When Will I Make Money Doing This?

Business By Echooo3 Updated 5 Mar 2010 , 3:48pm by cakesweetiecake

Echooo3 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 11:44pm
post #1 of 26

That's all. I'm legal and in the red. Been in business since October. Work out of a commercial kitchen so I don't have a store front.

Right now it seems that I am paying for a hobby that I enjoy but I want to take it to the next level.

25 replies
sadsmile Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 11:57pm
post #2 of 26

Raise your prices, and advertise to attract more specialty cakes.

foxymomma521 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:00am
post #3 of 26

How are you advertising?

Echooo3 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:08am
post #4 of 26

Not advertising. Hard to do that without income. I do have a website and work farmers markets. So far everything has been on a referral basis. Got any cheap advertising ideas?

snarkybaker Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:09am
post #5 of 26

Realistically. If you do a VERY good job, and you re-invest in your business to spur growth, you will know whether or not you can make a living in about 24 months if you are really running it as a business. Home bakers have an entirely different math, and really, I don't see EVER being able to make enough money to live on with the limited facilities of a home oven etc.

Echooo3 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:17am
post #6 of 26

snarkybaker, your work is beautiful. How did you get started?

pattycakesnj Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:19am
post #7 of 26

Try Facebook and get a website. I get most of my business from my website. There are plenty of hosting companies cheap out there

Dolledupcakes Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:27am
post #8 of 26

Use vistaprint.com

they have free stuff. All you pay is shipping. Thats how I started.

Good Luck!!!

Echooo3 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 12:31am
post #9 of 26

yes, vistaprint is great and I am using them and very satisfied with the products I get from them.

snarkybaker Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:52am
post #10 of 26
Originally Posted by Echooo3

snarkybaker, your work is beautiful. How did you get started?

icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif Gosh, thanks. Truth be told, I went to culinary school in France in the 80's just for fun, and when my software company wanted to transfer me to Atlanta, I took my buyout money and left and decided that I could do it and then winged it from there. I got a job as a pastry chef at a snazzy restaurant here in town, and just over two years ago, my husband coerced me into opening my own business.

heavenlys Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:09am
post #11 of 26

try hosting an event or get involved in a local event where you can network and supply samples. It is THE BEST form of advertising.

auntiecake Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:20am
post #12 of 26

donate cake to organizations or take cake t where they are visible- doctor's office- work etc. word of mouth is a great way to advertise

thecookieladycc Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 6:14am
post #13 of 26

FREE SAMPLES!! Cakes or cupcakes boxed or wrapped with your info and hand them out.
if you are in a small community try to get in good with the local paper, see if maybe they will do a small story on your new business.
Keep business cards on hand, you never know who you might run into.

HarleyDee Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:21pm
post #14 of 26

It's gonna take some time. If there are any bridal shows in your area, you should definitely try to do them. They let a lot of people know that you're there in one day. Also, take a couple of cupcakes and some business cards to florists, wedding reception sites, formal wear shops, and wedding photographers in your area. Let them know there's a new cake artist in town, if they have any brides that still need to order one. Networking is huge in this business.

KHalstead Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:33pm
post #15 of 26

for me, my website is my biggest advertiser.........make sure you come up on every search engine you can think of.

Also, sign up for "google alerts" here and type in "wedding cakes, xxx (town you live in or want to do business in"

then it will email you everytime someone looks up these keywords on google. 9 times out of 10 they will have typed them into some sort of wedding website, vendors site and then you go to that site (it gives you a link) and most of these sites have "free vendor listings" and you can put your contact info for free, some allow photos, etc.

google "Tina's Sugar shack" and see how much stuff there is on my business lol

I also contact customers (that send me glowing emails) and provide a link to one of these websites I"m on, and ask if they'd leave a comment on my service, etc. when they have a moment??

so now I have reviews too, which is very helpful as well!!

