Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Is this the right thing to do?

Hello Everyone,
I am a stay at home mom and recently moved from Maryland to Texas. I want to start a cake business from home. But since I just moved here I have no friends/family, who can help spread the word. I was thinking if I should bake and decorate and give it away from free to my husband’s colleagues at work. That way I can get a photo of the decorated cake, get peoples opinion and spread the word. Is this a sane thing to do or will it just be like people will eat cake free and forget all about the baker? I would appreciate any idea on how to move this forward. I don’t have many pictures to show off to people if they ask me about my work. So I am kinda lost on how to go about it. Thanks for reading :)

Tags: cake business home cake decorating advice question how-to

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5 Replies

Olivia's Bakery ...

Good morning!

Kinda had the same “problem”. But better call it “challenge” ;-) because of my hubby’s work we moved from Austria to the Netherlands, 2 yrs ago. In Austria LOT of people already did know me. had a cake order almost every week (for a big cake). Here in the Netherlands, knowing NOBODY, it took a while to spread the word.

I also made cakes for my husbands colleagues, a friends office party and so. but honestly: not really the response I expected. In Tyrol where I come from we have a saying: what doesn’t cost, has no value. So, giving cakes away for free. no-no. better decorate cake dummies and try to get people to see the photos.

what’s about google Ads? facebook? twitter? linkedIn? Icing Smiles? getting articles in local newspapers?

but I may not be the best advisor though I’m still struggling with getting my business known ;-)

wish you the very best and a sweet success!
Olivia.

The Clever Little Cupcake Company (Amanda Mumbray) ...

I didn’t know a great deal of people when I started, even though I’ve been living here for 8 years. I think getting a great website helps, and a facebook page. It takes time, but you will get there with it.

Making practice cakes help, and posting them on your facebook page – getting friends to share them too. I would definitely make cakes for your husbands work – make them as detailed as possible. Also, are there any markets you can sell your cakes at? That spreads the word at the beginning too.

I have been in business for 2 and a half years, and I would say it took a good six months until I started to get orders coming through. Now, I am turning people away.

The very best of luck with it – it’s challenging, but so worth it, xx

suma1980 ...

Thank you SO SO much for your inputs, I am really at a loss at this thing and I appreciate the inputs.
Ya, I have heard about the free has no value thing as well. I did however get an order in MD, but my husband was not actively spreading the word because one cannot operate from a home kitchen in MD.

No I cannot sell them in markets, TX doesn’t allow that- it has to go straight from my home to the customer. I know there are a LOT of Indians around in this area and they might be willing to help a fellow Indian :D These people might share my cake pictures etc. I don’t have a website or facebook page, as I don’t have much to post in there. So I can take 2-3 months just making cakes, coming up with different flavor combination, brush up my decorating skills etc Basically collect enough stuff to put on the facebook page. Makes sense, no? :)

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

I must say I tried giving free cupcakes to my day job as well as my husband’s job early on in attempt to try to get some business from colleagues. Many would say how fabulous they are and so delicious and lots of comments about doing their kid’s birthdays and what not… but when the time came I was not approached for an order. So I stopped giving away freebies to them. You are right, it is really hard to start off not knowing anyone. I live 3000 miles away from my family and old friends and haven’t really developed any close knit ties here nor do I have children yet so I don’t have birthday parties to make cakes for and get other mom’s to take notice… so getting started has been difficult because you don’t have that built-in group of people you can make cakes for and grow from there. I tried selling at a farmer’s market and it was way too much work for no profit and only translated to a handful of private orders. Luckily with word of mouth (slow as it may be) and great client referrals, two year later, I have steady work and busy weekends so I can’t complain. Still not enough to quit my day job but I’m happy because I’m feeding my passion for cakes and I know eventually I can focus on this full time. I agree with the other artists to explore all avenues and try get involved whereever you can. If you have Indian groups or communities which have events, try to pursuade them to let you make a cake for it – even for just the cost of your ingredients or maybe even free – it might spark interest. Use social media and share your cakes. Make a great website. Work with charitable organizations and donate cakes to Icing Smiles or local organizations; Look for county fairs – many have baking/cake contests. I know some people send cupcakes to local papers and magazines in hopes of a write up. I’ve never done this but it’s an option. People don’t know you exist so you have to get in front of their face somehow. This is a hard business to get started but keep at it and things will improve – your passion will drive you to keep going. Good luck!

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

I agree that giving cakes away may not be a great idea – I did that for almost a year at my office – I made a monthly cake, which was raffled among the employees with the proceeds going to a charitable organization. Everybody loved the cakes – I got lots of oohhs and aahhhs, but at the end of the eight months, I was still hoping that someone would order something from me. So, I finally stopped giving my cakes away!

I suggest getting a website that showcases your cakes; do make some samples for your husband’s office, but when someone has a birthday, or a special occasion – not just because. Church is also a good venue – they hold bake sales, which will give you a chance to show your work – If you live in a gated community, ask if they have a newsletter where you can advertise. Make business cards… eventually, the word will get around and you’ll be busy as a bee – I’m still waiting for that day, but I’m not giving up -:))))