The Business of Baking Podcast

by Michelle Green

39m

average length

56

episodes

0

followers

This is the Business of Baking podcast with Michelle Green, the small business podcast that’s all about successfully running your own sweet food company without losing your mind. If you’ve ever brought dessert to a party and been told, “You can make a fortune selling those!” then you’re in the right place. This is an honest, straight talking podcast about the highs and lows of being in small business. Fuelled by late nights, crazy client stories and a permanent sugar high we’re going to listen, share and learn our way to sweet business success. Your host is writer, speaker, recovering cake decorator and incurable sweet tooth, Michelle Green.

Best The Business of Baking Podcast episodes upvoted by the community

Last updated on September 22, 2020, 9:00 pm

#1

Mental Health Awareness Month With Jennifer Carota

May 27, 2019 • 61m

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States? Mental health is something that I really think more of us need to be talking about, specifically in the small business arena. And these days, I'm also a lot more open and honest about the hard stuff about small business. In May, last year, I had a really incredible and eye-opening conversation with Laurel Harlan, a licensed therapist and cookie business owner, on the podcast. So, when Jennifer Carota, who is also a mental health professional, contacted me this year, I was particularly excited because it's very rare to find somebody who wears these two hats.  Jennifer is from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, in the United States. She is a licensed professional counselor and she owns a business called The Counseling House, which is a group practice, not far from Pittsburg. The Counseling House is dedicated to providing mental health counseling services to individuals and families in a comfortable, nurturing, and home-like environment and Jennifer has a whole bunch of people in her practice, who can help a whole lot of us out. She has professional counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. The really cool thing is that Jennifer also owns a cheesecake company, called The Cheesecake Fairy. Baking is Jennifer's therapy. It's her self-care and it keeps her sane and centered, and so it accidentally became a business. The Cheesecake Fairy is largely a wholesale company that makes elegantly upscaled cheesecakes in a jar. Because Jennifer is both a mental health professional and a cheesecake fairy she is totally my people! Tune in today, to find out how to cope when things start getting a bit too much for you to deal with. Show Highlights: If you don't take care of yourself, it will begin to affect your business, because you can't separate yourself from your business, no matter how hard you try. Baking is Jennifer's therapy and it keeps her sane and centered. Jennifer explains how a licensed professional counselor became the Cheesecake Fairy. Although Jennifer went to graduate school and got her master's degree and her license, she always had a nagging feeling in her belly that there was something that she still needed to be doing. Jennifer found it stressful to be responsible for the livelihoods of four or five of her team members, as well as taking care of her clients. When things got stressful at the Counseling House Jennifer started playing around with cheesecakes again. Jennifer explains how she finds the time to run two businesses. Baking cheesecakes really created a new, healthier routine for Jennifer. Jennifer's cheesecakes are in jars and they're the perfect portion size, so it's easy not to over-indulge in them. Jennifer makes both sweet and savory cheesecakes.  Jen explains how she finds balance and keeps sane amid the chaos of so many competing priorities. How slowing down and being more assertive in communicating has really helped Jennifer. How chaos expands and creates anxiety. Separating yourself from your situation can really give you a clear perspective. Jennifer gives some of the warning signs that things are starting to get out of control. Prevention is the best intervention. Getting off the treadmill and making more manageable choices. Creativity resides in that mindful space. It's really worth the effort of reaching out and checking up on people. What to do if you're just not feeling yourself. Making better choices for yourself. How much should you put on social media? Looking at your patterns can help you work out if you're just feeling a bit blue, or if you're actually suffering from depression. Paying attention to how you are really feeling. You can have conflicting emotions about the same thing at the same moment. The importance of maintaining great emotional hygiene. Choose very carefully what you focus on. "May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, and may you be at peace." - From the guided meditation in the Calm App. (www.calm.com) Links: www.thecounselinghouse.com  (Jen's Counseling) www.beginagainwithjen.com  (Jen's Coaching) www.thecheesecakefairy.com (Jen's Cheesecaking)  Jen wrote a blog post for this episode: https://thecheesecakefairy.com/whats-new/f/top-five-sanity-savers-for-cakers-and-bakers

