Getting Publicity for Your Cake Business

A huge amount of any small business’s efforts must be public relations — getting your name into the public’s awareness through media exposure. Why?  Because exposure leads to awareness, interest and sales which ultimately leads to more money and success for your cake business. Many people are convinced that if they make the most delicious and beautiful cakes that customers will simply discover them through word-of-mouth. While word-of-mouth publicity is very important to your business, the truth is that the most successful people are not necessarily the most talented. They are the best marketers. They are unrelenting in their efforts to tell everyone about their business through every means possible.

Today I want to share a tip with you that you’ve probably seen other businesses execute, but were hesitant or unsure of how to do yourself.

Get Free Press in Your Local Media.

Free press is powerful because when someone reads a genuine article about your cake business in a local blog or community newspaper such as patch.com, the reader is actually interested in what you do, rather than being sold something.  This is great for you for a couple of reasons:

First, it gives you exposure. Local news and community websites are a huge opportunity for spreading the word about your business.

Secondly, press leads to credibility. Particularly if the article is accompanied by photographs of you and your cakes, it enables the reader to see you are a legitimate business and an expert.  In the reader’s mind, if your business is important enough to be the subject of an article or feature, there must be a compelling reason.

Your goal is to be the first item on the list when someone is looking for cakes in your area. By publishing press releases regularly on an event, holiday, or happening in your business, you are more likely to be featured in the local press. Most online press release submission sites also allow photos, which gives you the opportunity to show off your products. Press releases can be submitted to your local newspaper, announcing the opening of your business, specials you are offering, or events in which your business is involved. You can include coupons or special offers in your  press releases as well. If you wish to be featured in a website or blog, send a press release via email to the editor or journalist and provide a link back to a page on your website or blog with images and details. Continue reading Getting Publicity for Your Cake Business

Top Mistakes by Cake Business Owners

It’s one thing to be a talented cake decorator, but something quite different to be the owner of a successful cake business. In fact, we’ve seen many technically talented bakers suffer through difficult times, while observing others with less experience and skill achieve great success in business.

I would chalk up the difference in these two different results to the person’s understanding of business knowledge.

You’re A Cake Business Owner… Not A Cake Decorator.

Most people who start bakeries aren’t business people; they’re what E-Myth author Michael E. Gerber calls “technicians.” As a result, it’s not the most talented cake decorator who thrives, but the best marketer and business-minded baker. Here are a few of the most common mistakes in staring a cake business that you should strive to avoid.

cake recipe

#1: Undercharging For Your Time And Talent
This is a typical mistake that almost all new cake decorators make, usually because they start out as an amateur who realizes they can earn money doing what they already love to do. They spend years making cakes for free or at cost, so switching over to charging a profitable price is difficult.

The thing you have to realize is that the moment you charge for a cake, you’ve moved from amateur to professional. That shift requires a change in thinking, especially when it comes to how you view the value of your time. In most cases, selling your cakes means you’ve already made an investment in becoming legal and licensed. Your pricing structure must reflect that overhead. All that is needed is a simple change in perspective: from amateur to serious business owner.

If you are really in business and not just “making some extra money on the side”, you must take seriously the cost of keeping the business open and appreciate the great responsibility just to turn on the oven. With this change in perspective and a realistic valuation of your time, you can calculate healthy prices that correctly value your work and time.

#2: Setting Prices Without Knowing The Total Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Continue reading Top Mistakes by Cake Business Owners

Naming your Cake Business

Creating the perfect name for your cake business

Starting a cake business involves many steps that are both creative and strategic. If you are considering how to move beyond baking cakes for friends and family, you’ve probably thought about the identity of your business — your business name and logo. One of the first steps to establish your new identity both legally and from a marketing perspective is deciding on a business name. While initially playing around with names is romantic — daydreaming your name in neon (or something more elegant), at a certain point, you need to decide on a business name in order to create business cards, a Facebook page, buy a URL, etc. This decision can be one of the most important for your cake business. Continue reading Naming your Cake Business

Regulatory Requirements of A Home Based Cake Bakery

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In the last few years, we’ve witnessed huge changes in the awareness of home food production rules and regulations. People are getting smart about getting legal and taking the necessary steps to operate and grow their cake business in the open and in full compliance of the laws!

