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In need of advice for efficiency - Page 2

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

There's nothing wrong with making cheap cakes, just be sure they are cheap to make. If you can knock out a $50 cake in an hour (and still meet the quality expectations of your target market) you can make quite a bit of profit.

I agree with the rest of the comments in this thread though, for the product you are offering you need to significantly increase your price (check out the pricing formula link in my signature for more info) and start turning down orders once you have reached capacity.

Yep.

If it don't make dollars, then it doesn't make sense ;)

www.morganscakery.com

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If it don't make dollars, then it doesn't make sense ;)

www.morganscakery.com

Reply
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea View Post


Yep. I can't remember whose signature it is but it says something like "a cheap baker will always be busy." I know it can be hard to just raise your prices but you can do it in increments. One thing that I've found helps my sanity is to turn down last minute orders. They're never worth the hassle in my experience.

 

Love that that "a cheap baker will always be busy" line.  It is a point well taken!!  And thanks for sharing about turning down the last minute stuff.  Very validating.  

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by melimel00 View Post
 

I agree with everything that has been posted on here so far. I too was in your shoes last year and this is what I did to help:

 

1. Bake at least 5-7 days prior and freeze cakes

2. Make fillings, buttercream 1-2 days in advance (I use fresh ingredients- I could probably get away with making the fillings and buttercream 3 days in advance, but I'm worried about everything staying fresh!)

3. Make fondant, gumpaste, all edible decorations as soon as possible- weeks in advance if possible (this will save a lot of time!)

4. Cover all cake boards etc (I'm talking about what the cake will actually be on-I usually use a triple thick cardboard and wrap it with floral foil)

5. PLAN PLAN PLAN ahead! Once I receive payment and the order is official- I go to my calendar, enter the order then plan the previous 7-10 days before that order is due. If I am lucky to get more than 14 days notice, I will plan weeks ahead of time and make gumpaste flowers, figures etc weeks ahead of time then store them safely in a plastic storage box. Make lists of ingredients and supplies that you'll need for the orders of that week so that you're only making 1-3 trips to the grocery store or cake supply store.

6. Charge more for your cakes, set a minimum dollar amount or serving amount.

7. Only take a limited number of orders per week

8. STRICTLY ENFORCE #6 and #7- I think I'm superwoman sometimes and overbook myself which results in very late nights and grumpiness- if you have any doubts as to whether or not you can fit it all in, don't take the order.

 

I do buy pre-made fondant. I use Fondx to cover the cakes. I use Satin Ice pre colored fondant for all my color needs. This saves a LOT of time- you're not sitting there kneading color into fondant all day!

 

Make sure to take care of yourself during the whole process! If you aren't well, then your cakes will suffer. Take a weekend off if you need it. I took the entire summer off after getting burned out during the spring wedding season. It was exactly what I needed and I got all my cake motivation back!

 

I think we can all agree that sometimes cakes take longer than you planned- I think that's something that can never truly be avoided no matter how much experience we have :(

 

Make sure to really ENFORCE charging more for your cakes and taking a limited number of orders! This will really help! I hope that helps! :)

 

You are a doll to have listed this out for me!   Can you come visit?!  :)  

 

Seriously, I so appreciate the pep talk and practical steps.  And thanks for sharing about the Fondx-I'll look into that!  

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Everyone,

I wish I could "like" all the responses you all have given me (as on facebook).  Please know that I so appreciate your thoughts, tips, advice and resources!  Thank you!!

~Shauna

post #20 of 21

Double your prices!

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

There's nothing wrong with making cheap cakes, just be sure they are cheap to make. If you can knock out a $50 cake in an hour (and still meet the quality expectations of your target market) you can make quite a bit of profit.

I agree with the rest of the comments in this thread though, for the product you are offering you need to significantly increase your price (check out the pricing formula link in my signature for more info) and start turning down orders once you have reached capacity.

 

This - and when you're figuring out much a cake costs you to make, don't forget to include the time spent with the customer. I have a line of non custom cakes and part of why I can charge less for those is that they just order what's in the picture. I don't have to respond to 20 emails, sketch and solve all the design issues to get the order done. The minute they start talking abut anything but very simple, allowed changes, it becomes a custom order and the price almost immediately goes up about $1.35 per serving.

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