How to start a Cake Business from Home
Starting a cake business from home can be a tough decision. Probably one that will require you to sit down and calculate all the pros and cons of what you going to get your self into. This article how to start a cake business from home gives you a big scoop and insight into starting your own cake business. Read it carefully and use it as a guide where necessary.
Let me guess; you are here because you love cake decorating!
You create lots of cakes for family and friends and everybody tells you; your talent is so good that you should do this for a living. Now you would love to do this as a business but not sure how? Right?
Guess what? Most of us started like this? It’s the passion for cake decorating that wants more from us – always!! You know what – It’s a great idea! Let’s explore our passion, shall we?
Most often when you reach this mental stage – you have a mental block. Business? I have no clue how to go about it. Oh, I have to go do all the legal stuff and I don’t know how – let’s just cancel the idea for now or let’s put this on hold for now. It’s the fear of not knowing what to expect.I know!! I have been thru some of this myself. And I see the same fear that in some of the messages I get from beginners who want to start their own cake business from home. I hope to be able to write some stuff here and explain some of my eBook coming soon. I hope you will find that useful as well.
For the purpose of simplicity; I’m going to break the whole post of How to start a Cake Business from home into four Parts.
- The Legal Stuff (permits, taxes, and regulations)
- The Business Plan
- Marketing & Social Plan
- Your Personal Plan
Cake Business from Home I – The Legal Stuff
Here’s the very basic but if you really serious about starting your own cake business from home then I would highly recommend you look into my eBoook, I have explained in more detail.
- Register your business with the Authorities
Go to your local City hall – ask them the Terms of starting a business from home.
- Contact the Local inspection office for the Kitchen and Hygiene Inspection – Get them to come and inspect your kitchen.
In some places, you need to do this before you go to register your business as you need the certificate to Register your business and in some places, you can do it after you register your business.
- Contact the Tax Office/ state controller – You need to get your business set up for taxes. Don’t worry they are not going to take your money.
The tax system is usually quite fair, They want to encourage small businesses like us. They usually have a minimum amount that you need to earn before you start paying taxes.
Now, these are the most important things you need to take care of from. I’ve given you more information and details about this in my eBook. So while the legal stuff is not fun, it’s also just a small part. Once it’s done you are free to enjoy working on your Cake Business from Home.
Cake Business from Home II – The Business Plan
Let’s do some business planning for our little Cake Business from home. Shall we? Yes!! It’s a cake business from home but It’s still a business and that’s the first thing to realize. Run it like a business even if it is from home.
What is a Business Plan? (in case you interested)
Quite simply a business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a new business is going to achieve its goals. From a marketing, financial and operational point of view.
Make it more simple? It’s basically; to take all what you need to do and how to do – put it on paper so it makes more sense to you and to those who want to join in business with you.
Now those you who did your MBA like me must have done a few of these project on Business Plan for your thesis. Quite similar but just for real in this cake. A normal business plan usually will include – Company Description, SWOT Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Plan, Financial Plan, Business model, Value Proposition, Executive summary etc, etc.. (you get the point?)
When I wanted to start my business I honestly was not looking forward to getting this done. Guess what? Lucky me again. My husband does this for a living. Yep!
He’s an Entrepreneur and Consultant for start-up companies. Quite often he will head the company as a CEO – make their business plan, do all the legal stuff, often he will hire the right people like R&D and such. He will even help them get the first or first few investment opportunities before he hands over the company to it’s right partners and moves on to the next. Honestly quite a stressful job but he likes it.
Cake Business from Home II – Business Plan
We are going to do a Business Plan as well but a home base format for self-use. Meaning we are going to do it just plain and simple for our personal use; something that we nontechnical people will understand. So it won’t be very overwhelming for you.
Here are just a few of the many components you need to think and put down on paper for your personal Cake Business from home planning. These are quite simple and self-explanatory, I have given you a few more components and elaborated in detail on each of these topics in my eBook.
- Business Idea / Business Type
- Business Name
- Your Target Market /Demographics
- Business Management
- Business Cards
- Social Media
Writing this down may seem like a waste of time to some but if you wanna start your cake business from home properly this may prove a very very valuable exercise.
Cake Business from Home III – The Marketing and Social Plan
Now that we have discussed the Legal stuff and The Business Plan in the last two post, let’s look into the Marketing and Social Plan. We need to think of some Marketing Strategies to help us get out. Let people know we exist!!
Here are some ideas that you might like to consider. Note that these are just ideas but not all will work for you. In fact, in the eBook, I share with you the strategies that really worked for me and others that didn’t. I’ve given you reasons and explained circumstances so you will be able to make and choose your own strategy.
Every business works under different circumstances so understanding your market will help you pick the right strategy for you.
Here are just a few simple, easy and popularly know strategies.
- Most commonly used – You could give your business a jump start by offering some free sample so people can taste your cakes.
- Have the budget? If you don’t mind spending on advertising you could advertise
- Send out flyers or Brouchers that will help spread the word
- Contact local event places, offer them a taste of your cake and ask them if you can give them your business cards for references. Places, where they organize kids birthday parties and such, are a great way to start.
- Find out about local home business network meet-ups.
- Contact event management companies or free lancers.
Build A Portfolio
This is catch 22 you need a good portfolio to get business but you also need business to build your portfolio. In my E-book I have given you some easy and less expensive ways to go about getting a portfolio done.
Let’s talk a little about Social Network.
Why do we need a social network?
So people know we exist, and so we can stay on peoples minds even when they do not need our services. If they see our product in their feed once in a while they will remember us when they need a cake or recommend us to their friends.
