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Opinion on teaching classes?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have come across several storefront and home-based bakers/cakers offer classes and seen class details etc posted on their website and Facebook pages.

I was just wondering what everyone's opinion is on this.... I mean.. for each student that you have in class, aren't you losing a potential customer? Even if they don't end up making the product as well as you, you are still teaching them the recipe, technique etc... regardless of how much you charge for class.

I have seen people teaching cupcakes/cake pops for $20/student but isn't that like losing potential orders from that student for $20 only??

I would love to teach cake pops or cupcake techniques but don't want to lose potential orders... thoughts?
post #2 of 12
What you're saying is, are we arming the competition? I don't believe that's the case. Cakers are a breed apart. From what I've seen in this business, especially since I joined CC, "cake folks" are more likely to help each other out than not. Seems to me that if you're teaching others how to do something that you do, you're preparing more people to be able to help you out when you need it.

How often do "old" cc'ers need advice or how-tos and know that they can get an answer here from other cakers? Everyone's experiences are different and we've all gone in our own direction. No two people have the same knowledge and/or abilities. And even the "greats" help us out - - with dvds, books, software, tutorials, recipes, etc. Granted, they're making money but how many new cakers have they helped to create?

If you're concerned about your students cutting into your income, then tweak the products you offer. Find a niche that only you can fill. But I don't think that, as a teacher, you'll be shooting yourself in the foot business-wise.

JMO thumbs_up.gif
post #3 of 12
Not really. My cousin took the Wilton classes and had fun, but never made another cake and gave all her stuff away. I took the classes and fell in love. I think it's the same for the classes offered. If anything students will come out appreciating all the work that goes into a cake or cake pop or cupcake and be more willing to pay for it.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks for your input! I was just wondering about the "arming the competition" part... so maybe it's not that big of a threat?
post #5 of 12
I don't think there's really all that much potential to lose orders by teaching classes. I know several moms who took the Wilton classes so they could make their kids' birthday cakes, had fun in the classes, but realized that it was too much work to actually make them for the actual birthdays. I actually get orders from people who were in my Wilton classes because they know that I operate a business on the side, and they're too busy to make the cakes themselves.
I'm up to my elbows in powdered sugar....LIFE IS SWEET!!!!
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I'm up to my elbows in powdered sugar....LIFE IS SWEET!!!!
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcakes

thanks for your input! I was just wondering about the "arming the competition" part... so maybe it's not that big of a threat?



I wouldn't be concerned about it. How many years will it be before they're actually going to be "competition"? And the majority of them will probably decide this whole cake thing is just too much trouble. Not everybody gets addicted, thankfully. thumbs_up.gif
post #7 of 12
I've taught a few cake and Gingerbread House classes and those taking the class ended up with a new appreciation of what's involved (both the time and the equipment) and now have no problems paying a decorator whatever she wants to get them the cake they need for their childs birthday or daughter's wedding. Looks like a cake walk until you walk in their shoes for a day. Live and Learn.
post #8 of 12
I agree with others. And it will educated one of those people that think cake decorating is easy and simple. Once they learn how much goes into decorating a "simple" cake they would change their mind icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 12
Teaching is a good way to build a relationship with your customers. Most people take baking/decorating classes for the fun of learning. Only a handful will actually take the recipes I give them in class and make them at home.

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post #10 of 12
Another type of your potential students would be people like myself that want to learn for their own friends/family but wouldn't ever pay for a custom cake anyway. So wouldn't be competition for your business. Plus they probably don't give out any secret recipes, using a basic recipe found anywhere.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone!! glad to see everyone thinks the same about teaching classes....might look into doing some!
post #12 of 12
I did a class once where each person had input as to what I would include in the classes. I had one young lady who REALLY wanted to make her own wedding cake, so we included everything she would need to learn to do that! And she was good at it....did beautiful flowers and borders, had no problem with the baking etc. But a couple weeks before the wedding, and after a lot of practice, she called me and begged me to make her cake! I know she had all the skills needed to do the exact cake she planned, just like a lot of people here on CC, who panic on the first wedding cake order, she just couldn't do it! Some folks just aren't made to be cake decorators regardless of their learned skills, some are! Some can deal with the details, some won't and will appreciate the work of others and be willing to pay for it!
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