One of the things I talk about A LOT in my business class and here on the blog is how important it is to have systems and procedures in place for your cake business. It’s a simple fact that the more successful you become, the more paperwork you generate! It’s also true that the job most cake makers seem to hate the most is pricing, quoting, recipe costing…really anything at all to do with numbers! I came across CakeBoss software many years ago when I was first starting out, and recently I had the opportunity to re-visit it as part of my blog research. I was impressed with it back then but it’s come a VVVEEERRYYYY long way since. I had a good play and poke around with the current version and I stand by my recommendation that it’s one of the most useful products specific to our industry. Given all the features it has it’s also really affordable, which makes it especially appealing to those of us big on enthusiasm but short on cash.
Let me just say right off the bat that this isn’t a simple “cakeulator” type of product. It’s a financial system for your business – and it’s cloud based, which for those non-techy of us means you can access it from any device (phone, iPad, laptop…) Here are some of my favourite features – but here’s a full list of what it offers.
- You can cost out recipes, and then also work out how much it’s costing you to create a complete, specific order for a customer. This means that you can account for stuff like cake boards or items you already have in stock.
- You can email a customer a quote or invoice from the program directly (no saving, attaching, blah blah.) You can also attach things like contracts and terms and conditions (and we all know how I feel about those!)
- You can add images to your orders, so sketches or photos of the finished product to reference later.
- You can integrate it with PayPal, which means if you don’t currently have credit card facilities, clients can still use their credit card to pay you via PayPal.
- You can use it in llloooaaaddsss of different currencies
- You can upload receipts to your expenses, so they are not taking up a bunch of room (or floating around in the bottom of your handbag)
My personal favourite features are that you can record a customer’s special date (anniversary etc) so that you can contact them later about it. In my opinion, that’s brilliant marketing – get to your customer right before their event – “We notice it’s James’s birthday soon, can we help with the cake?” and you’re both solving their problem and getting yourself a repeat customer. WIN/WIN. My other favourite feature is the reporting. I’m a huge nerd about reporting. I want to know what’s happening without having to hunt through piles of paperwork. There are CRAZY amounts of cool reports in this thing! Current inventory, a shopping list for a specific order, a production report for that week’s orders and so on. Seriously, it warms the cockles of my nerdy business woman heart to see the reporting options.
Do I love this thing? You bet I do. I think it’s brilliant, and I know that the Cake Boss team is always adding in new features in response to client feedback. Most of all I love that even those of us who hate this math thing, who hate the “boring but important” stuff of our business – can still make it work without losing their minds. I’ve actually been promoting this software LONG before I ever wrote a blog and I’m happy to continue to do so. I especially love it for small businesses or home based businesses that can’t invest huge amounts of time or money in complex financial systems but who want to be doing things correctly from the outset. If you want to see how it works in detail, there are a heap of You Tube videos and a webinar on it.