I picked up the hobby of making cakes a few years ago and friends and family have been telling me to sell them. I am a stay at home mom with two kids under 5 and I work about 8 hours a week part time. Until now, I just blew off considering it b/c I'm afriad of the pressure of doing someone elses cakes, time pressures, and just plain getting burnt out from something that is a fun hobby for me. I'd love to start doing it and get my feet wet, but have a few hesitations...
So, my questions are:
Do you think it would be easy for me? Do you ever feel like the pressure is too much or feel burnt out? Do I need a permit or something? Any other advice? Also, I have no clue what kind of prices. How much return do you get? I mean, after the overhead costs, I'm just wondering how worth it it would be.
AThe answers to your questions will depend on local market conditions...how much disposable income people have, how saturated the market is, what the food safety laws are (for example, do you need to rent a commercial kitchen?), and so on. Check out the "Starting a Business" link in my signature for an overview of what is typically involved.
Jason - You are going to need a bigger signature line . . .
I see you are up to 5 links now. :)
You are in a similar situation to mine, except I have one child. I pace myself. I do not do any formal marketing, except for a Facebook page. My business is pure word of mouth and I turn down orders I cannot fill if need be. In May/June I made 1-2 cakes a week and that was the perfect number for me. I charge $3-$4 per serving (sometimes more) and it's been good extra money. I have no desire whatsoever to open a storefront.
I already had all the tools and equipment from having cake decorating as a hobby, so it was worth it to start charging people. I am fortunate to have found a wealthy demographic, so I have not had an issue with my pricing. I also like the fact that I can stop completely if I don't want to bake anymore but I won't have a "for lease" sign on what was my storefront.
Legalizing my kitchen cost about $200-$250, the "safe-serve" course I took is part of that cost. It was not difficult.
Good luck. Start small, see how you like it and go from there!