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Thread for People Who Like Pricing! - Page 5

post #61 of 104
Thread Starter 
That definitely does! I thought that was kind of where to start but didn't know if it was that simple. With that said though, marketing is something I wasn't really looking at. The advertising vs marketing article was very helpful!
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #62 of 104
Bridgette, are you already renting this commercial space? If so, you don't have your pricing worked out yet? I just want to see if I understand this correctly.

I am very happy and excited for you but I'm also concerned. I would get a business plan together ASAP.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/business-failure.htm

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We want to see you succeed.
post #63 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

Bridgette, are you already renting this commercial space? If so, you don't have your pricing worked out yet? I just want to see if I understand this correctly.

I am very happy and excited for you but I'm also concerned. I would get a business plan together ASAP.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/business-failure.htm

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We want to see you succeed.



I completely understand your concern. I have my business plan 95% complete. The pricing things that I was confused about were just flat priced cakes. I like the idea of having simple flat prices cakes that aren't custom but was having trouble pricing them out. They are not on my menu currently. I have my pricing down perfect for custom cakes the start at X amount per serving.

Also, since I am in baking school full-time, I'm just starting this business small for now, that's why I don't have everything COMPLETELY figured out. I understand if you're reading all this thinking "What is wrong with this girl?!" Lol.

Also, I have not done a carved cake so I was asking for insight on that as I have not put that on my menu or figured out pricing on it yet.
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #64 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridgette1129

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwonka

My smash cake is 4". The last 2 weekends I've done 2 & 3 tier custom 1st bday cakes. Each also ordered a smash cake. I explained that a 4" round, bc icing, same flavor as top tier (which yielded extra batter anyway), child's name = $5. Neither opted for that & each ordered a 4" with more custom decoration for $15. Seems silly to me but whatever!



Okay! Thanks! Is $15 your standard price for 4" or do you not offer them except for smash cakes? I sold one for a mini cake for Valentine's and charged $17 after a $3 VDAY discount. I don't have 4" on my menu but had them as a mini cake special for 2 (even though they serve more than 2).



I don't offer a 4", too much of a pain to ice those tiny things!
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post #65 of 104
Wow,
This is definitely the best pricing thread to date! Couple of things that I haven't seen mentioned yet. Sorry if this is longicon_smile.gif

For smash cakes. I will do a free jumbo cupcake for the birthday kiddo same flavor and frosting as main cake with coordinating sprinkles. I make this before the cake so I'm sure not to run out of batter. Custom design smash cakes are charged by size and design.

I started with spreadsheets and switched to the Cakeboss software after seeing it in action. For me it's worth every penny. It has a section for all ingredients and supplies, boxes, boards etc and automatically calculates the cost you have in the cake. Also includes a section for hourly wage and overhead amts per order. I'm still working on calculating my overhead cost as far as electric, gas and water. I feel im guessing at these and i don't like that. But I have no problem with telling people my prices now that I know exactly what the cake is costing me out of pocket and for my time. It also does order tracking, sales tax and shopping lists which is awesome!

I read here on CC that some people price their cakes by level and I have kind of adopted this pricing structure.I don't want to feel like I'm nickel and dimming people for every little thing, filling, bow etc. The below is my pricing for buttercream cakes with fillings. Level one: cake would be basic buttercream cake,bc border and message, maybe simple decorations at 2.50 per serving. Level two cake would be level one plus basic fondant accents such as stripes, polka dots or plunger flowers or detailed buttercream work like BCT and a number or letter topper at 3.00 a serving. Level 3 would be more extreme detail such gum paste flowers ( up to a certain number), bow toppers, pearl borders, stenciling etc for $3.50 a serving. Then 3D carved cakes are priced by design and size. Up charge of $1 per serving on all cakes if covered in fondant instead of buttercream.

When I started this I went back and looked at every cake I had done and assigned it a level and determined what I should have charged for the cake. Most of the cakes were what I expected but I did discover that 6 inch cakes at the higher levels weren't worth the work and I think this is why people set minimums for orders. I don't have a minimum technically because I will do smaller cupcake orders but I basically don't do six inch cakes above level 2. They look dinky and are not worth the effort.

