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I'm thinking about starting a business ... - Page 3

post #31 of 39
I use fondarific which is not The Mat friendly.

The best types to use are Marshmellow based like MMF, Fondx, & a few others.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #32 of 39
I use Fondx - maybe that's why mine works so well.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #33 of 39

I don't have a cake business, but I do have a successful internet business.  There is way more to it than you might think, from deciding on your business structure to licensing, annual reports to the government, book keeping, invoicing, the list goes on and on.   Honestly, I don't think I could ever make money at cake in my town.  I think the very best advice given is to know your market.  People won't pay more than $200- $300 for a large cake here.  For me, that comes out to less than $10 an hour for my time + ingredients.  

 

I would suggest a book keeping system such as Quickbooks.  You can use it to track all of your expenses as well as invoicing customers.  You can also accept credit cards with it though their fees are rather high.   When it comes time for taxes Quickbooks will practically do them for you.  

 

A website is very important and can be a large expense.   You can go to www.wix.com and get a pretty nice layout for free.  An added plus is that you don't need a background in HTML.   

 

Facebook and Twitter can also be important marketing tools.  

 

From strictly a business stand point I would recommend that you not replace your counter tops until you have proved that you can run a successful business.. They won't bring in any more money initially and will be a large investment.  You would be better served to put that money into marketing and advertising.    

 

I would also advise the purchase of a Kitchen Aid, I can't imagine the amount of work not having one would bring!  I recently made a batch of butter cream by hand using a whisk (wasn't at home - no mixer), I thought my arm was going to fall off! haha  

post #34 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks Delicious Deserts, excellent advice. Thank you all soooo much! You've all given me a lot to think about, and it's great! If I do this I want to make sure I do it the right way for all involved!

 

I just got back from the store and am absolutely in love with the Kitchen Aid mixer I just bought.

post #35 of 39

TBH the first thing you need to do is check with your local council about whether they allow this sort of home business. Some don't have a problem, others will require you to at least have a third hand washing sink, others will require a fully separate commercial grade kitchen and others like my local council wont allow it at all. Before putting in all the work to other aspects of running a business you really need to find out your local council rules first.

post #36 of 39

So many good tips already listed!  I apologize if I repeat anything here.  I have just 2 young children and find it very difficult to do any cake-related work during the day.  I am not comfortable with them running around while I work (too many germs flying here & there), and the health department says only the person working on the cake or a helper can be in the area when I'm working anyway.  That leaves me basically 9pm to about 6am.  I want to be honest.  I am tired ALL the time.  I pulled two all nighters in a row this past weekend so I could get my two cakes done.  My husband is supportive of my business, but gets frustrated when I put so many hours in to a cake and get so little (in his eyes) in return.  One HUGE piece of advice to is truly price your cakes appropriately.  Don't take orders for small amounts thinking you will increase your prices as your business grows.  Also, don't take an order just to have an order.  In the beginning it was really hard for me to turn an order down.  You are better off passing on orders than setting yourself up to work too much for too little.  Also, if you can do it, think big.  Better to do one big cake for more money than a bunch of little cakes for virtually nothing.  I'm guessing you know you aren't going to make millions on your cakes, but be realistic on how much it really can bring in.  Don't forget to count your little one's daycare in to the equation.  If daycare is happening so you can do cakes, will you really make enough on cakes to pay for the daycare AND have profit left over?  This hits home for me, as I love love love doing cakes AND I love being a stay at home mom, but I could make so much more money if I go back to my pre-kids job than to keep making cakes.  If making additional money is really the goal, it's important to be realistic about it.

post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks again ladies! I really appreciate all of the feedback. 

 

I guess just making money isn't the ultimate goal, let me explain a bit ... I'm a jeweller and can make a decent amount of money doing that. It can be problematic though (i.e. mistakes when working with diamonds and platinum are expensive) and a lot of jewellery work is going off shore these days so people don't want to pay for a Westerner's hourly rate when they can have something similar (but crappier) produced in a sweat shop for 1/4 the price. I'll still keep my really good clients and probably referrals of friends and family if it feels right. I'm completely done dealing with Mr. I want a $30k engagement ring for $10k. Or the ones who drive over their engagement ring or drop it down the garbage disposal and hand me back a mangled ring claiming that "it was like that" when I gave it to them (ummm ... no it wasn't and surely they would have noticed!). Ok ... rant over ;)  I like the creative aspect of jewellery, the designing part of it is my favourite. It seems like I've been doing 95% engagement rings and wedding bands for the past few years and I'm kinda bored with it.

 

I just recently got into cake decorating and I absolutely love it! I hadn't intended on going pro, but my husband said that I'm spending so much time doing this that I might as well bring in a bit of money from it. 

 

My 2 year old will go to daycare regardless if I do cakes or not. We want him to have that experience one day a week. So it's not really an issue of my cakes covering that cost, though it would be nice.

 

I spoke with the health department and the local council today and they're super easy to work with. They're happy that I have a double bowl sink and a dishwasher. The said that I have to have a probe thermometer that measures in increments of one degree. They consider baking and cake decorating to be low risk so they're not overly fussed. They said that they will pay for me to do an online food handling safety course if I want to, but it's not required (I'm going to do it!) and I can attend a more in depth food handling safety course in person that's also free (not required, but I'll do it). Beyond that, the health department will inspect my kitchen from time to time and if there are any issues they'll help me troubleshoot. The phone call was really helpful and positive, not at all what I expected!

post #38 of 39
Replace any reference to jewelry with cake in your above post and that's exactly what being a custom cake maker is about. Except the mistakes cost way less!

But it is fun, and I think there's probably much more room to be creative than you currently have. Sounds like this is a good avenue for you to explore!
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #39 of 39

I'm glad your council are easy to work with! Mine were a pain in the rear. It took 3 weeks of phone calls with them asking heaps of questions before they finally told me they wont allow a food business from home at all anyway.

 

Good luck with getting started :)

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