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The unrealistic client - Page 4

post #46 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhoward42 View Post

I don't believe for one second cakes are overpriced but I feel at my skill level, I would be over charging!! But if you do amazing cakes and are experienced you have earned that right! I on the other hand haven't and don't feel I should be paid as if I had. Maybe one day but not today!
I see where you are coming from. If you want to be compensated for your cakes, you can set up a legal business and charge according to your skills. The process of starting the business (specifically market research) will help you determine what an appropriate price should be. You would be surprised what people will pay if you target the correct market.
post #47 of 157

Your professional definition works "on paper" but not in real life! Thanks for the help and understanding you have been truly professional , you actually sound insecure and worried about a little SAHM decorator in the middle of nowhere Georgia!!!

post #48 of 157
You're welcome! Please try to avoid personal attacks though, and try to keep the thread on-topic. Thanks!

BTW since you mentioned you are in GA you may want to take a look at the recent GA cottage food law, it makes it pretty easy to get licensed and sell cakes legally from home.
http://agr.georgia.gov/cottage-foods.aspx
post #49 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhoward42 View Post

I don't believe all decorators are greedy but this guys post sure sounds greedy!

Whoops. Lost me & my backing!!!

No need for name calling. Everyone is encouraged to share opinions & disagree. That's a bit far for me.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #50 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhoward42 View Post

, you actually sound insecure and worried about a little SAHM decorator in the middle of nowhere Georgia!!!

Wow. Not nice.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #51 of 157

When you told me I didn't need to charge for my cakes because I am only an amateur you made it personal! I didn't ask if I should charge for my cakes. I merely remarked that I don't think I should charge as much for my cakes! Your remarks implied my talent  didn't deserve any compensation and that was off topic!!!

post #52 of 157

 Cost of tools is added to the COGS, I treat it like ingredients, and a % of overhead that I apply to every cake, so yes, at the end of the day I pocket more for a cake than $15.00 per hour labor cost. But like every trade you pay for the level of skill.  And yes, If I decorated cakes like some of the finest work I see on here perhaps I could charge more per hour, I'm just not that skilled, I am a beginner. I just started this a year ago. But I've asked very talented, high skilled decoraters what they pay themselves, everyone seems to go mum. 

 

Last point.  Every skilled trade profession has a barrier to entry. For decorators it doesn't seem like that barrier is to high, so the premium factor on that is slight, in fact entry to the field is quite easy.   There are lots of ways to learn to decorate cakes and acquire the tools. There are lots of people that decorate cakes for fun. Moms make their own birthday cakes. All that factors into the market value of a cake whether or not it is fair or right. I don't think it is ever going to be a high paying profession for most. You can charge more because of your branding, very unique or rare product, scarcity of product, or a very special decorating skill but other than that ,what is the justification for charging more per hour than someone that has been decorating cakes in the grocery store for 20 years.

 

Yes my cake prices are more than $15.00  because my tool prices, overhead per order, time I put into a custom cakes, ingredients are more, but not so much my labor costs. 

 

And perhaps I'm overly anal about costing because that was my job in a previous life.  I have costs for everything.  I understand I am the owner, and a certain percentage of my time is spent being an owner. I pay myself $45.00 per hour for that (also goes to overhead). Sometimes I'm just a baker and when I bake, I cost that out at $10.50 per hour.  When I decorate it's $15.00 per hour. When I clean it's minimum wage. I have a price for shopping and purchasing/billing/accounting too. All this to ensure I'm profitable and if one day I so happen to need to grow I've already costed that into the equation. 

post #53 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhoward42 View Post

When you told me I didn't need to charge for my cakes because I am only an amateur you made it personal! I didn't ask if I should charge for my cakes. I merely remarked that I don't think I should charge as much for my cakes! Your remarks implied my talent  didn't deserve any compensation and that was off topic!!!
Not at all, please reread my posts. The reason you should not charge for cakes has nothing to do with your skill level, it has everything to do with whether or not you are operating legally and charging market value.

This ties directly back to the topic of this thread...clients are unrealistic about prices because they see examples in the marketplace where bakers with unlicensed businesses are offering their products for peanuts. If everyone charged a fair price for their products (or gave their products away as gifts if they were not ready to start a business) this would not be a problem.

