Help And Advice On Starting A Cake Decorating Business In Uk

Business By FootprintsCakeArt Updated 8 Apr 2011 , 9:31am by idontknow

FootprintsCakeArt Posted 5 Apr 2011 , 3:49pm
post #1 of 5

Hi all,
really sorry if this post is not in the right place, but i would like to ask advice on what is needed to start a cake decorating business in the UK, I would love to do this but am unsure on how to do this.
Could you kind people please advise on how to get started, what certificates i would need, premises etc... I would love for my hubby to quit his job so i can do this full time but there is so much technical jargon and lack of help online that i am lost - and all i really want to do is a job that i love making fab cakes for people.....
All help welcome
Thanks thumbs_up.gif

4 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 5 Apr 2011 , 4:42pm
post #2 of 5

Your best advice is Research..research..research...Go to your town/city/village city hall and ask what it requires for you to start a home based food business.They should be able to tell you all you need to know and since the rules and regulations are far different here in Canada and the US than in the UK,that is really where you need to start.Then if you are able to have a business you need business plans and more research..demographics etc..It is very hard work and time consuming so you need to do lots of checking..Good Luck!!

wizzywig Posted 5 Apr 2011 , 5:36pm
post #3 of 5

hi, there are two UK forums that i know of on cake central. ill try and paste the links over,

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=622656&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

and

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-712966.html

hopefully it worked x

FootprintsCakeArt Posted 8 Apr 2011 , 7:17am
post #4 of 5

thank you to you both and especially to the post about the uk forums - they are really useful and would never have found them thumbs_up.gif

idontknow Posted 8 Apr 2011 , 9:31am
post #5 of 5

hiya, you have really cute cakes! I have been dreaming about this for a while too, so slowly have been picking up lots of tips so this is what I know so far, I hope it's correct:

In the UK you have to contact your local council and get registered with the environment office 28 days before you make any cake you plan to sell. This will involve a visit from a council officer who will check over your kitchen, check to see you have a thermometer in your fridge, that you know how to safely store foods etc etc, which is all covered in the Food Hygiene certificate you must also have in order to get registered. You can take this online and shouldn't take long to study for, mostly common sense, and will cost about £30. As for insurance, the British Sugarcraft Guild have a good one if you are only planning on making around £7000 a year (i think) from cakes, which is good for the first year I would assume if you are planning on starting slowly? you have to be a member which costs around £20 per year.

I can't think of anything else in terms of legal things, but you should generally try to put together a business plan so you can focus your ideas and plans and figure out how much everything is going to cost you and how you will market your services and what you will provide to make yourself stand out.

for example (and i'm just pulling this out of the air as i don't know you but from your pics) maybe you could specialise in kids' and novelty birthday cakes as you seem to be very good at modelling? so then you would need to think about where you would be best off directing your advertising, passing out leaflets at school gates, taking boxes of cupcakes to your local playcentres and maybe build relathionships with them so that they agree to have your business cards or pass your information on whenever a birthday party is booked as a trusted supplier? maybe you could come up with a range of £30-£40 (or whatever seems reasonable in your area) birthday cakes that are straightforward for you to make, and enable parents to choose a character topper and colour and you ice child's name on top. you would have to work out what size/flavour cake you would need to make this profitable for you, but it's just an idea. maybe you could also do birthday party decorating classes? as in take each child attending 3 cupcakes and a range of cicing and allow them to decorate their own cupcakes, youc ould charge per child for this? for adults' birthdays, think of any venues where people hold such parties and events and again take them some cake and see if they are willing to pass your info on to any party bookers?

other options is look into any local farmers markets around you could have a stand once a week where you sell a few different cakes and give out your cards with them, maybe offer a discount for anybody ordering there and then?

so before you actually turn on the oven there are quite a few things to do, i think in the following order or urgency:
get hygiene certificate
contact local council
get registered with coucil
get registered as self-employed
decide on any specialism (if any)
design your website and business cards
decide your products, calculate your pricing and profit margin
start building your network, tell everyone you know you are making cakes!

i hope i haven't provided any incorrect info, as i haven't actually done any of this myself but you can see I have been dreaming about this for a while now, just wish i could actually do it for myself!

oh a good book to get is Kathy Moore's 2011 version of starting a cake business from home, it's the only book out there directed at cake making i have found.

oh and keep reading everything on cakecentral, even if it's directed at US businesses, some things, especially in business, are universal!

good luck, let us know how you are getting on.

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