Cake Decorating Blog

5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Cake Business From Home

You love to bake. You make gorgeous cakes. Friends and family ooh and ahh over your latest creations. Everyone tells you, “OMG! You should start a cake business from home!” Should you? That’s something only you can answer after asking yourself a few questions first.

Should You Start a Cake Business from Home? | Craftsy

Should you start a cake business from home? 

Cake by Craftsy Instructor Tracey Rothwell | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Photo via Craftsy Instructor Tracey Rothwell

1. Do you have the time?

Anyone who has baked, filled, covered, and decorated a cake knows it takes time. Loads of time. Whatever the reason for starting your business — as a part time job, to supplement other income or to build a bakery you can one day take outside of the home — first consider whether or not you can carve out the time needed to start and run your business.

Operating a cake business will place new demands on your time beyond baking and decorating. Do you have the time to…

  • Shop for ingredients
  • Keep your books (basic accounting)
  • Develop and maintain a social media presence
  • Manage your website
  • Take more classes 
  • Work on new techniques

Cake Pop by Craftsy Instructor Kris Galicia Brown | Erin Gardner |CraftsyPhoto via Craftsy instructor Kris Galicia Brown

2. Do you have the space?

Sure, you may have had plenty of space to bake and decorate a few dozen cupcakes and a baby shower cake for a friend. Would you have space to manage that kind of order times two, times four?

After working in restaurants for years and owning and operating my own bakery, I can tell you I’ve seen magic happen some of the teeniest kitchens. Don’t let your space limitations stop you, but do think realistically about the number of orders you can successfully execute in your work space.

Cake by Craftsy Instructor Collette Peters | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Photo via Craftsy Instructor Collette Peters

3. Do you have the support?

Working from home may seem like a dream to many, but it doesn’t come without it’s drawbacks. Your home may now be your workplace, but for others in your life home is still a place to unwind and relax after work.

It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your husband, wife, partner or even children before deciding to bring your work home. While you are working on your cake business…

  • Are you still on mommy/daddy duty, or will your significant other take the reigns?
  • Can others in the house hang with you in the kitchen, or is it off limits?
  • Do you schedule set hours to work, or get things done as time permits?
Cake by Craftsy Member DeannaSB | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Photo via Craftsy member DeannaSB

4. Do you have the guts?

It takes a lot of guts to put yourself and your creations out for the world to hopefully enjoy, but also sometimes criticize. It is inevitable. Someone may not like a cake design, a flavor or something trivial about you or your business. Realizing this ahead of time and having a plan for dealing with uncomfortable situations will help you stay on track as you hit bumps in the road.

On the flip side, owning your own business can come with some incredible highs. Maybe you’ll be called upon to create a cake for a fancy event, for a photo shoot or a magazine cover. Celebrate these moments, but understand that one single event (good or bad) will not define your business.

Owning your own business can be incredibly emotional at times. Learning to navigate the highs and the lows will allow you to keep moving forward in a way that’s positive for both you personally and for the business.

Image Via Craftsy Instructor Michelle Green | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Photo via Craftsy instructor Michelle Green

5. Do you have the resources?

Chances are, if you’re at the point where you’re contemplating starting your own cake business from home, you’ve already viewed a zillion online tutorials, blogs and classes on baking and decorating techniques. Those kind of resources are fun to seek out, watch and experiment with in your free time.

The resources I’m taking about are the ones you’ll need to not just start a business but to stay in business. Building a successful cake business is a lot like building a beautiful cake. It’s best to start with a solid and seamless foundation of business basics. Otherwise, you’ll waste precious time and energy trying to cover, smooth, and fill the bumps and cracks caused by the things you needed to know, but didn’t.

Build a cake business you’ll love forever!

how to start your cake business craftsy class

Learn how to perfect your pricing strategy, build a strong financial foundation and so much more, in business guru Michelle Green’s online Craftsy class.Enroll Now »

10 Comments

Remi

Thanks . Have worked from home and now l want to. have a small place outside the home. This is so because l want to include homemade bread . LS it advisable or l still continue at home? Thanks

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi! Congrats on your business! I think that’s a question that you would really need to research and answer for yourself. Bread baking is very different than making custom cakes. You’d have a different production schedule, equipment needs, space requirements, time for mixing, proofing, etc. You might want to try searching online for blogs or baking resources specific to breads for a better idea of what you’ll need to know. Hope this helps. Thanks!

Reply
Crumbycakes

“Is it legal” should be the most important question to ask before starting a home cake business. If it’s not, than there’s no point in asking the other five unless a baker is wondering if they should open a business or rent an industrial kitchen. Not all states have cottage laws that allow foods to be sold/produced at home. Even if a state does, there are often major restrictions that a baker must follow.

Reply
lkern

AMEN!

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi! I totally agree. You absolutely need to make sure your home business is legal. I wrote the post from the perspective of someone who is beyond that step. These are questions that might not be as obvious to ask, but are still very important.

Reply
Savannah Kritzer

Does it talk about legal info in the class

Reply
Erin G

Hi! She does address legal issues and financing. Although, some legalities you’ll have to research on your own since every town and state is different.

Reply
DannyGees

That’s why I clicked on this article. I wanted to know about the legal aspects and/or where to find the info.
I thought surely that would be one of the 5.
I’m interested in make food products at home, but not so much that I remember to actually look it up. When I saw the link to this article, I thought it’d have me some good info. Oh well maybe I’ll think to look up the legal issues.

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi Danny! Unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to address legal issues in the post because every country, state, county, and town operate differently. This post was to address other issues that anyone should consider before opening a cake business at home. I can tell you that here in NH, you must apply to the state for a home-based business license and have your home kitchen inspected before you sell any food items. I would start with your local town hall. They can more than likely point you in the right direction. Thanks!

Reply
Rifka

How many ingredients are needed for a 1 lb cake? I.e. How many eggs , flour etc
Also please explain what is the ratio of ingredients for cake weight , thanks
Also if I am using butter cream how much is needed for 1 lb cake

Reply

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