Remember not everybody is your customer but almost anybody can send you a customer. About two years ago I had a lady come to me from Spain. She was from Spain but was getting married in Israel. Was I told a lady on the train apparently a fan of mine told her to look for Veena’s Art of Cakes? She looked up my Facebook Page and messaged me. I made her cake and then her mother-in-law’s wedding cake two years later too! So you see – almost anybody can send you a customer!!
Get your business out on social networks–
Create a Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter account. Share your goodies so people can see your work.
Website or Blog
Why do you need a Website or Blog for your cake business from home?
I know there are some of you that think having your social networks such as Facebook and Instagram is all you need to attract customers. True and yet not completely true.
When you go to a cake show and give out your business card wouldn’t it be nice to direct them to a website where all your information is clear and well laid out? So they can see your best pictures in your portfolio. What do you think is more impressive sending them to your Facebook Page or sending them to a well-organized website.
A website is like the little lounge of your cake business from home. You can make it pretty. Your website is where you dress up your business – give it the best appearance and show off!
Start your own blog or cake website.
Now getting a website – can be done in two ways. You can hire a professional web designer or you could do it yourself (DIY)
When I started off – I checked the prices for a professional web designer and it was anything between 2000 to 9000 US dollars. Yes! Some can charge even more.
Unfortunately, I could not afford it at the time so I had to go the DIY route. For me, it was hard cause I honestly knew nothing then as compared to what I have learned in the last five years.
Now making your website is not difficult and if you have someone like me to help it gets even easier. So if you want to do this the DIY route I can help you –
I have already made a post on my food blog – How to start a blog
I have step by step instructions for Bluehost on how to get your site started. This is by far the best and most affordable hosting you can get. It’s great value for your money. Most of all it’s incredibly easy to get a new site up and running with their one-click – automatic WordPress Blog Installation. Also, they provide outstanding customer service.
Trust me it’s really easy and the step by step method with progress pictures will help you start your blog efficiently and effortlessly.
Cake Business from Home IV- Personal Planning
To me, this is by far the most important of all and you will see why soon.
Ask your self a few personal questions? Here I speak in a brief but I have explained in details more on my eBook – Cake Business from Home.
- Do I really want to do this as a hobby or as a profession? – Maybe you like cake decorating as a hobby but what if you had to do it every day for the rest of your life.
- Will you be able to give your self the time this profession needs?
We discuss Time Management of a Cake decorator before as well – perhaps it’s a good time to read that post too.
- What about family support? It’s not easy if you have to run a cake business from home that does not have the rest of the members support on board.
For most people going to work is a usual routine. Their life is sectioned in a way – when they go to work and they concentrate on office work. When at home they can give their family some quality time (at least that’s how it use to be). Now, working from home is a whole other thing!! Right? I mean think about it, you at home with the kids all the time and you can do work from home which means you can give your kids the attention they deserve. Is it?
While it sounds so cool. It’s very easy to get carried away and overbook yourself; only to feel guilty that you have not been able to give your kids the time and attention they deserve.
Before you even go ahead with Part I of How to start a cake business – Legal Plan prepare your self at all level – from the business perspective as well as from the personal perspective.
Prepare your self mentally for your business goals
This will help clear your mind and give you a sense of direction. I have explained this is more detail in my eBook.
- Ask yourself the most important questions on how and what you wanna do?
- Find your Niche – What types of cakes are you good at? Is there something you have that differentiates you from the rest.
- more in the eBook.
Next; you want to think about how you going to talk about time management.
Remember I spoke about different strategies that you can use; not all strategies will work for you. And just because someone had success with one does not mean you will too. Something else might work better for you. Keep an open mind.
I started off self-taught, with no cake decorating knowledge or artist background at all. It was a rough start; my self-confidence was not very high? I didn’t think anyone would wanna buy from me.
And I tried almost anything that people would suggest. While some worked, some ended up being a complete waste of time and yet!! it has been a great learning experience.
In my Ebook Cake Decorating Business from Home I have listed eight different strategies that I have used, some that really helped me very much and others that were a complete waste of time and yet have been valuable learning experiences.
Here are a few very important lessons that I have learned in these five years – if there is something I want you to take from this long post is this.
- Whatever you do always be true to yourself.
- Ask yourself if this is what you really want to do?
- Don’t do it because others are doing it.
- Try not to follow the crowd.
- Never underestimate yourself.
- Say NO often!!
- Don’t be afraid to say YES!!
- Take a chance, explore opportunities,
- Leap over and create that design you doubt you can do; you may excel – if not it will teach you more than you know.
A few more…
- Never forget the family!! No matter how busy you are; no matter how much you love your job – don’t forget to give your kids the time they deserve. They grow really fast so don’t forget the good night hugs and the playtime in the park
My kids are a priority and heaven know how many nights I have stayed awake late over a cake because I chose to spend time with them rather than my cake. Totally worth it.
- Never stop growing and never stop upgrading!
I’ve seen many cake artist who is just where they were four years ago when I started. The cakes are the same, their website is the same, everything is the same. That’s most often because their mentality is the same. If you have a positive attitude, things will move in a positive direction and vice versa.
You have to upgrade and grow in all directions. Upgrade your skills – take classes, practice and make mistakes.
- Change your thinking. Not all customers are bad, not all customers are out to get you. One complaint or one rude customer should not make you sour towards the others.
- Be professional – even though you are a cake business from home; you are still a business and a business has to be managed professionally.
I have a previous post on Effective Communication with customers which you may want to read
Well, that’s a rather long post but I hope I shared some valuable tips with you. I had way too much to share with you so I have been working on an eBook – cake business from home – for a while now and I do hope that you will find that book useful with lots of tips and tricks as well as my own experiences in all aspects of Cake Decorating and cake business from home as well as the customer perspective. I can’t wait to share it with you.