HOW TO START A CAKE DECORATING BUSINESS IN AFRICA
If you enjoy making and decorating cakes, why not consider starting a cake decorating business from home? You can start by making and decorating cakes for family and friends’ birthdays and other special occasions, and when you have polished your skills and built up a reputation, you can move into the fascinating and lucrative world of wedding cake design.
- Focus on a Niche
The cake design industry is enormously varied: novelty cakes for children’s’ birthdays, gorgeous creations of three tiered baroque extravagances for weddings, or the refined glamor of some of the modern minimalist designs
- Master your skills and techniques
Before you can offer your cake decorating service to the public, you need to be sure that your skills and your product are of a sufficiently high standard. Take classes or online courses if you need to, or just refine your methods at home.
- Don’t forget to promote your business
Word of mouth is the best, but not the only, way to promote your cake decorating business. Most special occasion cakes will be seen by a lot of people at once, and if they like what they see, they will want to know who made it.
How well you present yourself and your cake will determine whether you are seen as a professional, skilled operator, or just an amateur who doesn’t really know what you are doing.
- Use technology
There are all sorts of mechanical devices you can use to make the creation and decoration of a cake easier – food processors, electric knives, electric beaters – but don’t overlook the fact that there are also a lot of technological advances you can use in the management and promotion of your cake decorating business.
Advertising and Promotion
Word of mouth – Without doubt, this is the best means of promotion for your cake decorating business. Always make sure people know who made the cake at the function they are attending, and make sure they have the means of contacting you easily.
Make a calendar – A wall chart is good for this, or if you are comfortable with computers you could use the variety of calendar, diary, and reminder programmes that are available.
Participate in bridal expos, local business forums, and trade shows –
Work out which ones are appropriate for you and establish a presence with well displayed examples of your best cakes
Photograph your cakes: The advent of digital photography means that keeping a pictorial record of your creations is now not only really easy, but also, very low cost. (and the cost of a digital camera is tax deductible if it is for your business).
Deliver a top-quality product every time This is perhaps a bit obvious – it applies to all businesses, not just a cake decorating business
Use all your networks Everyone you know knows a lot of other people that have various celebrations coming up.
Use a follow up letter to secure repeat business A few weeks after you have decorated a cake for a client, send them a follow up letter thanking them for their custom and enquiring as to their satisfaction with your service.
Do a few “freebies” It doesn’t hurt to make and decorate the odd cake for free – perhaps family functions, or maybe the anniversary of a society or club you are a member of