Pricing cakes is normally the hardest single task a cake decorator endures when deciding to set up a cake decorating business and even for those in business very few have a tried and tested formula.
First and foremost you need to know your outgoings and of course ingredients form a significant element of your cost of sales. The CakeUlator is an easy to use App which can be purchased from the Apple Store or Google Playstore which you can use on your iPad, iPhone or Android device and at only £2.99 well worth the investment.
On opening the App there are five selections at the footer:
- Home - which is the page you will open at and provides tip of the day.
- Ingredients - Which allows you to edit or enter all the ingredients you use and allocate a price to each. This will initially be time consuming and whilst pre-installed ingredients are updated every 30 days, customised new ingredientsand will need to be checked every quarter to make sure prices are reviewed to update any increases, but worth the effort.
- Recipes - This is where you create your much used recipes and again this will take a little time to set up but once they have been created there should be no need to change them. With recipes I would add electricity and your time into the ingredient list to give a true reflection of the cost in producing the cake.
- Quotes - When a client decides that they want one tier chocolate cake, one tier lemon and one rich fruit cake this quote function will allow you to see immediately the costs associated with making these cakes which will go towards determining the price you charge. Keeping the quote specific and easily connected to each customer will show your professionalism in quickly being able to quickly bring up the price and details from when you last spoke. All contacts' details and records of quotes are store within the App.
- Options - This is where you enter your currency (currently available in GBP, USD, Euro, AUD, NZD, CAD and ZAR) - measure (metric/imperial) and profit margin. Here you can also re-download the database of ingredients and prices - customise the text of the quote and very importantly back-up your data. In the top right corner there's a feedback button to offer your views and opinions on the App.
This is a very useful tool, but I would always exercise caution in looking only at ingredient and time costs in your pricing equation. In our PRO Section we go into great detail on how to work out your available decorating time, how many cakes you can create in a week, ingredient costs, running costs, tax to pay and very importantly how does your pricing compare to the competition. In the PRO Section we work to a pricing matrix, which this App will certainly complement.
Other points to note when you set your profit margin on the App are that although baking time can be easily replicated design time is far more difficult to assess especially at the quotation stage, again the PRO section will help with this.
If you put your time and ingredient costs in the App will give you your GROSS profit, but you need to work out your running costs considering things like marketing, insurance, delivery vehicle repairs etc and taking all them off will give you your NET profit or pre-tax profit. All this is covered in detail in our PRO section.
The PRO section and CakeUlator App used together will give you a far more detailed and specific way to price your cakes.