Where Do I Start?

Business By AnaSmiff Updated 15 Jun 2014 , 7:06pm by MBalaska

AnaSmiff Posted 11 Jun 2014 , 7:36am
post #1 of 28

AHello everyone!

I'm Anna, I'm 24 from England and I've recently quit my job in order to start doing something I love!

I am completely lost, I love baking cakes but I don't even know what to do first.

Do I test a load of recipes first? Do I go straight into a website or just sell locally?

I can bake but I don't understand the science behind it, like why we use eggs and why we use sour cream etc...Does that matter?

I would appreciate any advice you have to offer!

I've also been reading through the forums alot and noticed some of you have site/design issues. I'm a Graphic designer by trade so, if anyone needs help, I'm here :-)

Thank you in advance!

Happy baking :-)

Anna x

27 replies
cai0311 Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 2:44pm
post #2 of 28

AFirst you start by finding out the local laws for selling baked goods. Some areas allow home bakeries, some don't and require all goods to be baked in a seperate licensed kitchen.

Selling baked goods is equal parts of business sense and baking sense. You have to learn how to run a business. More business fail due to lack of buiness knowledge then lack of goods knowledge. Get a contract in order, terms and conitions, true costs (which is way more than just flour, sugar, eggs - insurance, utilities, transportation costs, business cards, website...).

Then you have to test, test, test recipes. Once you get your recipes set (and in my case gain 24 lbs by doing this) then you start looking at getting a website and business cards.

All this takes quite a while. In the mean time you can practice, practice, practice your skills. Take pictures to build your porfolio along the way.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 3:16pm
post #3 of 28

yes, what cai0311 said plus--

 

if you can you need to focus on exactly what you want to do-- decorated cakes? or what exactly--like there's this chain of stores here and they only do bundt cakes, there's one just for cupcakes, just for cookies, there's bakeries that serve lunch as well as decorated cake, breads and desserts, lunch + cupcakes, cupcake + yogurt, as well as celebration cake places -- just so many variables there--so you need to focus on your particular niche--maybe you want to supply restaurants with ridiculous desserts--or...

 

i'm guessing that since you are a graphic artist you would be awesome at cake sculptures & stuff--

 

if you want to learn the science of baking i'd suggest getting the pastry book from a culinary school--it's a reference you will always use --

 

best to you and congrats on a long and happy career unfolding before you

 

pastrypet Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 6:25pm
post #4 of 28

The first one is a little pricey, but the next two look okay (lower price but still high ratings):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+science+of+baking

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 6:50pm
post #5 of 28

good idea pastrypet--

 

here's another search and it's got uk pricing but i wonder if the insides of the books are converted to uk standards on the recipe amounts & Celsius because wayne glissen wrote my pro baking book with all american Fahrenheit & cups & ounces etc.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=uk+professional+baking&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Auk+professional+baking

 

great book though

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 7:28pm
post #6 of 28

ok double duh on me! the professional baking books by wayne glissen  have both u.s. and metric units of measure- hehehe all i had to do was open mine up--

 

some of the ones i looked at on amazon said, 'would you like to see an excerpt from another edition of this book' and i'm like no i wanna see inside this edition so it didn't look--

 

but duh i looked in my own book and voila they have both and well worth the investment--mine came with a dvd too

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 9:01pm
post #7 of 28

so if my currency conversion is correct, here's a recent version for under 28 pounds uk -- don't know what the shipping might get to --

 

http://product.half.ebay.com/Professional-Baking-by-Wayne-Gisslen-2012-Hardcover/109106927&tg=info

AnaSmiff Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 9:53pm
post #8 of 28

AThank you so much everyone for getting back to me :-) I'm having a BBQ next weekend so I'm testing 6 cupcakes on friends and family, then I think I'll go from there I guess. I'll also look into the legal side of things, I'm guessing it'll be online somewhere. I will post pictures next week, I'd love to know what you guys think! Anna x

pastrypet Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 10:13pm
post #9 of 28

Because the OP is in England, I searched Amazon.uk.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 11:21pm
post #10 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by pastrypet 
 

Because the OP is in England, I searched Amazon.uk.

