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Calculating your labor time

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello- I was wondering how you all calculate your labor time in relation to baking? I do cakes on the side out of my home as i am a stay at home mom. Do you guys when calculating and charging for your labor time only account for the time you are mixing and filling cake pans and NOT count the time it is in the over or do you guys count both? Just curious as it seems to me that if you count the time it takes while in the oven the labor hours go way up when charging.
Thanks icon_biggrin.gif
post #2 of 6
I dont count the time in the oven, I can do other things while the cake is in the oven, normally that time is spending cleaning up, making icing or decorations.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakechick123

I dont count the time in the oven, I can do other things while the cake is in the oven, normally that time is spending cleaning up, making icing or decorations.

But you count that time, though, right? Just not twice...

I count whatever time it takes me during the week to do anything cake-related that I wouldn't be doing otherwise. Including shopping and bookkeeping. If I don't make enough money overall to cover that time then I'm not charging enough.
post #4 of 6
[quote="costumeczar But you count that time, though, right? Just not twice...[/quote]

yes I do calcutate cleaning time or flower making time or whatever I do cake related. but I dont count the oven time as that will double counting.

[/quote]
post #5 of 6
Same as costumeczar. I give a certain amount of time to each product and add the shopping, etc as a fixed cost, adding that amount to the variable amount for the product.

One thing I do, I cannot attribute exact times to a product due to lack of experience. That, I eat. For example, if I am too slow with a process, like buttercream wedding cakes, I need to calculate how long it should take me based on an industry standard. Because I do so few compared to a full time wedding cake decorator, some of that time will be learning. It is my job to get faster with experience.

That also goes for new recipes and new skills. I don't count experiments and recipe development. To me, that is contunuing education. So if I agree to do a vegan version of a cake, I only count the time it will take to make it again, not the first time which will be longer.
post #6 of 6
It's important to know what your labor, materials and overhead costs are and you must also figure in a profit. If you only charge for your labor, then you are a cake making service.

I sell my cakes for what the market in the area will bear. That means I charge the same as if it came from a bakery. It's a fallacy that home bakers can sell their product for less because they have no overhead. And bakers who work for nothing hurt the market. Bakeries may have a higher overhead, but they also have huge ovens and mixers and a streamlined system for baking, say like baking 1000 cookies in maybe 2 hours.

I'm not saying it all evens out in the wash, but I am saying you should get the most you can for your product. That's a cake business.

Bleighva, none of that was aimed specifically at you, it just spews out every now and then.
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