How to Make Money from Selling Cakes
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When I first set out into the cake decorating world I did it because I LOVED IT so much, I think this is a very important element to having a successful career in cakes, you have got to love what you do simply because you won’t make money at the beginning, it’s a Cut Throat industry with so many Home Bakers now appearing everywhere.
It is no longer difficult for a person to find someone who makes cakes, so then the question is, why would someone choose to use YOU instead of another baker?
Being Different Is GOOD!
This is where you need to stand out from the crowd, being different or doing things in a different way is not always a bad thing. I can remember a potential customer calling me one day who needed a last-minute cake, unfortunately I was booked up, however I was aware of another baker who lived on the next road down from me, when I told this customer of this other baker and gave her the name she was so shocked and couldn’t believe that one baker would recommend another.
But if you think about it from a business perspective, if your confident enough to remember there`s enough cake for everybody and if every single baker in the world (when they were booked up) did the above, you would all constantly have an influx of orders.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like this BUT it doesn’t mean you can’t practise this, it’s worked for me, a bit of kindness goes along way so there`s no reason it can’t work for you. Don’t expect results overnight, building up a strong customer base and following can be a slow and long burn, this is where patience comes into it all.
Registered Bakers / Hobby Bakers & Grey Area Bakers
In all honestly this always causes a massive debate but in truth this is how I see it and by having this attitude its helped me grow my business as I also encourage hobby bakers to try new things and build up their confidence.
Firstly, what’s the difference?
Registered – Fully Legal Tax Registered Food Business with Insurance and Hygiene Rating
Hobby Bakers – A Person who bakes for family and friends out of their own pocket
Grey Area Bakers – Someone who portrays themselves as a Business but is not Registered with one or more of the following, the Tax Man, Local Authority and has no Business Insurance
Point 1 – “There is enough cake for everyone” Its true, hobby baker, Grey Area Baker or not, there is enough to go around for us all
Point 2 - When you sell a cake at a very cheap price, you don’t make a profit. You think you do because you forget about all the money you have spent in order to make your creation but in reality, if you are in business, when you do your sums at the end of each month you soon realise that the only way to make a true living is to charge what a cake is really worth. In other words, Grey Area Bakers don’t take away business and hardly make an income, people in business may only need to make one cake a week and if charging correctly can make enough for a month’s wage. So, no one is taking business away, there is enough room for all of us in this industry
Point 3 – “Legally you shouldn’t sell to the public if you’re not registered” Very True, BUT is this really your problem? If you think of all the points above and remember there is room for everyone if a customer was to report a Grey Area Baker, that is a risk they are choosing to take.
Point 4 – “My business isn’t growing and no one will order a cake it’s the people not charging enough that are causing this” Again NO, NO, and NO. Being in business is HARD its certainly no walk in the park. You want the customers who are willing to pay what a cake is worth as a business its your job to find these customers. If the grey area baker was to increase their prices and wanted to do it all above board, they would lose most of their clientele and literally have to start from the beginning. This is what its like to be in business, finding the right clientele for what you have to offer is the key and its also a fantastic challenge.
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So What Do You Charge For A Cake?
The first thing you need to do is make a chart and work out exactly what the cost of each ingredient in a cake is. So, for example let’s say I buy 1KG of flour for £1 and you need 400g for this particular cake, that’s exactly 40p in flour. Do this for each ingredient including an estimate for the fondant, cake drum, Box and special equipment required. When you have your figure times this by 150% This will be the profit you have made on the cake. For a business to be successful you need to make a profit as well as a wage
Then you need to add a wage per hour, currently in the UK our Minimum Wage is £8.21 for those aged 25 and over
So, if you were to make a cake from start to finish and it was to only take you 8 hours that’s already £65.68 This is before you add on the ingredients and profit
The more Skilled you become the more your wage should increase just due to the fact that not everyone will be able to do what you do
None of the above takes into consideration all the expensive moulds and equipment we use, however I don’t add these onto any prices just because its an investment. So if you have to buy a mould for a certain cake order, you will be slightly out of pocket for that order however when you come to needing it again you will soon reap the rewards
“OMG HOW MUCH ITS JUST A CAKE” after reading the above it really doesn’t sound expensive anymore does it?
How Many Artists Do you Know Who are RICH?
This is what you are, a Cake artist, Now Van Gogh has a very sad ending to his story, “Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide, and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist
He made no money but is now known world wide and his paintings are worth a fortune. I am a firm believer that you can do anything you put your mind to but at the same time don’t expect miracles, its hard work, a slow burn but you will succeed if your determined enough to do so.
I work from home but really want to teach others and do classes
I am in exactly the same situation and I decided that one day I may hire out premises and start doing classes but this takes more investment to purchase all of the equipment.
A fantastic FREE easy alternative way to do this is to create your own YouTube Channel, you can make free videos, grow a following of loyal bakers, help people and enjoy teaching others.
If you have enough Subscribers its currently been set to 1000 and have a 4000-hour viewing period over 12 months you can then `Monetize` your videos. This basically just places adverts on them and you can earn revenue, it won’t be much as you need a MASSIVE following for this BUT it will be enough to cover the costs of more tutorial content and it will start to pay for itself whilst growing your name in the baking world!
Finally, Your Corporate Identity & Advertising
This is the most vital part to running a successful business, you won’t get any orders if people don’t know you exist. Certain platforms have made some changes which means even if you pay to have your business promoted by Facebook for example it doesn’t reach as many people as it used to. So here are a few tips
Facebook – I tend to only pay to BOOST a post now and I only spend about £2 at a time, I have found it more effective to share my posts to groups but only 10 a day. If you do more than this Facebook will ban you for spamming and it can be for up to 30 days from sharing into groups
Website – Start by using a free website builder and as your business grows then start to pay to have your own domain in your business name
Corporate Identity – This is your Logo, your slogan, this is what makes people go oh that’s Rachels Enchanting Cakes, As a Qualified Graphic Designer who was trained to sell , sell , sell via adverts, this is without a doubt the most important aspect of a business, Never change it, Have T-Shirts made, Business Cards use it in your promoting and it’s a win ,win
“NEVER LET ANYONE PUT YOU DOWN, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS CONCENTRATE ON WHAT YOU DO BEST AND JUST PROVE PEOPLE WRONG, I DID SO CAN YOU XXX”