They always say the reason to start a business is to solve a problem or identify a need and once you have identified what the problem or the need is you will quite likely have a concept/idea for a business.
If you have a business baking and decorating cakes like myself you will have either started your business from being a hobbyist or just made the decision to start a cake business.
Either way we have identified that the problem that we solve as cakers is creating speciality cakes handmade for various celebrations and occasions, small or large, budget or more expensive we are certainly in the business of bringing a little joy into people’s lives with cake, in fact I would say we are memory makers as most people can remember receiving an extra special birthday cake.
Now starting the business that’s the easy part,the next is to identify your niche or in other words what your good at or where your passion is.
Do you need to have a niche? Maybe not but think of any business and you will see that their is at least one thing that they excel at or they are known for.
In the Cakey world it is just so diverse we have businesses who specialise in life size cakes, gravity defying cakes, sugar paste flowers, decorating with buttercream, royal icing, Wedding cakes, Cupcakes, brownies, bundt cakes, too many to list all but I can guarantee every single person who bakes and decorates cakes has a niche.
For me my business focuses on celebration cakes and dessert style cupcakes with the occasional wedding cake.
The wedding cake market is an area that I haven’t really targeted much but I have some ideas around this that will suit my niche so will look into more marketing in this area over the next few months ready for the 2017 wedding season.
With celebration cakes I mainly make birthday cakes, and this has happened quite organically as that is where the majority of my orders come from and I would say compared to wedding cakes the percentage of birthday cakes I make in comparison to wedding cakes is 90% so I feel pretty comfortable knowing that this is enjoyably a big part of my business because that’s what my customers mainly order and then thankfully go on to recommend me to family and friends who then in turn order a birthday cake themselves.
Now what I consider to be my niche is dessert style cupcakes, basically put I love cupcakes and wanted my customers to not necessarily order a cake for a special occasion but order some cupcakes just because they fancy a treat in different flavor combinations or they want to gift a box to friends and family. My customers are always keen to see what flavor combinations I will come up with next and if you can get the word out about what you do in your local area or beyond it really helps you to stand out from what others do in a similar market.
So over the years I have concentrated in coming up with a whole concept around my cupcakes and I recognize this is to be my niche.
Early on I made the mistake of trying to be all things to all people and this is easily done because we want to try everything and in my opinion doing this usually brings you to a conclusion of what you like to do and what sells well with your customers but being all things to all people has the danger that you end up not really appealing to anyone or spreading yourself too thin.
I tried cake pops and macarons, haven’t ventured into iced cookies (yet) but might have a dabble.
I do bake other items such as brownies, doughnuts etc… but I quickly realised cake pops and macarons didn’t come to me as easily as cakes plus there wasn’t much of a demand with my customers for cake pops or macarons. So putting this to one side I leave it to businesses that do this so much better than me and I decided cake pops and macarons wouldn’t be part of my product offering on a permanent basis just very limited occasions or special request.
The advantages of what finding your niche brings is that your customers will know what you do, you can then target and market more effectively depending on your niche.
There are many baking related business who I believe have captured their niche perfectly and it is very clear what they do.
Pop bakery- cake pops http://www.popbakery.co.uk
Tasty cakes – large and life size cakes https://www.facebook.com/Cakes.Tasty
Yipsy macarons – Macarons http://www.yipsymacarons.com/
Crumbs and doilies – Cupcakes http://www.crumbsanddoilies.co.uk
Cakes by cliff – Drip cakes http://www.cakesbycliff.com
Queen of hearts couture cakes -Buttercream artist http://www.queenofheartscouturecakes.com
The businesses mentioned above have clearly identified what they enjoy doing and what their customers want and through social media has allowed the customer to buy into what they do and what they specialise in.
So if you ever find yourself feeling stuck on the direction of your business go back to basics and focus on what you do best, where your passion lies or where the majority of your orders come from. Before you know it you have your niche.
I would love to hear what your niche is so please feel free to comment and share.
So the lovely Valeri and Christina from Queen of hearts couture cakes have sent me this brilliant message regarding finding your Niche:
“Aaawwww! Thank you so much for thinking about us.
Well, what we can say is, it is indeed important to find your niche. Although, market is very competitive so you have to up your game. You can or not necessarily have your niche..or maybe you’ll eventually discover it. But what’s important is, every cake photo you post, HAS TO BE: neat, professional looking, and with your style in it. This is your portfolio..and this is what people see and will remember you for. So every post you will do is a chance to get people interested and remember you..so make the most of it 🙂
Hope we make sense! Haha
Much love to all of you from 2 crazy buttercream girls,
Valeri & Christina xxx”