Newbie In The Uk - Help?

Decorating By Carlys-Creations Updated 28 Nov 2011 , 12:18pm by Carlys-Creations

Carlys-Creations Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 12:05am
post #1 of 6

Hello everyone icon_smile.gif

Just joined this site and allready LOVE it.

People have been giving me orders for cakes for quite sometime now, and I have told them im too nervous to take orders, so turned every single one down. A lot of them have advised that maybe i should just offer to make cakes for cost price, to build a portfolio of what i can do, without the pressure. I liked the idea, but i like to be super organised and decided i would rather save money, buy EVERYTHING needed to make ANY cake.. all the basic equipment and all the fancy extras too. Then start taking orders, so that no matter what anyone wanted, i had the right 'gear' to make it. Who was i kidding! I cannot afford all that stuff! Not a cat in hells chance.

So iv started swinging back towards the idea of making cakes for cost price. I figure that i can happily create the nights away, while the 'customer' just pays for ingredients. No money to change hands, just the ingredients. I would happily spend 6 hours on a cake right now and not make a penny profit. This way, i can really express all this passion in me and create to my hearts desire, without losing money myself. I can also build up a portfolio for the future. I allready know people who would jump at the offer, so id be kept pretty busy for a while, until i had saved up enough of my own money to buy the equipment i need to make more cakes, and then consider making to order for real.

I have registered with enviromental health, and am now waiting for a visit to pass my kitchen, which i have no doubts it will. My next step then is to gain my health and hygeine certificates, then get insurance and notify the tax man.

Iv read through a few posts here about pricing, and the idea of making for cost price. After one hour i can allready see a split vote on this. I understand that buy offering cakes at cost price, i could be setting myself up for a loss and a reputation as the one whos cheap. I allready feared this. I am a major softy and would find it so hard to charge people once im making to order. I will find it very difficult to tell people ingredient costs for them to get the stuff for me to make, let alone make any profit! If i do go ahead and make for cost price.. eventually i will become official and will have to set my prices realistically. My work is hours of handcrafting to the tiniest detail. I have never made to order, only made cakes for close family.

I thought id stick to 2 sizes at first, (so it doesnt get complicated as i dont have enough equipment to make everything) making 10" single cakes and 2 tiered 8" + 6" cakes at cost price, with edible handcrafted characters, embossing, lettering, wired decorations, feathers, billowing, quilting, patchwork... all kind of things really. Lots of colours! I want my cakes to come alive and have real character. This is obviously costly to me, so they would need to get the ingredients but i wont be charging for my time, talent or tiredness.

Is this a very bad idea allready? In my area, theres not a lot of cake decorators, so its a bit of a novelty me doing what i plan to do.

I have no idea how to price cakes. No idea at all. If anyone could offer advice on anything iv babbled on about, please do, i would be very grateful.

I just think because of my current money situation, if i dont start making cakes for free then i wont be able to make cakes at all. I can afford a few tins, and the basic essentials i now know i need. But i cant afford everything id need to make whatever a customer wanted, so theres no point me going there. Whereas, if i offer cakes at cost price, im getting the chance to do something i love for free, whilst saving up. My reward would be the satisfied faces of the people i make the cakes for (hopefully). For now, i think that would be ok. Iv made a list of what i need to start off, cake boards, boxes, whisk, etc etc, i know what i need to get. What are your opinions on this though? Any secret option number 3? Ii feel very passionately about this, I finally feel like iv found what 'im meant to do'. As cheesy as that sounds, i really do icon_smile.gif

Thank you for reading icon_smile.gif

Carly xxx

5 replies
soledad Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 1:04am
post #2 of 6

Welcome to CC!!!

I just wanted to let you know, that for a beginner with no tools, your cakes, and characters are very good! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Keep learning and practicing, and do buy some tools little by little, I know they are very expensive icon_sad.gif but are very much needed.

In regards to the business side, I am sorry I do not know a thing! icon_redface.gif

Good luck thumbs_up.gif

CIAO

Bakingangel Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 1:28am
post #3 of 6

Welcome, Carly! Your cakes are adorable as are your figurines. You definately have the talent, imagination and energy to be a fabulous cake decorator. I would caution you about not charging enough for your cakes. If you are the only decorator around, they'll be happy to buy your cute cakes at a good price. Remember all these people are very eager to get a wonderful cake so cheaply. When the time comes for you to start charging for your cakes, they may very well stop buying, because after all they didn't have to pay before. It's harder to charge later.

Many of us made the mistake of starting out the way you want to. It will get old fast and you'll become resentful of not being compensated for your hard work and taken advantage of by others. Just my humble opinion. Best of luck to you!

Carlys-Creations Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 1:44am
post #4 of 6

*Edited my original post as it was too long as didnt get many responces, it was quite an essay lol!*

Thank you both icon_smile.gif

Your right bakingangel, i just feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I dont have a lot of photo's to show what i offer, and i dont have the money to throw away on making cakes for photos, so i was warming to the cost price idea.

Maybe i could add £5 to each cake then? Id feel so cheeky! But i suppose those £5's would add up and i could use it to expand my decorators kit? Im just not sure. I make handcrafted figures etc, does anyone know how you price those? Im not even sure how to price a fondant covered sponge, let alone something iv created after hours or work.

If i could just get a fixed price for a coloured fondant cake for example, in 10 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch. Then i could try and work out prices for the added extra's? Some people dont need all the fancy bits, so cost price would differ anyway, but again, if they leave the design up to me, how would i know how much they want to pay? Should i start by asking what they WANT to pay? Then work out ingredients to work with that? If they say £20 then i will calculate what size cake and what extras will total £20 for example x

soledad Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 2:08am
post #5 of 6

Carly.... this might help for when you are ready.
nnow it might give you an idea.

http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/cake-recipe-pricing-calculator.html

CIAO

Carlys-Creations Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 12:18pm
post #6 of 6

Thank you soledad icon_smile.gif

I have checked out the prices at the one place that does something a little bit simular to me, although not as varied. Iv made a note of their prices etc so now have a rough idea of what to charge x

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%