Thinking Of Starting A Cake Decoration Business

Business By sweet_cravings Updated 14 Jul 2010 , 11:59am by iamcakin

sweet_cravings Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 8:49pm
post #1 of 18

Hello all,

I'm totally new to this place also even though I'm baking & decorating cakes for my home past 6 yrs, I haven't done it for anyone.


Now I'm thinking to start my home based cake/cup cake decorating business. But I have no clue for where to start. I googled a lot but still not getting any idea from where to start. can anyone please help me?? Also, what is the approximate monthly income after a while? Upon that I have to decide whether to jump here or go for 9-5 job. Because after investing lot of $$ I don't want to feel I wasted so much of $$ & time for no returns.

I'm totally confused & scared. Can anyone please HELP???

Thank you so much.

17 replies
tavyheather Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 8:54pm
post #2 of 18

VERY first step is finding out if u can do it from home legally. Either way there is A LOT involved in permits, start-up costs, research on pricing...and making sure you have enough money to cover your operating costs for a few months, prob a year. I'm hiring a financial adviser to do most of the grunt work...but it does cost a lot to get started!

cutthecake Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 9:40pm
post #3 of 18

There is no simple answer for you. Research, research, research, then talk to accounting and legal and business and baking professionals. Then do more research.
The legal requirements vary by state, county and town. Contact your local Department of Health for starters to inquire about licensing and permits.
There is no possible way to determine future income at this point, or any point for that matter. Income would depend on whatever success you achieve in both the baking and business aspects of your endeavor. Consider that many, if not most, businesses do not show a profit for 2 or 3 years. Many fail.
Indydebi and leah_s are fantastic resources for business knowledge. Maybe you can find the threads here on Cake Central in which they have shared their expertise.
It would be wise to do a lot of homework before you jump into business.
Good luck to you.

sweet_cravings Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:20am
post #4 of 18

Thanks gals.. I thought so it would be a great work to deal with. Thanks for your inputs.

Wholesalers Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 11:24am
post #5 of 18

Cake decoration business very much good business to start. Its a four season business. People call for wedding cakes, christmas cakes, valentines cake, independence cake and alot more. So I would suggest go for it.

leah_s Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 1:08pm
post #6 of 18

I would certainly NOT suggest just "go for it." Write a detailed business plan first. That in reality should take at least 6 weeks and if you haven't done one previously, about 3 months. Then and only then will you understand your market and everything that goes into your business and *then* you will be ready to make the decision.

PS, I've written two biz plans for my baking biz to move it to a retail storefront. BOTH times the biz plan "talked" me out of it.

cutthecake Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 3:47pm
post #7 of 18

Leah, I knew you'd come through.

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 3:59pm
post #8 of 18

leah_s beat me to it! icon_biggrin.gif .... Definitely start with a business plan. As she mentioned, it is not something that can be completed in a day. It takes lots of time and research; but it will go far in assisting you with your decision of starting a baking business. It is a very valuable tool, and I think you can easily find examples on the Internet. There are also baking business books (many come with CD's) that contain business plans and the ins/outs of starting the business. Maybe you can pick up a couple at your local bookstore or on Amazon, or eBay. Best of luck to you!!! thumbs_up.gif

Wholesalers Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 11:25am
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I would certainly NOT suggest just "go for it." Write a detailed business plan first. That in reality should take at least 6 weeks and if you haven't done one previously, about 3 months. Then and only then will you understand your market and everything that goes into your business and *then* you will be ready to make the decision.

PS, I've written two biz plans for my baking biz to move it to a retail storefront. BOTH times the biz plan "talked" me out of it.




Leah off course without detail planning how come you can start a business. I did wrote before to explore before starting.

IsaSW Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 1:57pm
post #10 of 18

Nobody says you have to start big, I think you can start small, without any debt and grow slowly, and then leave your 9-5 job.
Too risky to just jump!
Do your research, biz plan in your area and then get customers.
Any questions just PM me, I am in my second year and can tell you the real scenerio. There is no way I can leave my 9-5 job right now.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 2:20pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I would certainly NOT suggest just "go for it." Write a detailed business plan first. That in reality should take at least 6 weeks and if you haven't done one previously, about 3 months. Then and only then will you understand your market and everything that goes into your business and *then* you will be ready to make the decision.