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#2

Interview with Tim Engelbrecht

April 15, 2019 • 42m

Do you think that getting too much business could ever be a problem? Today, I'm talking to Tim Engelbrecht, from Hello Sweetheart, a Sydney-based wedding photography and videography company. Tim runs the business with his wife, Mim, and they are really busy! Sometimes they do as many as four weddings in one day, so things can seem a little out of control, but Tim thinks it's a great problem to have. I decided to interview Tim today because I thought that it would be interesting to chat with somebody in our industry who is not necessarily a cake maker. And I love getting the perspectives of other creatives out there because I think they really have a lot in common with us, here in the baking industry. So, listen in today, to find out what Tim has to share about his life behind the lens. Hello Sweetheart was officially started in 2015 and they shot a total of twenty-five weddings that year. Then, in 2016, Tim got married and Mim took over the marketing. They did almost seventy weddings that year, and even more in the following year. From there, things have constantly been on the up-and-up for Hello Sweetheart. It has been widely featured, in places such as Modern Weddings, Polka Dot Bride, Wedding Wonderland, and more. Hello Sweetheart has a really dreamy Instagram feed too! It makes you want to jump right into other people's cool lives, and have weddings just like they have! Tune in to find out more! Show Highlights: Tim tells us about Hello Sweetheart. Having too much business is a great problem to have! Tim gives us the history of Hello Sweetheart. Tim's role is the creative side of the business and Mim is the hustler. Mim has helped the business grow exponentially. They acquired a team and tripled their business in just three years. Tim explains how they managed to grow so fast in such a short space of time. People like having only a few options to choose from. Tim explains the way they advertise on Facebook. Facebook re-targeting is super powerful. Tim talks about his business model, which is based on very limited options. Tim and Mim have chosen a high and consistent volume of work over bespoke work. Making a lifestyle choice for your business. Keeping track of trends to keep abreast with the future market. Hello Sweetheart has a really quick turnaround time for the photographs. All their work is done digitally. Marrying the creative side with the business systems side. Keyboard Maestro, the software that has changed Tim's life. Links and Resources: Hello Sweetheart's website Hello Sweetheart on Instagram Keyboard Maestro

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#4

Making Sense of Advertising, Marketing, PR and Social Media with Cori Keeton Pope

November 20, 2017 • 57m

Today, I'm pretty excited to be talking to someone who is a friend of mine and also a professional in an area that I really wish that I knew more about, so I think that this is going to be an educational experience, for me as well as for all you guys! Listen in to find out more.  Today I'm going to be talking to Cori Keeton Pope, who is the badass businesswoman owner of Keeton PR, which is based in Denver, Colorado. I invited her to the Podcast to talk about PR, Marketing and Social Media- the kind of stuff that you guys ask me about all the time. The most basic definition of marketing is letting people know who you are and what you do. However, understanding this doesn't necessarily help you to know how to go about getting people out there to know these things about you. Also, one of the things that we generally seem to struggle with, as an industry, is that we have lots, and I really mean lots of introverts. Perhaps this is because we like to spend our time with cake- and cake doesn't talk back! Listen in today, to find out how to get people to become aware of your business, how to get your name out there and how to get your whole marketing thing happening- even if you're an introvert.    Show highlights: Cori explains the difference between Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media. Facing the challenge of where to invest your money, when marketing your business. Some steps you can take, to get started with your DIY Marketing. Leveraging your community, to get yourself known. Remember National Chocolate Cupcake Day, on October 18th in the United States. It could be a perfect opportunity for you to market your business on your local TV Station.  Some really creative ideas for marketing your Baking Business over the holidays. Keeping up with what's going on in the world, to become more effective with your marketing. How to not die of exposure by working for free. Ways to maximise your media coverage, after you've appeared in a publication. Getting real about Social Media. Is it really the best playground for introverts?  Some advice about getting inexpensive exposure through Social Media. Some awesome advice for introverts, from Cori. Finding the connectors in your life. Some other options, if you've tried DIY Marketing, but you're not getting what you want out of it. Why you need to be a good writer, for great PR. Some tips for finding yourself the right PR/Consulting Partner. Remember that it takes time to build brand awareness, so stick with it a bit longer, if you feel it's not working.   Links: Cori's website: www.keetonpr.com

