A Recipe for Success – The Ultimate Guide for Your Baking Business
Thinking about taking your hobby from confectionary side hustle to a full-time baking business? The romantic idea that you will spend your days only baking perfect cookies is far from the reality of what it takes to run a profitable baking business.
Cookbook author, business owner and baking aficionado Grace Stevens shares her most valuable insights into what you need to do to begin your baking business.
Set informed goals
Every great cake begins with an amazing recipe. In business, your recipe should start with researching your target market, examining your competition, and setting clear, achievable goals to help you stay disciplined on the path to your sweetest business dreams.
Play to your strengths
Embrace the elements that make your creations extraordinary and play to your strengths as a baker and businessperson. Offering something unique, delicious, and reliable to your customers will keep your creativity flowing and ensure you get your financial piece of the pie.
Listen to your customers
Your customers can be your biggest advocates and having a great reputation can even save you money on marketing. Being mindful of your patron’s ideas, inputs and even criticisms will help you build a loyal base of return customers and pull in new business.
Ask for assistance
Identifying what is not your strong point and learning to ask for help in the right places is extremely important for your confidence, as well as the growth and sustainability of your business.
5 top tips on pricing that you never even thought about:
• 1. When selling your masterful creations be mindful of expenses like packaging, consumables, ingredients, your time and your technical skill level.
• 2. Marketing for the launch of your start-up and for the long term is important to cost into every sale.
• 3. Certain markets, such as wedding cakes, may have a seasonal swing to them and it is important to budget to diversify your products and save for the slower months accordingly.
• 4. Identify exactly what each of your recipes cost as if you had to buy all your ingredients and equipment tomorrow. Even the best equipment has a lifespan so it is important to plan to improve, expand and replace your essential equipment as needed.
• 5. Have a contingency plan. Adding a small amount onto each of your successful orders will ensure that you have the budget to remake an unsuccessful order without running at a loss. The number of re-bakes will be unique to your skill level and should decrease as you become more experienced.
Perhaps the most important pearl of wisdom that Grace shares is that you need to know your worth and stick to it. The value you assign to your creations is pivotal to both the health of your business and your professional confidence.
If you plan carefully, never follow a half-baked idea, are mindful of your finances and never undervalue your skills or the products they allow you to produce, you should be sifting your way to success in record time.
Grace Stevens – award-winning TV chef, cookbook author and mastermind behind Grace Stevens everyday baking and decorating – has successfully taken her two passions, baking and teaching, and seamlessly combined them into insightful and entertaining culinary classes.
Grace began her professional career as a teacher and spent 10 years teaching at the prestigious SACS Junior School in Cape Town. She then moved on to chase her other passion, cake design, and studied sugar art extensively under internationally acclaimed confectionary wizard Eunice Borchers. Grace’s students come from all backgrounds and include young women who are just beginning their exploration of the sugar arts, mothers who are looking to make their children’s wedding cakes and chefs striving to master the confectionary arts and achieve both professional success and admiration for their new skills.
Grace’s creativity combined with her organised nature makes her a versatile artist and phenomenal teacher.Each class is meticulously planned with every ingredient expertly chosen and elevated into a creative and inspiring confection. The classes are designed to teach all the students how to make delicate and precise works of art while mastering new skills and meeting likeminded people along the way. The class recipes are specially designed to cater to all skill levels with one easy recipe, one medium recipe and one for the master baker to ensure that everyone learns something regardless of their skill level or experience.
It is Grace’s dream that the women she teaches are inspired and take their skills and share them with their loved ones or convert them into profitable sustainable businesses. She believes that empowering women is extremely important as they are the heart of many homes, families and communities, and are often in the best position to pass along the skills they learn in her classes.
Over and above learning new skills, she hopes that all those who attend her classes leave inspired to become a better decorator, businesswoman, chef or baker. Her students leave her classes with more than just new qualifications. They leave having made new friends and memories.
Grace is also a very busy mom to four children and although the balancing act between being a dedicated mother to four kids, a loving wife and a successful entrepreneur may be as delicate as some of her icing creations, Grace pulls it off effortlessly.