Welcome to Cupcake Corner, our all-about-cupcakes.com newsletter which aims to answer your everyday cupcake baking questions.
Each edition of Cupcake Corner is created as result of the questions you send me. Do you have a question, comment, or something else you'd like to share with our growing community of Cupcake fans? I would love to hear from you.
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The question I have been asked often lately refers to starting a cupcake business so I thought I would share my ideas in this issue of Cupcake Corner.
When you bake cupcakes for your family and friends, does everyone tell you that you should do it for a living? Are you the cupcake king or queen at the school bake sale? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own business making cupcakes like the ones you see in fancy shops or on television?
When people ask me how they can start selling cupcakes, my first suggestion is to start by making cupcakes for as many people as often as you can.
Make cupcakes for birthdays, bring them in to work, make sure that whenever you go somewhere where there will be eating, you are the one to bring your delicious cupcakes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly family and friends start asking if you will make cupcakes for them, and they will start referring friends to you.
You won’t start getting paid orders right away, but you’ll be developing customers, getting tons of experience, and you will quickly learn which recipes work best and how you can most quickly finish large batches of cupcakes.
Start developing fool-proof recipes that always make customers happy. Start with just two or three favourite recipes that are sure-fire winners every time.
Make sure that the recipes you develop are cupcakes that can be stored for several days without loosing flavours or becoming stale. This will help you if you have to bake a large order the day before, so you have time to bake and then frost cupcakes without having them go stale.
Next, it’s time to start advertising your cupcakes. Create some attractive flyers, and post them at local shopping malls to advertise your new business.
You may also consider going to local swap meets, car boot sales, or taking a stall at a fete as other options for advertising and selling cupcakes. Many of your customers will live in the same area you do, so begin distributing your flyers by walking around your area and putting flyers in doors or letterboxes. These are all inexpensive but surprisingly effective ways to bring in business.
Starting a cupcake business can take a while, but it is an experience that you will truly have fun with. One of the best things is that you can start your business with only small start-up expenses if you are able to run your business from your home.
Remember to do a little research to find out what cupcakes go for in your area- don’t undervalue your time or talent, but remember that you can’t charge more than other cupcake boutiques in your area. Once you find the right price, you should start seeing profits from your business quickly.
Note: Being able to work from home depends largely on local laws as some areas do not allow you to sell commercially products that have been created in your home kitchen.
Do your homework before you start so you can be sure that you will be able to sell from home. If you need to operate your business from a larger commercial kitchen, the cost of producing cupcakes and running your business will go significantly up. This does not mean that you can’t still start a business- look around for local cupcake businesses and you will see that you too can be a success!
There are lots of great resources available if you are interested in starting your own businees. I would recommend Paula Spencer's book Start a Cupcake Business Today
Some of the chapters include:
- Planning for Success;
- Food Safety;
- Managing your Business;
- Avoiding Mistakes; and
- Growing your Business.
And don't forget to come back and let us know how your business is going. We would love to hear from you.
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That wraps it up for this edition of Cupcake Corner.
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Happy baking, making and decorating!