The tough world of cake business

When Paul set up his cake business 15 years ago it was all so new. He knew he could make lovely cakes and he was full of ambition and ready to go. However, there were a number of questions that came up in the first few weeks, which included:

What should I charge? How do I find customers willing to pay the going rate? How should I deal with complaints? Tax? VAT? Order forms? Bridezillas? Transporting cakes? Terms and Conditions? Etc, etc.

As Paul is very much the creative artist, he didn’t want anything to do with these things. His dream was to make lovely cakes and see the customer's reaction when he presented them with his work.  However, whether he liked it or not, these questions needed answers... and quickly. This is when he turned to David for help.

Their lines of responsibility were very clear and remain so to this day, with Paul dealing with the creative side and David the management. However, if you don’t have a David then you need to do both.

Fast forward 15 years later and you can imagine the wealth of experience that they have built up between them having ran 7 outlets with 35 members of staff at one point.

Paul, David and Sachiko Windbiel

Paul and David with Sachiko Windbiel

Pro members get the benefit of all these years of business experience broken down into a little over 100 lessons as well as access to the closed Pro Members Facebook Group, which includes a monthly live Q&A session with Paul and David.

Paul and David’s aim when starting the online tutorials was to empower through learning. On a practical level, the goal was to provide a high-quality library of cake tutorials for members to access 24/7 and provide ongoing support to help members everywhere.

Whether this be learning basic sugarpaste skills , making a three-tier stacked handbag cake for a loved one's birthday or setting up your own cake-related  business, they pride themselves on providing members and students with top quality information backed up with a professional, fast and helpful service. The aim is to  provide value for money alongside access to a community of similarly minded cake designers to engage with and seek advice from.

Paul loves teaching cake decorating and just loves the reactions and laughs when running attended courses. However, as the filming takes up so much of his time these days, he now tends to spend a lot more time in front of a camera than in front of people.

Paul's students show off their work after completing an attended course

Paul's students show off their work after completing an attended course

Working to camera can be tough sometimes. As you aren’t getting any immediate feedback, it can be difficult to tell how the lesson is being received at the other end.

David has said on a number of occasions that money is important in business but that you have to truly enjoy what you are doing to be happy.  

Paul and David enjoy hearing members stories and feedback. Thankfully, most of the feedback they receive is extremely positive. However, even when they do recieve negative feedback, they use this to help them identify areas for improvement.

This week Chris from Top Tier Cakes in Cheshire wrote a lovely review, which reinstated with Paul and David why they love doing what they do.

The review was written on Feefo, which is a trusted independent review site. For the full story follow the Review then click the Pro Membership down arrow. You’ll see all 1369 reviews.

Feefo Gold Trusted

Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School received Feefo's Gold Trusted Service Award for 2017

Chris, who has run her company for close to 15 years, specialises in designing wedding and celebration cakes and only wishes that Paul's tutorials and advice had been available for him when he first got started in the "tough world of cake business" all those years ago.

"Sometimes, we all need grounding in why we came into the cake business in the first place and a breathing space as to check our progress and aims for the future. I wish, there had been a service like this when I set up my business all those years ago!" Chris wrote.

Some of Chris' handy-work

Some of Chris' handy-work

Indeed, even if you do possess the skills in how to bring wonderful cake designs to life, turning your skills into a sustainable business is a whole different story, especially in such a competitive market place. This is perhaps why we felt it was so important to offer our pro members tutorials covering the business and marketing side of the industry as well. Something Chris feels is a vital feature.

"I find the topics that Paul, David and the rest of the team cover in the pro section are always pertinent and thought provoking, Never patronising, they have an understanding based on experience, which restores your own confidence in your own abilities"

"I love to watch Paul working on his cake designs, listening to his thought processes as he works on his cakes and then the pro bonus of him doing his costings in his head, the options available to increase the basic price and the justifications . Can really associate with this !"

"I wish I had a 'David' to keep me on track and just send the guys to do my online marketing ! But being a pro member means I can soon access online for advice and reassurance. The updating over the last 12 months has been needed but is so so much more than ever before. Real Value for money, far better than any others on the market!"

"Should be compulsory membership for anyone contemplating setting up in the cake business !!" she added.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Have a look at the range of advice and help that’s on offer on our Pro Section. We offer a money back guarantee so what do you have to lose? Have a look at all our Membership Options to decide which plan is right for you.

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