Okay I have read at least 3 posts this morning about unhappy customers and frankly I really think this needs to be reiterated, especially for some that may be new to caking:
If you are going to sell cakes then YOU NEED A CONTRACT!
(Yes, it's in all caps for a reason.)
The contract protects you the baker and decorator and the client. I don't care if you sell one cake a year or 1,000.
The contract should have ALL the details of the cake in it - the flavor and filling, colors, ALL the design elements, time of delivery, if it needs to be refrigerated, everything needs to be covered.
Client makes a change via phone, email or text message? Revise the contract and have them SIGN it again. Set up a cut-off point for changes. Get a non-refundable deposit before you even turn on your oven and make a fondant figure.
It ensures that little Susie's mommy can't come back and demand a refund because the cake was pink instead of purple when she clearly mentioned that was Susie's favorite color even thought the cake picture she gave you copy is all in pink. Get what I mean?
Even if you give your cakes away, it's still a good idea to have all the details written down and confirmed by the person you are doing the cake for. So that when that lovely lady down the street you are so sure is your friend and would never to such a thing comes back and complains about how her free cake isn't exactly what you wanted -at least you have a little something to back you up.
Ok -stepping off my soapbox now...
and see this thread:
and fyi --- that thing can be used as copy/paste source.
just copy what's needed for a particular cake and ignore what's not.
Amen! I believe in contracts so strongly it's my demo topic at this years ICES convention.