So if you’ve read my initial blog all about me and how I got started with cakes, you’ll know I started young and cakes were my hobby up until around 2010… then I decided to learn more about how to make and structure cakes… I trained in Sydney at Planet Cake whilst I had my dance studio business (which I ran for nearly 12 years). I transitioned into cakes part-time in 2011 with my new cake business whilst training and eventually working at Planet Cake. In 2012 I finished up with my dance studio, and concentrated full-time on cakes… which leads me to now… I have a thriving business in Newcastle specialising in Wedding cakes, and I also teach here at Cake Craze, and in the US… and I love my job!
As a small business owner for around 18 years now, I have learned a whole lot about what to do, and what not to do in business! These tips and advice have been a part of my journey for quite a while now, and I’d love to share them with you! I hope you can gain a little bit of knowledge and inspiration from what helps me!
# 1 RUN YOUR OWN RACE… Be original and unique, because no one can do you better than you can! My motto is ‘Do You, For You, just Be You’! Concentrate on what you’ve got going on, and don’t worry about anyone else and what they’re doing. You have your own special skills, passions and talents, so just pretend no one else matters, and your business is all about you… which kind of makes sense, yeah? I wrote ‘Run Your Own Race’ on a note and stuck it inside my pantry when I first started my cake business to remind me to just do my own thing and be confident in myself… Oprah really helped me with those wise words!
# 2 FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, and what you’re good at… and don’t do what you don’t want to do (or aren’t skilled/ trained in)! Once you start doing things you don’t like, for example, sculpted car cake orders you don’t really want to do, that’s when you procrastinate, everything turns negative, and you realise you went to the dark side of caking and you resent ever saying yes to it!! Personally I don’t make cars, or any transport cakes! I have done some in the past, and because I’m not interested in that type of thing, I don’t think I do so well with them, and I don’t ENJOY making them! I much prefer to stick to beautiful wedding or birthday cakes – that is my niche, and my passion! So keep what you do creative, fun, light, and joyous, and you won’t feel like you’re working! In basic terms, FIND YOUR NICHE and go for it!
# 3 KNOW YOUR SELF, and your self-worth, skill set, and creative passions. Know what you’re good at, and focus on that. Be honest about what you can do the bests and focus on your strengths to get the best results. If you’re not sure, ask advice, and follow what you really like, and what you’re especially good at. If you’re still not confident, do some more training or classes, and get yourself to the level that you know you can do it, and you can charge accordingly, knowing you and your skills (and the end product) is WORTH IT!
# 4 GO WITH WHAT’S WORKING in your business, and what’s bringing in the money baby! Think outside the box if you need new ideas or new streams of revenue, expand on what’s currently working to bring in more profit. If something isn’t working then you need to stop, and focus on what IS working! Make sure what’s working is something you’re passionate and super creative about too. Last year I started doing kids decorating Birthday parties, and they have really grown and taken off, so now I make sure I advertise that we do them, and I always post photos of the parties because that is how other Mums see them, and then enquire themselves! We just had a party this last weekend, and I have had 3 party enquiries in the past 3 days!
# 5 GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT… create and chase opportunities and ‘Make Shit Happen’! Yep, that’s my main motto! You can’t sit around and wait for your life and new opportunities to come and land in your lap – NO, you have to get moving and get out there! Take a chance and follow your heart and your passion and see where it leads you. Even if it doesn’t work, at least you’ve tried and not sat around wondering ‘what if’? You are the one running your business, and you are in charge of it, so set your goals and make them happen!
# 6 NETWORK and create a support system with cake friends/ cake groups/ mentor/ teachers/ venues/ other professionals… having that support system (or many), allows for referrals to happen from each party, and a BACK-UP PLAN in case you are sick, injured, unavailable, booked out, etc. This is super important!! Take advantage of building important relationships like these which not only benefit you, but also the people you’re in it with.
# 7 KEEP EVOLVING in your business, and don’t just rest easy… take those chances, go with the flow and see where it leads you, listen to feedback and advice and any requests from clients or students. You know what they say, ‘Adventure begins at the end of your comfort zone’! And once you step outside of your box a little and take a look around, or try something new, that’s when you’ll also start to grow and increase your skills and experience! Keep your business moving forward and keep working on it every day!
# 8 DON’T GO DOWN THE NEGATIVE PATH of having FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), or be jealous of others… the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (even if you think it is!) You can be envious and inspired, admire others and their work, but you really need to concentrate on you and your business and what you need to do. Worrying about everyone else and what they’re doing is distracting you from what YOU NEED TO BE DOING! Your energy becomes scattered and you can’t concentrate and just stare down the barrel of your life… again, you’re going to the dark side, where nothing fun lives! It all comes back to running your own race, following your own path, and being the best you that YOU CAN BE! Do what you need to do to focus on your own journey.
Tune in for a new youtube vlog next Wednesday, and my follow-up blog here on the website.