Since this is a sub forum focusing on cake decorating business, I thought it would be appropriate to have a nice little thread on the key steps that one needs to undertake when going about setting up your own cake decorating business. =)
Just wondering what are the key items that are needed to be in place before you can officially launch your business.
Here's just some of my thoughts (I'm still learning to setup one so forgive me if you find these key points a little amateurish )
1. Your portfolio (Essentially when are you offering to clients, cupcakes? 3D cakes? Novelty cakes?)
2. Your target market. Who do you want to target. The mass market or the affluent few who can afford to pay more for your highly customized cakes. I believe the market you select will also affect your branding and marketing strategy so we have to decide and chose well here.
3. Your price list, general terms and conditions. These are essential info or guidelines needed when you are dealing with customers. I guess it is also good to have some catalog as most potential customers will be looking at that before they decide to engage you.
4. Your (online) shop. Today, I think one must, minimally have, a blog or a facebook page to serve as a platform to advertise your bakes. Personally, I feel that the combination of both works the best. =)
5. Your source of network. How do you attract customers? Via Facebook,Forums,charity fairs or friends? My opinion is that the network has to be sustainable in that it is able to attract new potential customers to your site/store continuously.
Any other pointers?
Do feel free to contribute so that we can all learn and further improve our little cake decorating business!
I hope this discussion can also provide some invaluable information to fellow members who are thinking of setting up their own business =)
connect with us out at :
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/mydearbakeslittlebakery
Looks like a pretty good list. The only things I would add are to make sure you are compliant with the laws in your area regarding food safety, licensing, accounting, taxes, etc. and to clearly identify your competitive advantages (why customers would buy from you instead of a competitor).
You also need to have your contract(s) in place - hopefully lawyer-approved. This protects both you and the customer and spells out what is required from both parties.
Don't forget about insurance - really necessary in this day and time.
Who will handle the business side - pay bills and taxes, keep up with income/outlay, order and pay for supplies, etc?
A plan to reach your target market.
A professional, complete business plan.
All equipment on hand and debt free.
Saved money for buildout, startup, and all initial expenses.
Capital to fund the project until it can stand on its own.
Completely debt free. This is not a forgiving economy. This will take awhile, actually it could take years to save, but this business is not easy to maintain if it has debt on top of expenses.
Yep and wow!
Really love the contributions from scp1127 and jgifford =)
We really need to keep the contributions coming !
Hopefully this can evolved into a must visit thread for all are considering venturing into the cake decorating business!
Thanks for this post!
I am having a bit more difficulty since I have no idea what the laws say here and they are so messed up that I will have to talk to a friend of ours who is a lawyer to figure out what I can and can't do. And also to find out how to get around the law since it is almost impossible to actually start a business here.
I hope to start selling to families for BD parties, etc and maybe to some of the local bars (bars in Italy are not really the same as in the US). I will be doing everything from home and will have to also introduce people to the american sweets.
As far as selling to the bars go, I was thinking about giving the first cake (thinking brownies, cheesecake or carrot cake) for free and then the rest they pay for. Italians are very hesitant on trying 'non italian' food and so this is why the 'first one free' idea. Every time I have made one of the above -even if I mess up the recipe a bit-, it is all gone within minutes and with people asking for more. Does this sound like a good idea to you all?
Any and all suggestions are welcome!
I should add that I do practice the advice I give. My expansion plan has been a year in planning and research. My plan is finally in the works and if all goes well, I hope to have my retail spot open for the holidays.
This is a tedious and difficult process. I will not work too much and will be profitable from day one. Yes, with planning, this is possible. It starts with opening completely debt free. That is a huge load off of a new business.
I would say discipline plays a part too. You ought to stick to your plan and not waver!
Additionally I think it's also important to find out what's trending in your area. e.g what sort of bakes consumer are interested in now