Thursday, September 8, 2016

How Much Should I Charge for a Cake?!

I must share with you...something has changed.  Very drastically.  I no longer make cakes.  This Lego cake on the left was the absolute most popular cake I ever made.  It was so popular I even shipped one across the states!!  I will miss cake making, and I will always cherish the experiences I had making so many special cakes.
The reality is that as much as I love design and business my business became too much and overwhelming for just myself to handle.

Yes I did consider growing much further.  Raise capital, hire employees, maybe open a store here and maybe another store there.  But I quickly faced the reality of how much launching a full-fledged venture/start-up would significantly affect my family.  Yes I love venturous things but I decided family stability was more important for my young family than the intensity of a start-up status.

But how do I fill such a void that has all of the sudden 'Closed'?

So I came up with an idea...I will share it.  With you:).  I have decided to share what I have learned during my experience of running my cake business in order to help you with yours!  In this blog moving forward I will go over strategies, operations, sales, among many other areas that will help your cake business.

The how-to cake making blogs that I posted (including the popular How to Make a Lego Cake!) while I ran my business will remain and will not be deleted.  Going forward I will share what worked well, not so well, and even ways for you to save money:)! So let's go...

Let's jump right in to the ever popular question:
How much should I charge for a cake?


There are many answers to this LOL!  The most popular one is that you have to calculate your ingredients, your time and then you come up with the 'correct' number.  Another popular answer is to assume that since the price of someone else's cake is X then yours should also be X.  So the real answer is actually a little less clear (but I will break it down no worries:)):


The TRUE price (of anything) is the price that someone is WILLING to pay.  


I learned that in business school and applied it for real and I can't tell you how accurate that really is!!  It is a reality!  So let's dive deeper into this and what this means for your cake rates...

Given this reality how do we calculate the amount someone is willing to pay?
From my experience there are two components that contribute to a customer's willingness to pay you: 1. Your cake making ability and 2. The current market price.

If you are new to cake making and you have limited cake making ability you will likely have to accept a lower price initially.  I certainly did!  However, do not take this as you are working for less than you deserve (at least initially!).  The reality is every business has a period of investment and the truth is you are investing in your cake portfolio and progressing cake making ability!

Market price also comes into play somewhat...for instance if someone can buy a basic sheet cake for and average price of $40 don't expect to sell a similar cake for $80 (again at least not initially but more than likely it won't be that similar if it is really worth $80!).

As time goes on your cake making ability will improve and therefore you will be able to charge more.  But that does take some time to develop.  You can also think of it this way...how much are you willing to make this cake for?  If it is above what someone is willing to pay you it can be tough to secure consistent orders.

A good way to 'benchmark' your rates would be to visit or call your local retail and custom cake shops and get quotes yourself!  This will give you an idea of what established businesses are able to sell similar cakes for.

How exactly I created my initial prices:
Getting current market quotes is exactly what I did...after getting an idea of what customers were already paying in the market I then charged less (to match my inexperience ability).  And the amount that I charged was the amount that I was willing to make the cake for.


Good luck out there and Happy Cake Making!!

3 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to have found this site! Can't wait for,the help with my small biz. I noticed you sell or use to sell cake couture fondant. Is this still available or a good recipe to make my own? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Aisha!! So excited that you are here!:) Yes I will be putting my recipe together and my homemade recipe will be for sale on Etsy hopefully later this month. However, in the meantime or for a free (very similar) version just google for YouTube 'How to Make Marshmallow Fondant'. It is similar to Liz Merek's and Amanda Oakleaf's recipes. I will write a post about this in the future for sure! Thanks for visiting Aisha!:)

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    2. Hi Aisha! I just wanted to let you know that our Cake Couture fondant recipe has been put up on Etsy. Thanks and good luck!:)
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/466455028/cake-couture-fondant-recipe?ref=shop_home_active_1

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