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#5

SISU is the New Favorite Word

May 28, 2018 • 13m

Did you know that I'm actually a mega word-nerd? I absolutely love weird, obscure, strange, and funny words! I love to read, I love to write and honestly, words are really my thing! I recently came across some pretty cool words that I wanted to share with you and there's one in particular that we're going to be talking about all day, so listen in to find out more!   I first heard about a man called John Koenig on a podcast on the Ted Radio Hour and he has started writing The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. In this, he goes about putting words to emotions that currently have no English terms to describe them. Using some meanings from some other languages, he's managed to put words to these emotions and I've subsequently fallen down the rabbit hole to his Youtube channel on his website, so now I'm completely hooked! Listen in today as I share some of my favorite words and explain how to stop procrastinating and get things done.   Show highlights:   My current favorite word from The Dictionary of Obscure Emotions. A word that talks about everybody's stories. A funny word to describe being content. An odd, Finnish word that one of my students told me about. Why I love this gutsy word so much. Where your courage comes from if you're not Finnish. What brings out people's guts and resilience. Bargaining with the loud noise of procrastination. What I've learned about how to get things done. Finding the determination to get things done without procrastination. How to get really clear about your end goal. The results of making half-baked choices. Learning to get gutsier as you step towards your goal.     Resource: Book mentioned on the show: You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.

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#6

The Wonderful World of Custom Sprinkles with Liz Butts of Sprinkle Pop

June 11, 2018 • 44m

Who doesn’t LOVE sprinkles? Let’s face it, we all become kids again when sprinkles are involved. They are the fairy dust of the baking world, spreading their colorful and magical happiness on all manner of sweet treats, guaranteed to delight even the grumpiest of personalities.   I’m insanely jealous of today’s guest because she gets to spend her entire working life surrounded by sprinkles. What could be better than that? Elizabeth (LIz) Butts owns Sprinkle Pop, a sprinkle mix company located in Texas. Liz creates unique and trendy custom confetti shapes and sprinkle mixes that are custom-dyed to perfection. Though her business is just over one year old, she and her “devoted team of sprinkle fairies” now occupy a warehouse to create their colorful concoctions, having recently moved out of Liz’s house where they began. Sprinkle Pop serves baking supply stores, professional cake/cookie decorators, and baked-good enthusiasts around the world. Visit the Sprinkle Pop website to see their amazing sprinkle combinations!   Show Highlights:   The story of Sprinkle Pop How Liz, a cake decorator since high school, needed a specific color combination for a wedding cake in January 2017---but she couldn’t find what she needed As she hand-dyed sprinkles to get just what she needed, her “Aha” moment struck In March 2017, she launched her website and Sprinkle Pop was born----(Liz did $1000 worth of business in her FIRST month!) The unexpected success comes with the average sale being about $24, which is two 4 oz. bottles The hardest part for Liz is keeping up with social media as a one-woman show A quick business tip is to use a VA to do social media work, as they are very reasonable in price The easiest part for Liz is creating the unique sprinkle mixes; she finds it fun, easy, and natural Why Liz hand-dyes many of her sprinkles to keep her products very custom-made and to protect the “uniqueness factor” of Sprinkle Pop The best seller: Unicorn Sprinkle Mix, which is a year-round top-seller and very labor intensive Making business decisions about what is scalable The learning experience for Liz in dealing with wholesalers and buying in bulk The transition of moving out of her house and into a warehouse and dealing with the massive growth of her business Why Liz likes to focus on the taste of the sprinkles   The common sprinkle philosophy: “Less is more” Liz’s favorite fun sprinkle fact: Silver bar sprinkles are actually made from uncooked spaghetti! The two-fold purpose of Liz’s blog with genius ideas about how to use the sprinkle mixes (Each post =instant sales) There is competition in the sprinkle business, even though it’s not as cutthroat as other businesses. “It’s hard not to notice others and what they’re doing.” What Liz says when people say sprinkles are “just a fad” Why sprinkles are great: You always need sprinkles, they’ve been around for along time, they have multiple applications, and are perfect for any holiday or special occasion! What’s next for Sprinkle Pop? Liz wants to expand product lines and grow on a larger scale into large retail stores Why every entrepreneur is “figuring it out every day and hoping we’re doing it right” (Hint: No one is really an established expert) If Liz weren’t running Sprinkle Pop, she would still be at her corporate job in finance for the oil/gas industry. She says, “One of the happiest days in recent years was when I could quit that job.” For Liz, Sprinkle Pop is the perfect marriage of her cake-decorating talent and running her own creative business Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn of a huge collaboration project in the form of a giveaway complete with Sprinkle Pop goodness! Liz’s parting thought for other entrepreneurs: “Surround yourself with people that support you. Move forward and don’t look back.” Resources:   www.sprinklepop.shop

