I...am Going To Be Sick (Sorry This May Be Long)

Business By shalini1 Updated 14 Apr 2010 , 3:17am by CakeInfatuation

shalini1 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 3:24pm
post #1 of 18

Hi all,
A bit of a vent, a bit of a panic attack mixture (I guess it's called a ventack?!) Anyway, I just 'officially' started cake decorating in March last year, registered a business in July last year. I know it seems so whirlwind, but it's what I love to do. I've been baking for years. Anyway, I'm starting to panic because I'm getting overwhelmed. I feel like a one person circus. I guess home based businesses tend to be crazier because you're the salesperson, the dishwasher, the decorator, the web designer. Ack! Thanks to this site and everyone who is so helpful. I just hope I don't make myself pass out with the general....craziness of it all. I'm loving it every step of the way, but occasionally, I just lose it. How do you guys do it? I don't even have children!

17 replies
JawdroppingCakes Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 3:41pm
post #2 of 18

When I start feeling overwhelmed, I just take a break and sit down and read a book for about a half hour or go outside to get some fresh air an dwater my plants and then get back to caking.

tiggy2 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 3:58pm
post #3 of 18

You have to learn how to say "NO". When you're booked you're booked, can't take any more orders.

indydebi Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:15pm
post #4 of 18

Read the book "The e-Myth" by Michael Gerber. A MUST READ for anyone opening a business.

kellymarie Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:19pm
post #5 of 18

I find it best to schedule my time really well! If you bake fresh (as opposed to baking and freezing)- do it all one day, and maybe make the icing while the cakes are baking etc, then decorate the next day. It helps to separate the two for me, because it eliminates a huge mess and lots of stress! Make decorations ahead of time and store them.... and if you freeze your cakes bake/freeze all in one day. I also find making my own mixes in ziplock bags and keeping them in the cupboard really helps when it comes to baking day. Find little ways of making things simpler and it will help immensley!

As for the "business" end of it all, schedule your appts once or twice a month, so you have a couple long days but it's all taken care of. Write lots of notes for yourself for each order and use a calender up in the wall so you can get a glimpse of what you have planned for the month. Cakeboss helps alot - for keeping track of the details etc.

JawdroppingCakes and tiggy2 have great points as well- do NOT take more than you can handle, and take small breaks when you can to avoid burnout!!

ConnieJ Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:30pm
post #6 of 18

kellymarie, i really like your idea of preparing the dry mixes ahead of time and storing them! that WOULD save some time.

Rosie2 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:45pm
post #7 of 18

Congratulations on your business, how exciting!!! thumbs_up.gif

I'm a hobby baker and only do this for fun, but the family and 'close' friends(wanting free cakes) keeps growing so I find myself making a cake almost every weekend....so, I do make big batches of buttercream and freeze them. And, lately I've found myself baking extra layers of cake and freezing them too...that helps a lot!!

Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif

kellymarie Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:46pm
post #8 of 18

Thanks Connie icon_smile.gif It just helps to feel like you are one step ahead lol! But don't forget to mark the bags if it's a double batch etc....

DeeDelightful Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:52pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnieJ

kellymarie, i really like your idea of preparing the dry mixes ahead of time and storing them! that WOULD save some time.




I did this one time (by accident). I was making WASC. I measured out enough for two recipes, but only ended up using one, so i put the rest in a ziploc baggie. The next time I did a WASC cake, i had all the ingredients measured out. I found myself standing in the kitchen wondering "where's my stress and my mess?" I dumped everything in the mixing bowl and was done in no time! No measuring cups and spoons to wash, NOTHING! I really need to do this more often. Just remember to label the bag with enough information.

DeeDelightful Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:59pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDelightful

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnieJ

kellymarie, i really like your idea of preparing the dry mixes ahead of time and storing them! that WOULD save some time.



I did this one time (by accident). I was making WASC. I measured out enough for two recipes, but only ended up using one, so i put the rest in a ziploc baggie. The next time I did a WASC cake, i had all the ingredients measured out. I found myself standing in the kitchen wondering "where's my stress and my mess?" I dumped everything in the mixing bowl and was done in no time! No measuring cups and spoons to wash, NOTHING! I really need to do this more often. Just remember to label the bag with enough information.


