I can not afford the Cake Boss software ...is there an easy way to calculate what I'm spending on supplies, like flour sugar and things needed to make my cakes and what my actual profit is?
I keep all of my data on Excel spreadsheets. If you're versed in that program, it's pretty easy to list everything out and formulate it to calculate cost per unit times number of units used, etc.
I kept this info on every item I bought (for cake and catering) on a spreadsheet. All I had to do, once I set it up, was update the cost per package and I did that once a quarter. This also gave me data for tracking pricing trends (which is how I tracked that my chicken went up 78% in 6 months, back when gas was $4/gallon).
Whether you do it in Excel or by using a pencil and a notebook, you need to keep a data base of what you're spending over a long period of time. It's easy for a nickel here and a dime there to get away from you nless you keep an eye on it.
I have cake boss but find it SO tedious to keep track of how much of this and that for EACH cake order. I do figure that out to come up with my price (don't get me wrong)...but I mean every time I make an 8" cake I don't figure up how much flour, sugar, etc.
Instead I keep all of my reciepts and keep track of mileage (I keep a receipt book in my van, everytime I go get supplies I jot down the mileage and same when I return, put a date, name of store getting supplies at)
every month I sit down with all my reciepts and enter them all into cake boss. I really feel like I get a MUCH more accurate determination of what I'm spending every month vs. what I'm making every month. Because I might buy a bucket of fondant one month and pay $60.00 and only use 1 lb. for a cake order.....so if my profits show I made $30 profit off that cake.........I really didn't because I spent $60 on fondant alone!! even though I didn't use it all for that cake, it was still an expense I incurred that month.
To each his own, however I find that this works better for me since I do quite a few cakes every week and it's just too time consuming to micromanage each and every cake and all of it's ingredients, colors, etc. used and then figure out a way to account for the extra stuff you bought, but didn't use...this way every expense is accounted for! It's also nice for the things you don't think about like dish soap, pens, pencils, sketch pads, notebooks, sponges, paper towels, etc. that all cost money but don't necessarily get counted with each and every order (who has time to count how many paper towels they used while decorating a cake? NOT me, not to mention I tend to work on 6 or 7 cakes at once, it would be almost impossible to know how many paper towels, or how much handsoap I used for each cake!)
I have a Excel spreadsheet and within in it I have separate worksheets (tabs at the bottom).
It keeps everything organized and up to date.
They are all linked together so when I enter a order on the "orders" worksheet it updates everything else accordingly.
It even shoots me out my monthly/yearly gross profit , net profit and gross profit margin among other things.
It took a while to set up but it is 100% customized to my needs and my business needs.
The formulas I didn't know I just googled, like the one used to calculate the annual depreciation on my equipment.
I did purchase Cake Boss and return it however because as useful and user friendly as it is (and it is a great program) I just plain old preferred what I had made for myself.
And as my business needs change and expand I can always add, change and/or update any part of it.
Ok, so I'm going to start making a basic excel spreadsheet and add my expenses to it for each month and start from there...thanks for the tips!!