When I was a part time cake decorator (I was on a full time, 9 to 5 job when I first started cake decorating), my biggest challenge was trying to complete as much decorating as I could within whatever time that I had after my day job. The trade off was the number of cake orders I could accept given the limited time I had after a whole day at work.
Baking and decorating on a full time basis later on, no doubt gave me more time to decorate cakes, but then again, the challenge remained trying to maximize the number of orders I could accept so as to maximize my profit (with compromising the quality of my cakes, off course) at any given time.
And because cakes are perishable items, there is only so much that can be done ahead of time. Everything else has to be done quite the last minute.
For these very reasons, time management and proper planning is key to ensuring that I am able to decorate my cakes with the quality I want within the agreed time period.
One good thing about cake decorating business though, is that most parties that need decorated cakes are held over the weekends, so typically, on most occasions the cakes are due either on a Saturday or Sunday. This timing consistency helps in developing a routine for cake decorating business. It allows 'economies of scale' (if this is the right phrase) whereby cake decorators are able to focus on a particular process in batches rather than per cake basis. For example, if there are 5 cakes to be completed for the weekend, I would do all the baking on day 1, then move on to layering and crumb coat the next day and fondant covering and decorating the following days. On the contrary, if I were to complete the 5 cakes per cake basis, I would on day 1, bake and decorate cake 1 and then move on to complete cake 2 before going on completing cake 3 and so on.
Baking process normally starts 4 days before the delivery day, so typically, if the cake needs to be delivered on a Saturday, my baking process would start on a Tuesday.
Saturday (before delivery)
This is how I manage my routine. Hope you are able to benefit from this sharing.
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