 

 

yes and i followed your lead on amazon but i couldn't find a half.com for the uk

 

because that professional book is so good---and the one on half.com is pretty reasonable maybe

enga Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 11:41pm
post #11 of 28

This one had copies

 

://www.usedbooksearch.co.uk/used-books-uk/

Relznik Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 11:41pm
post #12 of 28

First things first...

 

You need to get in touch with your local authority and register with your EHO.  Most require you to have completed a food hygiene course and they will want to come and inspect your premises.

 

Even if you aren't making much profit, you must also register with HMRC - I do a short tax return every year even though I don't have to pay any tax on my income.

 

As previous replies have suggested, decide what you want to do.... eg cakes that aren't necessarily decorated (like, afternoon tea type cakes) or decorated celebration cakes?  Only weddings?  etc.

 

I would recommend spending time on a professional-looking website (notice I said 'professional-looking'... )  There are plenty of DIY sites available, but just spend time getting it look right!  And first, you'll need a portfolio of photos.  So invest some time and money in making cakes to photograph.

 

Good luck.

 

Suzanne x

-K8memphis Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 1:14am
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga 
 

This one had copies

 

://www.usedbooksearch.co.uk/used-books-uk/

 

 

sure does!

 

whoa great find, enga. with super prices! way to go

enga Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 1:34am
post #14 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga 
 

This one had copies

 

://www.usedbooksearch.co.uk/used-books-uk/

 

 

sure does!

 

whoa great find, enga. with super prices! way to go

no problem :wink:

AZCouture Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 2:00am
post #15 of 28

AWell, since you have already quit your job, sounds like you need to start earning money fast. I suggest you regard the replies from cai and Relznik, that addressed the important matters, regarding the business side of this...business.

Gingerlocks Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 3:30am
post #16 of 28

I'm not sure I totally understood your post..did you quit your job to go into the cake business? And you only did cakes here and there before? 

 

I may be waaay off here; and this might sound mean..but if the above is true; than all the books on Amazon in the world won't help, run back to your old employer and ask for your job back. People who are professionals in this industry with 20 years experience are struggling to make a living in this business; let alone quitting your job with a dream in your heart and no skills or experience to back it up. I know that's harsh, but its also the truth. 

 

The only real suggestion I can give you is to get yourself enrolled in a proper collage/University courses which are relevant to what you want to do..business, baking, etc..but the best advice is to go back to a day job and do this as a side business; you can gain valuable experience and expand your skills while still having a decent income. 

MBalaska Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 3:43am
post #17 of 28

this OP is taking the Mickey.

However it's still enjoy reading the superb advice of the genuine business owners who are generously sharing their thoughts.

AZCouture Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 4:03am
post #18 of 28

AYeah, I can get behind [@]Gingerlocks[/@]' advice as well. I didn't [B]want[/B] to say I didn't believe this post was for real, but I do hope you have some serious back up savings to see you through the first...couple of years at least.

MimiFix Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 12:08pm
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnaSmiff 

... I've recently quit my job in order to start doing something I love! ... I am completely lost, I love baking cakes but I don't even know what to do first... Do I test a load of recipes first? Do I go straight into a website or just sell locally? ...

 

The OP startled me with this thread. After reading it several times, I figured she was either independently wealthy, or had an employed spouse/partner, or wanted to yank our collective chain.  

AnaSmiff Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 2:44pm
post #20 of 28

AThank you all for your advice, I am looking through the business stuff at the moment.

I quit my job 2 months ago because it was making me miserable, I am talking suicidal. My boss was Satan himself.

Luckily I make money as a self employed graphic designer and I have a very loving boyfriend who makes plenty of money.

