When people think of starting a cake business, they automatically think about the practical steps that they need to take. They need to obtain their Level 2 Food Hygiene, register with the Local Authority, get Public Liability Insurance, the list goes on and on….
BUT, what is so often not spoken about, is the obstacles that stand in the way of bakers and their cake business dream. And so often, those obstacles are in the bakers own mind. I know that they were certainly in my mind when I started my cake business in 2014, and they crop up regularly with the awesome bakers that I am lucky enough to mentor now.
So often, bakers ask themselves:
Will I be able to make a "success" of it?
Will I get any orders?
Who on earth will want to pay ME to make them a cake?
Is my work even good enough for charge for it?
What if I get really busy and it takes over my life?
What will my friends and family say if I ditch my job to make cake?
What about other bakers in my local area, won’t they be annoyed?
WOW, it can feel exhausting, and to be honest, sometimes, all of this brain chatter can be enough to put a baker off from taking the plunge to turn their passion into a business - I’ve witnessed this happen on so many occasions.
A lot of these worries come down to a lack of confidence and a lack of feeling in control but they a nonetheless very genuine concerns for the baker. Let’s dive deeper into four of the common ones:
1. The Success
Bakers so often say that they are worried that they won’t be able to make a success of their cake business. BUT, let’s throw that one straight back - what does success even mean?
There are so many different versions of success and you can create your own. The best thing to do, is to start where you are, not where you think you may want to be in 5 years time because it is likely that within that time, your ideas of what makes your business a success will have changed.
There’s a quote that I love……….“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Learning and developing skills never stops, and nor should it. Just because you do not know "everything" does not mean that you cannot be successful at any given point.
The one thing I would say is that building a business does take time. No business is an overnight success, however, with effective advertising, excellent customer service, and a great product range, you will absolutely get the orders in. Even if things seem a little slow to begin with, as soon as you start making cakes, sharing photos, and sharing feedback, you will gain momentum. It can be very surprising how quickly this happens.
2. The Profit
Bakers often come to me and say that they are worried that if they start a cake business, they won’t be able to make a profit. My answer to this is that the only way that you won’t make a profit is if you don’t price your work properly.
The potential is there for you to make a profit, so long as you work out your pricing properly, AND stick to your guns when quoting. Even when bakers do price their work properly, there is a tendency to think the quote is “ too expensive” or “people won’t pay that”, so they often knock a bit off (usually a fiver!) when they deliver the quote. This is one of the very things standing in the way of bakers making a profit. I hear bakers say all the time “ but I’m worried I won’t get the orders!” my answer to that is that it is better not to work at all than to work for nothing!
3. The Time
Bakers worry that they won’t have time for their business around their day job, family, and other commitments. But, that is the beauty of running your own business…. you are in control of the work you take on and the amount of orders. You can control your diary and make sure that you don't get over booked with work. My suggestion would be to start off small, and build up gradually and then you can get a feel for how much work you can realistically manage.
4. The Family
Sadly, a lot of bakers often feel like they aren’t supported in their cake business dream by their friends and family. Friends and Family are protective, and they want us to succeed so if they are suggesting that “you’ll never make money out of cake" then you need to consider why this is. Could it be because at the moment, you don’t have the skills, knowledge, and experience to make money out of cake or maybe they can’t see that you are serious about making this dream a profitable business?
If you reframe this, and let your family and friends know that you are serious about pursuing your cake business, that you will learn to price your work properly, and work to make it profitable, then you will find that they have a whole different attitude towards it.
By breaking down these barriers, the process of starting a cake business becomes far less daunting, leaving you to concentrate on the practical steps of starting your brand new cake business.
If you are a baker, wondering whether a cake business is right for you, then I have stacks of resources over on my website to help you to make the decision, and to take the required steps to start your business. You can check them out here:
About The Author
Hi I’m Rebecca Ledger! In May 2020 I started WHISK because I wanted to be the person that I wished had been around when I was starting my cake business back in 2014 - Someone who was prepared to go "all in" with sharing their knowledge, rather than offering half help as they were afraid of creating competition for their own cake business.
My mission is to empower bakers to:
If you think that I might be a good fit for you, you are very welcome to:
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