If you’re new to the dream of having a cake business at home, here are a few simple starting points:

Every community has regulatory requirements. Some are more restrictive than others when it comes to operating a cake business from home. While each state has websites to help you fill out permits, licenses and regulations these can be difficult to weed through. Information about your legal responsibility can be very confusing and you may receive conflicting information. Persistence is important when searching for the answers about home-based food production. Ultimately, you want to hear the requirements directly from your health inspector, as they typically have the final say in what you can and can not do. That said, citizens are working hard to pass and expand cottage food laws. Check out http://cottagefoods.org/laws/ a site dedicated to the latest changes to the home food business laws. Continue reading Regulatory Requirements of A Home Based Cake Bakery

Selling Cupcakes and Cakes



In addition to cakes, many small businesses also offer cupcakes and cake pops. While this might seem an obvious choice, there are some additional considerations you’ll want to address when deciding what options to include in your bakery menu. There are some very good reasons to consider cupcakes in your business plan: Continue reading Selling Cupcakes and Cakes

Liability Insurance

liability_cakeA while back a colleague told me about a cake decorator in a precarious position in which any cake decorator could find herself — what to do if there was a foreign object lost in your cake.

The specifics of the situation were that with only a few days to go before a multi-tiered, expensive cake was to be delivered, the home-based decorator found a shard of plastic inside one of the tiers. To make matters worse, there were a few additional pieces of plastic from a piece of her equipment, missing. While the likelihood of the missing plastic shards being inside the cake was small, the risk was still significant.

Continue reading Liability Insurance

Making Money in the Cake Business

wedding-cake-cutting

Why do cake decorators get paid upfront before the event — party, wedding, bridal shower, etc?

For weddings, it is important that a deposit of 30 – 50% be provided to hold the date. Moreover, because of the stress of the day, you don’t want to attempt to collect on the wedding day itself. The balance should be paid at least 7 days before the event. In all my years, I can recall only a few protests for this arrangement and even then we worked it out, with the final third of the balance paid on delivery.
Continue reading Making Money in the Cake Business

Google Voice for your Cake Business

What phone number to give out?

Many small cake businesses ask us about the propriety of giving out a non-business phone number to their clients. For example, “Is it OK to give customers your cell phone or even home phone number.”  Those businesses who operate in a rented commercial kitchen or from home need to be accessible and professional.  Some opt for setting up a separate business line or business only cell phone.

Google Voice makes it much easier for small business owners to be readily available to their clients no matter where they are, at home or on the go, without the additional expense of a new phone line. Think of it as a central phone system for your cake businesses.

Once you have an account, Google will handle all of your incoming calls and voicemails re-routing them to your existing phone lines. You’ll never miss another call and more importantly, you can screen your calls live. If you’re a small cake business working out of your home to save money or operating from a rented kitchen and a cell phone, this tool is very cool. As a growing, legitimate business, you don’t want to give out your home or cell number.  With Google Voice you can give customers and suppliers your new Google Voice number instead.

How does it work?

Continue reading Google Voice for your Cake Business

Advice and Inspiration for Beginners

Let them decorate cake:

Here’s an article about some women in upstate NY who find cake decorating  more than a hobby: 2 cake business owners, a decorator and a party store owner who offers classes.

New Berlin’s Kelly Banks started her own cake decorating business in 2005. Banks, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, decided that she didn’t want to spend all of her time working for someone else after she had her daughter. With that decision, Kelly Banks Cakes was born.

“It started off just being something fun, extra income. Every once in a while someone would ask me to do something for them,” she said. “Now I just have cakes every single weekend. It’s definitely more of a business now that it was even last year.”

Cathy Wise, Party Perfect’s owner, knew she wanted to offer cake decorating classes from the minute she opened her store. Two years ago, “it all just fell into place,” Wise said. “It’s just a fun thing to learn and it’s a great skill to have.”

…Winnie Talbot not only teaches the Wilton classes at Party Perfect, she also decorates ice cream and wedding cakes…

Talbot didn’t intend to become a Wilton teacher.

“I took a bunch of Wilton classes and then I took other cake classes because I wanted to know how to do cakes for our business. Then Wilton started calling me asking me if I’d teach class. I kept telling them `no.’ I didn’t have time. Finally I said, `you know what? If you wait until late fall, then I will start,'” Talbot said.

…Cooperstown-based cake decorator Marjorie Landers has had a few odd requests as well.

“The most unusual cakes I do are groom’s cakes, which can be in any shape or form,” Landers said. “One groom’s cake I did that was a for a groom who was a serpentologist. So that cake was in the shape of a snake.”

But these challenges are part of what has kept her engaged in her work for the last 15 years. “I do enjoy doing new things. It’s fun for the artistic part of me. If you do the same thing over and over again, it gets to be no fun,” Landers said.

via The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY – Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie County News, Sports and Opinion – Let them decorate cake: Local women find decorating desserts more than a hobby.