Just Learning....

Business By Diane77 Updated 18 May 2010 , 3:16pm by johnson6ofus

Diane77 Posted 15 May 2010 , 8:43pm
post #1 of 14

Hi All,

New to this - and to Cakes! Is it nuts to consider opening a cake business in a few years time (from home) while I know nothing about baking or decorating cakes......how long does such a skill take to learn? I am doing some early prep and planning for when I hope to work from home around a young family.

I appreciate you get better with practice - I am booked on my fist 'cake decorating for beginners' one day course in July....

Any hints and tips from people like me who started this from little or no knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I have a business back-ground, so confident with that side of things.....just not the creative (and essential) part! I look at all your wonderful creations and wonder if I will ever be able to produce something of that standard.

The only thing I have going for me is my Advanced Food Hygiene Certificate!!



13 replies
leily Posted 15 May 2010 , 9:11pm
post #2 of 14

Welcome to Cake Central. You will find a wealth of information here. I highly suggest taking alook at the Business Forum, there is a lot of good information in there.

As for opening a cake business in your home, the first thing you need to do is find out if it is legal in your state, then your county, then your town (some states it is, but counties and cities may have a more strict policy) What state are you in? -- But it is good to see you already have a business background, that is the biggest thing you need to make sure you can succeed and make a profit and grow the business.

How long cake decorating takes to learn? I seriously think a lifetime, there is always something new to learn. I can decorate a cake, but I can't sculpt and am currently working on learning flowers made from Gumpaste (but can do quite a few in buttercream right now) I think it comes down to your determination and all what you want to learn. There are so many avenues to follow in cake decorating.

jayne1873 Posted 15 May 2010 , 9:13pm
post #3 of 14

You go for it Diane. I made my first cake in Sep 2008 and now sell part time cakes from home. I have a website but havent really advertised as yet but things are ticking over with orders.
I did a basic 10 week cake dec course, a 1 day with Debbie Brown, bought some of Lorraine McKay tutorials, Debbie Browns books and the advice from here is amazing.
I have no business knowledge but am giving that bit a go as well lol.

dalis4joe Posted 15 May 2010 , 9:22pm
post #4 of 14

Welcome!!! You found the most valuable tool you will ever have when it comes to cake decorating.... we have tons of people who are willing to help and share their expertise.... from beginner to prof.... everyone is always willing to help and teach here...

My tip to you is.... Practice Practice Practice... that's the easiest way to learn... and when u do practice... if something doesn't jive well.... come to cc..... cause I assure you.. the answer will always be here....

I love this site... and everyone in it... thanks to everyone here I have learned as much as I have....

Keep in touch!!

JanH Posted 16 May 2010 , 4:01am
post #5 of 14

..moving to Business forum. icon_smile.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 16 May 2010 , 12:46pm
post #6 of 14

while I can appreciate your enthusiasm, I am wondering why you are thinking of opening a business before you even know if you ENJOY the creative side, let alone had time to build your skills? not trying to pee in your cheerios, but I am curious.

cakesbycathy Posted 16 May 2010 , 1:37pm
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

while I can appreciate your enthusiasm, I am wondering why you are thinking of opening a business before you even know if you ENJOY the creative side, let alone had time to build your skills? not trying to pee in your cheerios, but I am curious.

Thank you for bringing this up. I was trying to find a way to basically say the same thing but couldn't find a way to say it nicely icon_rolleyes.gif

prterrell Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:11pm
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by Diane77

Is it nuts to consider opening a cake business in a few years time (from home) while I know nothing about baking or decorating cakes?

Yes. Not unusual, though. Seems like just about everyone who's started or just completed Wilton I (or equivalent) has the same thought. So you're in good company. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:57pm
post #9 of 14

Also in the "curiously" column, what exactly is your business background? Have you run your own business or have you worked in corporate world management? Have many years of business experience do you have under your belt?

I've done both, corporate management and sole proprietor/LLC. They are two different worlds.

johnson6ofus Posted 18 May 2010 , 4:19am
post #10 of 14

Anything is possible to learn, if you really want to. "Knack" and talent will dictate how long it will take. Can you survive while spending $$$ learning, testing, and practicing? Does your area have the clients that support a custom bakery?

BUT- baking a good cake is one thing, decorating is another separate skill, and then add all the business skills (marketing, management, accounting, etc.).

A job of many hats...

Diane77 Posted 18 May 2010 , 9:24am
post #11 of 14

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for adding to my post....with some interesting questions, which I will attempt to answer..

Firstly, I come from both the Corporate world and small business background (although not my own) and have 14 years experience under my belt. I am in property management where facilities, H&S, Catering kitchens, finance, administration, environment, marketing, communications and staff are managed. I am comfortable in this environment.

Cake Decorating - Yes, you are right, I may not like it - or be good at it......my reason for going on the short course in a few weeks time. I am quite creative and would like to give the right side of my brain a chance....

Life's too short not to learn new skills and very boring, for me anyway, to stay in the same type job for the next 25 years - people change careers a lot older than me (Im 32) and I'm going to give it a go..... or do the cake experts out there think I am being naive?

And thanks Jayne1873 - well done, I am delighted to hear that it can work - although I'm sure it's not been an easy ride.

I'll keep an eye on this post - interested to hear what people make of my plans...

indydebi Posted 18 May 2010 , 9:25am
post #12 of 14

Hey Diane! I'm 51 and going to school right now to get my teaching degree!

Diane77 Posted 18 May 2010 , 9:28am
post #13 of 14

Fab- and why not!

johnson6ofus Posted 18 May 2010 , 3:16pm
post #14 of 14

Obviously, we all love it--- that's why we are here. icon_biggrin.gif

The very real "I care that you cover your bases and don't fall flat" stuff often comes across as scolding or "negative kharma". The point of these posts is to hopefully point out stuff you hadn't thought of.

My 2nd son, a bit anal by nature, went NUTS when I taught him to drive. I spent the whole time "berating" him.. "slow down", "watch your distance", "center in the lane", "did you check the mirrors", "are you aware of where that truck is", etc. He felt badgered. But he learned that driving is many, many, many moves all at once.

The more I read here, the more I see it is the same way with cake crafts. You just have to be able to handle all the crazy bumps in the road. I'm chicken- I'll stay hobbyist.

BTW- IndyDebi is the best! LOADS of experience- and willing to share. Good luck- I hope you are happy caking very soon.

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