Personally, I'd like to get rid of this "new baker, lower pricing" mentality. There aren't "new doctor" pricing levels. A new car salesman doesn't take a lower commission. A new realtor, same thing. I swear to God if they all do, then whatever.
Ok here's the deal. How about people take a little more interest in honing their skills and by the time they've gotten just as good as that person down the street, and they've learned enough about dealing with the public, they're confident to command a decent price right out of the gate.
I'm at ten to twelve dollars a serving for my work. I don't refer to it that way, it's just what my smaller cakes work out to when the minimum order or close to it is ordered. Cakes over 50 servings are usually coming out to $5 to $6 a serving. It just depends.
But not once did I consider pricing low because I was new. I stalked this forum like a mutha, and asked question after question after question about pricing, dealing with clients, how to host appointments, how to save money on supplies, etc. etc. etc. I paid attention to the "disaster" posts and took notes on how to handle and avoid situations like that. I learned that not everyone can afford a custom cake, and that in no way meant I should take a hit on my hard work.
And I practiced. And practiced. Dummies, real cakes,you name it. I reached an aacceptable level of quality before I even thought about offering a cake for sale. And on and on and on.
So the day I went live, I didn't project an attitude of being new, or desperate for sales. I already knew the business in theory, it was just now time to put what I knew to the test. I was never cheap, I never made deals, I never gave away anything unless I knew it. would bring me a return on that investment.
Two things. If your cakes lean and are lumpy or uneven, you need to go back and relearn the very basics of cake construction. Like Wilton Class 1 or something. Pretty stuff doesn't hide major mistakes. And, if you struggle with pricing and can't let cheapos slide off your back, you're not ready for the business side of it either.
Slow down people, the more you know before "going live", the better off you'll be. You'll make more money, your work will be cleaner. You'll have more fun. Fun! If this isn't fun, then why do it? Go work at Starbucks or something.