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#7

By All Means Necessary

July 17, 2017

I really think that it's time to lift the lid on the difference between how things look on the outside, versus how they really are, on the inside. So, today we're talking about at least ten embarrassing, ridiculous things I did, to get my business to the level that I  wanted it to be at and to really make it a success. Listen in to find out what I did.   I've recently been advertising my live classes (www.bizbakeontour.com) and people have been leaving comments which I find really interesting- they like to give me every excuse imaginable as to why they can't get to the class. I find it really interesting how people really tend to make excuses for their lack of success and why they can't take their life, or their business to the next level. This has forced me to look back on my life as a business owner and think about all the insane, crazy things I did to get where I wanted to go, because I really did have a clear vision. I knew that I had to use all the necessary means to get there. So listen in today, as I really want to share these things that I did with you, because sometimes you just have to make it happen!   Show highlights:   My recent rant on Facebook about having to make a decision at some point about how much your success is really worth to you and how far you're willing to go, to achieve what you want to achieve-  and the story of the extraordinary lengths that one woman went to, in order to be in my class. How I got my very first pastry job with my cake portfolio. The myth women need to be a hundred percent qualified before they will apply for a job. How I got my first cake boxes for my jobs before I realized I could buy them. I swear I'm not a bad person! Tricky ways that I used phone numbers and addresses to make it look like my business was way more legit than it was at the time! That sometimes you have to create an impression, to seem more legitimate than you really are and grow your business. I used to constantly ask places for their recipes if I really liked their cakes- I used to pretend to have an allergy, so I really needed to know what the ingredients were. Pretty cheeky, but nine times out of ten, they would give me the recipe! That my easiest way to do anything is to be inspired by other, really successful businesses and do as they do- it's a good way to start out. It's crazy expensive to buy cake decorating products in Australia, so I used to go to cake decorating shops in America, when I was visiting my family there and buy loads of products and equipment and drag it back to Australia in a suitcase. Figuring out how to work your way around things, if you really can't get straight there. I took out a lease on my first commercial kitchen when I didn't yet have the real money behind it. Really scary, but by the third month, I'd made enough money to cover my rent!  That sometimes the voice inside you is so loud that you just have to do that thing. How I mystery shopped my children's birthday cakes. How, trying to get a napkin match really informed my own business. In the early days of my business, I had cake flavors that I'd never tried before, but that didn't stop me from selling them! The crazy story of my car broke down and the trunk was full of cake flowers.  It's not so important how you do things - the important thing is that you actually do it.

