Running a Cake Decorating Business
We supply many customers who are running their own small businesses, either from home or from shops and industrial units. We know that many more of our customers would like to start up in business, but aren't quite sure where to start!
We've recently been working on a helpful guide to running a decorated cake business, with six articles published monthly in Cake Craft and Decoration Magazine from the September 2009 edition onwards. This page contains links to useful resources, including template documents which you can download and adapt for your own needs.
Our first download is a template decorated cake order form. This is a Microsoft Excel file which you can change to suit your needs - for example, add your own contact details, take out the birthday cake section if you only make wedding cakes, and put in specific figures for the amount required as a deposit. This form is intended as a starting point - there will probably be lots of other information you'd like to add to make it as user friendly as possible for your own business. This form gives a brief explanation of payment terms, but you may also want a longer 'terms and conditions' page to give out along with the customer's copy of the order form. In time, a template terms and conditions page should also be available to download.
Download our template decorated cake order form now - click 'save', not 'open', to save a copy to your computer for you to edit later.
Now also available - another Excel file template for a 'Cake Information Sheet' which can be handed to your customer on collection/delivery. It is designed for you to complete 2 copies, one for you and one for the customer. You should ask the customer or venue to sign your copy on collection/delivery to confirm the cake has been supplied as requested and in good condition. It is very important that you shouldn't be held responsible for any damage caused after you have handed over the cake! The sheet also gives important information on shelf life, storage, cutting etc, with space for you to add specific instructions for a particular cake. You may want to give this to the customer along with another copy of the original order form, just in case there is any dispute over what was orginally ordered - unfortunately this is more common than you might imagine!
Download our template cake information sheet now - click 'save', not 'open', to save a copy to your computer for you to edit later.
There are many useful external sources of information too:
http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/ ~ All sorts of business advice, from starting up a business, to tax and book-keeping, to employing staff.
www.voa.gov.uk/business_rates/index.htm ~ Information on business rates – find out how much you might be paying in rates on a commercial property.
http://www.food.gov.uk/ ~ The Food Standards Agency – download the Safer Food Better Business pack to see what is required if you plan to start a food business, either from home or from a shop.
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ ~ Revenue and Customs – register as self employed, and find other advice on tax matters.
http://www.bsguk.org/ ~ The British Sugarcraft Guild – You can join the guild to sign up for their good value insurance for home decorators, if your turnover is under a certain level. Also look at the ‘message board’ to join a great online community of helpful sugarcrafters and chat to other professional cake decorators.