Are you prepared to turn your love of baking into a successful business that sells treats as delicious as your own?
Establishing a home-based cake business may be a thrilling and fulfilling endeavour that enables you to spread the word about your delectable creations. You can create a successful cake business that delights your customers and overflows with cash with a dash of imagination, a pinch of business sense, and a tonne of buttercream.
Get your mixing bowls and apron ready, and let’s whip up some success together!
The first thing to consider when starting any business is the business structure. Getting this right from day one will save you a lot of trouble and money if you have to change your structure once well established.
Although it might be hard to know how the business will perform in the future, there will be some clear indicators initially as it what the best structure is for your business.
Most beef jerky businesses will start as a sole operation as many of the day to day operations can be run by a single person. However, if you plan to scale, consider whether you will need to register for gst, or hire staff.
Learn more about the common types of business structures ideal for a home cake business are:
- Sole Trader
- Limited Liability Company
Learn more about business structures and starting a business in Australia.
When starting a new business there is generally large expenses when starting up. This is applicable to a work from home cake business, however, there are many ways to reduce initial costs and still create a commercial beef jerky business.
The main expenses will be:
- Food Safety Program
- State food license
- Kitchen rent
- Insurance premiums
- and most importantly, ingredients
To reduce costs, start small, and reinvest profits from cake sales to slowly expand the business. If you have a good product, you should be able to gain new customers along with selling to repeat customers. This combination will see revenue slowly compound.
The cost to start a cake business will vary greatly depending on how you manage your production. Budgeting at between $5000 – $10,000 will allow you to purchase several small ovens, obtain the required licensing, and rent some space at an existing commercial kitchen.
If you plan on leasing your own kitchen straight away, then be prepared for additional expenses involved in having your own kitchen lease (insurances, pest control, rubbish removal, fire safety and more)
If you want to fast track your cake business then it would be best seeking finance. There are many finance options available for small businesses.
Develop a business plan
A business plan is an essential tool for any entrepreneur, including those starting a cake business. Here are a few reasons why a business plan is a good idea for a cake business:
1. Helps you clarify your vision
A business plan forces you to think through the details of your cake business, from your target market to your pricing strategy. By putting your ideas down on paper, you can better define your goals and objectives.
2. Provides a roadmap for success
A business plan outlines the steps you need to take to get your cake business up and running. It helps you identify potential challenges and develop strategies for overcoming them.
3. Helps you secure funding
If you need to secure funding for your cake business, a business plan is essential. It demonstrates to potential investors that you have a clear vision for your business and have thought through the details.
4. Helps you stay on track
Once your cake business is up and running, a business plan can help you stay on track. You can use it to track your progress, identify areas where you need to make changes, and set new goals for your business.
Overall, a business plan is a valuable tool for any entrepreneur, and can help you turn your cake business into a success.
Research your competition
Take the time to research other cake businesses in your area to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself.
Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to research your competitors:
1. Identifies your unique selling proposition
By researching your competitors, you can identify what sets your cake business apart. You can see what your competitors are doing well and where they may be falling short, and use that information to differentiate yourself and develop a unique selling proposition.
2. Helps you understand your market
Competitor research can give you valuable insights into your target market. You can see what types of cakes and desserts are popular in your area, what price points are successful, and what types of customers your competitors are attracting.
3. Helps you identify opportunities
By analyzing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where there may be opportunities for your cake business. For example, if your competitors are not offering vegan or gluten-free options, you may be able to differentiate yourself by offering those options.
4. Helps you make informed decisions
By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can make informed decisions about your own cake business. For example, if your competitors are offering delivery services, you may want to consider offering the same to stay competitive.
Overall, competitor research is an important step in starting a successful cake business. It can give you valuable insights into your market, help you identify opportunities, and help you develop a unique selling proposition.
Licensing / Council Approvals
Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a business license, food handler’s permit, and other permits required by your state or local government.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Check with your local government
The requirements for licenses and permits can vary depending on your city, state, or county. Check with your local government to find out what licenses and permits you need to operate a cake business from home.
2. Obtain a business license
In most cases, you will need to obtain a business license to operate a cake business. This license allows you to legally operate a business in your area.
3. Obtain a food handler’s permit
Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a food handler’s permit. This permit ensures that you understand safe food handling practices and can help you avoid fines or legal issues related to food safety.