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#9

The Worst Advice I Ever Received

March 05, 2018 • 28m

Positive and inspirational stories are great, right? But we all somehow seem to really love a crappy, "OMG everything went wrong" kind of story more. I've noticed this because although everyone loved my show last season about the best business advice that I ever got, many of you have asked me to do a similar show, but this time about the worst business advice that I've ever been given. This is really hilarious! Anyway, you ask and I deliver, so listen in now, to get the worst business advice ever. As a rule, the worst business advice that I ever got was from people who were not business owners themselves. Anyone who is a parent will totally appreciate this, because the minute that you get pregnant, everyone in the world starts giving you advice about every aspect of parenting. So when you say that you're opening a business, you tend to attract a whole lot of people who want to give you a whole lot of really crappy advice. Remember, though, that people come to give you advice because they think that they're doing the right thing, so I hope that none of you actually take this advice seriously and that you listen to this episode knowing that I mean it only as tongue in cheek and me being silly. So listen in as I roll out the terrible advice!   Show highlights:   The worst advice came from the people who had never actually done it themselves and their advice seems to be a reflection of their own problems and their own concerns. People love to tell stories about businesses that failed. It's always best to only take advice from people who have actually walked the walk themselves. Some really devastating things that I was told by Joe, a boss that I used to have. Sometimes I don't want to do something simply because somebody told me to do it, so some of the worst advice I ever got actually came from me! Getting pressured into mistakenly believing that I really needed to spend money on advertising and marketing. Why you shouldn't just believe it when somebody tells you that your business will fail if you don't do as they say. Learn to trust your gut when you're given advice about your business. Bad advice that I've been given about having to make certain things. The kind of advice that I really didn't appreciate getting. People who give bad advice really tend to want to shove it down your throat. Some crushing advice that I got from my Dad. Some poor advice from my dodgy accountant when I first started out with my business. Why you should avoid advice from people who lack vision. Why you should learn to listen to your inner voice, regardless of the advice that you've been given. My enrollment is opening for my Build Your Profitable Cake Business towards the end of March this year. Go to www.thebizofbaking.com to get the details. I open up the enrollment to my live In Person classes at this time of year. I'll be in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia this year and then in Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, and Virginia in the USA and I'll be in Toronto, Canada. Keep an eye on my blog and my social media sites for details.

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#11

My Business Lifecycle

April 01, 2019 • 27m

Have you ever wondered what it's really like to run a cake business? In today's episode, I'm answering a beautiful and fascinating question from one of the podcast listeners. She wanted to know what kept me in my business for ten years, why I continued with it, and why I decided that it was time to end it. She also asked me about what the process of ending the business entailed. This was really interesting for me because I've never talked about what it was like to run my business before, nor about the life-cycle of the business and how it all went down. So listen in! I really hope that you will be inspired by this topic! My business was called Three Sweeties and I really loved it! People kept telling me that the things I made were really amazing and I would make a fortune selling them. So I started my business from home, part-time and completely illegally, because even though I had a bit knowledge about food safety and things like having to register my kitchen, from being a chef, I was still totally clueless about how to actually run a business. So although I was unbelievably excited to start the business, I was unsure about its future and where it was going. And I did some really silly things in the beginning, but I learned a lot as I went on. Tune in today, to get my personal account of what life was like for me throughout the life cycle of my business.  Show Highlights: Coming to realize that I didn't want to work from home and renting a commercial kitchen, not too far from where I lived.  Getting things legal. I was figuring things out as I went along. Anytime anybody asked me for anything I just blurted stuff out and hoped for the best. Moving to the next stage of the business where I was cheffing a lot less. I started to get clear about wanting to grow the business and what I needed, for that to happen. I became clear about what the business was, and also that I would want to sell it one day. I became really clear about the products I wanted to make. The point at which I grew out of the commercial kitchen. The final stage, before selling the business, was moving to a storefront, or a cake studio, where people could walk in. I gave up cheffing completely when I moved to the storefront. Moving to the storefront allowed me to start teaching, and explore a whole lot of other business opportunities. How the move to the storefront really skyrocketed my business. About my $100, three-hour How To Run A Cake Business class. Why I wanted to sell the business by the time I turned forty. I decided to become a salaried blogger for six months, to see if it would work out.  I left the business when things were going well but not brilliantly. Some interesting things that happened in the life-cycle of that business. Why I stuck with the business for ten years. It was very hard to fight the intellectual excitement that I got from the blog. The industry started to get really crowded. I started having intrusive thoughts about the business. It was really hard to leave Three Sweeties. Links: Podcast mentioned: Invisibilia (The Secret History of Thoughts) https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/375927143/the-secret-history-of-thoughts Email me at michelle@thebizofbaking.com Remember that you're more than welcome to email or pm me on the social media channels to suggest a topic you'd like to hear about or someone you'd to be interviewed for the podcast. I'd really be happy to have your suggestions.

