Starting a cake business can be a daunting task, so we asked Paula Wilkinson at Mum’s Bake Cakes to share the secrets to successful sales.I’m thinking of setting up my own cake business, where do I start? Many bakers start off making treats for family and friends and enjoy the thrill of people enjoying and congratulating them on their creations, however, once this turns into accepting money for cakes, the local authority should be made aware. For new bakers, registering with their local environmental health team at their local council can seem daunting, with many hobby bakers feeling this intrusive, complex system is unlikely to suit them. However, when we have spoken with the environmental teams across the UK, they all want to help new bakers get registered. The simplest way is through www.gov.uk/food-business-registration, where full details on registering are available – this is for the safety of the recipients of cakes and bakes and it doesn’t cost anything. These environmental teams do see cake businesses as low risk and at all times help bakers to comply.
What tools or equipment are worth investing in?Back in February we ran this exact question on our Facebook page, where the Mums Bake Cakes bakers often share pictures and ideas with each other. Our overall winner was a Kitchen Aid, however many little secrets were shared in the community too. What price should I charge for my cakes? This is indeed the ‘million dollar question’ and one that seems to stump many-a-baker. There are various tutorials online which help to understand pricing of cakes and bakes, however, through our experience many bakers start by under-selling themselves. The skills of baking and the facility to have a cake where and when a customer wants it, has to have a fair price attached to it. It does seem that with cakes that are gifts, price is of little relevance, however, birthday/celebration cakes need to be priced individually and this is where confusion on what a customer expects to pay and what a baker needs to charge to earn a living can sometimes feel poles apart. Consider the pricing of packaging, ribbon, cake stands, delivery and all other costs before you start to promote your prices online. It’s important to take a look at what other people are charging locally as well as in a different area, but there is no need to undercut other bakers as people buy what they see, and two bakers won’t be making exactly the same cake, but keep prices fair. What should I do next? Once you have registered with your local authority and decided on your pricing structure, you should look at the ways in which you can immediately reach out to your local community. Business cards and social media are a great place to start, but make sure to showcase your cakes with fantastic photography as people definitely buy with their eyes! We’ve put together our top 5 tips for taking pictures on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctlL59SvT1w). Can Mums Bake Cakes help me turn my passion into a business? Much of what we have seen when bakers are thinking of setting up on their own is their lack of confidence, and we have spent time reassuring bakers of the support available. Professional bakers are always happy to share their advice from when they made that gigantic leap to start on their own and there are many support channels such as social media, magazines, training tutorials and colleges, which can all help bakers improve their skills. For new bakers, our marketplace has given them the opportunity to set up with minimal costs and test selling bakes to their area, with some continuing working part-time while establishing themselves. Professional bakers have seen the Mums Bake Cakes marketplace as an opportunity to ‘fill in gaps’ between orders, thus increasing their profit margins and reducing downtimes, while test marketing various products and prices. To find out more about becoming a baker for Mums Bake Cakes, or to see some wonderful creations that will be delivered by the local baker who made it, anywhere across the UK, take a look at www.mumsbakecakes.co.uk. Mum’s Bake Cakes bridges the gap between bakers and cake lovers, and offers a bespoke, handmade cake delivery service across the UK. You can register as a baker to sell your cakes, or purchase bakes from fully registered and insured bakers in your local area.