How to Start a Cake Decorating Supply Store

Written by gail cohen
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How to Start a Cake Decorating Supply Store
Supply commercial bakers and hobbyists with everything they need to decorate sweets. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Spin your idea for launching a cake decorating supply store into a culinary adventure by turning community hobbyists and professional bakers into loyal customers. Stock the latest tools, equipment and innovations. Help local bakers achieve personal goals by becoming a valuable resource for new ideas. Happily, you won't need a warehouse the size of Texas to launch your enterprise. The following recipe will get you started. The rest is in your capable hands.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cash
  • Business plan
  • Inventory
  • Store/warehouse
  • Permits and licenses
  • Business forms

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  1. 1

    Sleuth out a revenue source. Approach banks, venture capitalists, investors and relatives. Prove your seriousness of purpose by showing them a business plan, which should cover everything from the need for a cake decorating supply store in your geographic area to financial spreadsheets covering projected expenses and receipts. List marketing strategies you'll employ to promote your business. Assess established competitors to prove there's room for your start-up.

  2. 2

    Identify cake decorating supply manufacturers and distributors headquartered at the nearest major market centre. Compare prices and quality when assessing cake pans, pastry sets, commercial kitchen tools and nonperishable goods, such as sugar, gum paste, spices and flavourings. Visit Websites to winnow down the list of companies that best suit your needs in terms variety and pricing. Set up accounts after submitting to credit checks. Order start-up stock.

  3. 3

    Rent a facility for your business, either a bricks and mortar storefront or a warehouse to house your mail order or web-based shop. Install a commercial racking system coded for easy picking and packing. For example, a red section holds your stock of cake pans, while frosting supplies are inventoried in the blue section. Alternately, devise an internal stock numbering or coding system to make sure nobody orders wedding cake pans and winds up with stainless steel mixing bowls.

  4. 4

    Take care of business. Stock up on necessities. Purchase orders, cake decorating supply order forms, business cards and product literature. Write business policies (e.g., return and exchange). Establish relationships with credit card companies, PayPal and check verification services. Apply for business permits and licenses. Invest in a computer system with software for tracking sales and expenses.

  5. 5

    Build a customer list. Call on bakeries, grocery stores, schools, hospitals and hobbyists. If they decorate cakes, you want them on your database. Bring sell sheets and order forms along. Offer incentives for opening an account with you. Launch a Website. Salt the text with keywords--such as baking, cakes and decorating--for search engine pickup. Keep the site fresh. Show plenty of examples of how the cake decorating supplies you sell can be used in innovative ways.

  6. 6

    Affiliate with an organisation dedicated to helping entrepreneurs like you stay current on industry news, trends, financial fluctuations, new materials and educational opportunities, all of which can affect the future of your business. Bakery Equipment and Manufacturers Allieds (BEMA) is one organisation you may wish to check out. They've been in the business of assisting folks in all aspects of the cake baking and decorating industry since 1918.

Tips and warnings

  • Join the Green Revolution. Think about launching a business specialising in used cake decorating equipment, an emerging trend that's catching on among people concerned about our planet's finite resources.

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