How Do You Keep Up With Your Cake Orders?

Business By MandiJ Updated 14 Aug 2010 , 11:27am by loriemoms

MandiJ Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:29pm
post #1 of 21

Hello, I am new to this and as of now I am only making cake for my friends and family. I have alot of family and friends and I was just wondering if you have a certain planner or something that you use to keep up with all your orders? I have 2-3 cakes due every weekend from now until the end of September and I am just wondering what you have found is the best way to keep up. Thanks so much for your time, I appreciate it! ~MandiJ

20 replies
catlharper Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:31pm
post #2 of 21

First of all , knowing your personal limits is key. I know that more than 2 cakes a week, since I work in an office part time, is all I can deal with. Once I add that third cake in it just kills me. The other key is to be organized. Work out when you are doing what. I bake on Monday/Tuesday...make any fillings/icings on Wed then decorate on Thurs and Fridays...Saturdays if I don't have a cake scheduled till Sunday. Also key is to give yourself time OFF. Working 7 days a week can kill you if you are not careful. So learn how long it takes to make what, know what time you have available and then break the work up over the full week.


iwantalicakes Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:36pm
post #3 of 21

I do all the work that I can in advance, like fondant/gumpaste decorations. I make the icing/fondant ahead of time. The cakes can be baked, wrapped, then frozen. I make sheets for each cake with how many cups frosting, batter I will need. I draw a scetch of each cake with cations as to what each detail is. I write what flavors the cake will be, pickup/delivery details,cost. You can keep them on different clip boards like Charm City Cakes does, and they hang them on the wall containging all the info. I have a scehdule for each cake and whrite what needs to be done on each day for each cake on a big wall calendar. Organization and planning ahead is crucial. I plan out EVERY SINGLE datail that way I can work out as many problems I might encounter ahead of the stressful days of decorating! HTH icon_smile.gif

iwantalicakes Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:39pm
post #4 of 21

Thought of something else, experience helps you get faster, of course. I try to work mostly when hubby isn't home that way we have time off together. I try to be finished with my cakes come the weekend. Give yourself a schedule.

shkepa Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:47pm
post #5 of 21

I have a calander for just me cakes It is small enough to go in my purse to take with me so when some one asks for a cake ai can tell if I am booked or not. It is the key to keeping organized

MandiJ Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:38pm
post #6 of 21

Thank you so much! I do have a planner just for my cakes and that is helpful I think I am already doing everything mentioned..haha Maybe I just feel unorganized because I have a full time job, 3 small children and then my cakes on the side! I LOVE making cakes though so it doesn't feel like work at all and I have gotten way faster since starting. My dream would be to quit my full time job and open a cake shop, but that will be down the road I am sure. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything more I could be doing I think I am just afraid I am going to forget someone or somthing...I highly doubt it since I think about them no stop... my sister always tells me I'm in "cakeland"..haha! Thanks so much for the replies I really appreciate it!!!!

IsaSW Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 10:55pm
post #7 of 21

I also found that a spreadsheet in excel with all the info at a glance is very helpful, I colored in green, who owes money, and the due date.
Also, helpful info, like, waiting for bride to send swatch color.
I call it my bride status, I know there if they had a tasting, and I am waiting for them to get back to me, or what. In what stage of the game every bride is.
PM if you want a copy of the template.

LisaR64 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 11:38pm
post #8 of 21

I learned a lesson in organization last weekend. I keep my cake order information in a small purse calendar, and before I start a cake, I copy all the specs onto a big whiteboard in my baking kitchen so I don't miss anything. Skipped the whiteboard step on my last cake and realized only after the cakes were baked, filled & stacked that they were suppose to be square, not round. Had to start completely over making new cakes, new filling, etc. Lesson learned!

MandiJ Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:23pm
post #9 of 21

Thanks for the help! I really like the white board idea! That would be way easier than having my planner out and then forgetting where I last set it since my kitchen usually gets pretty cluttered with all make cake tools and such. I think I will have to go get me one! Thanks for that idea!!

msauer Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:39pm
post #10 of 21

I do the excel spreadsheet as well and a 8 1/2 x 11 wire bound calendar. Helps to keep me super organized.

Additionally, on Tuesdays, I sit down with all of my materials and put together an additional excel spreadsheet that serves as my baking and assembly scheduled. Name of customer/sz of cake/shape of cake/fillings, etc. I print it out and tape it to the wall in my baking room and cross items off as I go.

