Put your passion for baking to work by starting a cake business. Make sure your cakes stand out by focusing on quality and variety. Most of your business will come from clients preparing for events such as birthdays, weddings, anniversary parties, and corporate events. Offer some standard cakes, but focus your energy on creating unique designs for each client. Make your cakes memorable for your clients. Find the effective combination of location, goods and services and you will have a wait list for your cakes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Business plan
- Legal documents
- Commercial kitchen
- Baking equipment
Research the cake market carefully. Consider how you can compete. Focus on your skills to find something unique. For example, you may have a speciality in cheese cakes. You could build a signature line around that expertise to make yourself marketable. Write a business plan based on your research. Write a mission statement to define your overall goals. Provide a detailed description of your business. Include a market and competition analysis as well as a financial analysis of your current and projected financial outlook. Attach business and tax registration forms at the end of your business plan.
File tax and business registration forms at the state and federal level. Your cake baking business may be subject to local and state regulations. Inquire with your local and state authorities if you are unsure of the regulatory process. The process will likely include applying for a license and an inspection.
Meet with a local insurance agent. Discuss your options for insuring your business. You will want some form of liability and property insurance to protect yourself and your clients. Insurance can help protect you from claims of food poisoning, damaged cakes, or injury from someone tripping on your serving cart or table. An insurance agent will be able to advise you of your options.
Set up a commercial kitchen either out of your home or another space that you own or lease. If you want to operate out of your home, check with local governments to be sure you will not be in violation of any laws prior to setting up a commercial kitchen in your home. Some areas do not allow commercial cooking out of a home kitchen.(Reference 3) Purchase your stove, baking pans, measuring, mixing, and decorating equipment. A refrigeration unit capable of holding several cakes at a time may be necessary as your business grows. Purchase your baking supplies including common baking ingredients and frosting ingredients. You will need packaging for your cakes. Consider having a custom label printed so that you can add your logo to the boxes.
Purchase or lease a vehicle for cake deliveries. There may be times when you will have to deliver a cake for a client. You may already have a suitable vehicle for transportation of the cakes. A van is ideal because of the added space for large cakes.
Work with a web designer to create a website for your business. Use the website like a portfolio of your cakes. Refer prospective clients to your website to look at your past work. Provide rates, policies, and hours of operation.
Advertise your business in local newspapers, bridal publications, and other local magazines. Attend bridal shows in your area and set up a booth to showcase your services. Announce the start of your new business by sending a press release to your local papers. They may contact you to do a feature article. Take advantage of any exposure you can get. Over time, word of mouth will spread, but initial advertising and promotion will be necessary.
Tips and warnings
- Put together an idea book for prospective clients to look through for inspiration for their cake design.
- Make sure you have a formal agreement signed prior to starting work on a cake order to avoid last minute changes.
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