise in the background -- not very professional. I'm struggling with how to handle that when I'm ready to accept orders which should be very soon (once I get all the legalities ironed out).

LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:13am
post #11 of 31

Very true, but you can use your voicemail to pick up calls and when your kids are napping or when your husband is home, that is when you can return phone calls. Not to mention, with you having a website, a lot of communcation will also be done through e-mail. All things are possible. icon_wink.gif

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:18am
post #12 of 31

If anyone knows how to manage these things, I guess it's you LaBellaFlor -- I'm impressed that you handle all your children and your business. I thought of the things you mentioned and do have a website. But I'm worried to lose business if I let the message go to voice mail often. I love working though email. So much easier. My youngest will go to Kindergarten next year so I figure I'll ramp up until then. I'm hoping for just a few wedding cake orders for the spring.

LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:30am
post #13 of 31

Pink lisa I think you know that we as woman, when put into the position, are QUEENS of multi-tasking. Who can multi-task better then a working mother and a SAHM? icon_wink.gif Now, like I said before, I do limit my orders, seriously. BUT that is okay, cause it's great for the "exclusivity" persona I want my business to carry right now. People LOOOOVE hearing exclusive and limited, if ya know what I mean. LOL! There will be a time where I will also ramp up, but I can't do it now like a lot of stay at home moms. But to give you an example of the potential, and she does have kids in school, the custom decorator voted the best in our area for the Knot this year is a SAHM. You won't lose business if your good at what you do.

icalise Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:11am
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PinkLisa: If you don't mind me asking..... I thought NJ didn't allow home business! I trying to figure out how some make it legal! Thanks!

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:22am
post #15 of 31

She didn't specify the question to only those that work in a home kitchen.

I will rent space in a commerical kitchen but plan to take orders while I'm home, or waiting at ballet or soccer or at a school activity (all the stuff you do in a normal day).... Also, I'm doing all the marketing and business stuff from home. Working outside in a commerical kitchen just makes it that much harder to do with kids. I'm not yet selling cakes, just preparing and getting all the legalities done. I just took the Food Handlers class today. One step at a time. Just all this prep stuff is very hard with all the kid and home responsibilities -- cleaning the house, grocery shopping, making dinner, taking the kids to activities. That was my point. It's hard to have enough time in the day to get everything done. If you have help with the kids that makes things much easier.

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:38am
post #16 of 31

Upon thinking on it further, maybe it was inferred that she was speaking about a home-based business, but I still will consider myself a SAHM even if I have to make my cakes out of a commercial kitchen. I plan to work my schedule around my children. I guess that's why I jumped in. I decided to change careers to cake design for the very reason that I wanted to be a full-time mom and work around them. I've been a SAHM for the past year and have used every spare moment to prep my business -- improving my skills, creating dummy cakes for my portfolio, designing a website, marketing, checking into ALL the legalities, finding commerical kitchen space, networking with local vendors, etc......

CookieMakinMomma Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:52am
post #17 of 31

PinkLisa- try a chordless phone and keep order forms etc. in you bedroom or another lockable room. When an order comes in you can say "One moment please" hit the mute button, yell "MOMMY IS GONNA BE ON THE PHONE! TOUCH THE BEDROOM DOORKNOB AND YOU"RE SLEEPING UNDER THE STAIRS TIL YOU'RE ELEVEN!!!" then haul your hienie to the other room and complete the order. At least that's what I plan to do. icon_smile.gif My kid even sees a phone in my hands and whines his brains out because he want's to play with it.

Oh, and to the OP, as an entry level businesswoman and SAHM I agree it's all about time management and learning what to do when. Know how long it is going to take you on average to do a cake, how many hours you want to invest per week, and then only take the orders that fit that time parameter. Plan every single step and do all you can beforehand because you never know when it's going to be a Bad Mood Day, or something equally inconvenient, and suddenly all your time gets sucked into dealing with family life. While the cake is in the oven, take the time to sit on the floor and play with the kids so they still get their Mommy time. They will learn that when the timer goes off mommy has to go back to work but they still get that precious time with you. Time management and me have never gotten along and it is still my greatest struggle, but it is undoubtedly the key to making it all work. Good luck!

LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:55am
post #18 of 31

Good advice CookieMakinMomma. Whe I'm in the ktichen I give my 3 babies their own wooden spoons and mixing bowls. It keeps them quite the WHOLE time I'm baking or cooking...knock on wood! icon_biggrin.gif

CookieMakinMomma Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 2:55am
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkLisa

Upon thinking on it further, maybe it was inferred that she was speaking about a home-based business, but I still will consider myself a SAHM even if I have to make my cakes out of a commercial kitchen. I plan to work my schedule around my children. I guess that's why I jumped in. I decided to change careers to cake design for the very reason that I wanted to be a full-time mom and work around them. I've been a SAHM for the past year and have used every spare moment to prep my business -- improving my skills, creating dummy cakes for my portfolio, designing a website, marketing, checking into ALL the legalities, finding commerical kitchen space, networking with local vendors, etc......




I would say that the actual baking/decorating makes up less than half of the time involved in running a cake business, and therefore you most certainly count as a SAHM with a home business. You simply follow regulations and bake where you must, but that really doesn't change where you do 'business' thumbs_up.gif

CookieMakinMomma Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 3:03am
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Good advice CookieMakinMomma. Whe I'm in the ktichen I give my 3 babies their own wooden spoons and mixing bowls. It keeps them quite the WHOLE time I'm baking or cooking...knock on wood! icon_biggrin.gif


One of my boy's favorite toys has been an empty 5lb coffee can that I tossed a handful of dried beans into, taped the lid on well, and gave to him with a half-melted plastic mixing spoon. He beats the bat snot out of it all the time and it didn't cost me a nickle! icon_biggrin.gif He also enjoys a cereal bowl full of his toy shapes and a spoon that he can use to pretend eat. Oh if only I could be so happy with such simple things! icon_lol.gif

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 3:18am
post #21 of 31

[quote="CookieMakinMomma"]PinkLisa- try a chordless phone and keep order forms etc. in you bedroom or another lockable room. When an order comes in you can say "One moment please" hit the mute button, yell "MOMMY IS GONNA BE ON THE PHONE! TOUCH THE BEDROOM DOORKNOB AND YOU"RE SLEEPING UNDER THE STAIRS TIL YOU'RE ELEVEN!!!" then haul your hienie to the other room and complete the order. At least that's what I plan to do. icon_smile.gif My kid even sees a phone in my hands and whines his brains out because he want's to play with it.

Cookiemakinmomma -- you crack me up!!! ha ha. Very funny. Unfortunately my three are older (ages 7, 5, 4) and can get very loud if they begin arguing over something. I'm using my cell phone as my business line and considered grabbing it and running outside to take the call in peaceicon_smile.gif They all just follow me around the house though so it's so hard to get a moment free!! Next year though I'll have the whole middle of the day to take calls while they are in school. That's why I'm prepping now to gear up for HOPEFULLY getting busy in the fall.

icalise Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 3:44am
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkLisa

She didn't specify the question to only those that work in a home kitchen.

I will rent space in a commerical kitchen but plan to take orders while I'm home, or waiting at ballet or soccer or at a school activity (all the stuff you do in a normal day).... Also, I'm doing all the marketing and business stuff from home. Working outside in a commerical kitchen just makes it that much harder to do with kids. I'm not yet selling cakes, just preparing and getting all the legalities done. I just took the Food Handlers class today. One step at a time. Just all this prep stuff is very hard with all the kid and home responsibilities -- cleaning the house, grocery shopping, making dinner, taking the kids to activities. That was my point. It's hard to have enough time in the day to get everything done. If you have help with the kids that makes things much easier.




I agree 100%. I have a 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. I only do cakes for friends and family and for classes but it's hard doing them with the kids. I too hope to one day make it a business. I wanted to wait to learn more and I thought it would be easier once the kids are in school. It's great to know there's others in the same situation and it's great to know that some make it happen while home with kids.

My question about the business was curiosity. I'm trying to understand now how it all comes to be so that I can be ready when the time comes. I see a lot of people have business from home but I don't understand how they make it legal. I'm just informing my self. Thank you for your response! Renting a kitchen makes sense but I wish it was legal to do it from home until you have enough business to rent a kitchen! The thought of having to do that from the beginning is scary to me but I guess that's how it is when you want to have your own business! Thank you again!