FYI, when I did a cake for a friend (the 8 inch Elvis cake in my pics). I used the level system and calculated the cost. It seemed expensive. So I re-costed using my level 1 pricing and charging per item for the figurine and the record topper. No matter which way I calculated it, it came out to $70 and that told me my pricing method is right for me.

Just wanted to put that out there in case people don't want to charge based on an item by item design.

I'm really enjoying this thread.
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Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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post #66 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

I read here on CC that some people price their cakes by level and I have kind of adopted this pricing structure.I don't want to feel like I'm nickel and dimming people for every little thing, filling, bow etc. The below is my pricing for buttercream cakes with fillings. Level one: cake would be basic buttercream cake,bc border and message, maybe simple decorations at 2.50 per serving. Level two cake would be level one plus basic fondant accents such as stripes, polka dots or plunger flowers or detailed buttercream work like BCT and a number or letter topper at 3.00 a serving. Level 3 would be more extreme detail such gum paste flowers ( up to a certain number), bow toppers, pearl borders, stenciling etc for $3.50 a serving. Then 3D carved cakes are priced by design and size. Up charge of $1 per serving on all cakes if covered in fondant instead of buttercream.



Charging by level has interested me and now that I'm a business, I really am considering it. I love the idea that people (and I) don't feel like they're being nickel and dimed but I'm still getting paid for the extras they want.

The only question I have is how do you set this up on your website? I have seen some that have huge charts and it seems like it would be overpowering to customer. Do you use asteriks by the cakes or do you not use that system for flavors too and just design?

Thanks for the long post, I love them icon_smile.gif
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #67 of 104
*Sighs happily* This is what I love to see on this site. People willing to help each other. No drama.
post #68 of 104
Thread Starter 
Sooooo, I delivered a cake (gratis) to my aunt yesterday for her birthday. She works in a hospital. She showed everyone the cake and they oo-ed and aww-ed and the whole sha-bang. Some even got to try it and I saw on Facebook that they loved it.

Well the person in charge of monthly birthday and other occasion cakes contacted me about half sheet cakes, as the bakery they ordered from for many years just went out of business.

I hadn't even priced out sheet cakes yet because I wasn't planning on selling them, but I thought what the hell it will be 1-3 cakes per month, guaranteed. So I searched CC for forums about sheet cakes and figured the cheapest I could sell a 2" tall HALF sheet cake WITH filling would be $70. It's 14 cups of batter! :|

She replied and this is part of what she said "We were paying $65 to $75 for a full half sheet, two layers with two fillings." I hate that she typed "full half sheet".... what does that even mean? And 2 layers with 2 fillings? Is that 2 fillings on top of eachother?

Would you reply? Would you ask for more clarification? When I emailed originally I said how many servings for a 2" cake and 4" cake, both with filling. I even asked how many servings they typically need but she didn't say. So I am unsure if $70 is right on the dot or they were paying $70 for a 4" cake. I am assuming they were paying $70 for 108 servings because she said I was out of her price range.

Thanks for any help or opinions you can provide!
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #69 of 104
First the definition of 1/2 and 1/4 sheet cakes vary from person to person so you absolutely need to figure out how many servings she's going for. It's better not to take the job than start selling yourself short. Ask your aunt if she has seen the birthday cakes in the past and how they were laid out. I'm not sure I understand the two fillings. This is good steady work if it doesn't become a hassle but don't price it so you're not making any money. You'll resent it and eventually it may keep you from taking other orders at full price.
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post #70 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

First the definition of 1/2 and 1/4 sheet cakes vary from person to person so you absolutely need to figure out how many servings she's going for. It's better not to take the job than start selling yourself short. Ask your aunt if she has seen the birthday cakes in the past and how they were laid out. I'm not sure I understand the two fillings. This is good steady work if it doesn't become a hassle but don't price it so you're not making any money. You'll resent it and eventually it may keep you from taking other orders at full price.



