Cake bakeries offer wedding planners, birthday hosts and other clients an alternative to inexpensive cakes from chain grocers. The neighborhood cake bakery is small enough to allow one-on-one consultations with clients but skilled enough to create unique cakes for every event. If you're an aspiring baker, you should not assume that your skills in making and decorating cakes will be enough to keep your cake shop afloat. These businesses require positive word of mouth based on stylish but tasty cakes in order to last beyond their initial funding.
Assemble a business plan that details your target market, start-up funds and experience in baking. Your desired clientele can range from special events planners to businesses that hold regular events spruced up by decorated cakes. Outline your personal funds, loans and available credit in this plan alongside anticipated expenses in the first year. Write your baking background and attach a copy to the plan to bolster your chances of getting investments from local entrepreneurs.
Acquire cake decorating supplies from a wholesaler before you accept any clients. Wholesalers like Pattycakes Cake Decorating Supplies offer fondant, icing bags, air brushing equipment and bakeware to bakers worldwide.
Produce a menu of baking and decorating services along with prices available to prospective clients. Calculate the costs of supplies and hourly labor plus a markup for your signature cakes. In order to stay competitive in your community, ask for prices on cakes from other bakeries in the area to adjust your menu accordingly.
Rent a storefront located near major businesses or residential areas in your community. Your storefront can be adorned with photos of past cakes along with decorations that match your favorite colors and themes. As you search for storefronts, keep your commercial oven, storage space and meeting table in mind when picking from finalists.
Hire an assistant who is interested in baking but can complete administrative tasks as you help clients. Your assistant should be capable of handling the phones, scheduling deliveries and providing basic cooking assistance during projects. Advertise for additional part-time and temporary help at culinary institutes, homeware shops and art schools to find creative workers.
Design a website for your cake bakery that offers a landing spot for interested clients. Snap digital photos of your cakes, and write descriptions for each picture to help clients come up with ideas for their own cakes. Attach an order form along with price ranges for your cakes to encourage online ordering.
Contact wedding planners, floral shops and venues in your community to create collaborations on weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. Produce packages among your partners that offer discounted services to clients who frequent every business. Deliver brochures, business cards and other promotional materials to each partner to help promote this collaboration.
Turn your car, truck or SUV into an advertisement for your cake bakery with a vehicle wrap. Use a local design firm to create a car wrap with your logo, slogan, name and contact information that will advertise your services around the clock.
Start your cake bakery out of a home kitchen to build up enough revenue to own your first shop. Bid on jobs for friends, neighbors and co-workers to create positive buzz about your business in the early going. Once you get referrals and consistent business from your clients, invest in a storefront where you can continue to expand your business.
Meet your city's health codes to stay current on your business permit. Schedule a health inspection of your cake bakery annually to account for changes in cleaning, storage and employee health requirements since your last inspection. While meeting minimum standards will keep your business permit current, cake bakeries should maintain pristine facilities to exude positive images to clients.
- Photo by Senel (Flickr)