SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:40am
post #1 of

I know a lot of us have full time or part time jobs on the side.. Is cake decorating anyone's full time job?

95 replies
shannycakers Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:18pm
post #2 of

NO, i wish... I hope there are some good stories out there from people to give me hope.. i dont see how anyone can make 50k or more alone doing cakes... I am super busy as my side job and cant even make half of that... even if I was booked every day, i dont see how I could make enough/...

cakefat Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:22pm
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I've noticed that a lot of cake decorators give classes (usually expensive classes) and some even tour almost full time- around the world- giving classes and I have a feeling this is more lucrative to them than doing cakes alone. 

BeesKnees578 Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:23pm
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I still consider this a paid hobby.  It's just me working part-time at caking, mom of four full-time.  I only take what I can comfortably handle so that this "hobby" doesn't take over our lives.  I will decide in a few years when my two-year old is in school if I want to marry cake and make it a more than part time thing.

 

And yes I have heard from an ICES teacher that you can make as much, or more, teaching at a show type weekend than you can in a month of creating cakes.

 

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...things may have changed.

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:38pm
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Aww bummer i was really hoping someone could give us a great success story.. I don't want to waist time as a business... Paying all these fee's for nothing.. I would love this to be my main source of income.. I'm only 22 so i would be able to pay rent and live off of 2,000 a month in actual profit but if that's not possible then i will remain setting my mind into expensive hobby land :)

DeliciousDesserts Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:39pm
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AIt's a really nice side business for me. I left a bakery mostly to have a baby. Last year was my first real year in business for myself (under cottage food law). I did 9 wedding cakes & a few small things. I grossed $3000. That doesn't seem like much, but it was all word of mouth. More importantly I showed a profit despite sinking lots into a fridge, agbay, & other tools.

I like that I have the flexibility to spend lots of one with my now 2 year old. It wouldn't have been enough to survive, but it's a nice start.

Norasmom Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:44pm
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It's definitely a hobby for me.  I call it my hob-business.  If you wanted to make it your main source of income, you would be exhausted doing it alone, when you consider how long each cake takes from start to finish.  Seems like those who make a true living off of cakes have actual storefronts, employees and bakeries.  It can be a very good side income, though.  

ellavanilla Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:46pm
post #8 of

My plan is to be solvent by the end of the summer. You should write a business plan and go for it. Just like any business, you need a plan and strategies for achieving your goals. 

 

At 22 you should have enough hustle to drum up the business you need. 

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 5:01pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom 

It's definitely a hobby for me.  I call it my hob-business.  If you wanted to make it your main source of income, you would be exhausted doing it alone, when you consider how long each cake takes from start to finish.  Seems like those who make a true living off of cakes have actual storefronts, employees and bakeries.  It can be a very good side income, though.  

 

hob-business <3!

 

I have help, my fiance would help with mixing,making butter cream and other things, my brother would help with the artistic things as he has a degree in graphic arts, my other brother would be doing all clean up and they all said they could work for nothing for awhile because they believe it will pay off eventually... I'm afraid to take the next step but if i can reel in 2,000 a month for right now i can cover rent,food,electric etc.. I mite be broke and not able to get my nails and hair done but it would work for the time being... Does this sound reasonable? My fiance would have to quit his job in order to help which is the scary thing about this whole situation!

ddon722 Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 5:10pm

We have a local shop that became well-known after winning Cupcake Wars!  She started small and actually has a very small physical location.  I guess that's one way to keep costs down.  She's also been in local newspapers, on a local cable TV show demonstrating and participates in bridal shows and community events.  Facebook too.  Marketing brings in the customers along with word-of-mouth.

 

www.adycakes.com

 

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=384705

 

That said, I am a hobby baker myself.  I work full time with a one hour commute each way.  I like to go slow and do a little bit at a time.  To run a business full-time you need lots of orders, you have to work very long hours and work very quickly.  I previously owned a different kind of business and i am now satisfied with my 40-hour job and my really rewarding hobby!  I have started to go to cake shows and enter some of my cakes, even winning some ribbons.  I wish you good luck whatever you decide to do!

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:07pm

Its really annoying having ALL my long post needing to be reviewed what the heck! 

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:08pm

Guess we'll have to wait for my other post to post! 

Does anyone make 2,000 in profit? As a HOB-Business

jason_kraft Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:11pm

AIf you have a clear competitive advantage and target a market that's willing to pay for quality (which is a challenge in itself) it shouldn't be too difficult to gross $50K. Even if you have no employees, one person should be able to handle 200 servings a week.

Of course $50K gross is probably not a living wage in most areas, but if demand is there you can increase this figure by hiring additional employees and/or pursuing wholesale opportunities.

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:37pm

I don't know if this is a clear competitive advantage let me know what you think... I offer the customer to pick between AMBC and Swiss Meringue butter cream... My prices are 3.00-3.50 mite change to 4.00 tops... Others are 5.00-7.00/serving in this area...Home bakers 2.00/serving but normally haven't a clue about cake decorating no offense! I specialize in custom children's cakes, there are only two shops that offer everything i do... none offer the choice of SMBC & AMBC if that even makes a difference idk yet... I offer home made Candy's and would like a candy bar if i opened shop... and much more! Something like a children's shop/couture cant really explain it as its all in my head... I offer French Macaroons, cupcakes, fudges, truffles, cream puff's etc... which not many custom shops do around my area... I have a fun "look" to my appearance as would my shop, something fun yet screams gourmet! I also make home made ice cream which i have not seen around here either... Free monthly tasting events.... I know it may all sound tacky but trust me i have some really nice ideas for my shop... And have ways to cut cost as well.. Such as buying wholesale, family members working for nothing with faith we will one day have a big name... A big name for our small town that is icon_rolleyes.gif and much more!

