Advice Please

Decorating By cardicard Updated 1 Apr 2010 , 9:32pm by cardicard

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cardicard Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:05pm
post #1 of 9

I have been told by lots of people I know that I should go into business selling my cakes. There is a market for it where I live as it is difficult to find a cake decorator in the town, and since the only shop that sold cakes to order, burned down 2 years ago no other shop has opened.
I would love to do this from home, but I am really nervous as I don't think that I am good enough. Family and friends compliment me on my cakes but it still makes me worry.
I have no qualifications only three certificates saying I attended a cake decorating course for making sugar paste flowers and basic cake decorating.
Everything that I have learned was from here and you tube. Also I have only been decorating for about six months.

How do you know when you are ready to start your own business?
I would be really grateful if you could give me some honest opinions and may be you could take a look at my photos.
I won't get offended in any way because I believe honest criticism can only help you improve.
Thank you any advice would really be appriciated.

8 replies
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debbief Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:20pm
post #2 of 9

cardicard, I'm a hobby baker/decorater, not a professional, so my opinion may not count as much, but I think your cakes are beautiful! I totally think you could go into business. I would love to be able to go into business and just do cakes all day long icon_biggrin.gif. Unfortunatley, I have a full time job and I just don't think ,at this point, I can just up and quit and make the same kind of income by selling cakes. I've started getting a lot of requests for cakes lately though and have sold a few. But my full time job REALLY gets in the way icon_cry.gif I actually got up at 3:30 this morning to work on a cake for a couple hours before work so I can have it done this evening. I'm addicted icon_biggrin.gif

I say go for it. You are very talented.

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tiggerjo Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:28pm
post #3 of 9

I looked at your cakes and as debbief said, you have some talent. Your flowers are beautiful. GO FOR IT!!!

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CeeTee Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:36pm
post #4 of 9

Honestly, the only way you will know you are ready is when deep down YOU know it's the right call to make. Going into business is a huge investment of time, money, and resources. Being a good cake decorator does not mean that you -have- to have a business. You don't need a degree or any special education to open a shop, but you need to be sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

I have been doing cake decorating for a little over three years now, and friends, family, and co-workers still tell me that I should go into business. During the first year I was convinced that is what I had to do. After all, if everyone else says I should and I like making cakes, then it's meant to be, right? The more I thought about it and researched the business side, the more I realized it's not for me, at least, not at this time in my life. I made the call to remain a hobbyist. I even stopped taking 'under-the-table" cake orders too (something else I did a lot of during my first year).

It was the best decision I made. When I was trying to make cakes my side job it lost all its fun. Now I love it again. I still have folks insisting that I should open a shop, but I just smile and take it as a compliment instead of advice.

If you have only been doing this for six months, then just continue to keep doing what you are doing and don't feel pressured to do anything you don't think you are ready for. Who knows how you will feel in the next six months? And who knows, maybe in a year or so you will have your own shop!

As long as you keep learning and having fun, that's the most important thing. icon_smile.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:38pm
post #5 of 9

Check out the business section, there are several other messages like yours.

The first things to consider is check out how to do things legally. I see you are in th UK, so I have no idea if there are any laws or rules about baking at home there. Are there any fees or equiptment you would have to buy?

Do you have a full time job, family or kids? How much time do you have to dedicate to cakes? Are you thinking about doing it full time or part time? Would you need to make so much from cakes to pay the bills?

Do you want to spend every weekend making cakes? Almost all special occasions happen on the weekends, so you would need to consider that from Wed-Sat you would probably be doing nothing but cakes.

Also another thing is that alot of times friends and family tell us that we need to do this for a business, but then often times they tend to be the ones least likely to way to pay. There are many of past posts on here about friends or family suggesting they start selling cakes, but then never order them or want them for free. Not every family or group of friends is that way, but it can happen too.

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debbief Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 9

WOW CeeTee, that's actually advice I should take! I made a cake for my nieces b-day a month ago, and ever since I've had one request after another and I spend every single spare minute I have doing them (when not at my full time job icon_cry.gif )....I can't say no icon_redface.gif But I can tell, I'm going to get burned out if I don't take it easy. Right now though, I am really enjoying myself and I'm thrilled at how much I've learned and accomplished in the last month! But yes, you have great advice!

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kizrash Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 5:08pm
post #7 of 9

Ditto to everything that's all ready been said, and yes your cakes are gorgeous you definitely have talent. thumbs_up.gif

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dsilbern Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 5:37pm
post #8 of 9

I love to make all different types of food and my friends and family (and coworkers) say the same thing about me doing desserts professionally.

But I don't want to have to do it as a business. I want to do what I feel like experimenting on or producing without having to comply with the wishes of a customer. Right now I'm really into making soup instead of cakes. A customer would probably be pretty upset if I showed up with today's batch of Saged Cream of Sweet Potato soup for little Johnny's first birthday instead of a cake.

Do what you want to do based on your own research about it as a business and what you personally want.

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cardicard Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 9:32pm
post #9 of 9

Thanks everyone for your advice, it has been really helpful. I think what TexasSugar said about family and friends being less likeky to pay is right. I am constantly making cakes for them for nothing or sometimes they give me a few pounds towards the cost. So I doubt they would pay anything near a decent price for them if I went into business. I always put it down to giving me experience because I am not good enough to charge. That is why I have been doing it. I am not sure how to go about saying that I need to start charging them for the ingredients at least. It is not as if I can really afford it.

I think hearing all of your advice has made me see I am not ready to go into buisness yet. I will keep enjoying it and see what I feel maybe next year. This is a hobby I really enjoy. It might not be so much fun if I was under pressure with orders, especially as I haven't got much confidence yet.

I agree with you CeeTee I am letting family pressurise me, well thanks to you all I am not going to let that happen I will do things at my own pace.

Thanks for the nice comments about my cakes, it does inspire me to keep learning and improve.

Thank you all so much x icon_biggrin.gif

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