How Do I Start a Cake Decorating Business?
The simple answer to this one would be like any other business, but I know that isn't
what you need to hear. Of course you don't want to fail, you don't want to invest too much
time and money into the business either until you are sure it will show some return. So
here are a few tips for you.
If you are considering starting a home based cake decorating business, then I'm assuming
that you are good at making cakes and have a lot of passion for it. If you are in a business
that you are not wholeheartedly in love with, it may never go well as you just won't have
the drive and your lack of enthusiasm will sound warning bells to prospective customers.
I am also assuming that you have enough equipment to make all those cakes. As you
probably know, people are often quite sure what they want these days, be it Sponge Bob, a
transformer or a traditional birthday/wedding cake. Therefore, make sure you have adequate
cake decorating supplies or at least have done the research to know where you can get your
cake decorating supplies quickly and cheaply. Things to think about include considering
whether you are going to form a limited company (I'd try it without first), will you need
any premises, an accountant, a business bank account? If you call yourself 'Luscious
Cakes' people might be weary if you ask for cheques to be made out to "Jane Smith".
It's very important to work out your costs for all the different types and sizes of
cakes you could be making in your cake decorating business. This is one of the most
difficult things you will have to do but will be the key to your success. Assuming you are
going to start your cake decorating business up locally, are you going to deliver the
cakes and what would be your radius and delivery costs for this.
Decide on your advertising⁄marketing structure and a budget in advance and stick with
it. You may wish to start small and only work by referrals from family and friends in
which case you won't need a large budget, but do try and get some flyers done so people
can give these out locally for you. Some decent flyers and a few business cards are an
absolute must for any new business if you want to look professional and you will find them
Referral marketing (word of mouth) is by far the best way to get repeat business and
this will blossom over time as word gets around! Get yourself networking; tell people what
you are doing. There is no point in being shy and just hoping someone asks - tell them!
If you are outgoing, try the business networking groups in your local area. Basically,
these are groups of local businesses that meet regularly for breakfast to exchange ideas
and business. It's a bit like having a free sales force working for you. You will need to
be committed to attend regularly and to keeping your ears open for work for other members
but that's not hard and it's an excellent place to drum up business. Look around though,
as some groups are more expensive to join than others (you could be paying from a few
dollars to hundreds).
Do not forget the Internet as a marketing tool. You may not sell from it, but you can
put pictures of all your wonderful cakes and contact details on there. That way, instead
of having to post out expensive glossy brochures, you can just point people to the site.
The pages need not be wonderful as long as they do the job, but do choose your key words
carefully. Thankfully, if you are just working locally, getting Google to rank you high
using your local town in your key phrases will be a huge boost. Find an Internet savvy
friend or relative to help you with this.
Lastly, try and get some written testimonials from happy customers and include extracts
on the web and in your flyers. That gives people confidence that you can do what you say.
So, have fun and plan your new cake decorating business carefully. Don't treat it as a
hobby, if it's a business you should expect to make a profit but by doing something you love.
Starting a cake decorating business
is little different to starting any new business. You need to do your research first and
have a clear picture of what you want to achieve. For more information on
cake decorating supplies
and tips visit our blog.