Following my dream and starting my cake business was the best thing I could do for myself during my career change.
For YEARS I’ve wanted to be a cake designer yet didn’t act on it until 5 years ago. After getting my cake business off the ground, I learned so many lessons about pricing, business, marketing, customers, being an entrepreneur…you name it!
I could write an entire book on everything I’ve learned starting a cake business (hmmm book idea!) but I only have this blog post so far!
If I could go back and give myself these golden nuggets, I wish I knew the following:
1. It takes time to grow a business.
I wanted success in my business as quickly as I snapped my fingers. And when I felt like I wasn’t moving fast enough, the slower my business grew.
In this day and age, life is all about who got there the fastest and living the glamours life NOW. It’s totally unsexy to talk about the learning lessons, the time invested, the long nights, the doubts, the pain, the angry customers, etc.
I would see the cake designers and business owners I loved and I envied their success.
But when I got to know those cake designers, they were studying for years or invested 10,000 hours in their craft to have the success they currently have.
Building a business is all about growth and sometimes that takes time. While you can speed up the timeline learning from others, when you learn to enjoy the journey, success can come a bit quicker.
2. Unexpected expenses.
After I got back from Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary arts in Toronto, I was ready to get my business going! However, I didn’t account for all the business expenses that comes with running a business.
Owning a cake business does have a lot of start up costs, with tools, equipment, classes, ingredients, testing recipes, buying supplies, the cake business adds up!
I somewhat felt blindsided when I discovered I needed to buy a lot of “stuff” just to make cakes in my business.
3. Invest in yourself.
I invested in my cake career by attending school in Toronto. However, 90% of the classes were cake design and nothing was business related.
So I tried building a business on my own until I had so many questions about this and that… I truly needed some HELP!
I needed help with running cake business, marketing my cakes, changing my mindset around money, becoming a better designer.
After I admitted that I needed help to help me become a better cake business owner and designer, my business took off faster.
A lot of cake designers think they can do it on their own, but in actuality they don’t grow that fast. They make about the same amount of money each month.
In order to take your cake business to the next level, you must invest in yourself! When you invest in yourself and decide to take your business much more seriously, you start to get the results you want! Not the results you keep getting.
4. Stop listening to others.
I used to listen to anyone who had any advice about MY cake business, MY future, My products, MY direction. And I allowed those comments to take me in all different kinds of directions.
At the end of the day, I wasn’t happy with my cake business until I started listening to myself and taking my own advice.
From that inner space, I was able to make decisions that led me to happiness and a cake business I loved! Versus a cake business I like and loathed so many things inside.
I let go of ideas and products that didn’t make me happy and I was able to fill that space with a business i enjoyed!
5. When you grow, GET READY!
I hit a huge growth spurt in my cake business that was super exciting! But when it was time to execute on the cake orders, I was OVERWHELMED!!!
Being extremely busy in your cake business is awesome but when you don’t have the support, resources, or supplies, it can be a nightmare.
After being completely overwhelmed in my business, I wanted to quit! And I did quit (without telling anyone) and my cake sales plummeted. Until I realized I wanted to keep my cake business, I had to build the momentum back up.
Instead of being overwhelmed, I wish I planned ahead with my cake orders, hired support, and paced myself with all my cake orders.
I hope these learning lessons can help shed some light on how growing a cake business isn’t all glitz and glamour. However, when I told myself it’s a journey to enjoy instead, the ride became WAY more enjoyable!
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