Hey everyone... so i started my cake business about 1-1.5 years ago and its just me and my fiance doing it. Now, i would say we have been considerably lucky *knock on wood* and have done fairly well so far. Now we arent rich by any stretch of the imagination btu the bills are getting paid... anyways.... i am getting worried because a LARGE majority of our income is wedding cakes and obviously not as many people are gettign married in late dec-february.... the rest of the year we seem to do fine with at least 1 wedding a weekend + supplementing with birthday and other occasion cakes.
Anyone have any advice on other types of business we should focus on for the winter months? getting worried over here! =/
Last winter wasnt too bad because we had one HUGE order from a company that was about $4k and took up most of dec/jan to do (cake pops lol ugh)...but i know i got that order becaues my friend worked there.... so my concern is now how to get other businesses to order for their xmas parties!
or like i said any advice on who else to market towards during this slow time????
Weddings are not my main business, but I do have two slow months that coincide with the majority of retail sales. Mine are July and August. For me, that time is slow across the board except for wholesale.
I don't need the money for bills, but I didn't like being slower either. My solution was to open a second unrelated business.
If you are self-employed, as I have been all my life, it's a lot safer to not have all of your eggs in one basket. I have always had two businesses going.
My second business does actually compliment the bakery in a retail situation and when I was asked start a retail business, I could jump quickly because my business plans were already complete and the other business was well on its way.
If you can branch out in a complimentary way and plan for a future expansion, your business will be stronger for it. This expansion could still be the baking industry like you already have with the corporate clients.
I also have a good wholesale business that is not seasonal. I duplicate historic candies for museums all across the country. These types of things take time to develop, but will make your business solid.
Another idea is to income averaging. This is a discipline. You don't use all of your income each month, but rather the average. the amount you don't spend immediately will get you through your slower months.
The holidays are a great way to up your income. Pies, homestyle cakes, cookie platters, etc., can produce income during that time. It can carry you through until Valentine's Day. After that, weddings again.
Weddings are usually busy March-October in the U.S., then everything slows down. People start planning in January, and most of my business for the year is booked inthe first four months of each year. It's definitely cyclical and you just have to plan for it.
I am not into the cake business, but if you hope for christmas clients, maybe you can make some examples of christmissy stuff you would like to sell and put pictures on your website?