This is just really a "woe is me" kind of posting, but since no one else besides fellow cakers would understand, I figured I'd let it all out here on CC.
I have decided to completely give up on cakes. I used to love doing them, now I dread it to the point of getting physically ill at the thought of baking another cake. I am so burnt out, it's crazy!!! I've been burnt out before, but this is by far the worst. It's so bad that I am hosting a bridal shower and baby shower in a few months and I am considering ordering the cakes from someone else!!!! I get several calls a day for cakes and I've been turning people away constantly. I feel guilty, but I just can't even bare the thought of doing another. Cakes are really just a money making hobby for me so I really don't rely on the income because I have a full time job.
I am just so sad because I really feel like I have lost a part of myself, but, like I said, I CAN't do another cake!!!! Has anyone been in this situation? Please share......misery loves company!
I have absolutely been in this situation!!!! I felt exactly like you do ONE YEAR AGO, and you know what I did??? I doubled my prices!! No kidding! I was charging $1.25/serv. for tiered cakes and everyone else around here (well known bakeries) are priced at $1.50/serv. and I raised my prices to $2.50/serving!!!!!! At first people about passed out when I told them my prices, but customers that LOVED my cake flavors, etc. continued to order......sometimes smaller cakes, sometimes not. It definitely reduced the amount of cakes I had to bake/decorate each week and I was making a TON more money!
A cake that served 20 for instance a 5" and 7" tiered cake.......used to sell for barely $25, but it's a small cake and lots of people baulked at THAT price.......now the cake "starts" at $50 and there are add ons for decorations besides buttercream. when I make one and it takes me 4 hrs. to decorate I just say.......oh well, I'm making $40 in profit. I can bake the whole thing with 1 batch of cake batter lol.
Raise your prices, even if it's so high that you're SURE nobody would EVER order a cake........that way, when they do you're compensated and when they don't........who cares???
totally agree with the above.
I will also add that sometimes we just need a vacation or a sabbatical. Time off to recharge batteries.
When it becomes more like work, we lose our passion. And i loved doing it too much to lose the passion.
It may be a month .... 3 months .... or a year. Whatever it takes. And during that time, if someone wants a cake, take khalstead's advice and quote them a whopping price.
Yeah, you guys are right. My prices are already on the "high" end for my area (they start at around $2.50 a serving) but I was really thinking about putting a $100 minimum order rule or something. I think the orders that bug me the most are those little cheapie cakes that take almost just as much time as the bigger ones. I almost want to hang up the phone right away when a customer tells me they just want "something small, not too fancy". I HATE making those cakes!! To me, it just ain't even worth the mess, you know!!
Yum, I think you totally solved your own issue. Stop taking the cakes that annoy you and are not worth the money. Set a minimum order. You said it's a money making hobby. If you set a $100 minimum you will only be doing the fun interesting cakes and fewer of them. You have ever right to turn down a cake that isn't worth turning on your oven for.
Take a break, take fewer cakes per week and only take the cakes you love. Good luck.
Take a break, definitely. My break was a little extended, about 14 years, but my passion renewed and now I just passed my 1 year mark in business and growing. I just raised my prices Sept 1 but business hasn't slowed down at all.
I think having a minimum is a great idea.......I plan on implementing one someday. I rely on the small rudy poo cake orders too much right now.........but when I get big time I'm tellin ya!!! $100 minimum at LEAST! lol
Sounds like you solved your own issue, another way to get more orders for tiered cakes vs. sheet cakes etc. is to make everything the same price/serv. I know indydebi did that........I don't know about you, but if I was ordering a cake and found out a sheet cake was the same as a 3 tiered cake, I'd take the tiered cake. (for me tiered cakes take a LOT less time to bake since I can bake 4 sizes simultaneously vs. only 2 1/2 sheets at a time) Besides tiered cakes are so much more fun to make aren't they?