7 Free Resources to Help Manage Your Home Based Cake Business
Whether it is your goal to become the champion cupcake maker at your university or you hope to establish yourself as the premier cake business for weddings and events in your region. You’ll need to begin at the beginning. While you always need to master your cake making and decorating skills. You also need to stay up to date on trends and developments in the industry, there is also the business side of things. Make no mistake, you cannot ignore that part of your creative business. Because it is the key to long-term growth and success.
Unfortunately, managing a business can end up being quite costly if you find yourself paying a range of professionals. Such as, bookkeepers, marketers, and sales professionals don’t work for free, and they don’t come cheap. That is why it is mostly up to you, as someone eager to manage a home-based cake business, to make the right choices and take the right steps. We’ve assembled this list of seven free resources to help you get a good start.
This seems wildly obvious, but as the ultimate free resource for creative ideas, forums for talking with other home bakers, and marketing tools, it just can’t be beat. Make sure you have a good computer and connection to the Internet (sorry, your phone won’t really cut it for a full business management system) as you begin. Now, this is not free, but in essence it is the only conduit to many of the free resources we are going to suggest. So, think of it as an essential.
Software or Apps
With that computer on hand, you can then use some of the best apps and software for managing a cake business. The free apps we suggest include BakeCalc, which is an invoice maker and cake pricing calculator application. You will also want to obtain accounting and bookkeeping software suitable to a small business, and we recommend one like Wave that is easy and free. Contracts are also part of a baking business and at WickedGoodies, you can find they’re easy to use a template.
Don’t think that marketing with local ads in newspapers, phone books, flyers and other tactics is as effective as online marketing…it just isn’t! While we are all for flyers posted all over town and printed materials passed between customers and prospective clients. You need to go online and market yourself like crazy. For that, there is nothing to compare with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You’ll also need to use tools like MailChimp for easy communication.
In addition to managing the business, you’ll want to be sure you have the skills, and/or that you are learning more all of the time. Wilton is a leading name in cake decorating, and they have free guides that can be great primers. JoePastry also has free tutorials, and YouTube is amazing where tutorials and skills are concerned. There are also hundreds of cake decorating classes online at Craftsy (though they are not free, they are very affordable).
In addition to the apps for business management, you also need to think about things like a website, time management and more. We recommend sites like Squarespace or WordPress to get started on a blog or website, and there is nothing like Google’s calendar feature to allow you to create even a wildly complex array of events, alerts, and more. The AngelFoods site even shows you – for free – how to start a blog or a website.
Using the Internet to find some basic answers is helpful, and the marketing that you’ll do through social media is going to provide a lot of useful information. However, if you are managing a business, it is best to have proven answers from fellow baking professionals. There are many working bakers offering useful tools and tips. For instance, this Pricing Resources site offers a huge array of tools.
This is a bit of a subversive way of getting help managing your business, but it works. Go to a website like Amazon.com and search for books about cupcake cash, cake baking businesses, and all the rest. Then simply use your local library, and/or its interlibrary loan service, to peruse the books for free. If something is super useful, you can then purchase a used copy and enjoy its information!