What have I been upto?

If you have been following this blog you have also been following my actual adventures in Kakeland so time for a mini update and to catch up to with what I have been upto?

Business has been busy, barely a week goes by without cake orders and I’m also now receiving corporate orders which I enjoy,I do need however to sort out my wedding cake side of the business  as this time of year I could be busier with regards to wedding bookings but have celebration cake orders booked so it’s all good.

I’ve ventured onto another social media platform and have become a SnapChatter, it’s a tricky platform to use as its an old school approach as gathering followers involves getting yourself out there and promoting your business as it doesn’t have a suggested user list like Twitter or Instagram (im on both) so I’m using it for behind the scenes videos, pics and tips, still getting to grips with it but it’s fun and will add another connection to customers and other businesses. So if you are on snapchat say hello.

In May I had one of my recipes printed in Cupcake heaven magazine, it was my Blackberry Mojito cupcake that I also submitted to the cupcake championships a few years ago, so as you can imagine I was over the moon about that.

So my business has been operating for just over 4 years alongside my full time job in my registered kitchen and I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress I have made, the cakes I have produced and the customers I serve.

I am confident in that I know my niche and my place in the market, my branding is sorted and represents the business perfectly.

So with everything going reasonably well I have been thinking about moving into premises as operating from a home based kitchen is tricky, work space and storage is the challenging bit so a dedicated space to work/shop would be amazing ,so as if by chance I saw a shop to let on my way home from work so I followed my intuition got the details and made that call.

The premises is close to my ideal location, has complementary businesses next to it, parking, and on a busy road. Simply put it was perfect so I arranged a viewing and loved it, in my head I created the layout, what I would sell etc etc……. but then reality hit, how will this work, I need funding/ financial as the business is making money and running itself but at the moment not enough income to live off and like everyone else I have responsibility’s so there is a lot to think about regarding taking the leap from my home based business with no overheads to premises with overheads, staff cost etc…… and also leaving the security of a regular income.

I sometimes wish I was totally fearless and could just make the leap but the fear of will it work, what if the location isn’t right, will customers visit arghhhhh it holds me back and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

How do I overcome it?? I have faith in myself and my abilities so you could say I’m working on it.
Before I viewed the shop I had actually been in contact with some small business organisations who after discussing my plans with them genuinely believe I have a viable business, especially taking into account my past experience and knowledge and I think others have done it so why not me.

So what’s next?

Seeing the shop has made me think about the business even more and where I want to be sometime in the future so I have decided to give the business an internal audit (corporate speak I know) to assess my offering, look at my systems, pricing (This doesn’t mean a price increase) do I feel I am offering a good service and do I add value as well as looking into different markets such as weddings as I currently don’t actively market in this area I suppose it would be a bit of a SWOT analysis looking at my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So lots to think about. 

After this I will attempt a business plan make some smart objectives and take it from there.

I think its good as a small business owner to step away and look with  a critical eye over what I do well and not so well as like many others who run small business we are so busy working in the business we don’t get enough time to work on it and strategise 

So during the summer this is what I will be doing looking at all aspects of the business to try and make it more effective, increase sales, create a strategy to tap into other markets as well as continue to offer good customer service.

The Shop will have to wait a little bit longer im afraid and in the words of Gary Vaynerchuck (I follow him on Facebook so check him out)

Hope you enjoyed my update, and in the next couple weeks my next post will be another #MeetTheBaker feature which I’m absolutely loving and hope you do to. 

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