How to Start a Cake Decorating Business

Baked goods are a hot business venture right now. People love having sweet treats. The only thing better than a great cake is a great cake that has been impressively decorated in some way. If you have some incredible cake recipes and love to create unique artistic designs, then you’ll know how to start a cake decorating business from the ground up. You won’t need many resources to get started and it could be possible to even run this business out of your home.

The first step in the process is to make sure you have a food handler’s permit. Obtaining this permit will generally let you know whether your home kitchen qualifies as a viable work environment or if you’ll need to work in a commercial kitchen. If a commercial kitchen is required, check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if an incubator program has one where time can be reserved for your creations. Then you’ll be ready to follow these additional steps.

1. You’ll need to have your facilities pass a health inspection.

This is especially critical for a home-based cake decorating business. Some jurisdictions allow for random inspections to occur. You’ll need to make sure the kitchen is up to code, completely clean, and that there is proper refrigeration on site. With an incubator program or shared time with another commercial kitchen, the potential problems with this step are greatly reduced.

2. You might not need to bake cakes.

There might be bakeries or other at-home businesses that could use your services as a cake decorator. This would mean that you wouldn’t need to bake in order to make money. Your business could be structured as an independent contractor for other bakeries and you could make a certain amount per cake or a percentage of a sale in this partnership. Even if you do like baking, some extra cash on the side could be made by creating non-competing products for others. If you decorate cakes at home, then you could decorate cookies for someone else.

3. Get your products on display.

Your customers are going to shop with their eyes. If you have a commercial location, then you can place these items in a window display and passers-by will stop in to have a look, a taste, and eventually a purchase. If you’re working at-home, window shopping is a little more difficult to accomplish. You’ll want to create some marketing materials that will show off your skills with images of finished works. A website that shows off your skills would also be beneficial. Consider filming yourself in the kitchen decorating cakes so people can see exactly what you do.

4. Secure a distributor for supplies.

When you’re first getting started, purchasing some cake decorating supplies at retail is fine enough to prepare marketing materials. When you’re ready to start making profits, however, you’ll need to secure a supplier for your cake supplies that offers wholesale pricing. You may find that some distributors will only supply items to businesses of certain sizes. Others may offer higher prices to small businesses than large businesses. Look for the best deal and then secure a relationship with that distributor.

5. Offer custom services.

Decorating cakes that are attractive can secure some customers, but the real business comes from custom orders. You will get a lot of requests that may be difficult to fulfill. Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer for business not because you’re trying to discriminate, but because you just aren’t sure what the outcome of the job would be. Only take work where you’re confident that a solid final outcome can be achieved.

6. Delivery is just as important as the decorating.

You might be able to open up a home kitchen business, but you may not be able to have customers come over based on zoning requirements. You might also be asked to set up cakes at special events. This means the delivery of the cake is just as important as the decorating of the cake. Make sure you have appropriate supplies and tools on hand to secure the cakes so customers receive them in good condition.

7. Put yourself out there.

People won’t know about your talents until they see you and your work in person. Consider getting a booth at a farmer’s market, joining a local food convention, or network through the local Chamber to get to know other businesses that could use your skills. That way people will turn to you when your skills are in demand instead of the competition.

Knowing how to start a cake decorating business can help to turn passions into profits. Use these steps to get your business started today.

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