The Biggest Cake Business Mistakes to avoid
As with any new venture, when starting out and hustling to take your business off the ground, there are bound to be plenty of mistakes from small ones such as missing an ingredients off your shopping list to big ones such as delivering the cake to the wrong address or even worse, getting the quantity of cupcakes or giveaway cakes wrong because you didn’t write it down.
With a few years of hustling on our backs and after talking to hundreds of bakers in the community, we have listed the top three mistakes that most bakers make.
Allowing Clients Dictate Your Business:
We have all been there at the beginning of the business where we are so keen to secure an order that we allow the customer dictate whatever wants they may have and us simply agreeing. Out of desperation, it is very easy to promise that yes you can do 5 tier wedding cake, cartoon cakes, drippy cakes, cupcakes in all sizes and quantity, painted cakes, cookies of all designs, fondant flowers or even rotates cakes however as good as this sounds to the customer, this will be a disaster for you.
By promising too much, you are digging yourself a hole whereby you will be forced to buy more equipment and tools than needed, buy more ingredients not to mention the stress of having to deliver a design/order not in your skillset but most importantly, you run the risk of disappointing that customer and that unhappy customer telling 10 other friends and in the process destroying your reputation and business in a flash.
Solution: It’s always good to specialise and find yourself a Niche. This could be painted cakes, Cupcakes, wedding cakes, Photo cakes, Flower designs etc. however by specialising in a particular field, you will build your reputation a lot quicker as you will be known by customers all over as the person that does that one specific thing best. In addition, you will have confidence in every order you take meaning that you will be able to deliver more than 100% which will lead to happier customers, more orders and more revenue.
It’s always good to push yourself and try new things however be careful not to overdo it and if you do, manage expectations of the clients by letting them know or ask for more time.
Forgetting To Grow Your Business:
Most bakers start this business because it comes from a place of passion i.e. they love to design, bake or simply love an undeniable love for Cakes. As a result, you are likely to be caught up mostly in the day to day business of taking orders and delivering orders trying to bring in every shilling you can to keep the business open. As great as this is, it’s very important for bakers to take a step back and take a LONGTERM view of where you want your business to go.
Solution: Take time out (one day of no orders or deliveries) and sit down to come up with a business plan on where you envision your business. This could be having the ambition to move into other types of cakes such as wedding cakes, expanding your reach say outside Kampala, building your reputation, starting a website etc. etc. The point is that it’s very important to do this regularly at least once a month minimum to outline a plan and steps you need to take to reach your goal. Once these steps are decided, you can then check on yourself on a monthly basis how you are doing and how far or near you are to your business growth Goal. This will also give you a new sense of motivation as you will see your business grow. If you find that this is not your strength or its too difficult and don’t know where to start, ask other bakers for advice or visit the blog by UGANDA TRIMMINGS LTD (http://www.ugandatrimmingsltd.com/blogs/) where they have regular updates on topics mostly on how to grow your cake decorating business.
Not keeping Up With The Latest Trends:
It is very easy to get comfortable and become a one trick pony whereby you only know or feel comfortable delivering one type of design or cakes. This is GUARANTEED to lead to the death of your business sad to say as the world is constantly changing, people’s wants and desires change and those that don’t change with the times are soon left behind and never heard of again.
Solution: Invest in dedicating time to research the latest trends starting from visiting various websites and blogs within the cake decorating community, visiting equipment and tool suppliers such as UGANDA TRIMMINGS (http://www.ugandatrimmingsltd.com)and also reading cake decorating magazines or books available on the market. Not only will this allow you to get inspired, you will be able to learn a lot more and offer customers different options which will eventually lead to more orders and revenue