Thank you. I ended up sending her a nice email asking for clarification. I just didn't know if it was right since she politely shot me down. But I did email her so we will find out if it's the same size cake! It would be very nice to have a steady cake order without losng money! I will have to turn it down if it isn't the same size. That would mean the business was selling them for almost as cheap as costco! Costco sells half sheet cakes for $16.99 :|
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #71 of 104
This thread is incredible! Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

I'm also in the midst of trying to price everything. Luckily, I only have 3 local competitors (direct, there are other competitors but not that are hitting the same sort of market), and they all charge about $3/serving. So that gives me a solid starting point.

So I have a few different questions:

For those who do custom cakes, do you offer decor customization? Or do you just do something simple unless they specify otherwise? And if you DO offer complete customization, is this all over the phone, email, consultations, or..? Thus far, I've just done custom messages, and my cakes are simply but elegantly decorated.

While a major facet of my business is special-order cakes, I'm also doing custom desserts for restaurants. In fact, I just got my first account yesterday! I'm starting out just doing desserts for a beer/food pairing event they have once a month (which is convenient because I have a line of desserts made with local craft beer). Their budget is really tight this month due to a new head chef, and the addition of desserts at kinda the last minute, so I'm charging them just what's in their budget. It will yield a VERY low profit for me, and I've told them that this can be an introductory price, and we will re-negotiate for future events. So the question is, what is a normal profit margin to expect for things like this? It is catering, I suppose, to some degree, although it's for resale at a restaurant. I'm providing dessert for 60 people, two items (small servings). Again, I'm not looking for specific prices on what I should charge, but just profit margin. I'm also going to be doing their future banquet desserts, so I need to set up some sort of pricing schedule (and hopefully getting other restaurant accounts!). Thoughts?

I thought I had more questions, but can't think of them for now. Thanks again, everyone!
post #72 of 104
I have a flat price that includes most decorating that would be on a "regular" wedding cake. That way I don't have to add ten cents here and ten cents there for every little thing. If someone wants a huge cascade of gumpaste then I'd add on for that, but for most designs I just have one all- inclusive price.

I had a client the other day who said that they went to someone who was adding on for everything, and it really put them off. I think that when you start doing that the customer perceives it as being nickel and dimed to drive the price up, so it's better to avoid that.
post #73 of 104
http://www.mysweetlifeshop.com/pricing.html
Here is my webpage for pricing. It definitely needs some work and tweaking, which I will do as time goes on. I actually created it out of pure frustration because I was spending so much time on small celebration cakes that tend to be so overly detailed where as many of the wedding cakes I do are simply iced in white buttercream and then flowers are added...easy peasy. But again, the pricing page needs some work so let me know what you all think and I hope it helps some of you as well! icon_smile.gif
"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much." ~ Mama T
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"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much." ~ Mama T
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post #74 of 104
It is helpful to me as I find pricing so difficult. I like the idea of having a sample picture to correlate with the pricing level. Thanks for the ideas.
post #75 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephy42088

http://www.mysweetlifeshop.com/pricing.html
Here is my webpage for pricing. It definitely needs some work and tweaking, which I will do as time goes on. I actually created it out of pure frustration because I was spending so much time on small celebration cakes that tend to be so overly detailed where as many of the wedding cakes I do are simply iced in white buttercream and then flowers are added...easy peasy. But again, the pricing page needs some work so let me know what you all think and I hope it helps some of you as well! icon_smile.gif



Thank you for posting this. This is exactly how I visualize my pricing page which I haven't gotten up and running yet but I am now much more confident of how it will look. Also you fixed 2 of my biggest problems. I notice that your first pricing level starts with fondant accents and a basic topper. I had mine as plain buttercream but I realized no one really wants anything that plain or more importantly I don't want to make anything that plain. Anyway you inspired me to ditch my level one and switch everything up. I also like that you say fondant covered cakes are priced seperately. I don't do many fondant cakes and it was really going to clutter up my pricing page if I included it.

Thanks again for sharing.
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