Ready To Have My Weekends Back...

Decorating By GarciaGM Updated 22 Oct 2011 , 8:13am by rara1975

GarciaGM Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:36pm
post #1 of 13

I am on the 4th of five consecutive weekends where I have had some cake to do, whether for my own family or for friends who have asked for a cake. I am ready for a break from constantly thinking about my next cake, running down supplies almost daily, figuring out what kind of design will make these people happy...etc.

For all of you full-time cakers...do you ever feel like you just want to take a break? Like you'd like to have your weekends back for yourself? My biggest concern about throwing myself into cakes full-time is the fear that I will quickly get burned out.

What say ye?

12 replies
mariacakestoo Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:41pm
post #2 of 13

What say ye? Charge a LOT, that will help right there. You can stuck doing 2 or 3 cakes for $200 a weekend, or you can be excited to have ONE for the same amount of money. Hopefully more. That's how I roll, and I'm happy.

Sylkladie Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:02pm
post #3 of 13

Having a to do list helps. I try to let them know I need 2 wks to a month notice before due date. this way I can bake the cakes and freeze them and the week of do the fillings,frosting and elements, this way I am not going crazy at the last minute. You need to make time so if you need to do anything last minute you will have the time. Also don't take on more than you think you can do in 1 week. Hope this helps.

jenmat Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:09pm
post #4 of 13

I have had a wedding (or 3-4 weddings) every single weekend since April, except for one weekend when we went on vacation.

My next weekend off is November 18. I am counting the days....

But this is my job, I get paid pretty well, and with weddings the creativity is very centered on "elegant, graceful, romantic" type cakes. There are funky ones and really over the top ones, but once you get into the groove you just kind of go with it.
I remember when I did way more celebration cakes than weddings, and boy, they were soooooo much more draining!!!
You have to schedule time off, and do your research all at once. Have a night of creativity so you can stay in the zone. Then a night of fondant work etc.
Breaking it up makes it much easier and charging lots and lots helps too!

ngandara Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:30pm
post #5 of 13

I was literally just saying this to a coworker! So burnt out right now... haven't had a weekend off from making cakes in 3 months. Hopefully soon tho thumbs_up.gif

ngandara Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:30pm
post #6 of 13

I was literally just saying this to a coworker! So burnt out right now... haven't had a weekend off from making cakes in 3 months. Hopefully soon tho thumbs_up.gif

DDiva Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:41pm
post #7 of 13

Scheduling is key, as is pricing. As Maria said, it's better to do one cake for $200, than 2-3. My business will be 14 years old in February, and it is my full time job. I still love it because I do schedule down time. And when an easy week presents itself, I go with it. This week is an example. I've been in the shop less than 5 hours all week. My husband held down the fort so I could get some rest. If you don't get away from it, you WILL burn out. Take care of yourself!!

GarciaGM Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 12:01am
post #8 of 13

Thanks guys, I appreciate the honest feedback. Jenmat, you are so right about these celebration cakes being so draining. I have a lady who has consistently ordered dessert cakes, and there are days I would be THRILLED to do a cake for her that I could just crank out without thinking twice.

Sylkladie and DDiva, I've gotten MUCH better about breaking my tasks down by day and getting chunks done ahead of time so I still have time to deal with any last-minute problems. That also helps me get my supplies more efficiently, whether it's something I pick up while I'm out, or if it's something I have to order off the internet.

At this point, I'm not even marketing my cakes, but people keep coming and asking for them. Sometimes I feel like screaming "Make them go away!!" Guess that means I should charge more, huh? icon_wink.gif

Apti Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 1:15am
post #9 of 13

GarciaGM--Yup. Charge more. You didn't tell us what you are charging, but from the sound of your last post, you are probably way underpricing your cakes. Your cakes are gorgeous and you should be charging from $2.50 in a tiny rural setting to $4-$6 a serving depending on your geography and customer base. I am a hobby baker by choice and don't charge for cakes. If I did, I would take the time and money and invest in the cakeboss software. I have heard lovely things about this software from other professional bakers. Here's the link to an excellent article about pricing on their site:

http://www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

If you don't have a contract, get one and enforce it. Require an appropriate amount of lead time with no last minute requests unless they pay a premium "rush" fee.

Enjoy your success and follow the advice of everyone above and you won't get burned out, you'll just get more money for less work!

cakelady2266 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 1:19am
post #10 of 13

Since everybody parties and weds on weekends, such is the life of the cake decorator. It sucks and I feel guilty because the husband and kids are home on weekends and I'm in my shop eyeball deep in cake. I can count on both hands how many weekends I've had off in 2 decades. I have put in 40 straight hours in my shop on Friday and Saturday more than I care to think about. But not anymore, I'm way more particular about the cakes I take on. I don't do party cakes on weekends that I have weddings. Wedding cakes pay the bills and the birthday cakes eat away at my soul. I had much rather do 3 -4 weddings on a Saturday than do ONE birthday. I'm a big believer in work less and make more.

Burn out is a big issue and probably always will be. I tend to kick back as much as possible on Mondays then regroup, get supplies, do consultations and do make ahead stuff. If we didn't bake ahead and freeze I would probably lose my mind.

leah_s Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 1:33am
post #11 of 13

And this is why I'm closing my wedding cake business. I couldn't be happier.

scp1127 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 4:15am
post #12 of 13

And that's why, after reading CC for a year before joining, I chose not to persue wedding cakes. Without wedding cakes, my business is steady instead of crammed into a few days.

If you are too busy, raise your prices. It's a good problem.

rara1975 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 8:13am
post #13 of 13

It seems to me that even normal celebration cakes are required for weekends, so it's inevitable I spend time baking at weekends. I work full time whilst trying to build my business, so I understand how you feel about spending time with your family. I always try to make sure I leave time for my son, even if that means turning down an order.

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