It works great for me....everything is in one place and I don't have to keep pulling out files and papers or double guessing myself during baking. It has been my lifesaver as my business continues to grow. (This past week I baked 50 pans in three hours and it went off without a hitch!)

cakesdivine Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:44pm
post #11 of 21

Cakeboss Software...pure & simple. The best small biz bakery management software in existance! Love it! Couldn't function without it!

cai0311 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:00pm
post #12 of 21

cakeboss Software...pure & simple. The best small biz bakery management software in existance! Love it! Couldn't function without it!

I completely agree. This program is great!

jason_kraft Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:05pm
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Software...pure & simple. The best small biz bakery management software in existance! Love it! Couldn't function without it!

How does cakeboss compare to QuickBooks? We have a relatively low-volume business, we already have our pricing down, and I've been running QB for the past few years.

EDIT: I found this thread comparing the two, sounds like I'll stick with QB.

MJoycake Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:20pm
post #14 of 21

I have clipboards (Ace of Cakes-style - if you've seen their wall of clipboards) hanging on the wall in my pantry room. I have a copy of the contract, the receipts from customer payments, and color samples they've provided me with, and a front page highlighting the date and details of the order. I hang them in order by date, so when the lowest one is made and delivered, they all move by one spot over.

I plan to install the Cake Boss software, I think it will be really helpful...I've just been waiting as I'm considering getting a new computer and want to save myself from installing twice.

Skidoochic Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:20pm
post #15 of 21

I'm an at home baker too doing about 2-3 cakes a week too with a full time job and a part time job! If you need an inexpensive tracking tool, I use a carbon copy order book from Office Depot. I write the order in the book, put the "customer" slip on my fridge and then if it accidently disappears, I have the carbon copy in my book. I am starting to use the calendar on my cell phone to remind me of what I have scheduled, but the only time I say no to an order is if I am going out of town or (like what happened to me last week) they call on Thursday for a wedding cake for the next day! HTH.

DeeDelightful Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:52pm
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by iwantalicakes

Thought of something else, experience helps you get faster, of course. I try to work mostly when hubby isn't home that way we have time off together. I try to be finished with my cakes come the weekend. Give yourself a schedule.

Same here...I work full time, hubby, I bake one day and decorate late at night the next day (even on work nights). I just know i will have a long night. I do the bulk of the work while everyone is asleep, because I can think, i'm more creative and not prone to do something simple because my family needs my attention.

To answer your question: I found free printable calendars online and just write in cake orders in pencil. I do the planning on plain computer paper and label with the date the order is due and who it's for. I keep all of that after it's over, so if similar orders come up in the future, i don't have to re-plan.

loriemoms Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 4:02am
post #17 of 21

For weddings, I have a file cabinet full of folders for each wedding, with the contract, meeting notes, emails and invoices, payment history, venue info, drawings, swatches, etc. I have a organzer on the wall where the next six weeks of weddings sorted by week, to keep gum paste work in order, toppers that need to be organize and meetings.

For custom orders, I Just invoice everything in quickbooks. I can keep track of deposits and email customers right from the invoice, so they can see progress.

The week of the cake order, we also do the clipboards..I have a peg board in my baking area for the baker to bake the cakes and then the clipboard gets moved into the decorating area, with photos, swatches, etc. We work out a schedule fo rlast minute gum paste work, and a schedule for when the cakes are pulled and torted and filled and decorated.

FOr walk in customers, I Have a three part form they fill out and we go over the design, then we give them one of the parts, and we use the other parts for orders to be worked from. These are for last minute, quickie cakes. The register puts it into quickbooks for us at the end of the day.

I do a lot of electronic stuff, but I am still a huge believer in paper...

kkbritt8 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 4:38am
post #18 of 21

I also work full time and do a couple cakes a week. I have never had a lot of luck carrying an extra item around with me (such as an organizer) because I usually have a child on one hip and a purse, diaper bag and other child's hand in the other hand.

To keep my weekends organized as far as what cakes are due, I just use the calendar in my phone. Then I have a gigantic white dry erase board in my kitchen that contains all of my details. This allows me to write out what needs to be done each day and list specific things that need to be done such as intricate gumpaste decorations. I find myself staring at this board as I'm going about my daily business until everyone is in bed so I too am always in "cakeland."

mbark Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:05am
post #19 of 21

I don't run a formal business so just do what makes sense for me- I have a weekly calender/day planner thing I write in for cake orders, I also save my cake emails in a "cakes" folder in my email account and print things as needed.

mbark Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:06am
post #20 of 21

oh yay, I just reached 500 posts & am now a forum addict! icon_wink.gif

loriemoms Posted 14 Aug 2010 , 11:27am
post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by mbark

oh yay, I just reached 500 posts & am now a forum addict! icon_wink.gif

Congrats! icon_smile.gif

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