Hello I started decorating cakes three years ago. I love decorating cakes but when I have to do it I get very nervous. My family tells me I should open a bakery and start selling my cakes but I really don't think I'm ready because I am letting my nerves take over me. How can I overcome this fear. Here are a few cakes I've made. .
AFirst of all, just because friends and family want you to open a business it doesn't mean that you should. Please don't misunderstand, I mean no disrespect to your work but there's so much more to running a successful business then just cake decorating & baking (unfortunately). And most likely after you figure out your actual costs/what you need to charge to turn a profit your friends & family won't be enough to sustain you.
Custom cakes are expensive, I rarely sell a cake to my friends/family. Then you have acquaintances coming out of the woodwork demanding discounts or requesting an elaborate $400 cake for less then $100 because thats what the grocery store charges, I could go on and on.
You need to come up with a business plan, get liscenced, some states require you to rent/build a commercial kitchen...and this shouldn't even be looked into until you have all your base recipes, experience, find suppliers, etc.
Again, I only mention these things because most people don't realize all the work that goes into this business. You have to be firm and confident when it comes to business and keep pushing yourself in order to get better. Again, I don't mean to be harsh- just honest. The fact that you are still questioning yourself is a very good indicator that you aren't ready to be responsible for someone's special day BUT there's nothing wrong with that!
If this is something you enjoy doing, then do it as a hobby. If you eventually want to run your own business there is no rush. Maybe you could get a job working in someone else's bakery or simply keep practicing, take some classes-this is how you will build your confidence. This way you can continue to enjoy yourself rather then getting into something you aren't ready for.
Hey Wrosado, I remember your cookies from the challenge. I just wanted to say good luck to overcoming your fears, you do pretty good fondant work!
Your cakes look wonderful!!! Hang in there, relax and just try to enjoy making your beautiful cakes!!! Good luck.
your cakes are stunning, but a business is so much more than just decorating a nice cake! I would keep on doing it for friends and family until YOU are ready to open a bakery, not your family :)
Thank you! Yes you are correct. I know there is so much more then just baking cakes and decorating. And again I am too nice I hate charging the correct amount to family and friends. I do have volunteer to bake a cake sometimes and give as a gift and at that time I'm comfortable because I know there is no pressure. But yes it is not just so easy to just open a business. My daughter did purchase a class for me on how to start a business. But I know right now I'm not ready I still have a lot to learn. I have done research on all of this. I have learn a lot from you tube and I have purchase a few classes on Craftsy. I know I still have much more to learn. Then I see the amazing cakes here on Cake Central and I think Wow! I still have so much to learn because when I see an amazing cake and they do have so many I look at my cakes and I say to my self I'm just a beginner. I want to thank you were not harsh at all. You were on point.
Thank you so much!
AI'm glad you weren't offended!
Of course you feel more confident doing cakes for friends, family, or for donation. I still get stressed over some orders. You also must remember that you are going to be your worst critic and minor imperfections we see a customer wouldn't. There is no such thing as too much experience, just keep doing what your doing, you will feel more confident with each cake you make. I practice new techniques on cake dummy's all the time, rip the fondant off and use it again.
When I first started I constantly compared my work to others, especially other decorators in my area-that will just drive you crazy! Of course it's a good idea to be aware of your competition if you want to go into business but rather then focusing on what they do 'better' concentrate on what you can do to set yourself apart. Better yet, just focus on your work-looking at just the pictures you posted I can see your strengths and improvement.
First of all your cakes are beautiful, it seems like you really enjoy doing the work just breathe, and relax! Your work shows your passion and talent, keep up the great work!
You also must remember that you are going to be your worst critic and minor imperfections we see a customer wouldn't.
I agree with Smckinney07. Part of why you're nervous could be that you see all the little imperfections and you fear that your "customers" (family) will too. They won't, but it can be hard to convince yourself of that.
Another reason for being nervous could be that you want everything to be perfect (similar to the above reason). Try to accept that nothing is perfect. Unless you do it as a hobby and you do every piece of decoration 10 times or more (to get perfection), you won't achieve perfection. That's fine and it's something you must accept.
How about patience? Are you patient? If not, then working with decorations for hours could make you nervous as well, I suspect.
Hope everything goes well - regardless of whether you take your talent further or not. Enjoy creating your beautiful cakes!
Thank you! Your cookies were amazing Congratulations!
Thank you! Yes I am definitely going to do more research and speak to people on how they got started so I may get more information on this.
Thank you BakingBlog. Yes of course I want my work to come out perfect but so true nothing is perfect. About being patient I don't know but when I'm making a cake I do not want anyone to talk to me because I get so nervous and afraid I may mess up. I can't even eat until I am done with the cake. I know the more I make cakes I'm sure I will get be more relax and confident. For now I am just going to enjoy making the cakes and getting more experience. My last cake I was really more confident and not as nervous. I know I will get through this. Also I have not found a good cake recipe to my liking. I am also still doing research on this. People have not complained at all about my cakes but I'm still researching recipes.
Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words!
I am so with you on this. For years so many people told me how great my cakes were and how I should open my own business...Well, I did the math and weighted the costs, and all of the options and my final decision was; No thank-you! Unless you are a stay at home wife or mother with a husband that brings home a huge pay check and you are totally board out of your mind, think again. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it but opening your own business at home can be very, very costly in many ways. Do you have the space in your home to add on another kitchen dedicated to just your baking business, are you ready to have health inspectors tramping through your home, do you have a vehicle that is equipped to handle cake deliveries? Are you ready for the headaches and liability; what if you are sued because someone has allergies that no one told you about? I had this great brain storm last year and very quickly changed my mind after taking a few classes and talking to a health inspector and a lawyer.....got that Idea right out of my head very quickly. Instead I enrolled in all 4 Wilton courses and attended Pastry Arts school and earned my certificates. Now I work for someone else doing what I love to do without all of the responsibility. Craftsy has a really good "Wake-Up" course on running your own cake business..it's a real wake up call, highly recommend it.
P.S. Don't be afraid to decorate, be creative and make it fun. The more you practice the better you will become and don't forget everyone is a critic, so don't take everything that everyone say's to heart, learn from the criticism that you receive and run with it.
Wow! Thank you KARichards46 I also had a person who has a business and was interested in me just making her specialty cakes for her catering space at her restaurant. She had told me since I was just beginning I can sell the cakes for half the price of what they really cost and at the same time get more experience with the more cakes I make. I made one cake for her but I wanted to do this right. I know I need the correct papers certificates, license etc. to sell cakes so I decided to stop before anything like you mention would happen and I get sue. All that is also part of my fear. I currently have a job but soon will be retiring in about two years. That's when then I'll do what I have to do to work for anyone. I had taken the Wilton class but had bad luck with them. The first class I took I was not satisfied with the instructor she was not a great teacher and was trying to treat us as if we were children while we were all adults and that I will not tolerate. Then I found Wilton Classes at another location the instructor was great but quit half way because they were not paying her...bummer! I love decorating because at the end what I also love is the expression on the peoples face when they see the cake and the beautiful comments. But before I begin I let my nerves take over me. I know this will pass.