Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My top 10 ... Business Tips


Welcome to my 100th blog post! I know it has taken me awhile to get here because I am not a frequent blogger (I do try!) but lets hope it's not another 2 years before I reach my 200th post.

So what better way to celebrate this momentous post than to dedicate it to what this blog is all about - A behind the scenes look at what I do and a little insight to my life.

Now, by no means am I a business expert or do I consider myself a successful business owner (I'm trying though!) but I do get a handful of emails from people seeking advice on how to go about doing what I do. So here is my top 10...

10. Be patient and don't be discouraged. Learning anything new can be frustrating, don't give up if your work does not look absolutely perfect from the get go. I still have cakes/cupcakes that I create now that I am not 100% happy with but I always make a note on how I can make it better for the future.
 My first wedding cake :)

A recent wedding cake...

9. Try new things and take every opportunity for a learning experience. Remember when your parents used to tell you 'you won't know until you try!' well, it's true. Too many times I hear people say that it's too hard or that they're afraid to try - don't be, how else will you learn?  

 Made for my friend's birthday two years ago.

8. Try not to take things personally. You can't please everyone and not everyone may like what you create. And be ok with that. It's hard because you put your heart into what you create but accept that some people may not see that - they are judging your business and not you personally.

7. Never stop day dreaming about design ideas. Open your creative mind and always be inspired. Sometimes my favourite designs are inspired from fabric colours, tea cups or other cake designs.

This design by Matheus C inspired this...


6. Don't forget you have to pay yourself and grow your business too! One of the biggest struggles I went through in the beginning (and I'm sure most people go through the same thing) is how to price your work. Whatever you decide, don't forget that you need to 'pay' yourself as well as reserve some money aside for your business to grow. In my opinion this is the most sustainable way.

5. 'Will this help further my business?' There will always be people seeking out freebies. It's great to give but you'll have to think if the time and effort you are putting in will be benefit your business. It's ok to say no.

4. Never stop learning. You can only get better if you keep learning.

3. What is your unique selling point and who are you targeting? Think about what will set you aside from the rest. You don't have to be the biggest and best or the cheapest to score all the customers, but you should have something special that no one else has.

2. Connect with like minded people. It's lonely when you are doing something new by yourself. Find some like minded people and make friends. It comes in handy when you have to discuss problems or develop ideas that your friends or family won't understand, or even when you run out of icing at 11pm at night :)

1. Smile and Relax! Whenever I am stressed I always reflect and think of how lucky I am to be able to pursue what I love doing, have a roof over my head, a loving family, a bunch of fun friends and access to clean water. It makes me realise that whatever cake stress I have is not the end of the world. This instantly makes me happier and more motivated. It's important to keep happy or you are just going to be like the majority of people who hate and resent their job.


Now, here is my disclaimer: Of course this list is not the be all and end all but it's just what I have learned in my journey so far :)

Do you have any other tips/advice of your own? I'd love to know :)

9 comments:

Heaven is a Cupcake said...

Brilliant post and really helpful :) I've recently started a cupcake business and have found other people's advice and support invaluable. I love the internet for that. It's so nice to find so many cake decorators who are willing to share their passion with others and I love that you've done this. So a big thank you! I felt a little discouraged when I found out someone has taken the name of my business but it's just made me more determined to be successful :D Thank you again. Your cakes are beautiful

Ladybird said...

Congratulations on the 100th post, and thanks for your top 10 tips! I have been a bit down of late with my job among other things, so your post was the pep-up I needed today.

Keep on creating those beautiful cakes - you are a rising star xxx

Rina Sharif said...

hye there!

congratulations on the 100th post!

me also just arrive at the 100th post on my blog but not making any post announcing it yet.. hopefully soon..

this is a great post you have here. i love it!

ween said...

Hi Sharon!

Congratulations on your 100th post!

U've grown soooo much! Your work are so pretty and i'm always so inspired just looking at them! Keep it up & all the best!

love,
ween

Tresye said...

I was so inspired by what you said. I was having a bad day and was doing a demo cake and ended up hating it in the end. I came on here to look around and stumbled upon your blog from facebook and was looking through your amazing work and was in awe, and after I read this I must say, I felt soooo much better. Thanks for sharing what you learned!
~tRe

baking MAMA said...

Thank you Sharon. Sometimes, I have doubt what the cake decorating will lead me when I struggle to fall preganat. I am so glad to see you doing so well as I know it is very competitive in Sydney. I hope one day I can be as sucessful as you but in the meantime, I will be your big fan. :)

Cake Couture said...

What can I say.... After a long day of baking I stumbled over your blog: I am totally in LOVE with it!!!!
Thank you for sharing, I feel less lonely now :-)

Camille S said...

Hi, thanks for the tips! Just found your blog :) If you have the time, please answer a few questions:

What advice can you offer in regards to organization: planning out a cake and time management?

How did you figure out how much to charge your first customers?

Do you make your own fondant or buy it? Do you ever use natural food coloring?

Have a nice day!
~Camille



Elmas said...

Thank you for all your advice. I like cooking and feeding people around me. I want to run business but first of all I should bedeveloped nyself.

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