Confused in Cakeland is the series where I answer reader questions. Have a question? Email it to me – michelle (at) thebizofbaking.com
It seems like there are a lot of cake and cupcake businesses going out of business. I’ve been researching my business model, making a lot of plans and saving up to open my dream store. I want to move forward but I have to admit I’m really scared because I see so many closed businesses and people who burn out. If all those people are failing, what chance have I got? I know you tell it like it is. Honestly, do you really think it’s possible to make a living out of selling cake?
Hey there Worried Caker,
Firstly, I don’t blame you for being worried, it feels a little scary out there at the moment.
That being said, YES, I think that even in this crowded industry, you can make a real, decent living out of selling cake. I think you will work harder than you think you will, I think you MUST diversify your offerings from the very get-go, and I think the best investment you’ll make in your business is in learning business skills. No, I’m not just saying that because I teach a class like that, I’m saying that because it’s been proven over and over again. Your ability to ganache can easily be copied by someone else and is easily learned via YouTube. Dealing with customers, marketing effectively, and having the right entrepeneurial mindset? THOSE are the things you’ll need to succeed in the long term and which can’t be learned in a video.
As for the diversifying part, I mean this on several levels – offer more than one product or service, have staff members with diverse skills but with some overlap, make sure your marketing plan is diverse. To put this into baking terms: don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket, in ANY aspect of your business.
You can do this, my Worried Friend. I still believe – actually, I KNOW, it’s entirely possible – because I’ve both done it and seen it done.