I have been told I'm pretty good at decorating cakes and have taken some lessons recently on improving my skills. I enjoy it and am pursuing beginning a business from home selling decorated cakes. Right now I'm trying the word of mouth approach to get my name out. I am looking for advice on strategies or actions I need to make to start this endeavor.
I am also working on starting my on baking business. One of the things that someone told me was that I need to take advantage of every occasion where I can get people to taste my baked goods. Because it is spring and summer will be here soon, I would look into Farmer's Markets as another way to sell your baked goods. You want to do everything you can to get people to know you. The other thing you will need to do is make sure that you are following whatever regulations that apply to your area when it comes to food preparation and distribution. Some locations do not allow you to cook in your home and distribute the food. In my case i had to find a commercial kitchen where I can rent space.
I wish you the best!
Cupcakes are super popular right now, and I would guess the margin on them is pretty good. Someone sent me this video recently and it made me realize. If you can think it, you can do it.
A cupcake ATM machine!
I would also look into attending bridal expos, create a weekly blog where you write about cake decorating and post photos of your creations, and start a podcast where you interview other pastry chefs. Good luck with your dream!
As far as I am concerned you can never have too many cake-makers :) Seriously, congrats on starting your biz Vanessa.
One of the most important questions that you need to answer is how will I stand out. Do you offer original flavors in addition to the traditional? Are your cakes unique in their presentation? Do you offer a variety of products (Cakes, cupcakes, cake pops) that will allow you to reach new people regardless of the occasion? Are you the only one in your geographic area offering this service? Have you gone online to review what others are saying about your area of expertise.
If you can find the pain/problems of others & provide a service they need and want, you are well on your way.
Congrats again & enjoy the ride.
Vanesssa - I would encourage you to also talk to local restaurants. Doing individualized cakes one at a time is hard to grow into a real business. I have a friend who started doing brownies and cheesecakes for restaurants in addition to wedding, birthday, anniversary cakes. She had 3 ladies who help her now and last year did over $370,000 in business.
Thanks to everyone for all the help. I want to clarify something on the regulations on selling out of a home. Is that state or city? And where exactly do I find them? I am in process of setting up a blog of the work I make.
You should ask Grace Becker here on 48 days about regulations on selling out of the home. She is the admin on the group Raise Some Dough here and has her own site www.doughraisingmom.com where you can contact her also.
Vanessa, I would definitely join Grace's group. You will be able to interact with many people in similar situations to your own.
Make sure you have a visual element to your marketing. People need to see your cakes, so you should have plenty of pictures and videos on a website and blog. Is there a local TV talk show in your area where you can talk about the latest cake or wedding trends? We have one of these shows in my area, and they are always looking for local people to come on and talk about what is happening in the community. If you can identify some new colors or designs, you could show your cakes off.
To follow up on Dan's point, I'd also talk with as many sales managers at local hotels as possible - especially hotels that have conference rooms for receptions. I would bet these sales managers are often asked if they know cake decorators, and you can be one of their referral sources.
One local radio station teamed up with a place that did cakes.... gave a way cakes for birthdays... You could do one a month? They did daily for a while. We won one and it was delicious and beautiful :)
YAY!! That is wonderful!