For many cake decorators, running your own cake business is the dream. Imagine being able to do what you love every day? And so many do.
But before you embark on the path of self-employment, there are a few practicalities you need to consider. So take a long hard look and yourself - and remember - do answer honestly...
Do I have a plan?
It might sound obvious, yet plenty of entrepreneurial spirits get so caught up in the GREAT BIG EXCITING PICTURE, they neglect to organise what steps they need to take to get there.
This is where a business plan comes in super handy. It’s an essential document that will help you clarify exactly what your business is, identify any potential hurdles, set out measurable goals and targets, and - perhaps most importantly - give you something to refer back to when you find yourself wondering what the next sensible step is.
That’s not to say you should forget about the GREAT BIG EXCITING PICTURE. In fact, the GREAT BIG EXCITING PICTURE is extremely important because that’s what you’ll use to motivate and inspire you to keep going. Hold on to the feeling of what first inspired you to set up a business, and when times get hard, refer back frequently.
The clearer your path and the more passionate you are about making your vision a reality, the more chance your business has of being a success.
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination” Earl Nightingale
Am I tough enough?
Running your own business can be challenging. In the early days, hard work will inevitably outweigh financial reward, and you’ll need strength of character, unshakable nerves and relentless enthusiasm to pull you through.
Chances are you’ll get things wrong, mess things up and make mistakes. If you manage not to beat yourself up too much, and instead learn how you can do things better next time - you’ll grow as a person and a business owner.
Likewise, other people will let you down. Suppliers or collaborators can leave you in sticky situations and how you deal with it is central to the success of your business. And if you employ staff… well, that’s a whole other can of worms to deal with.
This is where being assertive comes in. Putting your foot down will earn you greater respect from those you work with in the long run. It’s your business - you set the rules of engagement.
Don’t forget, there’s a fine line between assertiveness and aggression - keep a professional, polite manner about you at all times, even when you’re stewing inside.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle” Napoleon Hill
Do I have the skills?
Just because you’re now the owner of a lovely new cake decorating business, doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. There’s always something new to learn, and if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to keep developing your skillset.
Luckily, we have hundreds of tutorials for you to use to hone your cake decorating skills, and we add a new one each week. Whether you want to master the latest trend or fancy picking up a new technique, watching our online tutorials or attending a course are always going to keep you ahead of the game.
Let’s not forget, running a cake business isn’t just about creating incredible cakes. Our Pro tutorials cover every aspect of running a cake business - from social media to food hygiene.
"It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment" Carl Friedrich Gauss
Do I have the support?
Running a business is rarely a one-person job. To start with, you’re likely to be working long hours. Do you have willing family and friends to support you emotionally and practically through the process? A good support network will remove some of the burden of your everyday responsibilities, whether it’s children, pets, housework or other commitments.
Once your business is up and running, you may identify the need to hire one or more members of staff. Be realistic about how much work you can take on yourself and honest if you need to get a few more hands to the deck. Too much work is probably a sign your business is doing very well indeed, but you don’t want to collapse in an exhausted heap.
Finally, don’t forget there is plenty of support available for business start-ups through various government schemes. A quick online search will reveal a plethora of options to offer professional support and guidance.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent” John Donne
Do I believe in myself?
There’s no denying it - starting your own business is truly nerve wracking. Ask yourself if you have the self belief to make your venture the biggest success it can be. Without a doubt, you will be constantly challenged and questioned. A deep understanding of your own ability, purpose and passion will shine through in all that you do.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition” Steve Jobs
Have you already started your own cake business? What advice would you pass on? Leave a comment below!