Not only will you have to deal with baking, but there is a lot of administrative work that you will have to deal with too. Frankly an average one man cakepreneur spends about 70% behind the the laptop, shopping for ingredients, drawing designs, talking to customers, marketing, and only 30% actually making cakes.
Here are my top 5 things you should know before starting a cake business from home:
1. Your Kitchen/ Cake Work Area
Your kitchen or cake area doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have a certain level of standard. One of the most important things you should do before embarking on your new career is to ensure that your cake work area is clean. In other countries, there are usually kitchen health inspections embarked by the local council who will give you a rating score before you can start a business, but I don’t think we have anything like that in Nigeria. But nevertheless you should ensure that you maintain a high standard of cleanliness. Your reputation depends on this and most importantly it ensures the safety of your future customers.
If you are just baking occasionally for a few family and friends and don’t charge for your cakes or maybe you just charge just for the cost of the ingredients. This is just a hobby in the eye of the law. If, however, it is done regularly and even a small profit is made, you are considered a business and by this point a lot of things should happen. Namely, you will have to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission to make it legal, file financials at the end of the year and also since you are now making money you must declare your income with the tax authorities.
3. How Much Should I Charge?
One thing you may have to realize in starting a cake business is that it may be a slow process before you make any substantial money to enable it be your full time career. This may sound a bit depressing but it’s worth knowing what you are getting into. One of the main reasons for this is not charging enough for my cakes (You can read more about this in my article here) and nor having a business plan in place.
It may be butter and sugar but you need to treat it with the same respect as you do any other business. It’s a fun hobby but when it comes to turning it into a business there’s so much more you need to think about than just figurines.
4. Show them whose boss
When you calculate how much you want to charge, it won’t be in everyone’s budget – and that’s fine. You will get customers that compare your hours of work to a a commercial brand but you cannot take it to heart. I know its hard because you may feel it’s a reflection on you and your work but it isn’t. There will be customers who ask you to make a 3 tiered cake with handmade models for the next day. Me and you know that is impossible but to a customer they may say that ‘it is just cake’. You will have to let them down gently and say no. You have to learn how to say No. Believe me this will prevent a lot of frustration as you could end up with taking up so much orders because you are afraid to turn a customer down.
This is your business. You have to put you and your family first and don’t let negative comments get to you or bring you down. We’ve all had them, you need to keep your head up and rise above it.
5. Life of a Cake business owner
I think the most important thing to know before starting a cake business from home, is that when you do, you will have one of the best jobs in the world. You are part of so many special occasions, you make so many people smile, your decorating skills and bakes will bring joy to many people, and that is really something to be proud of. There will be long days and even longer nights and you will see that you will need a bigger storage space to keep all your new cake equipment. You will see yourself going to cake shops and the markets to buy that one cutter.
Being a cake business owner is it really is an great job and is one that I am sure you will enjoy.
Just know that your worst day as a cake decorator and running your own cake business may be better than the best day in your previous job.