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Ways to expand my home based business?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, I live in the UK and have been decorating cakes for about 16 months. I decided to go into business early this year and eventually went official in May, so I'm a pretty new starter still! I'm just wondering what I can do to expand on just making cakes. I cant afford to open a shop, and also, I dont work on minimum wage even right now so I'd never earn enough to run a shop!

I've been thinking about doing cupcake decorating parties for kids, and even weekly cake decorating classes for children, and also maybe basic cake decorating for adults. I know I've not been at it very long so I'm wondering if I'm trying to run before I can walk so to speak. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice or ideas for what I could do? Do you think these ideas would be good or do things for kids generally not work out that well? I love my craft and I love sharing it with other people. Friends and people on facebook are often asking me questions about cakes so I thought maybe the cake decorating for adults might go down quite well, or would I just be putting more people onto the road of cake decorating and ruining my business in the long term?
post #2 of 7
I looked at your cakes and they're fabulous! I love the stargate.

Have you done a business plan? This will tell you if you could make a go of a shop. Assuming you have enough orders coming in, I would take a close look at expenses. If there's anything you can do to lower your overhead - - more efficient baking, buying in larger quantities, etc. - - it would help with your income. Also, are you charging enough? You should be adding a sufficient amount of profit to each cake to make it worthwhile.

The classes and kids' parties are a good idea, but only if you know ahead of time that they'll bring in enough income to make it profitable.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifercullen

Hi, I live in the UK and have been decorating cakes for about 16 months. I decided to go into business early this year and eventually went official in May, so I'm a pretty new starter still! I'm just wondering what I can do to expand on just making cakes. I cant afford to open a shop, and also, I dont work on minimum wage even right now so I'd never earn enough to run a shop!


If you are earning less than minimum wage making cakes I recommend you stop accepting new orders immediately and fix your pricing structure ASAP before you think about expanding.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Jason_kraft; i do them as kind of a labour of love at the moment icon_smile.gif I took it into business just to earn a bit of extra money in the evenings when my kids are in bed, at first I sort of resented the price I had to charge because of what the area dictated, though I've since discovered other areas can be even lower! I also think I go quite slow if I've not got a lot on so as I get quicker, which I'm noticing I've improved rather a lot as the time has gone on I expect I would end up on an ok wage, I intend to increase my prices a little after I get a good customer base and I've already been told that people think my cakes are the best they've seen in the area (they clearly haven't seen cake central) so I'm hoping I can build on that to eventually charge more when I can make it more full time! icon_smile.gif

Jgifford: thanks icon_smile.gif I loved doing the stargate one I only wished I could have made it standing up! I'm looking to move to a bigger house so I can buy things wholesale and hopefully save a bit of money on that as I currently buy boards and fondant etc in single packs in local shops! I noticed in my area things for kids cost a fortune and still fill up really quickly. I may do some market research at my sons school and run a session with my friends kids to see how it goes...thanks for your ideas icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 7
Im in the UK too and there are a lot of adult cake decorating events on Groupon but the way Groupon work Im not sure if thats a good sign for the companies or not! I dont know about childrens events but I think they should be a great idea and getting into kids birthday parties would seem like a really good revenue stream (while they are fashionable but that goes for most things)
I dont know if you have things like cake pops, cakes in a jar, cookies in your repertoire or if you think there would be a market for them? (Sorry cant get on Facebook from work)
Would there be any coffee shops or places near you who you could sell through? Or things like book/craft groups who meet regularly would they want to set up a standing order with you for a small amount of goods? The latter probably wouldnt be big orders but they should be regular and could get your name out for bigger orders too.
post #6 of 7
Cost out your recipes-this lets you know how much it costs to make it
Cost out your Icing recipes
Add cake boards, boxes and cover for your board, transportation (delivery and gas)
Total
Multiply by 3,5,7,10-this is how much you charge your customers.
Call around and see how much others are charging in your area.
Everybody cannot do what we do as cake artist-never sell yourself short.
Happy Baking and Decorating
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
ChefAngie, I did call round them all. People tend to work out the cost of the ingredients, then double it no matter how long it takes them. I'm already slightly more expensive than some others in the area. Then again I over estimate the ingredients so I'm probably making a bit more than I expect, but still. As i only do it in the evenings, everything seems to take a lot longer. In september my youngest son starts nursery 5 days a week from 9am until 1pm so I think I will be able to get bigger batch baking done and decorating in this time and therefore get a higher output. If I worked out my hours and charged that I'd never get an order. I'm hoping as my skill improves, I'd like to eventually be the best and then people might pay my higher prices, but we shall see.

Jennifer353 thats a great idea, I never thought about going to little groups in the area to see about catering. I had thought about offering little afternoon tea orders with cake stand hire etc but I'm not sure if it would catch on. I will definitely be on the look out however for places to approach about that. What are cakes in a jar? I'm googling it...lol icon_lol.gif
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