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:57pm

Its now posted FIVE post above Jasons... 

AZCouture Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 7:05pm

I do okay, which for around here, and the plethora of cheap bakers, is quite amazing. Could my entire family depend on it? Heck no. It's a dual income household.

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 7:46pm

I am soo determined i just cant stop now after years of studying and hours and hours of perfecting my recipes... I will keep trying and put my foot into it pray for the best!! I mean as i sit and think... YES people do make a great living off of cakes/cupcakes etc they are probly way to busy to answer CC thread lols NO OFFENCE please do not take that comment the wrong way.. :)

tracyaem Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 7:58pm

Yeah, hob/small business here too :)

 

No way I could ever make even close to what my real job brings in. I only became legal so when my coworker's/friend's/cousin's/BFF wants a cake I can charge them (and use the money to buy more fun cake tools!).

 

In all seriousness, I agree with others. I don't logistically see how one person running their own cake business out of their home could make enough to live on. But I would love to hear if others have! Just crunching the numbers though, that's a lot of cake to be putting out each week (plus deliveries, set ups, making cake boards, ordering supplies, planning designs, meeting with clients, keeping the books, etc.) I think for the # of cakes you'd have to make there just wouldn't be enough time. And of course, that's assuming you get enough orders to meet that quota. For your $2k goal I'm assuming you mean net, not gross. Which would vary depending on your costs, but let's assume you net 60% (being generous here - I actually think for a start up it will be less). And that's not counting taxes, so you really need to gross over $5k a month. I don't know what you're planning to charge, but say $3.50/serving (that seems fairly middle-of-the-road). So that's over 350 servings a week. I think as one person you'd a) have a very difficult time securing that volume of orders consistently week over week and b) have a heck of a time filling those orders and keeping up with the business side of things.

 

I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, I just think it's a big undertaking. Do you already have a client base? Established recipes, processes, suppliers? It might be better to get a part-time job and cake on the side for a while until you see if it can work. G/L :)

 

 

 

p.s. Just saw your last post - many of the repeat posters here on CC are very talented, very successful cakers. Don't assume b/c you're not getting the advice you want to hear that it's because all of the millionaire cakers too busy to answer you. The sad truth is it's a supremely difficult industry to make a profit, much less a living in. It's great that you're passionate, but you should have a realistic idea of what you're getting into.

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:05pm

I believe you took what i said VERY wrong and i must have stated it VERY wrong as well!! What i meant was they are way to busy to answer a plain Jane's question.... Trust me i know a ton of CC members are very educated and successful..

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:06pm

All i said was i am determined nothing wrong with that correct :)

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:09pm

I have about 5 clients that come to me for everything, ABOUT 1 order a week right now with that being word of mouth... I do have a business plan.... I have amazing recipes that people love :) i have works plenty years on perfecting all recipes i am not a newbie what so ever to caking lol i've been a lurker for years and finally decided to make an account... 

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:12pm

Sorry for not posting this all in one post... Yes i do have a full-time job right now working as a CNA in a nursing home...

Aurora42196 Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:15pm

this is a toughie. I'm a beginner myself and was starting to wonder the same thing. If you really love what you do, you could work at a bakery (F4L, Costco, mom & pop around the corner icon_razz.gif) and still do a business on the side. I don't know if anyone has done this before but that's what I planned on doing since I love baking so much icon_biggrin.gif has anyone else done this?

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 8:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora42196 

this is a toughie. I'm a beginner myself and was starting to wonder the same thing. If you really love what you do, you could work at a bakery (F4L, Costco, mom & pop around the corner icon_razz.gif) and still do a business on the side. I don't know if anyone has done this before but that's what I planned on doing since I love baking so much icon_biggrin.gif has anyone else done this?

 

I think its a great idea, but i would not work at Costco or anything that just my preference..

savannahquinn Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:15pm

Didn't you just post the other day that you were unhappy with a cake you made (wrestling belt) and that you were going to take a break?  What encouraged you to do a complete 180? I took a short break and am only finding my motivation now and I will only do one cake a week (working full time).

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:32pm

Yes i am still taking a brake, I'm getting all the information i can before i re-launch nothing wrong with that :) i am very determined to make this work so that i can pull in 4-5 orders a week a few weddings a month..

 

 

 icon_biggrin.gif

 

Edited did not read the rest of posters question (kids running around)

savannahquinn Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:34pm

I wasn't criticizing you. I was just wondering where your motivation came from as I have had a difficult time getting my own motivation back in full swing. I'm sorry that you took it the wrong way.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:40pm

I net about 3x minimum wage in my state, which makes it enough for this to be my full time job.

I was very careful what sort of business I set up, I supply multiple coffee shops and cafes with cupcakes Monday - Friday, I don't take small orders, and I don't work for a low wage.

The first year I lost money, the second year I made maybe 3 grand, by year 3 I had finally figured out my pricing system, advertising and a good schedule structure.

 

There some very successful cakers on CC, finding the time to post online just means good time management :)

Norasmom Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:43pm

Don't forget about health care.  You would have to pay to insure yourself, it's not cheap.   

SweetBakeCakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:58pm

scrumdiddlycakes

 

How did you get into the coffee shops? I have been wanting to do that for the longest but i cant see myself calling a coffee shop saying "hay wanna buy my cupcakes" LOL of course that is not what i would say but i feel as if it would sound off either way i go about asking.. Thanks for taking your time to comment its MUCH appreciated! :D

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