I think pricing a cake is possibly the subject I get asked about the most!! It was also the part of my own business that used to throw me into heaps of self-doubt when I first started making cakes. Was I too expensive, was business quiet because my cakes cost too much, was I making enough profit???? Eeeekkk…. brain overload!!!!
To be honest, working out how to charge for cakes is THE most important part of your business!!! It’s not just about the cost of ingredients and how much time you spend making things, it’s also about confidence and being able to find the right market. Put these things together and your little business will soon be booming!!!
Ingredients….surely we can’t get this part wrong!!! It’s just a few items from the supermarket and some icing and boards…. isn’t it?? Surprisingly, this is the place that most bakers undercut themselves without even realizing. This is a great time to get your pen and pad out and jot things down as and when you use them.
Did you forgot to factor in baking paper, freezer bags, dowels, boxes to transport, ribbons… I know I did at the onset. Although it’s quite overwhelming at how much it REALLY costs to make a cake, it does at least mean that you have a minimum price to hand before moving onto the next step ….
This is where lots of ladies lose their confidence. They work out how much time they spend on a cake, add all of the hours up, panic that the customer won’t want to pay this much and then drop their prices. Would you go to an office every day and work for free?? Of course not, so why should you work for free when running your business. You’ll need to get that pad and pen back out, get scribbling again!! Write down everything that you do. Don’t forget that you have to actually MAKE the buttercream, wash up, drive to the shops, take consultations, bake for consulations, set up files….. that’s a lot of work!!!
3 Find your market
Now that you know how much your cake costs to make and how much you need to charge for your time, you can start thinking about finding the right market. If you are not working with the right clients, customers may comment that your prices are too expensive and you’ll be tempted to drop the cost significantly just to keep the sale!!!
If you like the thought of working with your local market, start researching!!! See what other local cake makers charge, chat to brides at wedding fairs, have a little “nose” around. Once you know what your local client is happy to pay, you can factor this into your designs. Smaller budget cakes can still look beautiful but make sure that flowers are kept simple and you don’t get too carried away with attention to detail. This will stop you falling into the trap of constantly having to drop your prices just because customers cannot afford what you have to offer.
4 Be confident
Would you ever walk into a designer shop with ten pounds in your pocket and try to buy a handbag… of course not, they’d laugh you out of the shop!! They definitely wouldn’t drop their prices a few hundred pounds to cater for your little budget would they. Most of us would head off to our local New Look and find something wonderful to spend our ten pounds on instead. It’s the same for cakes!!! Not everyone can afford your prices and that’s ok. Know your worth and stick with it
5 Think about your outgoings
Never second guess what you need to earn every month, it will be a recipe for disaster (sorry for the bad pun). If you know exactly how many pennies you need each week to be able to pay those bills it will help you to plan exactly how many cakes you’ll need to make to bring this in.
I’m hoping that “how much should I charge for cakes” is no longer a stressful thought but now an exciting new challenge to get out there and make things happen. Get researching, be confident and most importantly… remember you are talented and worthy!!!!