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Am I too SLOW???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!!

 

I've been wondering for a while what's the average time it takes you to complete a simple one tier cake (like the ones shown in my pictures)??

 

It takes me HOURS to do my projects, literally at least 8 hours, sometimes up to 14!!! I know I'm still learning with each cake, but at this rate I don't see how I could ever make any profit, since it seems to take me longer with each job and I couldn't possibly charge for 14 hours work :(

 

Could anyone offer any advice as to what am I doing wrong? Or really, any tips or piece of information that has made your caking move faster and not take forever??

 

Thanks!!!!

Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I forgot to add the pictures mentioned above...

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151140380149585&set=a.10150598859259585.395571.727484584&type=3&theater

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151140380414585&set=a.10150598859259585.395571.727484584&type=3&theater

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150598860834585&set=a.10150598859259585.395571.727484584&type=3&theater

Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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post #3 of 17

Simply, yes you are, but I am no one to talk, I do the absolute same thing. I am slow as molasses, and really the only way I speed up is to panic, lol. When I have a deadline coming up and I have played with the cake to much, I get cracking and go much faster. I think part of it is that we enjoy it, so it doesn't seem like work, and there is no "boss" over our heads, cracking the whip...

 

By the way, the cakes are GORGEOUS! Very well done. 

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.
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post #4 of 17

Your cakes are so cute!!! You will probably get a lot faster the more that you do cakes!!! Hang in there, your end result is beautiful!!!!
 

post #5 of 17

Gosh, and I just thought it was me.  I am so slow most of the time and just like Annabakes I get really fast when I have to.  Your cakes show that you spend time on them.  Very nice.

post #6 of 17

You will get faster, but one thing to consider is that a lot of the work is done in the beginning, regardless of how many cakes you are creating. Your shopping, prep and planning would be about the same if you are making one cake or 10. Many of us earn by having volume. Does that make sense? For example, it takes me the same amount of time to mix and bake 4 dozen cupcakes as it does 1 dozen, and the same amount of time to make the frosting and fill the pastry bag. So, keep that in mind, as well.

 

your cakes are lovely!

post #7 of 17

another way to look at it is

 

you are in the part of your brain where time does not exist--aptly describes it yes?

 

a great book to read  is 'drawing on the right side of your brain' by betty edwards

 

you are able to work more efficiently when you panic because that panic mechanism keeps you in touch with the with the clock aka the left side of your brain

 

it's a very interesting concept and true too

 

a thought and book for you

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #8 of 17

Your cakes are very neatly and well done. I think it shows that you pay attention to the small details.  I'm slow too by the way...

post #9 of 17
One of the most difficult things to do when you transition from a hobby to a business is letting go of perfectionist tendencies. You will need to follow an efficient process so the final product will exceed the customer's expectations (not necessarily your expectations) in the time you've allotted yourself based on your pricing.

It's fine to spend 14 hours on a cake, as long as the customer has paid for 14 hours of labor. If the customer has only paid for 2 hours of labor the design of the cake should be something you can reliably implement in 2 hours.
post #10 of 17

I have to say your cakes are FANTASTIC.  You my dear are a perfectionist,  and if you are making alot of cakes, 14 hours on them gets to be a bit much unless you do get paid more for them.   Try to find simpler designs  let go of all the tiny details  that we just think we have to add.   Details make the cakes but honestly the people getting them dont always notice or request all of them.   You will get faster at covering  the cakes, leveling them and everything but that attention to detail is what takes the time..  Now if you add in the time to design and shop those hours increase too.  Keep up your work, your really good at it. :)

post #11 of 17

It is so encouraging to me to hear that other people are slow.  For me I put a lot of it down to not having any need to speed up as I am not getting paid and so am just enjoying myself.  Try setting yourself a time limit and see if you can stick to it.  That might help you speed up. 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much everybody for your kind responses! You have lifted my spirits and given me food for thought. Thanks also to –K8Memphis, I’ll definitely check out your book recommendation!

 

This is what I’ve gathered from your advice, I believe it well worth repeating (if only for my own future reference :)

 

RULES FOR A MORE EFFICIENT CAKE DECORATING PROCESS:

 

1) Find simpler designs.

2) Keep customer’s expectations in mind (not only my own).

3) Let go of perfectionism, but keep attention to detail (in a reasonable amount of time).

4) Set myself a time limit and stick to it!

5) There’s profit in volume production.

6) Patience! Keep practicing and I WILL become faster.

 

Happy baking everyone and thanks again!!!

Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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Cake: Art's most delicious medium.
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post #13 of 17

Jazzy your cakes are very cute and nicely done. Practice will make you faster; you will fall into a rhythm of how you do things. I would likely take 4-6 hrs. to mix, bake, torte, fill. ice, fondant and decorate the cakes you showed. If I didn't have icing on hand it would take longer; this also doesn't include shopping or invoicing. And, of course, if I was in an anal OCD mode (happens more when I only have one cake to do) it could easily take twice the amount of time. A wise decorator once said to me:

 

Will they notice?

Will they care?

Will they pay?

 

Good advice.
 

post #14 of 17

Being a Virgo... I LIVE FOR PERFECTION... that being said... i suck at acheiving it... so I have finally realized that with decorating cakes you improve with time and patience... just relax and don't forget to breath.

post #15 of 17

That's a really long time to work on one cake, but like everyone else has said, it's obvious that you're a perfectionist. Look at it this way...I have two straight-A student teenagers. One does the work and gets it done, then is finished. The other one does the work, sweats over the possibility that she might have done something wrong, goes back and reworks things, worries about it some more, reworks it some more, gets upset that it isn't perfect, reworks it some more and freaks herself out, They BOTH GET A's on their work! You need to learn that people in general are very easy to impress, and that the nastiest comments you'll receive about your work is going to be from other decorators, not from your customers. Relax a little and make a nice cake, but don't kill yourself over it, it's not productive or profitable.

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