I was offered my first cake job yesterday. A friend asked me to make a cake for 30 to serve at a local Relay For Life/American Cancer Society Christmas reception. Yay!
Here's my problem: she gave me no guidance on flavor or style or... anything. I asked her what she had in mind in terms of flavor and decoration and she said, "just make whatever you want, just nothing too out there. Something good." I could not get her pinned down more than that. My first thought was chocolate on chocolate - because who doesn't like that, it's classic. I do a hot chocolate cake that has homemade marshmallows pilled all over the top, and I thought I could Christmas it up with some holly or poinsettas, but my husband thinks they will be expecting something more "decorated." Which way would you go without input from the client?
How much is she paying? If the price she is paying is sufficient to fairly reimburse you for the labor & materials that would be involved in a "more decorated cake" then feel free to knock yourself out. If however, she's paying rock bottom $ then she gets a simple design consistent with the price she pays. Premium $$ => Premium decorations and design. El cheapo => Basic, nothing too fancy.
Yes, take into consideration how much you are getting for this. Are you going to get any 'advertising' out of it? Signs, put your business cards out or anythig like that? If you want to go 'all out' you should get some definite results from it.