arden Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:45pm
post #16 of 26

I am dying to open a cake shop but I live in a small town and though in the summer it is a big wedding place there are soo many people here that do cakes. I did alot for free for the church to try to get my name around but though they said that it was great cake I never got one order except for the church. They did pay me once
I don't know what to do I feel like giving up. Plus they will not let me work out of my home I have well water and dogs.
any ideas

hluterbach Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 5:05pm
post #17 of 26

meet with local party/event planners in the area. usually if someone is using an event planner they have the money to spend on a cake.

l80bug79 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 7:20pm
post #18 of 26


google "Tina's Sugar shack" and see how much stuff there is on my business lol


I did.... and wow there's a bunch of stuff. read one of your reviews on merchant circle....I saw where someone said you made a 3D image of a cake for her, is that some sort of computer program??? if so would you mind sharing that info???? icon_biggrin.gif

KHalstead Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 7:40pm
post #19 of 26

wedding cake design pro is the name of the program!

CoutureCake Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 7:50pm
post #20 of 26

The honest to Gosh first thing that came to mind... Raise your prices...

OTOH, you're just starting up, you can't expect to be doing routine business for at approximately three years in the business model you are without a store front. It's going to take time to get your name out there. Start with getting your name into the local phone book, not the super giant thing, the local ones that are just for your immediate area, and focus in... "Wedding Cake" or "Bakery - Specialty"... Target your market and target your marketing. My website was also my best marketing tool along with getting the free listing on local bridal sites. Take out the business card size ad in your LOCAL paper's bridal guide... Be smart with your advertising design, show your work, etc. Link up with your local decorator to do up a dummy cake centerpiece which you can have cards with. The web is going to be your best tool but there are sites out there that you can get listed with that are going to bankrupt you if you're not smart about it. Stick with the free ones for now, they won't bring as much in, but they do bring in some.

Also, get a booth at your LOCAL bridal show, not the big super-expensive one, the show that's at the local KC or Lion's Club hall... You get more face time with brides and remember right now they're booking their wedding cakes for the upcoming year. Samples are good things at those types of events. OTOH, watch out on the freebies to organizations to "get your name out". You'll become known as the place to call for the free cake for these events, not the business to call for cake after they're over... If you set your rules early for what you give discounts on you'll make your life easier down the road (i.e. police/fire/military with proper current I.D. get 10% off the purchase price of any cake over $200..).

shorty56 Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 2:44am
post #21 of 26

i have a store front, so my costs are probably higher than yours, but thought i'd post what my experience was. my biz was in the read the first year. i almost broke even in year two (i think it was -$500 or something) and year three was hte first year i made a profit. i wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been for the fact that DH job was able to cover all our living expenses, so I could reinvest everything into my biz. it usually takes a while to build up to a decent profit

KateLS Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 2:58am
post #22 of 26

You can also advertise on craigslist.com for free. I see people advertise thier custom cakes quite often.

kiki07 Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 3:04am
post #23 of 26

Here's a thought. If you are willing to do desserts you can try to contact local restaurants to do desserts for them. This could help tide you over until the custom part of your business picks up.

sherri-belle Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 3:34am
post #24 of 26

Check with your local department stores. They will often have instore bridal events with little or no cost to the vendors.

Our hospital has a maternity fair twice a year. Get a booth and show off your goods. You could get shower cakes and then the birthday cakes.

4realLaLa Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 4:53pm
post #25 of 26
Originally Posted by Echooo3

That's all. I'm legal and in the red. Been in business since October. Work out of a commercial kitchen so I don't have a store front.

Right now it seems that I am paying for a hobby that I enjoy but I want to take it to the next level.

Market, market, market. Go to your chamber of commerce and get a list of potential customers in your target demographic (it's free). Also you can become a chamber member, but that is optional. Once you get that list send out some postcards announcing your business. Maybe give an incentive to for these potential customers (maybe %10 off for a limited time). Get a table at some bridal expos. The options are limitless. Good luck.

You can tell I was a business major, lol.

cakesweetiecake Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:48pm
post #26 of 26

Great advice and tips!

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