I agree with doing everything you can while you feel like it. If you are in the mood to make icing, then MAKE ICING TILL YOU DROP! You will be glad you did. If you do lots of 8 inch round cakes, bake 8 inch rounds, wrap and freeze. I find that just having the icing already made is such a lifesaver. While the cake is baking, you can do other things and don't feel like you are constantly in the kitchen. I keep the trash can close by, so i'm not doing lots of walking to throw away egg shells, keep dishwater made and the dishwasher open, so i can throw things in as needed. turn the tv off and turn on the radio, so you're not running back and forth looking at something on TV (it's amazing how that interrupts the baking process, causes you to forget, therefore causing stress).

shalini1 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 5:27pm
post #11 of 18

thanks to everyone for their messages! I'm off to get the E-MYTH. I've heard indydebi talk about it twice now and I should just get up off my ass and actually read it icon_biggrin.gif

nanikins Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 5:55pm
post #12 of 18

Dee, I found myself running all the time like that. Then I saved a couple of coffee containers and keep them in strategic locations on my counters. I either line them with a plastic grocery bag or - if I forget that before I start - I empty it out when I'm done and throw the container in the dishwasher. (I also keep one on top of the dryer for the lint.)

Saved steps are a blessing!

Now I'm off to get E-Myth, too!! icon_biggrin.gif

impala Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 6:10pm
post #13 of 18

I agree I bake and freeze. Much easier I wanted to have fresh cakes and that never works with everything else. I have also learned to have cakes ready or at least almost done the night before delivery so you are not soo stressed day of delivery.

UpAt2am Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 6:18pm
post #14 of 18

OP...i'm soooo with you, but i have a 14 month old and a 3 1/2 year old (who don't go to preschool or daycare)! i have a legal home based bakery (gotta love NC!) and i feel like i can barely keep my head above water. cake central is basically my only down time during the day, but it helps me keep my sanity to sit for a few minutes. i've found that making lots of buttercream, batter and fondant ahead of time is the biggest help. if i'm going to make a mess, it may as well be one, giant mess and thus one giant clean up icon_smile.gif i have recently gotten in the habit of labeling my containers better as well. ie, BC 4/12/10, Choco. batter 4/9/10, etc. so i'm not wasting anything!!! i also buy tips when i'm at the store (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the ones i use most) so i'm not constantly cleaning tips (and they're so cheap, so why not?!) it was amazing and so awesome how fast my business took off, but i wasn't prepared for it. so now i'm playing catch up and know that i'll get in the lead soon icon_smile.gif good luck and congrats!!!

Dreme Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 1:25am
post #15 of 18

I have a lot in common with you UpAt2am. Im in NC as well and my birthday is a day after yours. Im also up at 2am working.

Everyone else pretty much said it. Getting things done in advance is a big help to me. Labeling is a must. I know how you feel being the decorator, the sales person, the web designer, etc. It is stressful at times but you get through it.

MicheleH Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 2:38am
post #16 of 18

I totally agree!! My husband is always saying that I should just get a 9-5 job and it would be easier on all of us! I have 3 kids, ages 8, 7, and 4. I like to work from home and wouldn't want it any other way!
Just keep reminding yourself that although most weeks are crazy busy, not ALL are, and just keep looking ahead!

Kitagrl Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 2:56am
post #17 of 18

It does get overwhelming at times! My biggest thing is that after a big cake week I mostly have guilt that I spent so much time in the kitchen, I didn't spend any time with my kids. thumbsdown.gif

I do plan out my entire week ahead of time...scheduling when I bake, what days I do what cakes, or even some days crumb coating one day and decorating the next (I have some spare fridges). What days I work on gumpaste, etc. That does help alot...that way I'm not constantly worrying about the whole week...I can just look at one day at a time.

For the most part anyway. icon_smile.gif Heaven forbid I forget to write something down!!!!

CakeInfatuation Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 3:17am
post #18 of 18

This is a good post. Thanks for making me feel so much less alone. I launched in November. Home based... It's been crazy. I never imagined it would take off like it has. I soooo look forward to Saturday afternoon when all the weeks orders are done and I get to take a break for a day and a half. Then Monday is here before I know it and it is shopping day, Tuesday Baking, Prepping, Icings... fondant...fillings... When to sit down and just hold my son?

So many blessings to be home and working and at the same time, so much stress.

It's an adjustment but I'm finding that the longer I do it, the more I learn how to work smarter. It's a process.

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