It is always an uphill task to start something new. Prossy Lule experienced this when her business, Cake Vine was birthed. Her business has survived past the one-year mark.
Today Prossy shares five things she wishes she knew before starting Cake Vine:
Man, oh, man!! how I wish I had worked in other bakeries before opening up my own! I underpriced most of the time and made losses. Some clients asked for “complicated” designs yet I was still green on design work. It was disastrous but I kept going and learning from my mistakes.
In as much as I’ve had a lot on the advantages of partnerships, my mind still creeps considering how some people are not trustworthy and committed. At first, it scared me not to have one but for now, I’m confident in the fact that in some time to come, I’ll need a partner or two; directly or indirectly.
3. Asking for help
I am one person who asks for help doesn’t come easy but baking is one business that can teach that it’s ok to ask for help right from fellow bakers, the delivery man, your people at home, the internet, friends, name it. Some of this help comes at a fee but in the long run, it is worth it.
4. Pricing/Costing the products
Like in any other business, it is very important to know how much they sell cake products. Because of a knowledge gap relating to pricing, I’ve under and overpriced bought materials quite expensively from some shops yet cheaper sources were/are there.
Calculating for every expense as far as the output of a given product is concerned is very critical for one to stay afloat in this cake business.
5. Taking note of my recipes
At the start, I baked off YouTube and Facebook recipes and I could make adjustments to some ingredients there and then as I baked but I realized for some of the cakes I made they turned out good, with great feedback from friends who I gave to taste but unfortunately I had not kept proper records.
The more I understood the business, the more I purposed to write down my recipes and any adjustments noted. This is helpful to replicate a taste and hence product quality consistency.
Here are some challenges that I have experienced on my journey:
- Inconsistent quality of cake materials/ingredients. To mention, you can purchase a flavour today of a particular brand and next time, its taste may not be the same.
- Inflation is high and this narrows the profit margin and many customers are not willing to go with the cake price increment sighting various reasons.
- Some clients don’t want to pay the delivery fee. Being that I operate in one part of town and my clients live in different area codes, the delivery fee can be high depending on where they are. This gives most of the clients grief.
- Some clients don’t want to make a deposit on their cake order. My policy is that there has to be a deposit made for every cake order but some clients want to pay me upon delivery which is unacceptable.
In conclusion, I strongly advise that anyone who wants to go into the cake business should count the cost before starting. Do your research, learn from fellow bakers, ask the right questions and when ready, start your business. Monitor the business thoroughly well at all times.
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