Just Starting Out

Business By fidelis118 Updated 14 Oct 2013 , 2:38am by ladyhawke917

fidelis118 Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 9:12pm
post #1 of 14

AHey there, I've been giving this a lot of thought and I think I am ready to try to start a small cake business on the side.

I have no formal training. Everything I know is self taught or I got from video classes or tutorials. I'm going to be doing this out of my home for friends and family to start just to get practice.

Are there any materials/equipment that you recommend for a beginner? How did you get your start,? Do you have any advice that you're willing to give?

Thanks in advance for any help!

13 replies
Godot Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 9:18pm
post #2 of 14

ABusiness plan!

BeesKnees578 Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 9:41pm
post #3 of 14

You could post some pics on the Peer Review board so that you have some honest feed back from peers.

 

Just a thought because as I was gogling custom cakes Cleveland today I came across some real doozies that I was amazed that people were selling.  I don't think they were just starting out either...

 

I'd want to know if I was market ready by today's standards.

 

And good for you for taking on the task of teaching yourself!

fidelis118 Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 6:00pm
post #4 of 14

A

Original message sent by Godot

Business plan!

Thank you. I actually started doing one. Someone told me I didn't really need one until I got "bigger" though sine I will only be making cakes for friends and family. I will continue doing it,

fidelis118 Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 6:01pm
post #5 of 14

A

Original message sent by BeesKnees578

You could post some pics on the Peer Review board so that you have some honest feed back from peers.

Just a thought because as I was gogling custom cakes Cleveland today I came across some real doozies that I was amazed that people were selling.  I don't think they were just starting out either...

I'd want to know if I was market ready by today's standards.

And good for you for taking on the task of teaching yourself!

I will do this starting with the next cake I make!

jason_kraft Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 6:16pm
post #6 of 14

ACheck out the Starting a Business link in my signature below.

fidelis118 Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 6:17pm
post #7 of 14

A

Original message sent by BeesKnees578

You could post some pics on the Peer Review board so that you have some honest feed back from peers.

Just a thought because as I was gogling custom cakes Cleveland today I came across some real doozies that I was amazed that people were selling.  I don't think they were just starting out either...

I'd want to know if I was market ready by today's standards.

And good for you for taking on the task of teaching yourself!

Do you have a link to where I can find that section?

fidelis118 Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 8:16pm
post #9 of 14

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Check out the Starting a Business link in my signature below.

Thank you!

Hilerie Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 11:43pm
post #10 of 14

AGood Luck!

MyCakeHole Posted 13 Oct 2013 , 3:18pm
post #11 of 14

Hey there!

 

I've just started out too, would be interested in hearing other people's advice.

 

I only launched a couple of weeks ago and the response has been overwhelming to be honest. I launched a "fan page" on Facebook a few months ago when I seriously got into cake art. All I did was post up pictures of the cakes and sugarpaste creations on there and the response grew. I also started a blog, even updated the low points (I once knocked a whole batch of cupcakes out of the window and onto the neighbours roof) and I've had really good response and feedback from it.

 

The main three things that have helped me and set me apart from others in the area;

 

A professional looking facebook page. Design a logo or ask someone to make one for you - it makes all the difference as a buyer.

Decent quality photos - If you have a proper digital camera make the most of it - get out of the habit of taking photos on your phone - they won't do your work any justice!

Interact but don't inundate - I only post the occasional status to my personal FB promoting my business. Unfortunately not even will be enthused about cake as you are. 

 

Also, depending on where you're based, check out Facebook Cake Groups. In the UK there's one called Berry's BakeOff, Send In The Troops and The Cake Maker. Don't get me wrong - these are predominantly other bakers but the advice and support you'll get from them is priceless.

 

The rest - I'm still learning!

 

Good luck :)

fidelis118 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 1:54am
post #12 of 14

A

Original message sent by MyCakeHole

Hey there!

I've just started out too, would be interested in hearing other people's advice.

I only launched a couple of weeks ago and the response has been overwhelming to be honest. I launched a "fan page" on Facebook a few months ago when I seriously got into cake art. All I did was post up pictures of the cakes and sugarpaste creations on there and the response grew. I also started a blog, even updated the low points (I once knocked a whole batch of cupcakes out of the window and onto the neighbours roof) and I've had really good response and feedback from it.

The main three things that have helped me and set me apart from others in the area;

A professional looking facebook page. Design a logo or ask someone to make one for you - it makes all the difference as a buyer. Decent quality photos - If you have a proper digital camera make the most of it - get out of the habit of taking photos on your phone - they won't do your work any justice! Interact but don't inundate - I only post the occasional status to my personal FB promoting my business. Unfortunately not even will be enthused about cake as you are. 

Also, depending on where you're based, check out Facebook Cake Groups. In the UK there's one called Berry's BakeOff, Send In The Troops and The Cake Maker. Don't get me wrong - these are predominantly other bakers but the advice and support you'll get from them is priceless.

The rest - I'm still learning!

Good luck :)

Thank you so much for the suggestions. This actually really helped. As soon as I decide on a name for my business, I'll get to all the promotion. I'm really picky so it's hard choosing lol

Cara-mel Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 2:09am
post #13 of 14

AI'm just starting too! All the advice from everyone is extremely helpful!

ladyhawke917 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 2:38am
post #14 of 14

I too am thinking about giving this a go as a small side-line. My big thing has been in thinking everything through and being sure that this is something I can do and something I want to do. For the can do part: can  you get cakes to turn out tasty and good looking every time? If you work a full time job, scheduling a cake can be tight enough without having to do multiple re-bakes because the cake isn't turning out right (too dry, too moist, won't turn cleanly out of the pan, whatever). Plus re-bakes are money out of your profit. Do you have already perfected recipes, plural, not just 1 good chocolate recipe and you will  wing the rest. Are you proficient on leveling and stacking cakes? That is key. Customers don't like when their cakes collapse for some reason. Remember people are paying good money to have something special for their special day. Make sure you can deliver. One thing I have observed is that people are very critical when it comes to money. The wonderful cake you did for free may not get the same gushy response when they have to pay for it. Do you have the customer service skills? Can you say no to the impossible orders (too cheap, too little notice,etc.). Have you checked out the laws and made sure you can meet all the guidelines (licensing, insurance, zoning etc.). Is there a market in your area? One common thread here is that making good custom cakes is not cheap. All those friends that say you should go into business as they slip you  $20 as a thank you for making their 2 year old's birthday cake, may not be able to or willing to order from you when that cake is $100. You will be investing a lot of yourself and your resources in this, so be sure it is feasible before you've paid out hundreds on tools and pans and etc. Then, make sure it is something  you really want to do. You have a paid cake order due on Saturday and something comes up with your family. Will they (and you) forgive you for missing family functions in order to "bake a cake"? These are all just things I have played with in my head, not meaning to be discouraging at all. I wish you the best in your endeavor!

Di

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