New And Full Of Questions!

Business By rachelh37122 Updated 20 Feb 2011 , 4:06am by johnson6ofus

rachelh37122 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 12:20am
post #1 of 8

ok so i am very new to the cake decorating world. but i want to learn and be awesome at it. i really feel like i've finally found my niche'. my long term goal is to have my own professional cake decorating business out of my home, and of course i want to do it the legal way. i'm currently taking cake decorating classes and am making cakes for family and friends for pretty much any reason just so i can continue to get better.
my questions are:
how did you come to be a cake decorator?
how long did you make cakes before starting your own business/how did you know you were ready for that big step?
how do you know what to charge people for your cakes (i've seen some of the cost matrices on here and they overwhelm me at this point! icon_eek.gif )?
what all is involved in having a legitimate business out of your home?

i live in tennessee, so i know i can legally have a cake business out of my home kitchen. i'm a big "planner" type person, and it's fun to think about one day when i have my very own business. i would love any insight you all could share with me. thank you! icon_smile.gif

7 replies
tryingcake Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 1:10am
post #2 of 8

For me, going into business just happened. Many, many years ago my roommate and I throw a party every four months. Always a theme party. Then friends started asking me to help them throw their special occasion parties. Then their friends started asking me. Next thing I knew I was always busy and it occurred to me I needed to be charging for my time. It was probably another two years before I was completely legal.

I wasn't doing cakes yet, but I was doing the food, decorating and music. I was using the same lady for years for cakes. She passed away and i I decided to give it a try - and here I am.

I can't you what to charge. You have to be competitive for your skill level and your area. The matrix is easy if you simply follow the directions. They are not a 100% way to price your work but they get you started in the right direction so you at least know your honest cost.

What all is involved in running a business out of your home is determined by your state and local laws.

mombabytiger Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 5:00pm
post #3 of 8

It's a hobby that got out of hand. First, it's your friends and family. You are constantly "ear to the ground" for any upcoming event that might require a cake. You volunteer to make said cake. You spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on cake toys. You watch YouTube tutorials while your life piles up around you. You look for any reason whatsoever to practice a basket weave design. You look at cake pictures and think, "Hmmm - I could do that". And then you do.

And then comes that fateful day when you think, "Hey! I could get paid for doing this!" I could be home with my 5 kids (all under the age of 3), 2 dogs and four cats. People loved my cakes when they were free! They will happily pay me top dollar when I begin to charge them! This will be easy! And rewarding! (Until Jason tells you that if you don't have liability insurance you are risking the lives of your children and their children and their children...) My customers will love everything I do and become my life-long friends! I will never have trouble with fondant or pull a 14" cake out of the oven only to discover that I forgot the eggs! Yeah. Like that.

tryingcake Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:08pm
post #4 of 8

mombabytiger - that sounds eerily familiar! (wink)

costumeczar Posted 16 Feb 2011 , 4:05pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

And then comes that fateful day when you think, "Hey! I could get paid for doing this!" I could be home with my 5 kids (all under the age of 3), 2 dogs and four cats. People loved my cakes when they were free! They will happily pay me top dollar when I begin to charge them! This will be easy! And rewarding! (Until Jason tells you that if you don't have liability insurance you are risking the lives of your children and their children and their children...) My customers will love everything I do and become my life-long friends! I will never have trouble with fondant or pull a 14" cake out of the oven only to discover that I forgot the eggs! Yeah. Like that.




Then you start telling people that you're charging them, and they suddenly start teling you that they didn't think that you'd make THEM pay for a cake, because they're friends/family/theyknowsomeone who passed you on the street once.

Make sure that you have a business plan, or at least know what your customer base is going to be. Cakes aren't as fun when they turn into work and aren't a hobby anymore. If you treat it like you would a hobby you probably won't be earning enough to make it worth the aggravation.

johnson6ofus Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 6:03pm
post #6 of 8

and "it's just cake" icon_confused.gif so how can flour, sugar, and eggs cost $_____? WalMart sells cake for $____.

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 8:38pm
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

and "it's just cake" icon_confused.gif so how can flour, sugar, and eggs cost $_____? WalMart sells cake for $____.




Haha, then I'd give them directions to Walmart and tell them to enjoy! I'd also mention that there's no butter to be seen in any of Walmart's bakery goods, but if they're into that then have at it.

johnson6ofus Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 4:06am
post #8 of 8

czar-
It's just an anticipated "newbie" discussion. Right? Cakes were free (experiments/practice), then charged, and then priced "at market" rates. Don't you know, the "isn't only flour" statements will find their way in...<sigh>.

Hopefully we can all point them to WalMart, when needed... icon_biggrin.gif

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