Are you a hobbyist cake maker who is looking to make the jump to running your own cake making & decorating business from home? This page includes a wealth of great resources to help you get started, including advice from our panel of cake decorating experts, and superb bulk pricing offers for any business!
If you are interested in turning your cake making hobby into a fully-fledged business from home, then we have invaluable information on this page that can answer some of the questions you may have. We have a panel of three cake making experts, who each made the same decision and have built a wealth of experience in the art of sugarcrafting
Britt aka 'She Who Bakes' is a professional cake maker and multi-award winning baking blogger who has an army of loyal Facebook and Twitter followers. Britt also runs sugarcraft and cake decorating classes, in addition to being an avid public speaker on mental health.
Kathy Moore is a professional cake consultant and decorator who has over 20 years of sugarcraft experience, and is the author of 'Starting a Cake Decorating Business from Home'
Ness Bolton is a professional cake maker and owner of Boutique Bakes and Cakes by Ness Bolton. In addition to running her own business, Ness participates in national cake shows, winning Cake International Birmingham's 2016 Bronze award.
It has demands and pressures like no other job. It’s also a lot more admin than people think. I used to say I spent 75% of my time on my laptop, shopping for ingredients, drawing designs, talking to customers and only 25% actually making cakes! I guarantee that in your first few months you will undercharge. You may think you are asking for too much. I promise you, you’re not. Once you have been making cakes for a few months and you realise that you cannot put your heart and soul into a project, only to be paid £1.21 an hour (yep, that’s how much I was paying myself at the beginning!) you will realise something has to change. I think the most important thing to know before starting a cake business from home, is that when you do, you will have one of the best jobs in the world. You are part of so many special occasions, you make so many people smile, your art and talent will bring joy to so many families, and that is really something to be proud of. For more about setting up your own cake business, make sure to check out my e-book ‘How To Start A Cake Business From Home‘.
Firstly do some research – if possible talk to others who may be in the same business; read specific reference books; consider attending a starting a cake decorating business from home course. Next, make a list of pro’s and cons e.g. the time you intend to commit to the business, your areas of expertise and range/level of skills that you can (or cannot) offer. Who do you plan to sell to, what will you sell, how many, where when? Will your product best meets your expected client base - you need to give your customer what they need not necessarily what you prefer to make. Consider any continuing commitments that may impact on your business. Do you have related skills e.g. accounts etc. Consider kitchen/working facilities, storage space, work space, existing home commitments, time available etc. Look at set up costs involved. Have you considered pricing? Do as much research as possible; look at what is available in your area, the standard/range/quality etc. Is there a niche for you? Be realistic. Are you good at making decisions? If you decide to take it further then the next step is to make a business plan. Once completed it should give you a very clear map of how your business will start, progress and develop in a logical way. Because of the research and planning undertaken it helps create a clear plan for costing and pricing relevant to your target market, identify and limit any pitfalls and highlights areas where you may need to undertake additional training/professional development crucial to the success of your business. The business plan will help establish the viability of your business idea and to help you make the decision whether to go ahead or not.
Check out your local competitors to know who they are and what their target market is, how long they’ve been established and how well they’re doing. Your competitors are not just other home bakers, they will also be bakery/shop owners. This shouldn’t stop you setting up but you will know what you’re up against and will be able to assess who your target market might be. Consider very carefully how your household will affect your business and vice-versa. For example, using the fridge for both domestic and business items, as well as the impact of pets and other hygiene considerations.
Yes, you need to get your kitchen registered with and checked by the council. You must register at least 28 days before opening.
Yes, this is a non-negotiable. If you intend to manufacture food products for sale to the public you must have your bakery environment inspected. You will receive a ‘scores on the doors’ rating and most councils display your rating on the FSA webpage. Some councils don't automatically list you because they might consider as a residential address your privacy is more important than your listing, you will have to tell them you want to be listed. Also, there are some little-known services that some councils provide to SMEs (small to medium enterprises) When you’re first starting out you can usually get some business advice and they often run free workshops in all kinds of topics such as basic book-keeping, sales and marketing, how to find suppliers, business banking etc.
There are a number of insurance issues that will affect you that you’ll need to be aware of. The main ones are: Car insurance: If you use your car/vehicle for business you should have business cover. This is often simply a business extension on your car insurance policy when using your existing car for business travel. You must advise your insurance company of any change of circumstance otherwise you may not be covered. Home insurance: You are likely to already have a home insurance policy but this may not cover business at home. Speak to your insurance provider and amend your policy if needed. This is not usually costly but it will ensure you’re protected. Public liability insurance: This is advisable to have if clients are visiting your home office and/or you are supplying goods to consumers. This will protect you in the event of potential injury to business visitors and/or damages arising from the supply or sale of cakes/goods which have caused injury to a third party. Product liability insurance: This cover protects you against damages arising from the supply or sale of cakes/goods which have caused injury to a third party. Although small business owners are not legally obliged to have public and product liability insurance, it is advisable to take it out nevertheless. There are other types of business insurance and at all times it is your responsibility to ensure you are fully covered for your business needs – research/ speak to providers about your specific needs.
Yes, if you're manufacturing food products for sale to the public you need Public Liability Insurance. You also need to know the difference between PL and Employers Liability. You don't need employer's liability if it is just you working on your own however the moment you take on employees this is a whole new ball game. You should also check that your equipment is covered under your building insurance and your contents insurance. If you have a mortgage, you should have building insurance anyway but some people don’t always have contents insurance, if you plan to invest in special equipment, it needs to be covered against damage or theft. You also need to check with your buildings Insurer that they permit you to work from home, you are adding risk to the integrity of your building, you will be working with heat and you will be storing paper products (cake drums and boxes) so you are introducing a fire risk.
Starting your own cake business from home can be a daunting challenge - so we've compiled some easy to use guides and tools to help you quote and cost your cakes more accurately. We also have a blog post 'A Day in the Life of a Cake Maker', which will shed some light into the highs and lows of professional cake making
GOV.UK Guide to Self-Employment: https://www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/self-employed
FSA Catering Business Start Up Guide: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/publication/starting-up-booklet.pdf
FSA Food Hygiene Guide: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/publication/hygieneguidebooklet.pdf
FSA Guide to Legal Inspections: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/hygieneratings/food-law-inspections
Other useful tools and apps that you can use for organising your work and paperwork;
Wunderlist Organiser - Calendar and To-Do List: https://www.wunderlist.com/
Shoeboxed - Reciept Organiser & Contacts Database: https://www.shoeboxed.com/features/
Genius Scan - Receipt & Invoice Scanner: https://www.thegrizzlylabs.com/
Our Pinterest Boards are regularly updated to feature all of the latest cake trends and themes. All pins are either re-pinned from Pinterest or uploaded with permission from our customers to share with the rest of the online community. Feel free to browse for ideas and inspiration, or share your creations with us so that they may light the interest of others!