Starting a cake business is surely fun and exciting, especially if you have deep interest and passion in the field. However, business is business, and there are lots of unspoken and unwritten rules about running it. Sure, cake business seems fun, enjoyable, and easy, but there are loads of things to consider and think about. Many people often make mistakes by underestimating the importance of setting up solid plan of the cake business, but you know better right? If you want to make sure that your cake business is flourishing and successful, try to avoid these mistakes and do the opposites.
The first common mistake is not to plan the price carefully before taking orders. Many people focus more on taking order first and then sort things out. You should do the opposite: you should make research about the expenses that you need to make, calculate how much profit that you will take, and come up with the final result. Not only planning everything will make you look professional, it will also prevent any heartache or dispute. No matter how you get into the cake business – whether you plan it or by accidents – you always need to come up with the right and solid pricing structure. Can you imagine the chaos that will happen if you don’t have such planning? You take orders and simply toss around the numbers that come to mind, and then you regret it because not only you don’t get profit, you need to add up much more from your own pocket.
Before taking orders, be sure to always be straight and forward about the price. Even if you decide to give out discounts, you should always discuss it. It is better to get clearer understanding, than dealing with regrets or disputes later on. And you certainly want to stay looking professional and reliable, don’t you?
The second mistake is not coming up with series of rules, regulations, and policies before starting up business. Such things may seem simple, but they affect your productivity, mood, and the flow of the work. How is the payment made: during delivery or in advance when orders are placed? Do you need down payment and deposit? Are you responsible for the delivery, and if yes, will it extra more? Do you provide cake testing and how many people are allowed to attend it? Do you provide service with minimum order? Such things have be planned and thought of carefully. If not, you will deal with chaos and complaints from the customers, and your cake business won’t last long. And make sure that they understand these policies before making orders. If they don’t want to accept these rules, walk away – it is your business, you set the rules; not them. The option is to take it or leave it – it’s that simple.
The third mistake people often make is to mix personal relationship with business. Even when it is your best friend, or your colleagues, or your in-laws that are ordering the cake, you shouldn’t sacrifice your own feeling or profit. Business is business, and when you are trying to maintain your professionalism, they should do the same. Be forward about payment and down payment – if they don’t make one, then you shouldn’t start making the cake. Make sure that they understand your rules and abide them. Don’t fall into ‘hey, I’m your friend, so you should give me a slack’ scheme.
The fourth mistake is to underestimate the importance of menu and recipes. You need to know for sure that you can make the cake perfectly and flawlessly; it’s not the time to experiment with new recipes when taking orders. Make sure that you have known the details of the filling, frosting, or the cakes that you are going to offer. Make sure that they are edible and you are successful in making them. If your customers ask for custom orders, it is you who decide to take it or refuse it. If you are willing and up to it, you can give it – given that you have made one before and you aren’t experimenting with it. But in case you refuse it, it’s okay – it is not a sin to reject such order.
The fifth one is to allow your customers be the boss. Keep in mind always that you are the boss, despite the fact that you cater their needs. It is your business and your rules; and it is you who run the show. You know what’s best so don’t let them control you. There are some cases where the cake orders fall apart because the cake manufacturers allow the customers to decide how the cake should be made. There was a case where a wedding cake fell apart because the bride didn’t want the cake to have a wooden support within it, which led to the cake being collapsed. You don’t let anyone dictate or control how you run the business, so walk away if the customers are too demanding with unreasonable wishes.
The sixth mistake is to overlook local health regulations. Although you may run the business from home, it is still a business that is related to other people, so you don’t want to be charged with neglect accusation or food poisoning issue. Make sure you have checked the regulation and really understand them.
The seventh mistake is to forget about copyrighted issue. When it comes to legal problem, you may want to consider copyrighted characters. In cake industry, people – especially parents – like to order popular characters like Sponge Bob, Donald Duck, Big Bird, or others. Not only they are cute and fun, they will certainly please loads of kids. However, don’t forget that these characters are copyrighted and you need to comply with the legal regulations about it. Check the legal regulations in your city and state about it and how you can still be productive without violating the law.
And the last one is to separate your personal and business accounts in social media. Marketing and promoting through social media isn’t only easy, flexible, and fun, but also successful and lucrative. But be sure that you use separated account for your business and personal usage. After all, you don’t want to be seen showing off your dirty laundry and look unprofessional by your customers – or potential customers.