When I started out as a cake designer, I felt like there were a ton of resources on different decorating techniques, but there wasn’t a a lot of insight on how to move from a hobby baker to creating and scaling up to a profitable cake business. I’ve made mistakes as a hobby baker, a bakery owner and as a cake designer. Some of these mistakes were minuscule and the result of growing pains, others were pretty major and could have crippled Sugar Euphoria if I hadn’t sought out wise council. After reading this, I hope you this helps you not make those same mistakes I did!
1. Not having your kitchen/facility inspected by the Health Dept or the Dept of Agriculture
Did you know you can get shut down or fined for not doing this? You want to offer your clients the security of having a space that has been approved by the local authorities. It also helps to have an insurance policy that covers damage to your kitchen (you don’t want to lose out on orders/money due to an accident).
2. Working in your business and not on your business
We know the many different hats that we have to wear as cake designers and business owners. From being our own social media manager, managing inquiries and emails, placing orders for supplies, being the creative director, etc. With all of that going on, it’s easy to feel swamped and feel like an employee of our business. However, it’s super important to wear the most important hat of all … the CEO hat. I would strongly suggest spending some time each month assessing your goals, monitoring your profit, brainstorming new ways to add to or improve your bottom line, etc. I also dedicate the entire month of November (my slowest month) to taking a look into my business and assessing where I can improve and to see what worked.
3. Not having a set menu and policies and letting the clients dictate your practice
It’s great to let your clients have some direction in the design process but you have to have policies in place than allow you to draw the line when needed.
4. Not working with an accountant
When it comes to your money, you definitely want to hire a professional!
5. Succumbing to comparison
Nowadays with social media it can be very easy to get wrapped up into what everyone else is doing. It’s important to not let their success get in the way of yours.
Don’t replicate someone else’s work. Just because a specific design landed them a viral photo and a ton of followers doesn’t mean that same design is going to do the same for you. Stick to what you’re best at and your dream clients will come!