How To Avoid Burnout In Your Cake Business
Updated: Feb 18
I haven't had a week like this week in a very long time. At the beginning of every month, I look at my schedule to begin organizing and to prepare, order and make adjustments as needed. I quickly realized how many orders I had received for the month of May, in what has probably been the busiest month that I've had in 2022. Not because of the quantity of orders, but because of the intricacy of details in each order. All cakes this week were 2 or more tiers and most orders consisted of Cake & Treat Packages. And to top it off, 8 of the orders were delivery, 5 of them on the same day!
I have a part time assistant, and she was able to dip the treats, that in itself was a huge help. Unfortunately it wasn't nearly enough, I still found myself working 16 hour days. As I type this blog, I am counting the consecutive days of work, and today is day 13 without any breaks for me. How did I do it? Organization is KEY.
Monday -- Mondays are usually my days off. This week though, I decided to bake all the cakes. I kept myself organized by not only baking all the cakes, but also leveling the cakes, wrapping them, putting them in the freezer, washing all the cake pans and mixers, and putting everything away. I also worked on 1 cake order which included treats, that was set for pick up the following day.
Tuesday -- I worked on another cake which was due on Wednesday, and I also prepared all the details for the treats. There were 20 dozen treats that required fondant details. In total, there were over 500 fondant details that were individually made. My assistant rolled all the cakepops and dipped half of the treats.
Wednesday -- I crumb coated and chilled all the cakes, and also worked on 2 other orders that were to be delivered on Thursday. My assistant finished dipping all the treats and placed the fondant details on each of them.
Thursday-- after the 2 deliveries, I made all the fondant details for the cakes. Once those were done, I covered all the cakes in fondant.
Friday --I stacked and decorated all the cakes that were to be delivered on Saturday. I boxed up all the treats, took photos of everything, and confirmed delivery route with my clients.
Saturday -- My first delivery was for 8am. At 7am I was already out on the road. I proceeded to make trips back and forth from my home bakery to different locations all over central Florida. It was incredibly hot, and for this reason I wanted to keep the cakes in the cooler as long as possible, only picking up them up when they needed to be delivered. After 9 hours, I was home. But it wasn't over. I'm usually off on Sundays as well, but I scheduled 2 orders for Sunday. One of them was because I work closely with a good friend that's a party planner and we work events regularly, I never say no to her. And the other order was from a dear friend. This was a 3 tier cake, and it required delivery. So my Saturday night consisted of me working on these last 2 orders until 9pm.
Sunday-- my first client picked up at 8:30am, and the final cake was delivered at 1pm.
Sounds like a lot, right?! Well, add to that being a mom, school drop off and pick up, house keeping, laundry, cooking, phone calls, contracts and invoices, and regularly posting on social media including video editing for Tik Tok. Without organization none of this would be possible. I was able to successfully deliver all my business commitments, without entirely burning myself out.
My advise to you as a cake designer and decorator is to spread your work throughout the week. It doesn't matter if you have 1 cake or 10. Use the same organization formula guaranteed to help you stay on track.
Monday: Bake & Prepare Buttercream
Tuesday: Make any fondant details or sculptures
Wednesday: Fill & Crumbcoat your cake & allow it to chill in the cooler
Thursday: Cover your cake with Fondant & Stack, confirm pickup/drop off instructions with your client
Friday: Decorate your cake and take photos
Saturday: Box up and deliver
So, am I tired? Absolutely! But I'm also incredibly satisfied and content with all the work that I did this week! Finally tomorrow Monday I will have a day off. But maybe, just maybe, I'll get a head start and bake early.