jennifercullen Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 2:36pm
post #1 of

Its a question I've been thinking about for a while now, a few cake decorators I know have been posting on facebook about being booked up months in advance, and I just wondered how many that would be, I only have time to decorate at night when my kids go to bed, and as most people want a cake for the weekend it means I can do less per week as they all have to be ready the same day. I struggled with the 3 I had to do this week, though when I did my business plan I worked out I needed to be making 6 per week just to take a small wage from the business each week! How many do you do? as a single person doing everything I mean... or even in a bakery, so I can see the difference.

10 replies
elliespartycake Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 2:55pm
post #2 of

You are at a disadvantage since you can only work in the evening. I don't have small children, so I can do 7-8 cakes a week, depending on size and complexity. I only accept one large cake (ie wedding cake) per day. I can turn out 2-3 smaller cakes a day if need be.
A lot depends on how fast you can work, plus the fact that as you stated most people order cake for weekend events.
Hope this helps.

sugarpixy Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 2:57pm
post #3 of

I can do max 3 big cakes 3-4 tiers plus 3 single tier well per week by myself. Any more than that results is a slip in Quality. The Queen of wedding cake Sylvia Weinstock has 16 decorators and produces 20 cakes per week. You really have to charge the right price because this type of work is special.

solascakes Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 3:00pm
post #4 of

Can't do more than 2 big cakes a week, and probabaly a few small 8-10" singles as well. I work very slow. Wih that by the end of that week ,my house will look like a jungle and I will look like a lion.

aundron Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 3:09pm
post #5 of

I work a full time job and have 2 teenagers at home (1 in college). I have set my limit to 6 small cakes (simple 2 & 3 tiered) per week. If someone wants bigger cakes, including wedding, super detailed cakes, I will only do 3 of those per week.

In the past, I have done 8 or 10 cakes per week and this is with a full time job!! icon_eek.gif I had to stop doing that, it was just too much!!

auntginn Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 3:40pm
post #6 of

When I first started out (and it was allowed) I shared a kitchen with a bakery. I was only allowed to work at night after hours from them. I sacrificed the time because I was just getting started. I am single and care for my parents (both of them act like kids sometimes, lol, it worked for me because it gave me the freedom to take care of them and do what I love while getting started.

I pumped out 2 large cakes a week. As I started to get more orders I hired someone on an "as needed" basis and eventually part time and now full time. I now have myself, 1 full time and 2 as needed ppl.

Take on only what you feel comfortable with. Success is measured by your state of mind. Are you content with what you produce? Does it meet your needs (financial or creative) That's what counts. If your too tired to enjoy it, take a step back and regroup! There is nothing wrong with saying No I can't.

shannycakers Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 3:41pm
post #7 of

hello, i only take orders for up to 3 cakes per week max, but I have another main job and also have to take into consideration that the commercial kitchen I use, i only want to be in there a few days a week, so that limits my intake as well.

mommachris Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 3:47pm
post #8 of

Although I have several teenagers that can entertain and watch my five and three year olds, I homeschool so that limits my time in the kitchen. ( have nine kids still living with me)
I only do about two cakes a month. Refuse to take on any more than that and was actually relieved when a bride called to cancel her backyard wedding cake for 300 people scheduled in the middle of the hottest month where I live. It was three months away and already making me loose sleep...I could just see that thing melting before their eyes.

All I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to take every cake order that comes your way.
I too used to do most of my detail work at night when my little guys were sleeping. But that led to me being a cranky teacher. icon_wink.gif
To me (not judging here) I'd rather not be sleep deprived and be with my kids on Saturday mornings that in the kitchen.

If you are feeling stressed I'd suggest raising your prices so that you end up doing less cakes but making the same amount. One $60 cake is better than two $30 ones. Gets you back to the family quicker. thumbs_up.gif

mommachris

auntginn Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 4:11pm
post #9 of

@mommachris... Wow!! my hats off to you with 9 kids and homeschooling.

Not trying to run-away with the post, sorry!

Apti Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 5:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifercullen

Its a question I've been thinking about for a while now, a few cake decorators I know have been posting on facebook about being booked up months in advance, and I just wondered how many that would be, I only have time to decorate at night when my kids go to bed, and as most people want a cake for the weekend it means I can do less per week as they all have to be ready the same day. I struggled with the 3 I had to do this week, though when I did my business plan I worked out I needed to be making 6 per week just to take a small wage from the business each week! How many do you do? as a single person doing everything I mean... or even in a bakery, so I can see the difference.




I applaud you for doing your due diligence and for HAVING A BUSINESS PLAN! However, it is only that, a "plan". It sounds as though your "plan" was overly optimistic in order to meet your business goal of having "a small wage from the business each week".

Perhaps you need to re-assess your plan. It may be that you "forced" the plan to fit your desire to make cakes at a profit, instead of making a plan that indicated the reality of what you are now encountering.

The posts above have provided excellent input and you now have very realistic expectations of your baking capabilities in a given week. The suggestion to "raise your prices, do less cakes and create the same cash-flow" is excellent. Never forget to put the reality of the BUSINESS side of this ahead of your desire to do something "fun that also makes money".

It sounds as if you are doing a LOT of things RIGHT, and you are certainly asking the right questions. Happy Baking!

chasingmytail Posted 2 Apr 2012 , 7:05pm

I totally agree with Apti. Being a total amateur here in the UK with two small children there is no way with my lack of free hours to get anything done and by the evening I am exhausted! With children comes lots of evenings of prep, fancy dress, homework, clubs, sickness, and so on.

I have done some basic figures in the past and no way could I make a small earning from it - its more pin money. You have to take a percentage of the cake that profit and thats your earning and be real could be £10 - £20 on small cakes. when I could get an evening job stacking selves in the supermarket and take home a nice salary for little input and no stress.

I imagine that to do it properly, one evening you could have a visit from a prospective person to do sketches and take details so you could cross out 2hrs out of that evening. One evening baking and 2 decorating and by the time you tidy and clean it could be very late. Then delivering.
I would imagine it would be near enough impossible to make 2 cakes per week on a clear 5 day week.

Ive always worked out you'd have to make a lot of cakes per week to make a living, you say youve worked out 6 but does that also include the car and fuel (shocking £££) delivering these cakes, boxes, electricity, insurance, printing leaflets, advertising, website, etc. Assuming the competition in your area so some weeks you may not get one order as around here in my area seems that everyone has a facebook cake making friend and some are good and cheap.

I would stick to one for now and test the water.

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