Need Suggestions For Pricing Cake Decorating Lessons ~*~

Business By mcmahon Updated 10 Aug 2010 , 4:05pm by cakeprof

mcmahon Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 13

Hey All (o:
I couldn't find any posts on my question - I am open to any suggestions & advice (o:

I've been decorating for about 30 years now, with the last 10 being on and off professionally. I was approached this week about teaching cake decorating on a 'one-on-one' format. I know Wilton has many classes out in the big world, but this lady's suggestion was for the people who would really like to learn but for various reasons aren't able to go to group classes at a store. She asked me about coming to her home to give her lessons - she has a good variety of tools, so it's not about lugging all my supplies to her home.

I like the idea and wondered if anyone else has done this or considered it.

I am currently working part time (ha ha, if you could call it that) as a cake deco instructor for the local adult community ed. system at approx. $19.@hour. (currently 1 night a week - 2hr. class) I am unsure what would be reasonable to charge for private or small group lessons.
I thought maybe $20. would be reasonable for a 2hr. private session, since you could get a lot accomplished with teaching only one person they wouldn't necessarily need to take more than perhaps one to maybe four classes to get the hang of the skills.
As for small group classes, I know people can go to Michael, Jo-Ann's and places like that and pay something like $40. for (4) 2hr. sessions, plus get a discount on their kits. Since I am not a Wilton instructor, I can teach above & beyond what their instructors are "allowed" to teach and offer in a Wilton class. And $40. for (4) 2hr classes breaks down to only $5.00 per hour )o: (The Wilton instructors get paid by the store they work with, I am not sure what the pay scale is, but I know for sure it's at least minimum wage.)

I welcome and thank you in advance for any suggestions & advice from the wonderful artists here on CC!

~have a peaceful, pleasant, positive & prosperous week~!~
~Ab icon_biggrin.gif


Napoleon Hill once said:
"Anything the mind of man
can conceive and believe,
it can achieve."

"Remember, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
-Scott Adams

âThe greatest success principle in history is âLearn from the expertsâ,
youâll never live long enough to learn it all yourselfâ
- Brian Tracy

12 replies
leily Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 8:14pm
post #2 of 13

First you have to figure out what you're time is worth. If you're thinking of charging $20 for 2 hrs that's only $10/hr.

For that $10/hr you will be paying taxes, gas, travel time, supplies (i'm sure not all of the people you would do this for would have all the supplies needed) , and also yourself. I would be surprised if you were making minimum wage at the end of $10/hr.

You are providing a service that no one else does. And the biggest thing is that you're going to THEIR house or place of choosing. They aren't coming to you.

I have been approached about this also and am currently in the process of figuring up my cost. I will be providing a basic "kit" if they want to purchase them at the end of the class. But i will also need these "kits" for the lessons so they have something to use. I would also be providing a cake and icing (i'm looking at teaching techniques only, so i want to make sure that the consistency of the icing is under my control)

momg9 Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 11:35pm
post #3 of 13

I charge $25 an hour for private lessons. I give them a supply list of what to have and I bring my supplies to demo with.

cakeprof Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 12:04am
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

First you have to figure out what you're time is worth. If you're thinking of charging $20 for 2 hrs that's only $10/hr.

For that $10/hr you will be paying taxes, gas, travel time, supplies (i'm sure not all of the people you would do this for would have all the supplies needed) , and also yourself. I would be surprised if you were making minimum wage at the end of $10/hr.




The OP would be making more than minimum wage--minimum wage is $7.25/hr at $20 for 2 hours that is $10/hr thus more than minimum wage. If I am working at a grocery store 25 miles across town for minimum wage (gas, travel time, taxes and any other cost to work there) is something I have to pay out of my earnings. These are costs associated with any job and have no bearing on how much one makes per hour. Minimum wage is gross (total earned) per hour not net (minus expenses) per hour.

This is not to say that the OP should not charge more, but have seen this more than once where in calculating hourly wages folks want to subtract costs that are associated with any job paying per hour to determine whether they are making more than minimum wage. Your salary covers those costs and earn enough to do other things, but those costs do not determine whether or not someone is "making" minimum wage--which in this case the OP would be making more.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 12:36am
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeprof

This is not to say that the OP should not charge more, but have seen this more than once where in calculating hourly wages folks want to subtract costs that are associated with any job paying per hour to determine whether they are making more than minimum wage. Your salary covers those costs and earn enough to do other things, but those costs do not determine whether or not someone is "making" minimum wage--which in this case the OP would be making more.



When you work for yourself, you are only "making" more than minimum wage if (gross income - expenses)/hours worked is greater than $7.25/hour (or whatever minimum wage is in your area).

