Running a cake business is a lot of fun and hugely rewarding but before taking the leap from hobby to business here are 10 questions to ask yourself.
1. Do you have a passion for creating delicious cakes?
This may seem like an obvious question but it is so key you have an underlying passion. Without it you may be tempted to give up when times are hard, a true passion for cakes will help you progress to the next stage of your business quicker and easier.
2. Are people happy to pay for your cakes?
Have you tested your market, are people happy to pay for your cakes. You may have made cakes for close friends and family but have you made them for acquaintances and friends of friends. Every time you create a cake just ask, ask whether they would pay for your creation, how much they would pay and what would type of service would they expect purchasing from a professional cake maker compared with a hobbyist. You could also create a short survey and ask your Facebook friends.
3. Do you keep an eye on the trends?
Cake making is even more tend orientated nowadays, as with high fashion, cake trends move fast. If you want to keep up or say ahead of the competition it is important to keep an eye on what is going on trend wise from all over the world. Immerse yourself in the cake world for a couple of hours each week, read cake decorating magazines, fashion magazines, search through Pinterest and follow industry experts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
4. Can you multitask?
Starting a cake business requires you to multitask to the max and wear many business hats. When starting out you will need to be the IT Director, the Marketing Director, the Finance Director, the Sales Director, the Customer Service Coordinator, the Delivery Driver, the Social Media Manager and of course Director of Baking and Decorating. There are many hats to juggle but it is perfectly achievable. As your business grows you can think about outsourcing or employing people to help in these areas.
5. Do you have the energy and time to invest in starting a new business?
Starting any new business requires a time and energy. An idea is set a regular time slot aside per week so you can fully focus on your new venture, this could be a weekday or weekend. However, if you need to make contact with other businesses (such as insurances provides and banks) make sure they are open on your chosen day.
6. Do you have the income to support yourself/family while you start your new business?
Income from a new business rarely happens overnight so make sure that you have a safety net in place. Whether you keep working and set up your business around your current job, you have a secondary income from your partner or you have enough savings to support your needs. Make sure you have a buffer to cover your living costs for at least the next 6-12 months.
7. Do you have a support network?
Having a support network is big plus whether they’re your friends, family or outsiders such as business mentors or coaches, networking events or even online forums/groups. Your support what network will act as your personal cheerleader and be your number one fan. They will be there to help you when the going gets tough and they will be there to celebrate the good times. Of course you can do it without the support network but it does make life so much easier. I challenge you do go and find yourself a cheerleader!
8. Do you have hunger to learn new skills and business knowledge?
When you start a business you don’t have to know it all. Of course you need a business idea and as you’re starting a cake business you need to have a talent for creating cakes but everything else can be learnt from books, blogs, magazines, TV, mentors, networking, YouTube and simply talking to people and taking action. You could learn something new everyday if you wished but be careful not to overwhelm yourself to much!
9. Are you a risk taker?
Running a business can be risky however there are different types of risks. Successful business owners tend to take measured risks these are risks that will help drive your business forward but are not so ridiculous that you end up losing everything. Basically weighing up the pros and cons before moving forward not just jumping in head first.
10. Can you handle setbacks?
This is a big one, do you do you have the ability to handle setbacks. The path to business success can be a little bumpy at times and inevitably you will encounter a few setbacks along the way. From paying out way too much for adverts that don’t deliver, to having major issues with cake creations at 3am, to even having your website crash and orders dry up because of it (yes, all these have happened to me!). But it is how you look at these setbacks and how you deal with them that will help you move forward. If you tend to linger on your setbacks/mistakes then maybe cake entrepreneurship isn’t necessary the right path for you, however if you see your setbacks and mistakes as a learning curve, and you are able to grow from it as you see it as part of the journey to success then you are on the right path.
So are you ready?
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