PS, I've written two biz plans for my baking biz to move it to a retail storefront. BOTH times the biz plan "talked" me out of it.


Very wise words thumbs_up.gif with everything going on today, starting a new biz , like I like to say,It is alot to ponder on... icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 3:20pm
post #12 of 18

I never wrote a business plan, and I'm still in business after 12 years...having said that, I also didn't go into it thinking that it would be a super fun thing to do. If you're home-based you don't have the same start-up costs as a storefront, and you might not need a business plan that's formally written out in order to get bank loans etc. I never took out a bank loan so I didn't need anything formal to present to anyone. I found out what I needed to do to get licensed and did it, then I started selling after that.

OP- Where are you located? If someone is in the same state as you they might be able to give you some specific advice on where you need to start.

snarkybaker Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 9:29pm
post #13 of 18

A business plan is an excellent way to help you think through how you are going to market and operate your business and the costs involved. I didn't do one, and we are a million dollar a year retail business, BUT, my husband is self employed and an MBA and I opened about 40 different companies while I was in software, so we were both familiar with the processes and pitfalls of opening a a business. You will absolutely need one if you are going to try to get a business loan.

tracycakes Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 9:58pm
post #14 of 18

If you have never run a business plan, WRITE ONE! As others have stated, it helps get your mind around what it takes to do run a business. You don't write one just to get a loan. We opened our business without a loan but the business plan helps you get your head around this. It's not just about throwing some cakes in the oven, decorating and selling. Oh no, there is so much more to think about. How much equipment do you need? Homebaker? Well, there is still electricity, extra soap and don't tell me you can get by with 2 8" round pans and a hand mixer and make enough money to make it worth your while.

Advertising? Hmmm, where will you get your business? Websites cost money, brochures cost money, yellow pages cost money (online or book).

Fees? Licenses? Taxes? Bookkeeping?

This is the reason I didn't open a business 20 years ago when I first started decorating. I didn't want to run a business, I just wanted to do it for fun and for my new nephew (who recently turned 20). It was only a couple years ago that I decided that I wanted to do this as a business. Lots to think about

dreamcakesmom Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:24pm
post #15 of 18

I have a question that stems from this topic- Hope you don;t mind if I jump in. Leahs and others- I have not officially written out a business plan but I started working the #'s for monthly expenses, break even costs, etc. Do you have resources, websites, specific books, etc that help shed light on some of the hidden costs, issues I am maybe not thinking of. Obviously things like equipment, utilities, insurance are no brainers but there must be things that people who have not rented space are not considering

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:39pm
post #16 of 18

If you are a subscriber to the Cake Central magazine, the very first issue had an article by me of "THings I WIsh I'd Known When I Opened a Business".

This included stuff like trash pickup .... easy to overlook when you're used to just sitting the trash bags on the curb in front of your house every Wed.

Office supplies ..... this stuff seems pretty cheap when you can just grab a pen from the kitchen drawer or borrow one from your kids or use the family printer. But when you have to buy separate printer paper, ink cartridges, post it notes, etc., it starts to add up.

Aprons and linen service. Oh sure! You THINK you can just throw those towels in your washer and dryer at home once a week or so, but (a) you just don't have the time (b) you're just too freakin' tired to deal with it and (c) your home washer just won't get them as clean as a professional linen service.

Separate phone and fax line. I ran my biz from my cell phone but eventually had to put in a hard phone line in the shop just for the fax and credit card processor. And you don't get a discount on the phone rate just because you're not technically TALKING on the phone line!

Trash cans, paper towel holders .... and don't even get me started on the cost of commercial mop buckets! (yeah, that STILL pi$$es me off!) icon_lol.gif

dreamcakesmom Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:16am
post #17 of 18

Thanks Indydeb- lots to think about

iamcakin Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 11:59am
post #18 of 18

[quote="indydebi"

Trash cans, paper towel holders .... and don't even get me started on the cost of commercial mop buckets! (yeah, that STILL pi$$es me off!) icon_lol.gif[/quote]

And speaking of trash cans and mop buckets...if you've never emptied a commercial sized trash can, or pushed a big mop and mop bucket around when you are D O G tired, you cannot imagine how hard it is. You have to do this stuff (just as often as you pipe those pretty borders), or HIRE somebody to do it...

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