We all heard growing up that artists don’t make any money. If you had artistic ambitions, perhaps you put them to the side in favor of the daily corporate grind and the promise of a steady salary, health benefits and a retirement plan. Now though, perhaps your job is on shaky ground or worse, gone entirely and you are casting about for a new way to earn a living.
Why not, this time, take a new route that puts money in the bank AND leaves you creatively fulfilled?
The following are ten home based businesses for perfect for artistic types:
Cake Baking/Decorating – Everyone has birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions. Why not encourage them to celebrate with a custom designed cake of your creation? This business requires relatively little capital to start, but cake decorating skills are imperative.
via 10 “Crafty” Small Businesses for Budding Entrepreneurs | Outright Blog.
Ask your customers…or would-be customers.
Read and listen to this piece from NPR.org about how a small dairy in upstate NY is attempting to procure an unsecured loan (at a 6 percent interest rate) from their own customers.
So many of you who want to borrow money to start your cake business are running into difficulty obtaining a loan. Is it possible to learn from Dante Hesse and work with the people who know and trust you — your loyal customers?
Hesse is offering 6 percent interest for an unsecured loan of $1,000. His business plan taps into a pair of burgeoning movements — the first characterized by an interest in organic, locally grown food; the second by an environmental approach to economics.
Check it out. More later about this idea, I’m sure.
Here’s a sweet idea from the Wilton Forums for those of you who do baby shower cakes or are thinking of offering your services to this lucrative market:
This is a really simple idea with a great payoff. It looks really hard to do because it’s a custom shape but over at Frugal Ideas from the Parsonage, you’ll find complete instructions and advice.
Here’s a recipe that we have been using in our business for years. This is a simple, classic white frosting that every baker has in their arsenal:
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered butter flavoring
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- With an electric mixer blend all ingredients until mixed.
Could it be any easier than that?
There are many ways to start a cake business of course, but take a moment to read about Warren Brown, the host of Sugar Rush on The Food Network and the owner of CakeLove and Love Café. His story should inspire you. Maybe you’re not ready to quit everything to start your own business, but let Warren’s passion infect you and help you begin to take the steps to realizing your dreams. If the desire is there and you you need some simple business and legal guidelines for starting a cake business, check out our book
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OK back to the basics for all of my visitors looking for simple to follow, video instruction. More importantly, these videos are free. There is so much great information on the web for beginners. This video teaches you how long you should let a cake cool before frosting it, and also how to ice a crumb coat. Enjoy
With your new business venture will come the costs of getting the venture off the ground. Besides equipment and ingredient/inventory costs, you will incur costs associated with getting the required license or permit and possible filing fees with the Secretary of State. These fees depend on the business type you choose to set up. Of course these fees will vary from state to state.
A consultation with a business attorney in your local area can vary widely so I would suggest that you call around and ask for referrals from other business owners. You may also wish to call your local bar association because many of them have a referral service. Some attorneys may charge a consultation fee of $50 to $500 but in most cases the fee will be applied to any services that you have them perform. The most common service that an attorney will provide is setting up the business form that you choose and taking care of all the paperwork associated with keeping you legal.
Your attorney can also provide counsel on the liabilities involved in operating your home food prep business and attempt to insulate you from personal liability. In addition, you may want them to prepare some form service contracts tailored to your cake business so that you have recourse in the event that you don’t get paid or a dispute arises over your services. The main thing that an attorney will provide is planning ahead for all of the potential issues that may occur and this is invaluable to a successful business venture.
The art and science of cake decorating, I believe is seeing unparalleled popularity and interest. With this popular awareness we have seen talented sugar artists command higher prices for their cakes. While I think it is awesome that cake decorators are making more money per slice I think it’s important in building a business to address the needs of your community and offer a range of products that can meet any budget.
As we wrote a few posts back, many brides are often looking to save some money on their wedding and the cake is one place where she can still demonstrate elegance and style while cutting costs.
While there’s no way to make a cake LOOK bigger, there are ways to get more servings for less money.
Centerpiece cakes: instead of one large wedding cake, a smaller one for the couple, as well as a small cake at each guest table. Centerpiece cakes can also replace the floral arrangement — another savings.
Sheet cakes: A smaller display cake and simpler sheet cakes with the same flavorings. Everyone enjoys the same cake. Moreover, sheet cakes can accommodate unexpected guests.
Simple yet elegant cakes: There are some very beautiful classic designs that don’t require significant handwork. The trend towards custom cakes, sugar work and even fondant in wedding cakes is great for cake decorators but can be costly for brides.
Couples on a budget should consider alternatives to fondant work and gum paste.Brides can choose buttercream smoothed to look like fondant and use fresh, organic, edible flowers to decorate their cake.
Cupcakes: Cupcake wedding cakes are gaining in popularity for weddings. Aside from their convenience, they can also be a less expensive alternative. We often see brides choose a small traditional decorated cake with a wedding cupcake tree – some brides even choose multiple flavors for their cupcakes.
Offering a range of products is for most home bakeries the key to success and profits. More on this to come….