AI am making a custom cake for my boss's daughter's birthday party. I make everything from scratch and use high quality ingredients, I am working on my pricing structure and this is about what it came to based on what they wanted, and tips would be appreciated. Here's what they would like:
10" round 2 layers of pink vanilla cake with white buttercream frosting about 4" high
Outside is 6 different colored intricate buttercream ruffles around the cake Top of cake is a rainbow sprinkle-top She would also like 2 gumpaste ponies "Happy Birthday Sofi" and Ill be supplying candles as well.
Cakes come on a fondant covered cake board with ribbon around base (does anyone charge for this?) How I did my pricing it came to 4.45 a serving (which is close to other custom bakeries in my area) and after adding figures and labor, the total comes to $226.80.
I've always made the mistake of accidentally undercutting myself due to lack of knowledge and I don't want to undercut any competitors; does this sound reasonable? What are your thoughts tips or suggestions? Thank you in advance!
A..also I am hoping to give thema definate answer by Wednesday (the 9th) at the latest... any advice?
Ok, so from what I gather you are doing 2 10" cakes and only 1 layer of filling correct? No torting?
If that is the case, you are going to be getting maybe 30 servings or so, so at your base cost of $4.45 the base cost of your cake is roughly $134.
Additions in this case would be the two peonies, which I would say run between $20-$30 a piece if you make them yourself and depending on how fast you can crank them out. You can find premade ones online for much cheaper per flower, and if you want to go that route you can still charge roughly the same per flour and make a nice profit. You also have the multi-colored ruffles which will take up extra time, lets say an hour, so I would add an hour to my total price (I would do $20-$30 depending on your particular overhead. I don't really have any, so I would just charge for the hour plus a tiny bit for electricity, piping bags etc). Plus don't forget the price of the rainbow sprinkles (roughly $5 for what you are going to need) and the candles ($3).
So by my calculations, with the basic pricing you stated in the original post I am coming out to $205 - $235 depending on the factors I stated above and rounding to nice numbers.
Hope I helped =)
APonies as in my little pony not peonies as in flowers lol! I think that might make some difference in the pricing.
AI don't mould figurines so I cannot help with that but what nerdybaker said plus calculate a bit more for the time on the ponies. Unless of course you purchase those.
ALol... In my defence, I was super late when I posted XD
Yes, the ponies would make quite a big difference. Depending on how elaborate you plan to do them, my best guess would be anywhere from half an hour up to 2-3 hours work. I would most likely charge roughly $45 each myself, so it would bring the cost roughly to $265.
ALol really late for you but really early for me in sunny East Texas! But great advice just the same!
Thank you so much for the replies!!!! I needed to make sure I was in the right area of pricing... and yes..it was ponies as in "my little pony" and not Peony ;) Hehe. But I very much appreciate the feedback! I want to make sure I am charging a reasonable amount to make a profit, but not over charging people. I will post a photo when it it finished :)
I started with a base price and then sort of itemized everything that could be added and this is how I came up with my serving charge for this particular cake. ..I feel like it's working out well, still working on a few things and making sure I try to cover everything, but Ive done a lot of research and I feel this is working gout well so far :). Thank you so much!
And I think next time I should charge more for gum paste figures? I sort of included part of them in my labor costs.. how do you do it? should it be by each figure (which is what I would think normally to do)... sculptures usually take a some time to complete anyway... I thought $45 was a good price :)
Thank you, everyone :)
Well.. I suppose this is one less thing I have to worry about...turns out they don't want it anymore because it's too expensive... :/ I am bummed because I was really looking forward to making it, it was going to be a lot of fun too! .... Looking on the bright side, it has made me figure out my pricing system finally :)
AGenerally, people undercharge, especially in the beginning so I wouldn't worry about overcharging :)
You seem to have a good idea of your costs which is important. You asked about fondant covered boards, I include all materials into my 'base' price, which includes boards & internal support. I also include simple things into my base cost like simple writing/border. The extra pieces are up to you, how you charge for them I mean. Some people charge for each flower or by a spray (or whatever that's called). Mostly it depends on time & complexity, which you'll learn with time. Some people keep notebooks and charge x amount for fondant cutouts...
I still run into things I think will take less time then curse myself at midnight when I'm still working on ruffles or whatever, it happens.
If you want an idea of what others charge for extras you can look at Cake Supply stores and see how much they charge for a single rose (many of those arent colored and steamed and chances are you'll also need leaves, etc.) but it might make you feel more confident about your prices. I dare recommend Etsy for fondant decorations because many grossly undercharge, so keep that in mind.
Don't worry about this order, there will be others and it's important to be firm with your prices. Having a minimum price for orders is also a good way to 'weed out' customers who just want a cheap cake lady (or gentleman). Asking someone their budget upfront will also help you get an idea of what kind of cake you can offer them. I've read about others on CC who do the good, better, best thing with sketches (they don't call it that) offering a 2D character rather then a 3D character can help cut costs.
I'm just babbling now, do what you are comfortable with, you will find something that works for you.
Thanks for this :) Ive recently joined CC and Ive really found it's helped me tremendously! ...Asking what they are expecting to spend up front is a GREAT idea...didn't really think of that this time around lol. I'm really glad I didn't get too excited and buy any supplies, haha. I think you made a great point about "weeding out' someone looking for a cheap cake; I appreciate the art and don't want to cheapen the value..or my own skills for that matter. I feel the right customers will come :)
ANot a problem! I'm impressed that you stood your ground. It takes a while to build a customer base, which can be frustrating. You might want to take this time to make sure you've got a good business plan in place (this can also help you with a marketing strategy), write out a contract (this will save you headaches and avoid future problems), make sure all your costs are included in your pricing structure, etc. You can practice on cake dummies if there are certain techniques you need help pricing.
Everyone here is very helpful, I learn new things everyday from this site and other decorators.
Sorry to hear you didn't get the order but atleast you got your pricing! I have also just started adding a bit of a contingency onto my prices...or rather I've expanded it. I went to order some specialist supplies the other day which had been available for years and guess what...that were discontinued! So had to order them from elsewhere which were twice as expensive :-( Something maybe to consider! x
Thanks :) I've started to wright everything out and get organized. I think this order made me think of a lot of details I would have forgotten or didn't think about realistically or at all, and think of more... which is nice because now I can account for things :) Building a customer base is definitely going to be tricky... I am a new Air Force wife and the possibility of moving all over will be something Ive never experienced...
There's a great specially store I love going to here! I've never liked to eat fondant ..or met anyone that did, but they have some amazing fondant!!!!! holy cow lol It is a bit expensive.. but I think well worth it.. if they want it on a cake, and paying more, I think it should be something they can enjoy (don't put it on too thick, haha) :) Also, I tell them that it's a good quality so they aren't afraid, hehe. ... I think it may also be something great to offer during a tasting, along with other frosting flavors :)