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Newbie advice... More reassurance really

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi

So my hobby in making cakes seems to be taking off by itself with what I did to fill time up now seems to be a new business adventure. I'm starting to get requests in. All exciting but I just need reassurance that I'm on the right path ha

With each cake I'm making I'm learning lots from. I.e different types of fondant, carving cakes, chilling them before hand, put jam on before frosting and how not to frost a cake in a warm room!! (I've made a few woops moments)

Anyway I'm on the mother of all cakes and have had the odd moment where I wondered what the hell I was doing and why I attempted this cake. Is everyone like this when they first start up? I'm going with the attitude that yes I may see imperfections in my work but my current clients are too wowed by the cake to notice. But the more I do say in a year I can look back and see how far I've come. Has this been the case with anyone else??

I'm self taught.... Lots of books and web research.
post #2 of 10
First, let me say that you will always be your worst critic and it's great that you've found something you enjoy doing. 

I don't think it's a good idea to practice or try new methods on customers cakes. I get the temptation to want to jump in and start running a business. I don't know your skill level, but if you are still practicing the basics as you've mentioned above you should not be taking orders from other people. It will hurt you in the long run if this is truly what you want to do. Making cakes for your family will easily turn into people requesting cakes from you, most likely you aren't charging if you are you aren't charging enough which hurts not only you but others in this industry. 

I don't know your situation and I am not trying to be negative or crush your dreams. I'm simply trying to inform you that you need to make sure you are operating legally, pricing properly, and gaining your experience on your own time. If you aren't doing these things and you want to run a successful business step back, quit taking orders and get your ducks in a row.

Cake dummies are a great way to practice, something I still use!
post #3 of 10
Girl, let me tell you something, you keep making cakes and build up your confidene. It is your business what you charge. We all had to start somewhere. Just do your homework for starting a small cake business and cost out your recipes so you don't under price your cakes and get legit as soon as you can. I won't lie to you, I started out illegaly until I could afford a commercial kitchen, so did a lot of people. On this site.
Good luck to you. icon_wink.gif
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response.

I havnt done cakes to anyone I don't know yet so the ones I have done know they are my ginny pigs icon_smile.gif

The one I currently am doing is for a friends daughters birthday so I know there's an opportunity to expand and raise my profile if this goes right.

I wouldn't undercharge to any new clients as I'd be making a loss to myself due to the labour put in. I've found this app that helps work out costings for me and I've researched local buisness to check on their prices and they match so I'll follow that rule of thumb.

But I have had interest from friends of friends to do future cakes so hopefully I'll be a lot better.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Nice to know we all started out the same icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 10
You sound like you are on your way and pretty much have your ducks in a row, lol. I wish you much success! Off to work, happy baking:)
post #7 of 10

I started out the same exact way, with lots of enthusiasm and lots of learning along the way. And I also had a couple orders in the beginning where I felt overwhelmed and questioned whether I should have taken the order or even be in the cake decorating business. But it's easy to get carried away by the momentum of just starting out, especially when people "ooh" and "ah" over your cakes.

 

To keep from getting in over my head, I don't accept orders that require skills or techniques above my experience level (even if I think it might be something I could learn to do). And definitely keep practicing whenever you have time so you can build your skills and work process.

 

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

post #8 of 10

I have been decorating cakes for 22 years and still often find myself in the middle of a cake design I had put together and say to myself, "What was I thinking???" LOL I do custom design and almost all my orders are composed of components I have never done before. Just practice and learn but make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get the new technique down before it's time to make it on a customer's cake. 

Creating works of art every chance I get! And yes, I am licensed, permitted, inspected and insured! Check out my website!

 

www.letmecallyousweetart.com

Reply

Creating works of art every chance I get! And yes, I am licensed, permitted, inspected and insured! Check out my website!

 

www.letmecallyousweetart.com

Reply
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga View Post

You sound like you are on your way and pretty much have your ducks in a row, lol. I wish you much success! Off to work, happy baking:)

I was simply trying to be helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga View Post

Girl, let me tell you something, you keep making cakes and build up your confidene. It is your business what you charge. We all had to start somewhere. Just do your homework for starting a small cake business and cost out your recipes so you don't under price your cakes and get legit as soon as you can. I won't lie to you, I started out illegaly until I could afford a commercial kitchen, so did a lot of people. On this site.
Good luck to you. icon_wink.gif

I don't care what anyone charges, how they operate, or what they do. Not everyone is aware of the laws or rules, jumping into business from a hobby you enjoy can be a difficult transition and a lot to take on. Not everyone starts off illegally and that's not even the point I was trying to make.

XNat, I wish you well, I wasn't trying to discourage you. I think it's fantastic you found something your passionate about! I sort if fell into decorating as well, I made a cake for my daughters school party and realized I loved doing it. Your lucky to have 'guinea pigs'! Take pictures of all your work, every few cakes (or weeks or months) look back on your older pictures, it's interesting to see how far you'll come with each cake.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smckinney07 View Post

First, let me say that you will always be your worst critic and it's great that you've found something you enjoy doing. 

I don't think it's a good idea to practice or try new methods on customers cakes. 
you should not be taking orders from other people.
It will hurt you in the long run if this is truly what you want to do. 
most likely you aren't charging if you are you aren't charging enough which hurts not only you but others in this industry. 

make sure you are operating legally, pricing properly, and gaining your experience on your own time.
If you aren't doing these things and you want to run a successful business step back
quit taking orders and get your ducks in a row.
I don't know your situation and I am not trying to be negative or crush your dreams.  (really)
Just stating the obvious, not trying to start an argument
I just think your second post should have been your first.  But we are entitled to our own opinions.  Sorry if mine upset you.

 
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