The cake thing just came around after I'd made cakes for a few people and they kept saying "You should sell these".

I know it's a long shot, but that's exactly how my design business started 6 years ago when I started University.

I am doing some cake testing next weekend for a bbq so I'll take some pictures for you all!

Thanks again - I know I must seem naive but I am so much happier being my own boss!

Anna x

FioreCakes Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 3:01pm
post #21 of 28

It personally sounds to be like she is advertising her graphic design abilities to cake ladies and has no real interest in cakes. 

as you wish Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 3:24pm
post #22 of 28

A

Original message sent by FioreCakes

It personally sounds to be like she is advertising her graphic design abilities to cake ladies and has no real interest in cakes. 

Really? Maybe I'm naïve, but I thought she was just offering to help. :)

I also assumed that there must be money to live on coming from somewhere else; I hope so! I think there is some good advise here about getting started with finding out what the rules and regulations in your area are and really learning the business end of things before you even decide whether you want to pursue this. :)

MimiFix Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 3:24pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnaSmiff 

Hello everyone! ... I would appreciate any advice you have to offer! ... I'm a Graphic designer by trade so, if anyone needs help, I'm here ... 

 

Very interesting, FioreCakes, you could be right. I thought the OP meant that since CC members would be helping her for free, that she would do likewise.

FioreCakes Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 7:33am
post #24 of 28

I could be totally out of line! It's just that I have been doing cakes for awhile now, I think I'm actually pretty decent and I can't work up the nerve to quit my job! So the original post seemed literally UNbelievable without another motive. I apologize to the OP if I was wrong!

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 12:41pm
post #25 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnaSmiff 

Thank you all for your advice, I am looking through the business stuff at the moment.

I quit my job 2 months ago because it was making me miserable, I am talking suicidal. My boss was Satan himself.

Luckily I make money as a self employed graphic designer and I have a very loving boyfriend who makes plenty of money.

The cake thing just came around after I'd made cakes for a few people and they kept saying "You should sell these".

I know it's a long shot, but that's exactly how my design business started 6 years ago when I started University.

I am doing some cake testing next weekend for a bbq so I'll take some pictures for you all!

Thanks again - I know I must seem naive but I am so much happier being my own boss!

Anna x

 

 

i'm happy for you, anna -- looking forward to your pictures

FioreCakes Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 3:24pm
post #26 of 28

A

Original message sent by AnaSmiff

Thank you all for your advice, I am looking through the business stuff at the moment.

I quit my job 2 months ago because it was making me miserable, I am talking suicidal. My boss was Satan himself.

Luckily I make money as a self employed graphic designer and I have a very loving boyfriend who makes plenty of money.

The cake thing just came around after I'd made cakes for a few people and they kept saying "You should sell these".

I know it's a long shot, but that's exactly how my design business started 6 years ago when I started University.

I am doing some cake testing next weekend for a bbq so I'll take some pictures for you all!

Thanks again - I know I must seem naive but I am so much happier being my own boss!

Anna x

I didn't see this when I posted, not sure why it wasn't showing! My apologies Anna, we just get a lot of spam people here on CC who try to pull wool over our eyes! Welcome to the forums!

MimiFix Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 3:48pm
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FioreCakes 
 
I didn't see this when I posted, not sure why it wasn't showing! My apologies Anna, we just get a lot of spam people here on CC who try to pull wool over our eyes! Welcome to the forums!

 

You're right Fiore, Anna's post had not yet appeared at the the time we posted. Weird! ...  But her situation highlights an issue we have discussed on here many times. That everyone who has a kitchen and enjoys baking wants to start up a food business, regardless of their knowledge and skill level. 

MBalaska Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 7:06pm
post #28 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnaSmiff 

"..........I am completely lost, I love baking cakes but I don't even know what to do first........"
 

 

Being lost means not knowing where you ARE...but Staying lost means not knowing where to GO...Find yourself.

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