No Confidence To Start A Cake Business

Business By rebecca67e Updated 28 May 2014 , 11:01pm by cakebaby2

rebecca67e Posted 28 May 2014 , 12:45pm
post #1 of 14

Hi all

 

I've been really into cake decorating for a few years now. I have a part-time "normal" job but for the past few months or so I've been thinking about starting a business to follow my passion (I'm realistic and know the work is hard/long hours/stressful but I at least want to give it a good go). I've made a lot of cakes for friends and family but I'm ready to step it up. I've done a lot of research on the legal side and pricing etc, so I suppose I'm not asking for the usual advice on those issues.

 

My problem is confidence. I'm a shy and reserved person and I'm finding it really difficult to think of ways to get myself out there. I don't even know if I'm good enough to do this. If anybody would take a look at my portfolio and give me some feedback I would really appreciate it. I don't even believe in myself enough to be able to come up with a name.... I feel silly in case it never takes off. I'm not sure how to get past this mindset. Any words of wisdom?

 

Thanks for reading.

13 replies
Dani1081 Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:23pm
post #2 of 14

Hi rebecca!  I looked at your photos and only saw 4 cakes, so hopefully you've made WAAAAAAAAY more cakes than that if you are considering going into business.  Your cookies are cute and so are your cake balls.  The birthday cake that you have posted has nice flowers on it. Did you make those?  Your frosting on that cake is not smooth, but I assume that you do know the basics of smoothing buttercream. From your pics, I can't tell if you have the experience and skills to start actually charging people for cakes, but you do have a good foundation to build on. Never stop learning and practicing! And good luck! 

ugcjill Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:36pm
post #3 of 14

The actual product is a small part of any business. If you lack confidence but love to make cakes, you will learn to hate doing what you love by taking money for it. You will be crushed 100 ways on any given day.

 

The way it will hurt the most is when you want someone to love the cake you made, so you price it too low just so they will buy it. They got a bargain cake and will not value it, you will be torn to pieces because they didn't pay what it was worth and they didn't fall in love at first bite.

 

Once you have the confidence enough to know you can make a great cake with your eyes closed, you don't mind turning away anyone who wants a bargain cake, and you can separate business from personal, THAT is the time to look into opening a business.

 

Edit - wow, typos

rebecca67e Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:51pm
post #4 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dani1081 
 

Hi rebecca!  I looked at your photos and only saw 4 cakes, so hopefully you've made WAAAAAAAAY more cakes than that if you are considering going into business.  Your cookies are cute and so are your cake balls.  The birthday cake that you have posted has nice flowers on it. Did you make those?  Your frosting on that cake is not smooth, but I assume that you do know the basics of smoothing buttercream. From your pics, I can't tell if you have the experience and skills to start actually charging people for cakes, but you do have a good foundation to build on. Never stop learning and practicing! And good luck! 


Hey, oops sorry, I haven't uploaded many photos to CC. I didn't post the link to my online 'portfolio'........ here it is if you'd take a quick look:

 

http://rebeccacakes.carbonmade.com/

 

I did make the flowers on the Linda cake (apart from the tiny blue ones), it was my first time practicing flowers. The buttercream wasn't smooth, I was going for more of a rough look, and it ended up in an awkward in between stage haha.

rebecca67e Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:55pm
post #5 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

The actual product is a small part of any business. If you lack confidence but love to make cakes, you will learn to hate doing what you love by taking money for it. You will be crushed 100 ways on any given day.

 

The way it will hurt the most is when you want someone to love the cake you made, so you price it too low just so they will buy it. They got a bargain cake and will not value it, you will be torn to pieces because they didn't pay what it was worth and they didn't fall in love at first bite.

 

Once you have the confidence enough to know you can make a great cake with your eyes closed, you don't mind turning away anyone who wants a bargain cake, and you can separate business from personal, THAT is the time to look into opening a business.

 

Edit - wow, typos

 

I have the confidence to make cakes that I think are good quality (feel free to tell me different if you check out the link I posted above, lol), I'm learning new things every day and I love to try out new techniques and improve myself. My confidence problem is more about getting my name out there. I'm horrible at selling myself. I don't even know where to start. I mean, is it even legal to post cards through people's doors down my street? haha

 

Thank you for the advice!

cakebaby2 Posted 28 May 2014 , 2:09pm
post #6 of 14

Your cakes are cute( I like the duck in the bath).