MrsNancyB1 Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 5:50am
post #23 of 31

Thanks for all the replies.

Actually I was referring to renting out a kitchen to make my cakes in since home-based kitchens are not licensed in my state.

I know that I would have to limit orders, but I worry that by limiting orders I won't be able to cover all of my costs such as kitchen rental, ingredients, marketing, gas etc. THAT is my biggest concern about the whole venture.

I wonder if the time when my children are old enough to go to school full time it would be better to really pursue this business, since I will be able to take more orders.

Does anyone have any advice for me regarding limiting orders and STILL trying to be profitable?

PinkLisa Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 10:21am
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsNancyB1



Does anyone have any advice for me regarding limiting orders and STILL trying to be profitable?




I think the key to that is finding a commercial kitchen you can rent by the hour at a cheap rate. Not an easy thing to do -- another time-consuming but important component of beginning your business. It's not like Duff says "all about the cake" -- ha ha. The business end for a start-up businesses takes a lot of time and thought.

andlydle Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:01pm
post #25 of 31

you may just need to charge a bit more than you were originally thinking. just figure out what it costs you to make a cake- make sure you include all supplies, utilities, rent, etc. -and make sure that you're making enough to pay yourself and invest into your business.
i would think that if you had a friend to go into business with you it may help, b/c then you can theoretically do twice the business in the same amount of time (making your rent a little easier) there would be a downside to working with someone else, but i think it would add a lot more for someone that has to work outside the home, but still wants to see her family. also, is it possible when you rent out a commercial space to have a "break room" of sorts that could be for your children to play so you could be with them while you were waiting on things? i don't know how the whole renting space out works

ccr03 Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 4:26pm
post #26 of 31

A few different points....

1. Like cookiemakinmamma said - train your kids. My sister and BIL have as equipment rental business and is a SAHM and all 5 of her kids (ages 2,4,5,10,11) knows that when the phone rings it's quiet time. yeah, they didn't know automatically to be quiet, but they learned.

2. If you are renting a kitchen you HAVE to make the most of your time there! While it's baking you mix frostings/filling, prep boards, wash dishes, etc... whatever needs to be done. Also you have to work as quickly as possible. As it has been said on here before - what's the point of paying $50 in rental fees for a $35 cake (so to speak, of course.).

3. Figuring out profit. Start backwards. SAMPLE MONTHLY NUMBERS FOR A SMALL START-UP = Rent is $500, Website is $15, Supplies $300, Insurance $75 Other $410 = $1300. You have to make AT LEAST $1300 to just break even. If your pricing is fair - let's say $3 for buttercream. You would have to make 435 SERVINGS each month just to break even. That's a minimum of at least 110 servings each weekend. Now obviously if you up your price, the less servings you'll need.

4. Regardsless of where you decide to open - you will be sacrificing time with your kids. How much of that time is up to you and only you.

costumeczar Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 12:29am
post #27 of 31

If you're using your phone at home for business, get caller ID and don't let anyone else answer the phone! My family is trained to check to see who's calling before they answer, and it goes straight to voice mail if they don't recognize the name.

It also helps to keep an extra tv remote next to the phone in case you need to mute that sucker. If someone would invent a mute button for the kids I'd be all set.

JenniferMI Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 8:56pm
post #28 of 31

I don't see why not. Just finding the right balance in not taking to many orders, is the key.

Jen icon_smile.gif

SimplySassyCakes Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 8:18pm
post #29 of 31

I am a SAHM of 2 boys and I do it. The key is prioritizing your time according to their schedules. My cakes give me a sense of accomplishment and help me feel like I'm doing something for myself while still providing loving mommy care for my kiddos. All of us SAHM's need an escape every once in a while and this is how I get it icon_smile.gif

joenshan Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:32pm
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkLisa

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsNancyB1



Does anyone have any advice for me regarding limiting orders and STILL trying to be profitable?



I think the key to that is finding a commercial kitchen you can rent by the hour at a cheap rate. Not an easy thing to do -- another time-consuming but important component of beginning your business. It's not like Duff says "all about the cake" -- ha ha. The business end for a start-up businesses takes a lot of time and thought.




Check out the thread "How much can you afford for rent and still make money" in this forum. I started it last week and there is some great advice on there about optimizing your rental dollars.

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