I work full-time as a guidance counselor at a high school, but I bake and decorate cakes on the side. Word about my cakes has gotten around, and the demand has really grown. Now I’m being asked to do weddings and lots of other big events. I want to keep my business small, and I’m not sure how to handle things now.
It’s great that demand has risen, but I can understand how that could also be a burden in your situation. Trying to keep a side business from blossoming into a full-time job can be a good problem to have though. It means people really like what you’re doing.
I’d suggest two things if you’re absolutely sure you want to keep this business small and maintain it as a cottage industry. First, you need to raise your prices. Some people will decide not to be customers any longer, but that’s okay. You might not have quite as many clients, but you’ll make more per cake.
The second thing is to be selective about the people with whom you choose to work. Even if things have picked up lately, you’re still not doing a big enough volume to put up with a lot of attitude from spoiled customers. If a Bridezilla walks through the door, you can simply choose not to work with her.
That’s my advice, Jamie. Select your clients carefully and raise your prices. I think you’ll get more enjoyment—and more money—out of your business that way!
How do you build a personal and company mission statement?
This is a great question. First, I think you understand the importance of what you’re doing. Coming up with a meaningful mission statement, one that is impactful both for you and your clients, will take some time. It’s not a one- or two-hour meeting kind of thing. It is one of the most important things you’ll ever do as a business owner, because it will impact you, your team and how you do business.