I'm currently a hobby-only cake baker, but was toying with the idea of going into business. I'm apprehensive about doing so because of the freedom I have right now..I do it when I want to and if I want to..unless I'm baking one for friends/family bday--right now it's fun and I enjoy it...just scared if I start a business of selling cakes, it won't be fun anymore. Please share some of your experiences and tips. I need to hear from the pros!!
I only bake cakes when I choose to. I don't advertise heavily and no weddings. You can start small and go from there. i only have a facebook page. Supplies are expensive but I bought them as I went along. I am not making a ton of money, but I am making a profit off of each cake I bake. So since I enjoyed baking cakes I decided I might as well make a little money doing it.
Exactly what Norasmom said!
Fortunately this is not my full-time job or main source of income so I have a good bit of freedom. Most of the profit I make goes back into cake tools :) But it's nice that when that random friend of a friend's cousin wants a cake I can charge for it appropriately and make some extra money. That's the main reason I got legal and went into business. I still do a good bit of cakes for friends and family for free, but the paying customers help subsidize them!
I think it's important to set your prices and stick to them. If someone isn't willing to pay what you think your time is worth, turn down the order. If someone seems like they are going to be a giant PITA and you don't want to deal with it, turn down the order. Pick the projects you think will be fun and be "booked" for the ones you don't!
You'll never get rich doing it this way, but you will save your sanity and hopefully keep it fun. At first I thought I might want to turn this into my career, but after dealing with a few choice customers, I'm very glad it's on the side and I don't have to take every order!
It use to be so fun when I first started out, I loved baking and cake decorating since I was a kid. So I went to school for it. In my last year before graduation I got burned out. Between working full time, school, making cakes on the side, and searching for a storefront to rent I lost my passion.
I graduated with honors had almost everything I needed to open a business, but the bottom fell out, my business partner and I parted ways and here I was left with all this equipment, no business, and no passion to do another cake if my life depended on it.
I took some much needed time off to do some serious soul searching and decompressing. A year later I joined this site just look at all the beautiful cakes. Slowly my passions for cake decorating and baking started to return.
My advice is to ask yourself "is this something I want to do for the rest of my life" as a job or do I have something else that I am more passionate about. My answer was yes, so I got a part-time job in a small bakery. I do cakes for friends and family on my terms, (when I feel Like it). I'm working on a business plan right now after going to a few classes. I'm taking baby steps so to speak because I don't want to have to ever experience what I went through the first time.
There is nothing worse than losing your passion because somebody wanted to put a price tag on it, If you do it because you love the art, then do it as a hobby.
If you love cake decorating and you want to profit from it, it's a long hard road, long hours, and lot of investing of not only time and money but your sanity. So do a lot of researching, ask people who own their own bakery how they started, the pros and cons of owning vs. renting, and if they had to do it over again what would they have done differently. You will be surprised at the wealth of information they have to offer.
If you want to keep it fun, don't start a business unless you are prepared for everything that comes with it.
I'm so happy that I chose to slow down and start over because its finally fun again.
AThanks so much for your comments guys..you have given me a lot to think about..enga, I am sooo sorry that things did not work out the first time but hopefully you will find that passion again to create!! Remember why you started baking cakes? That passion will come back, I know it will!
Thank you so much, I wish you the best.
Thanks for the comments I was just surfing through the forum
Today I delivered my 1st paid cake ...
Its a hobby for me but have many friends begging me to do cakes I am very careful what I do as I don't want the fun to go as well and I could never made the money in cakes as I do in my day job with out becoming stressed +++++
So thanks again