So you’re passionate about cakes and cupcakes and your friends and family love your creations. They’ve often said that ‘you could start a business’ selling your cakes, and secretly you begin to wonder if they could be right.
Maybe you crave to bake delicious cupcakes for others to enjoy, with a dream of eventually opening your own cupcake cafe. Or perhaps you’re looking for a flexible lifestyle to fit in around your family, whilst earning an additional income.
The possibilities are endless and can be achieved, but there are some considerations you’ll need to think about before you invest your time and money into a new business.
Let’s start with you as a person. Running your own cake business means that you are responsible for absolutely everything about it, including lots of hard work to make it happen! Whilst this may seem a little daunting, don’t be put off by it. It really is a fantastic and rewarding way to earn a living!
First of all, make sure that you undertake the necessary research to ensure your home is suitable to run a cake business from. If you’re handling or preparing any food for commercial purposes then you are required by law to register your business with your local council. There are regulations that your premise has to abide by. The Food Standards Agency and your local environmental health department can provide additional information on these regulations.
As for the baking, work with just a handful of recipes that you’ve already received great feedback on. As well as tasting delicious, your cakes and cupcakes need to look professional. Study the decorative designs of other successful cupcake and cake bakeries. If you’re lacking a skill in a particular area then consider taking a decorating class to learn how the experts are doing it.
In addition to baking and decorating cakes you’ll also have to market and sell the cakes that you produce. Family and friends will naturally promote your cakes for you, and to ensure a steady, continuous flow of orders you’ll need to attract customers from outside of these circles.
Managing the paperwork and record keeping is relatively simple for a home based cake business, and you will be required by law to keep up to date records for your self assessment (tax). A book keeper or accountant can do this for you, but if you have a limited budget you may decide to complete this task yourself initially.
Starting a new business will also require the vital support of those around you, such as your loved ones and family. It’s really important you make sure you communicate your business plans and ideas to them to gain their full support while your venture develops and grows.
Finally, as with all things in life, you will always come across someone who will be sceptical of your plans. If you’re passionate and determined, then don’t let this hold you back and aim to prove the sceptics wrong!
Written by Tracy Stonard, and published in ‘Cupcake Heaven’ magazine, September 2012.