4. Meet health and safety regulations
Your kitchen will need to meet health and safety regulations to ensure that your cakes and desserts are safe for customers to eat. This may include regular inspections by health officials and the implementation of proper hygiene practices.
5. Obtain insurance
It’s a good idea to obtain liability insurance for your cake business. This can help protect you in case of accidents or other issues that may arise.
Remember to check with your local government for specific requirements, as they can vary depending on your location. Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is an important step in starting a successful and legal cake business.
Running a business comes with many risks, and a cake business from home is no exception. Selling food to the public comes with it a new set of risks that you must be aware of and be prepared for. Having the necessary insurance in place in the case of a food borne illness will protect yourself and business from disaster.
If you are working from your own kitchen space, then it will be a requirement in your lease that insurance be in place. Public liability insurance is the most common, however the type of insurance required will vary depending whether there is a retail front, public access, glass windows etc.
Learn more about business insurance in this article – Insurance requirements for food business
For more detailed advice it’s best to speak to an insurance broker and they will tailor a package to suit your requirements.
Recommended small business insurance brokers
- Brisbane small business insurance
- Sydney small business insurance
- Melbourne small business insurance
- Perth small business insurance
Setup Your Kitchen Space
Setting up a kitchen for a cake business requires careful planning to ensure that your kitchen is equipped with everything you need to create high-quality cakes and desserts. Here are a few things to consider:
You will need basic equipment such as an oven, mixer, measuring cups and spoons, cake pans, baking sheets, and mixing bowls. Depending on the types of cakes and desserts you plan to offer, you may also need specialized equipment such as a pastry bag, decorating tips, and a cake leveler.
2. Ingredients and supplies
You’ll need to purchase ingredients and supplies such as flour, sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder, food coloring, and sprinkles. You’ll also need packaging materials such as cake boxes, cake boards, and wrapping materials.
3. Storage space
You’ll need adequate storage space to keep your ingredients and supplies organized and easily accessible. This includes refrigerators and freezers to keep perishable items fresh.
4. Work surfaces
You’ll need plenty of counter space to mix and prepare your ingredients, and a sturdy worktable to roll out dough and decorate cakes.
5. Cleaning supplies
It’s important to keep your kitchen clean and sanitary to ensure the safety of your customers. You’ll need cleaning supplies such as dish soap, sponges, and disinfectant spray.
Remember to check with your local health department for any specific requirements for setting up a kitchen for a cake business. By investing in high-quality equipment and supplies and setting up your kitchen properly, you can create delicious cakes and desserts that your customers will love.
Develop your menu
Developing a menu for a cake business is an important part of establishing your brand and catering to your customers’ needs. Here are a few things to consider:
- Customer preferences: Consider what types of cakes and desserts are popular in your area and what your customers are looking for. Conduct market research to identify what your target customers are looking for and what types of desserts they are interested in.
- Your specialty: If you specialize in a certain type of cake or dessert, make sure to include it in your menu. This can help differentiate your business and attract customers who are looking for that specific item.
- Ingredients and cost: Consider the cost of ingredients and the pricing of your products. You may want to focus on items that use affordable ingredients or can be made in larger quantities to help keep costs down.
- Seasonal availability: Consider seasonal availability of ingredients and how that may impact your menu. For example, you may want to offer pumpkin spice cakes in the fall or berry-filled cakes in the summer.
- Presentation: Think about how your cakes and desserts will be presented to customers. Consider the shape and size of your products, and how they will be packaged and delivered to customers.
Remember to consider your branding and how your menu can help communicate your unique selling proposition to customers. By carefully considering these factors, you can create a menu that appeals to your target customers and helps set your cake business apart from the competition.
Making cakes from home on a small scale doesn’t require much equipment, however, if you want to scale and create a business then you are going to need to invest in specialty equipment to manage production, packaging and logistics.
Without going into too much detail here, here is a quick checklist of the core equipment every cake maker should have.
- Oven: A reliable oven that can bake cakes at a consistent temperature is a must-have for any cake business.
- Mixer: A high-quality stand mixer or handheld mixer can help you mix ingredients quickly and efficiently.
- Pans and baking sheets: You’ll need a variety of cake pans, baking sheets, and muffin tins in different sizes and shapes to create a range of cakes and desserts.
- Decorating tools: To decorate your cakes and desserts, you’ll need piping bags, tips, spatulas, and other tools.
- Cooling racks: Cooling racks are essential for cooling cakes and other baked goods after they come out of the oven.