Expenses include gas and supplies, but not taxes or travel time if you want to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

To find an appropriate price for private classes, multiply the approximate cost of competing group classes by the student to teacher ratio.

scp1127 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 12:43am
post #6 of 13

There is a big difference in working for someone else who provides the product, building, insurance,accountant, pays social security....... and someone who works for herself where every expense involved with the final product comes out of that wage.

indydebi Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 12:46am
post #7 of 13

jason beat me to it, but he is right. The difference is whether you are thinking like an employee or thinking like someone who is running a ("personal trainer" type of cake decorating) business.

The amount on the invoice given to the client should be enough to cover all business expenses, which include travel, supplies, insurance, basic overhead, etc. Technically ..... payroll is also an expense, so that should be calculated into the equation just like any other expense. Any money left over after covering these expenses would be "company" profit, which is re-invested into the business.

An employee who works for a bakery might make $10/hour and spend 3 hours on a cake, but the amount on the invoice that a client receives is WAY more than $30.

Employee or business owner ..... which way are you looking at it?

indydebi Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 12:49am
post #8 of 13

P.S. It is not unusual for private "consultants" (be they personal trainers, music teachers, writing editors, personal chefs or private cake lesson givers) to charge $25 to $45 or more per hour.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 1:05am
post #9 of 13

As a semi-related point of reference, we charge $65-75/hour for private allergy-friendly baking lessons at the customer's home (we provide all the ingredients).

Since no one else offers anything close to this somewhat specialized service, we went with value-based pricing, which focuses on the perceived value to the customer rather than the cost of providing the service or competitors' prices.

The key to succeeding with value-based pricing is differentiating yourself from the competition, which it sounds like you are starting to do since you're looking at content above and beyond the typical Wilton curriculum.

Kibosh Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 1:15am
post #10 of 13

As someone who has paid for all the Wilton classes at approx $22.00 for 4 seesions, AND a fillings class @ (3hrs) for $85. AND a wedding cake class for $90.00 for 4 classes, -deep breath- I would gladly shell out the $50 or more to have someone come to my house and teach me personally.

I enjoyed the Wilton classes, but to be quite honest, I enjoyed the social aspect along with the learning. As for the other two, I probably had the teachers attention for 2 mins at a time, which was a HUGE p*ss off.
In my area, their are a few "private classes" (10 people) that charge around $200. for about 5hrs and it's themed. (ie: baby shower cake).

To charge $20 would be cheating yourself. People will gladly pay big bucks for one on one sessions.

leily Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 4:11am
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeprof

Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

First you have to figure out what you're time is worth. If you're thinking of charging $20 for 2 hrs that's only $10/hr.

For that $10/hr you will be paying taxes, gas, travel time, supplies (i'm sure not all of the people you would do this for would have all the supplies needed) , and also yourself. I would be surprised if you were making minimum wage at the end of $10/hr.




The OP would be making more than minimum wage--minimum wage is $7.25/hr at $20 for 2 hours that is $10/hr thus more than minimum wage. If I am working at a grocery store 25 miles across town for minimum wage (gas, travel time, taxes and any other cost to work there) is something I have to pay out of my earnings. These are costs associated with any job and have no bearing on how much one makes per hour. Minimum wage is gross (total earned) per hour not net (minus expenses) per hour.

This is not to say that the OP should not charge more, but have seen this more than once where in calculating hourly wages folks want to subtract costs that are associated with any job paying per hour to determine whether they are making more than minimum wage. Your salary covers those costs and earn enough to do other things, but those costs do not determine whether or not someone is "making" minimum wage--which in this case the OP would be making more.




Jasonkraft and Indydebi already beat me to it. But as a business you have to consider these other cost when charging a client. If she was sending an employee she would still have to cover the gas/taxes and other stuff, she wouldn't expect her employee to cover it.

mcmahon Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:30pm
post #12 of 13

This is why I love CC. icon_biggrin.gif
You've all been a tremendous help ! Thank You Everyone for your great advice!!

~have a peaceful, pleasant, positive & prosperous week~!~
~Ab








Napoleon Hill once said:
"Anything the mind of man
can conceive and believe,
it can achieve."

"Remember, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
-Scott Adams

The greatest success principle in history is Learn from the experts,
you'll never live long enough to learn it all yourself.
- Brian Tracy

cakeprof Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 4:05pm
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

jason beat me to it, but he is right. The difference is whether you are thinking like an employee or thinking like someone who is running a ("personal trainer" type of cake decorating) business.

The amount on the invoice given to the client should be enough to cover all business expenses, which include travel, supplies, insurance, basic overhead, etc. Technically ..... payroll is also an expense, so that should be calculated into the equation just like any other expense. Any money left over after covering these expenses would be "company" profit, which is re-invested into the business.

An employee who works for a bakery might make $10/hour and spend 3 hours on a cake, but the amount on the invoice that a client receives is WAY more than $30.

Employee or business owner ..... which way are you looking at it?




Thanks for the clarification--clearly I was thinking about this from the wrong perspective.

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