In fact, the most damage is done by people with the combination of great decorating skills and not-so-great business skills.
Edited by jason_kraft - 2/3/13 at 2:57pm
post #54 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdovewings View Post

And perhaps I'm overly anal about costing because that was my job in a previous life.  I have costs for everything.  I understand I am the owner, and a certain percentage of my time is spent being an owner. I pay myself $45.00 per hour for that (also goes to overhead). Sometimes I'm just a baker and when I bake, I cost that out at $10.50 per hour.  When I decorate it's $15.00 per hour. When I clean it's minimum wage. I have a price for shopping and purchasing/billing/accounting too. All this to ensure I'm profitable and if one day I so happen to need to grow I've already costed that into the equation. 
That's a great way to approach costing, as long as you have the discipline to diligently track how much time you spend on different activities. I took the lazy way out and averaged out production-related tasks to a single wage while building administrative overhead costs into markup rather than tracking admin time.
post #55 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

I think $15 is rather low for some of the talented cakers, I know that a lady on here who does high end items pays herself $40 an hour, but I don't know how fast she is. My poor hard working husband makes $14 as an unskilled laborer, so we need to make more since we buy our own tools, pay for our own training, do all the buying, research, and not everyone possess the skills to do it right.

I still have a hard time estimating my times, and I still put most of my money back into the bakery in the form of cake toys, but when I pay myself it is $25 an hour.

And the $8-$15 an hour is for an employee, not a business owner. Walmart may pay $10 in the bakery, but the owners don't pay themselves that!

Thanks! That is useful information. It is interesting to see the range.

post #56 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Not at all, please reread my posts. The reason you should not charge for cakes has nothing to do with your skill level, it has everything to do with whether or not you are operating legally and charging market value.

This ties directly back to the topic of this thread...clients are unrealistic about prices because they see examples in the marketplace where bakers with unlicensed businesses are offering their products for peanuts. If everyone charged a fair price for their products (or gave their products away as gifts if they were not ready to start a business) this would not be a problem.

In fact, the most damage is done by people with the combination of great decorating skills and not-so-great business skills.

I COMPLETELY AGREE!!!

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #57 of 157

So my options are starting a business, which I am not able to do, or stop selling my cakes? I just don't believe that's realistic for tons of bakers on this site. I guess this thread won't apply to many decorators like me. But the initial thought of cakes with prices is a great idea for those who consider themselves professionals!!  Maybe one day I can get there but not right now! Thankfully these threads will be there one day when I need them!!!

post #58 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


That's a great way to approach costing, as long as you have the discipline to diligently track how much time you spend on different activities. I took the lazy way out and averaged out production-related tasks to a single wage while building administrative overhead costs into markup rather than tracking admin time.

 

Unfortunately I do, but it is not as bad as it sounds.  In the beginning it was very time consuming, jotting down start times and finish times for everything. But when you don't have the data you have to collect it. For baking times, icing times, covering cakes with fondant, and cleaning times, etc, I think I have enough sample points now where I don't have to track that anymore, I can estimate from previous work. Once upon a time, I was a consultant, so I got use to writing down what time I worked on what, so my company could bill properly. Although I have vowed to audit quarterly to see if efficiency, etc have improved. We will see it that happens, I did it once and things have improved slightly. 

post #59 of 157

I think I have taken this thread way off topic so I'll stop.

post #60 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhoward42 View Post

So my options are starting a business, which I am not able to do, or stop selling my cakes? I just don't believe that's realistic for tons of bakers on this site. I guess this thread won't apply to many decorators like me. But the initial thought of cakes with prices is a great idea for those who consider themselves professionals!!  Maybe one day I can get there but not right now! Thankfully these threads will be there one day when I need them!!!


 

i can't tell if you mean you are going to continue selling or not and truthfully it's none of my business icon_biggrin.gif

 

but if you or anyone else reading this decides to sell w/o the ducks in a row let me gently mention:

 

that you consider limiting your customer base to close friends and family

 

maybe in your area businesses like yours are winked at--i understand that if that's the case

 

however one can run the risk of getting a cease and desist order at least and all it takes is one phone call to the authorities

 

often as hard to believe as it might sound it's a disgruntled/jealous/mean relative whose fingers 'do the walking'

 

so just be careful

 

consider avoiding advertising because that can bring too much unwanted exposure

 

they do bust little unknowns for this kind of illegal activity

 

take care

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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