- Weighing scale and measuring cups: Accurate measurement of ingredients is crucial for baking, so you’ll need a weighing scale and measuring cups.
- Food processor or blender: A food processor or blender can be helpful for making fillings, frosting, and other cake components.
- Refrigerator and freezer: You’ll need a refrigerator and freezer to store ingredients, finished cakes, and other desserts.
- Storage containers and packaging materials: To transport and store your cakes and desserts, you’ll need sturdy storage containers and packaging materials.
- Cleaning supplies: Keeping your kitchen clean and hygienic is important for any food-related business. You’ll need cleaning supplies such as sponges, dish soap, and sanitizing solutions.
Build a brand
Building a brand for your cake business is crucial for standing out in a competitive market and attracting loyal customers. Here are some important things to consider when building your cake business’s brand:
- Define your unique selling proposition (USP): Determine what sets your cake business apart from the competition. This could be your unique flavor combinations, use of locally sourced ingredients, or your ability to customize cakes to customers’ specifications.
- Develop a strong visual identity: Create a logo, color scheme, and font selection that is memorable and aligns with your brand’s personality. Consider hiring a graphic designer to help create a cohesive visual identity that stands out.
- Determine your brand voice: Develop a consistent brand voice that reflects your brand’s personality and connects with your target audience. Use this voice across all marketing materials, social media channels, and customer interactions.
- Establish a social media presence: Social media is a great way to showcase your products and connect with customers. Create a social media strategy that reflects your brand’s personality and engages with your target audience.
- Build relationships with customers: Focus on building strong relationships with your customers by offering excellent customer service, responding to inquiries promptly, and providing a consistently high-quality product.
- Deliver on your brand promise: Your brand promise is what you offer to customers, and it’s important to deliver on it every time. This builds trust and loyalty among customers and helps establish your brand as a reliable and reputable choice in the market.
Remember that building a strong brand takes time and effort. By focusing on your unique selling proposition, visual identity, brand voice, social media presence, customer relationships, and delivering on your brand promise, you can establish a strong brand for your cake business that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition.
Market your business
Marketing a cake business is crucial for attracting new customers and building a loyal following. Here are some effective marketing strategies to consider:
- Social media marketing: Use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase your products, engage with customers, and build your brand. Post high-quality photos of your cakes and desserts, offer promotions, and run ads to increase your reach.
- Email marketing: Build an email list of customers and send regular newsletters featuring promotions, new products, and seasonal offerings. Use email marketing to remind customers of upcoming holidays, events, and occasions.
- Local advertising: Place ads in local newspapers, magazines, or online publications to reach customers in your area. Consider sponsoring local events or community organizations to increase your brand’s visibility.
- Referral program: Encourage your satisfied customers to refer their friends and family to your cake business. Offer referral discounts or free products to incentivize referrals and build a loyal customer base.
- Collaborations: Partner with local businesses such as coffee shops or wedding planners to showcase your products and reach new customers.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimize your website and online content for search engines to increase your visibility on search engine results pages. Use keywords, meta descriptions, and other SEO strategies to improve your website’s ranking.
Remember to be creative and consistent with your marketing efforts. By using a combination of these strategies, you can increase your brand’s visibility, attract new customers, and build a loyal following for your cake business.
Website and eCommerce
Once you have a product you need to sell it. The easiest however time consuming is to do the hard yards and visit as many retailers as possible in person. This is only viable for so long and you will need to venture to online sales.
To sell your cakes online you will need:
A domain name is your address on the internet, ie jerkybusiness.com.au
This is one of the first things you should register (after your business structure has been setup). For Australia it’s best to register a .com.au and the new .au domain extension. If the .com is available then secure that also.
Learn more about registering a domain name here
You don’t need to go crazy with a website. Keep it simple and easy to manage. You will be busy enough with all other aspects of the business, so you don’t need more tasks. There are many services such as WordPress, WIX, Squarespace and Shopify that will allow you have a website up and running in no time. Then you can post blogs, showcase your products and more.
Learn more about building a website for your small business
Unless you are going to handle sales offline, then having an ecommerce store is vital to growing your jerky business.
Many websites will have built in ecommerce facilities and allow for an online store to be setup in a few clicks connected to payment gateways such as Paypal and Stripe.
Sites like Shopify make it very easy to get an online store setup in minutes and very cost effective.
Just remember, what you can save by not spending on a website you can put towards online advertising and promoting your brand.
