I started a l little cake/cookie business under the Cottage Food Law here about a year ago. Lately, it has been getting less and less "little" (thank you WASC!). And lately I've felt at times that I've wanted to throw in the towel with all the late nights and the enormous amount of time it takes me to complete an order from start to finish. I'm wondering what you folks do to save time. Do you bake cakes in advance and freeze? The same with buttercream? Did you buy or rent a bigger mixer? I'm working with only 2 4.5 quart stand mixers.
I can't keep this up. Last week I had to turn away 3 people (though they did call last minute). What started as a dream a year ago, turned into a nightmare last week when I tried to complete 8 orders in 4 days. I think I'm at a crossroads: Either I need to get some help, or I need to make an effort to slow things down. It seems like bringing someone on would be risky though. I'm afraid that they would not take the time and care to make a great tasting cake (just overbaking a cake can ruin it). And financially it will massively cut in to my bottom line. With orders that go well, I make about $10 per hour. With things like the fondant nightmare of last week, I end up making about $3/hour and am up until 2:30a.m. Side note: any advice on the easiest fondant to deal with? I am DONE with trying to make it!! Covering a cake with MMF was a nightmare. Then I turned to Satin Ice and that was still too soft to cover a 12" cake with. I had to cover up all the seems creatively to make a nice presentation.
I would SO appreciate some encouragement here or words of wisdom from those of you who have a business and love what you do. Things like: How you took the next steps, how you drew your limits, and how you manage to make decent profit. Or anything else!
Thank you so much!!!
And BTW, you guys are amazing out there!! Most of your creations give me low self esteem! :)