Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cupcake Article - How To Start A Cupcake Business

By Laura Gyre, eHow Editor

Everyone loves cupcakes. With the recent popularity of cupcake bakeries, cupcake wedding "cakes" and all things cupcake, it seems that demand is skyrocketing. If you like to bake, it might not seem too far fetched to consider starting your own cupcake business. Whether this is actually feasible will depend on several factors, including the actual demand in your area. It's quite a simple matter, though, to test the waters and see if a cupcake business could actually float.

1. Practice your cupcake making skills.
If you're not already an expert baker, keep trying until you're able to get consistently delicious results. While you might be able to sell cupcakes made from cake mixes, you may be able to interest more customers in baked goods that are really made from scratch, from good quality ingredients. Even if you are a seasoned baker, try out some new varieties and decide what flavors of cupcake you want to advertise.

2. Think about presentation.
While cupcakes don't necessarily have to be fancy, the nicer they look the more likely they are to sell. Decide how you will frost and decorate your product and make sure you have the required skills and supplies to achieve the results you want.

3. Decide whether you will make any cupcakes for special diets.
Depending on your potential clientele, you may get a lot of business by providing vegan, organic, naturally sweetened or gluten-free cupcakes. On the other hand, you may not find a lot of interest in these options in your area.

4. Figure out costs.
When you go shopping, make a note of how much all your supplies cost so you can figure out how much you need to charge for cupcakes. Do the math and figure out, based on the amounts of ingredients you use, how much the ingredients for each batch cost. Add to that the wage that you want to make for the time it takes you to make each batch (considering also that you will probably spend some time delivering them).

The number you get is the price that you need to make per batch. If you sell your cupcakes through restaurants or other businesses, they will probably also expect to make money on sales. Divide your batch price by the number of cupcakes per batch, then imagine a markup of 25 to 50 percent and think about whether the number you come up with seems like a reasonable price for a cupcake.

5. On a day when you have a lot of free time, make up a batch of each of your favorite flavors. Make a number of sample plates with one or two cupcakes of each flavor.

6. Within the next day, take the sample plates around to local businesses that you think might be interested in selling them. Try to talk to a manager while you are there and make sure to leave your contact information.

7. If you don't hear back right away, make follow up calls a few days later to see if anyone is interested. If they are, try to set up a standing order (for example, one batch every week).

8. Always deliver your cupcakes on time and in good condition.

9. Consider attending events like bake sales, craft fairs and farmers markets with cupcakes to sell. While you may have to pay a fee to vend at these events, you will earn the full sales price of each cupcake you sell, or you could give out free samples and business cards as a promotion.

Article Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_2290669_start-cupcake-business.html

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