This is a question I get asked a lot. Many Cakers are still in full time jobs and have the aspiration of starting a cake business either on the side or as a full time business.
A lot of people have romantic notions about starting a cake business. A business where you make money from your passion, where you work from home and be able to spend time with your kids and no longer have to be contend with traffic to and fro from work. This is every Caker’s dream
While cake makers may find themselves attending lots of social events, hours spent rolling fondant and making buttercream flowers, it is by no means an easy business venture, particularly in today’s highly competitive cake market.
Before you can carve yourself a slice or rather a niche, you need to ensure you’re adequately equipped to handle anything that you may get served.
For all you, would be cakepreneurs here are basically 5 things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of starting a cake business.
Who is the cake business best suited for?
Cake making and decorating might sound easy enough but, like any business, it demands hard work and exceptional administrative skills.
The cake business is best suited for those who have a passion for baking and who love cakes. You don’t have to be exceptionally good at cake decorating, but as long as you have the basic foundation in baking and decorating, you will go a long way.
It may sound funny, but you also need to enjoy eating cake because you will spend a fair amount of time testing cake combinations and the finished products to ensure they are up to standard.
Rules and regulations
Even if you’re planning to run your business from home, food hygiene and preparation rules apply to any premises in which food is prepared.
If you’re planning on using your kitchen or another site which isn’t purpose-built, make sure you keep all pets and soft furnishings out of the room.
Cake making requires eggs, and eggs can spread harmful bacteria so you have to be aware of cross-contamination, particularly if you’re running the business from home.
Most cases of food poisoning occur when harmful bacteria is spread from food to food, so take extra care when handling raw meat, poultry and eggs – particularly if you are running your business from home. Also, be aware that equipment, pests, cloths, packaging and cleaning products can spread bacteria, so make sure you know what is coming into contact with your cake batter.
Research and competition
There are plenty of cake making/decorating courses in Nigeria, and it is definitely advisable to complete one if you don’t have any cake-related qualifications or experience.
Once you have a course under your belt, you need to decide whether you want to start-up at home or in a shop, or whether you intend to sell your products online.
Because cakes are often judged on their visual value, your shop front and/or website should reflect this. People purchasing cakes are typically doing so for a party or wedding, so you want their experience to be as pleasant as possible.
Costs and earnings
Your start-up costs will depend very much on how big an operation you wish to run. As with all businesses, the fewer overheads you have, the lower your expenditure.
The first cost you will be faced with, if you decide to run your business from a shop, is the cost of rent. Your next decision will be whether to employ staff to help out or not. Although casual administrative staff can be hired for relatively little, specialist cake decorators come at a significantly higher cost.
When you start up, you will regularly need to invest in your equipment. This is not a one-off purchase. You need to purchase equipment on a regular basis to ensure your work is of the highest standard as old equipment could compromise the finished product.
With regard to earnings, a cake maker and/or decorator can expect to take home between N50,000 and N200,000 per month.
An average day for a Baker
There are many Cakers who have opened a cake shop even though they do not have a culinary background.
For me as a mum, there are days when I get to spend 10 quality hours a day with my children, and days when I don’t see them at all because I’m up all day and night fulfilling a cake order.
An average day for me involves sorting out cake orders, shopping for ingredients, preparing fondant decorations and taking an inventory of my supplies. Other days I will be knee deep in baking, decorating and preparing for deliveries.
One thing you have to be aware is that you have to be prepared to work antisocial hours.
- Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria
- Association of Catering & Laundering Equipment Distribution of Nigeria, (ACLEDON)
- Association of Fast Food Confectioners of Nigeria, (AFFCON)
Ready to get started? Find out everything you need to know about how to start your own business here.
Found this article useful? Please leave a comment below or contact me if you have any questions.
‘It’s time to live your cake business dream‘
Till next week.