Brilliant statement. I love making cakes. I love that people enjoy my cakes. I do not love having to tell someone that wants a 300.00 cake for 50.00 that they can't afford my cakes. It's a fact though and I have to face it.
Most cakers start out in this business as a craft. (A expensive craft) Before long they think that they can make some money for their time and expense, but they don't have the business skills required to assess what the true value of their product is or if they do, the balls to sell their cakes for what they are worth. It doesn't take long before most recognize that they are not going to make a living.
I am crafty by nature and love other craft mediums. I crochet lovely afghans. Unfortunately, it takes many hours to create one and people are not likely to buy a custom blanket from me when they can purchase a lovely one from TJ Maxx for less than I spend on the yarn for one of mine. I only make them now for family and gifts.
The custom cake world is exactly the same thing. The cost of supplies, ingredients and labor makes a custom cake cost prohibitive for the average consumer to afford on a regular basis.
If you find yourself unable to charge what you need to earn a decent living or your market will not pay what you need, then you should consider only making your product for pleasure. Reserve your time and talent for family, friends or gifts. Making cakes for no profit hurts the professional baker that has no other source of income.
Thanks! You made so excellent points yourself!