If you are a keen baker and are looking to make some extra cash, perhaps starting a cake baking business could be the perfect side hustle for you.
Whether you’re hoping to bake for friends and family to earn some extra pocket money, or if you’ve got ambitions to take over the baking world, there are a few points to consider before setting up your new venture.
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Why starting a Cake Business from home might be your perfect side hustle
If you are on the fence about starting a cake business, here are a few reasons why it might be a great fit for you:
- It’s a remote business; you can bake at home in your own kitchen
- Baking can work around a 9-5 job, or when your kids are at school
- It’s a great opportunity to be creative and can be fulfilling seeing your visions come to life
- The cake market can be lucrative. Depending on the occasion, people can be willing to spend significant sums on cakes for special days or memorable events.
How to start a cake business from home: A step by step guide
1. Practice! Make sure your skills are top notch, and that you can bake quickly and efficiently. Upskill by watching baking Youtube videos, and select several cake flavours which you can perfect which will be your signature bakes.
2. Bake for your loved ones. This will get you used to baking different requests, you can improve your presentation skills and work out how to transport your bakes safely. Iron out any teething issues before you begin to charge for your cakes.
3. Calculate costs and work out what you will plan to sell. Are you going to focus on cakes for events, or perhaps treats sent by post? Decide on your niche, think about what you enjoy making and ensure your business idea could be profitable.
4. Once you are confident in your skills and what you will be offering, begin advertising your business. Aim for one client, and go from there! Remember word of mouth is very powerful.
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Cake trends and niches
There are lots of routes you can explore when making cakes to sell, and it’s good to think about your ideal customer. What might they be looking for?
Some ideas include:
- Wedding/anniversary cakes
- Birthday cakes
- Gender reveal cakes
- Vegan/Gluten free/dairy free/egg free
- Seasonal cupcakes (for holidays such as Easter, Mothers Day, Valentines day)
- Cake decorating classes for hen parties
- Cake decorating sessions for kids parties
- Postbox bakes, such as brownies and blondies
- Selling to local bakeries or coffee shops that want homemade goodies
- Corporate event catering
As well as deciding on your target market, there are lots of trends you might want to consider too.
Comic book cartoon style cakes and intricate floral decorations are popular right now, or you might choose to stick to more traditional styles. Drip cakes, rainbow cakes, cakes filled with sweets – there is always a new trend coming or going, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to jump on board!
You could specialise in certain trends to become an expert (e.g. Bakes by Olivia has perfected the vintage style), or you could offer a range of styles depending on the customers preferences.
What to do before launching your business
When starting a food based business, there are several practical requirements you must ensure are in place to ensure you have the appropriate permissions, and that you are ensuring the health and safety of your customers. Take some time to read this government guide on starting a food business from your home, which will take you through the necessary steps.
You might also consider taking a course to advance your skills before launching your business. There are in person classes available which tend to be a bit pricier, but a budget alternative could be trying a class via Skillshare. Classes range from Baking 101, to acrylic painting, cake topper making and buttercream florals. Skillshare are currently offering a 30 day free trial, too.
Lastly, you need to enjoy baking. Before deciding to start a cake business on a whim, you need to think each aspect through carefully, and make sure that you would be happy to be baking orders every single day.
How to promote your cake business
- Check out your local events, such as summer fayres, stalls at school events, wedding fairs, Christmas fetes. Remember to check the table fee; anything too high might not be worth it, as you want to ensure you will make a profit.
- On which social media platform do your target audience spend their time? Tiktok is very popular with young people right now and there are opportunities to gain traction very quickly if your videos go viral. Once you have picked a platform, you could try running a competition to grow your following and help spread the word
- When looking to connect with people local to you, Facebook groups continue to be one of the most effective ways to communicate. Join local groups and get posting with any deals or discounts
- Personal recommendations are one of the number one ways to grow a small business. Encourage your customers to share your details by providing business cards or paper flyers with your contact information along with every bake you sell.
- Ensure your branding is on point! Think of a catchy name and get a logo (you can make your own on canva, ask a friend or try Fiverr)
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Tips for making a profit when launching your baking business
- Get your ingredients wholesale – buy in bulk if you can as this will work out significantly cheaper
- Take pre-orders with deposits, particularly around holidays and special occasions. This way ingredients are not wasted, and even more importantly, your time!
- Try to keep your spending low, particularly until you begin generating a profit. Don’t rush out and buy all the gear before you have any orders, as this could lead to a loss.
- Make sure you price your cakes reasonably – take into account the ingredients, electricity to make and store your cake, along with your time per hour. Ensure you are working for a decent hourly rate, and not underselling yourself and your skills.
- Experiment with discounts for returning customers, or during quieter seasons to ensure you have business all year round
Equipment you might need to run a cake business from home
It’s a good idea to build up your equipment slowly as your business grows, so that you avoid starting out in debt. Some items you might need include:
- Stand mixer/hand held mixer
- Bowls, spoons
- Boards and sticks
- Cake toppers
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Final Thoughts: How to Start a Cake Business from Home
If you were wondering how to start a cake business from home, hopefully these pointers have provided some food for thought. Good luck with your new venture!
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