To accept credit cards online you will need a payment gateway. The most common are:
Setting up an account is quick and easy as long as you have the correct documentation for your business setup/structure.
Once you have an account setup, you can connect it to your ecommerce/online store provider.
Learn more about accepting payments online.
Set up a delivery or pickup system
Setting up a delivery or pickup system for your cake business can help you reach more customers and increase sales. Here are some important things to consider when setting up a delivery or pickup system:
- Delivery area: Determine the area you will deliver to and the distance you are willing to travel. Consider the cost of gas and time spent delivering when determining your delivery fees.
- Packaging: Ensure that your cakes and desserts are packaged securely and safely for transportation. Use sturdy boxes or containers and packaging materials such as bubble wrap or foam to prevent damage during delivery.
- Delivery time: Establish a timeframe for deliveries and ensure that you have enough time to fulfill orders and make deliveries. Consider offering same-day or next-day delivery for customers who need their cakes quickly.
- Payment options: Determine how customers will pay for their orders. Offer online payment options or accept payment upon delivery.
- Pickup options: Establish a pickup location and timeframe for customers who choose to pick up their orders. Ensure that the location is convenient for customers and has adequate parking.
- Staffing: Determine whether you will need additional staff to handle deliveries and pickups. Consider hiring a delivery driver or part-time employee to help with deliveries during peak times.
- Legal requirements: Check local regulations to ensure that you have the necessary permits and licenses to offer delivery or pickup services.
Remember to communicate your delivery and pickup policies clearly to customers and ensure that your website or online ordering platform reflects these policies. By establishing a reliable and efficient delivery or pickup system, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty for your cake business.
Build a network for your cake business
Build relationships with other local businesses, such as event planners and wedding venues, to get referrals and grow your customer base. Here are some tips on building your network to help grow your cake business.
- Attend industry events: Attend local events such as food festivals, trade shows, and networking events to meet other professionals in the food industry. These events can help you establish relationships with suppliers, potential customers, and other professionals in your field.
- Join local business groups: Join local business groups such as your chamber of commerce or small business association to connect with other entrepreneurs and business owners. These groups can provide valuable resources and connections to help you grow your business.
- Collaborate with other businesses: Collaborate with other businesses in your community to promote your products and services. Consider partnering with local coffee shops, wedding planners, or event venues to showcase your cakes and desserts.
- Attend classes and workshops: Attend classes and workshops related to baking, food safety, and business management to improve your skills and meet other professionals in your industry.
- Engage with your community: Participate in local charity events, sponsor local sports teams or school events to get involved in your community and increase your brand’s visibility.
- Leverage social media: Use social media platforms to connect with other professionals in your industry and reach out to potential customers. Engage in conversations with other businesses and use social media to showcase your products and services.
Remember to approach building a network as a long-term process. Building strong relationships takes time and effort, but it can pay off in the form of new business opportunities, referrals, and increased brand awareness for your cake business.
Continuously evaluate your business and seek feedback from customers to improve the quality of your products and services.
Q. Do I need any special training or certification to start a cake business?
While you don’t need a formal degree or certification, it’s important to have knowledge and skills in baking, food safety, and business management. Consider taking classes or workshops related to these areas to improve your skills and knowledge.
Q. Do I need a separate kitchen for my cake business?
Depending on where you live, you may need to have a separate kitchen for your cake business to comply with local health and safety regulations. Check with your local health department to determine the requirements for a home-based food business.
Q: How much does it cost to start a cake business from home?
The cost of starting a cake business can vary depending on the size and scope of your business, but some common expenses include equipment, ingredients, licenses and permits, marketing materials, and website development. Creating a detailed business plan can help you estimate your startup costs.
Q: How do I price my cakes and desserts?
Pricing your cakes and desserts can be a challenge, but it’s important to factor in your ingredients, time, and overhead costs when setting your prices. Research the prices of other cake businesses in your area to get an idea of the market rates.
Q: How can I market my cake business?
Marketing your cake business can involve a range of strategies such as creating a website, social media marketing, attending local events and fairs, and offering promotions and discounts to attract new customers.
Q: How can I ensure the quality and freshness of my cakes and desserts?
To maintain the quality and freshness of your cakes and desserts, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients, follow food safety guidelines, and deliver your products in a timely manner. Consider offering delivery or pickup options to ensure your cakes and desserts are delivered fresh to your customers.
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