As anyone here will tell you the business of caking is oversaturated and cut throat with every housewife in the world it seems turning on ovens to make neighbourhood cakes.

 

Why spoil a nice hobby you enjoy by getting into all that, especially if you are shy?

Caking could be your downtime from the job you have without the stress and potential hurt from dealing with folk who want a cheap cake.

You need to trawl the gallery on cc to look at the professional competition out there to put the idea of quitting the day job into perspective....just type "Lambeth piping" into the search engine and see what comes up in the gallery and look at the tiered wedding cakes.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. 

AZCouture Posted 28 May 2014 , 5:38pm
post #7 of 14

AWhat's the local scene like? Are there already a bunch of other decorators already in business in town? Is there a local buy/sell/trade Facebook page that they advertise on?

rebecca67e Posted 28 May 2014 , 7:43pm
post #8 of 14

I don't know any of the other decorators personally. I live in Hertfordshire, UK... have found some pages of decorators in the area, but the only Herts cake group is pretty much inactive.

 

Of course, I could just be rubbish at searching on facebook.

MyDiwa Posted 28 May 2014 , 8:46pm
post #9 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

The actual product is a small part of any business. If you lack confidence but love to make cakes, you will learn to hate doing what you love by taking money for it. You will be crushed 100 ways on any given day.

 

The way it will hurt the most is when you want someone to love the cake you made, so you price it too low just so they will buy it. They got a bargain cake and will not value it, you will be torn to pieces because they didn't pay what it was worth and they didn't fall in love at first bite.

 

Once you have the confidence enough to know you can make a great cake with your eyes closed, you don't mind turning away anyone who wants a bargain cake, and you can separate business from personal, THAT is the time to look into opening a business.

 

Edit - wow, typos

This sounds like really good advice. I'm not in business myself, but I've read a million posts and had friends approach me enough to know that pricing your cakes correctly is vital and in order to do that you have to be able to justify it, not just to the customer, but to yourself. That will be impossible to do if you're already starting low on confidence. You'll burn out really fast from underpricing (and getting lots of crappy customers because of it). 

ugcjill Posted 28 May 2014 , 9:41pm
post #10 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by rebecca67e 
 

 

I have the confidence to make cakes that I think are good quality (feel free to tell me different if you check out the link I posted above, lol), I'm learning new things every day and I love to try out new techniques and improve myself. My confidence problem is more about getting my name out there. I'm horrible at selling myself. I don't even know where to start. I mean, is it even legal to post cards through people's doors down my street? haha

 

Thank you for the advice!

To develop these skills, you can take some business classes to work on communication and basic marketing. Some of the ideas you have (cards on doors, facebook) will lead you down the path of the cheap cake baker; don't do that to yourself.

 

The best I can offer you is to find someone who is an independant business owner in your town and request an informational interview. Go prepared with some questions, find out some of the things they learned about marketing in your town, and learn from them. (But don't try another baker... that's just asking for trouble.)

cakebaby2 Posted 28 May 2014 , 10:00pm
post #11 of 14

Hertfordshire is lovely and if the cake group is a bit quiet you could make some brochures with professional photo's and use dummies to get some real showstopping cakes on them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

To develop these skills, you can take some business classes to work on communication and basic marketing. Some of the ideas you have (cards on doors, facebook) will lead you down the path of the cheap cake baker; don't do that to yourself.

 

The best I can offer you is to find someone who is an independant business owner in your town and request an informational interview. Go prepared with some questions, find out some of the things they learned about marketing in your town, and learn from them. (But don't try another baker... that's just asking for trouble.)

cakebaby2 Posted 28 May 2014 , 10:01pm
post #12 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

Hertfordshire is lovely and if the cake group is a bit quiet you could make some brochures with professional photo's and use dummies to get some real showstopping cakes on them.

oops made a mess of that didn't I?

rebecca67e Posted 28 May 2014 , 10:58pm
post #13 of 14

Using dummies is a great idea I'd never really considered. Nobody ever asks me for big elaborate cakes so I don't get to practice. Cheers for that.

 

A business and marketing class would be a good start as well.

cakebaby2 Posted 28 May 2014 , 11:01pm
post #14 of 14

All the best to you, and the beauty of dummies is you can re use them and build a super portfolio.

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