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#12

Cakers Behaving Badly: Solving the Problems We Complain About Most

April 16, 2018 • 24m

Are there things that your customers do that really bothers you? Today I am going to be discussing the kinds of matters that we, as cakers, tend to complain about in relation to our customers, that is not really okay to complain about. This is actually about the kind of things that we do as consumers - and this is why I honestly don't think that it gives us very much right to actually complain about them. So join me for today's episode and listen in as I talk about the kind of stuff that we tend to grumble about - which is actually pretty unfair to complain about.  Every day I read emails, Facebook posts and other social media stuff where people complain endlessly about the behavior of clients. Sometimes though, we as business owners, are actually part of that problem. We can't expect to be treated one way by people unless we abide by those very same rules, because I just don't think that's cool. I think it's really important to treat people in the same way that we would like to be treated, so listen in today as I discuss some of the things that we shouldn't be complaining about at all. Show highlights: People sometimes want to talk about price- and we claim that's all they care about. I will check the price of pasta, however, I'm not usually too concerned with the cost of ice cream. (Unless I'm having a kid's party.) Sometimes price does matter, but more often than not there's way more to it than the price- especially with a custom product. People who are only concerned with the price may simply not be the best customers for you. We are customers too- and sometimes we only care about the price. We tend to hate it when people get several quotes. If you don't send in your quote, you are certain not to get the gig. Some people keep on texting you and they demand a quick answer from you. Demanding texts become your problem when you don't have reasonable boundaries. Ways to set reasonable boundaries with your customers. Big ideas with a really small budget can be irritating, frustrating or even disappointing for a caker. Remember that the general consumer who is buying from you has no concept of the work required to get the job done. We get annoyed when our customers don't give us feedback. Taking responsibility for encouraging a culture of feedback with your customers. Providing feedback for goods or services that you have bought.

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#13

Tips for Hiring the Right People

April 02, 2018 • 33m

We all need people, right? Most of you listening to the podcast will get to the stage when it's time for you to hire people, or you may even have to let someone go. Having employees is really hard work and lately, I've been getting a lot of emails and questions from people wanting to know how to get rid of crappy employees, or the ones who aren't quite working out.  It's not easy to find and hire people that will keep in line with your vision and it's also difficult to find people who are good employees that don't take advantage. It's not all bad, though, because employees can be really awesome! Mentoring somebody really feels amazing and it's very nice to know that you're educating and supporting somebody while watching their skills grow. You can also learn a lot about yourself from being a boss. So listen in, because today we're going to be talking about the people that you hire.    Because it's so hard to hire the right people and then keep them on board, I wanted to give you guys my top ten tips for the people who are working for you. The truth of the matter is that this advice probably applies to most of the people in your life and not only to the ones that work for you. Listen in now to get my best tips on how to hire and how to keep your hiring life a happy one! Show highlights: Tip #1- Check your purpose and hire for the right reasons. Tip #2- List the things that need to be done in your business, that you really need help with. Tip #3- Check the rules. I learned this the hard way! Tip #4- Hire for personality and train for skill. (This one could be a bit controversial.) Tip #5- Be realistic about the job. Don't just dump all your stuff on them. Tip #6- Be patient- it actually takes much longer than you think to find the right person. Employees can really be amazing, so it's not all bad! The freedom that you can enjoy when you employ someone. Tip #7- Multi-skilling is a very good idea. Tip #8- Boundaries are really essential!  Tip #9- Check in regularly with your employees, even if you love them. It can even be a great opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate them. Tip #10- Remember that it's not just about the money, either for them or for you, so treat your people kindly.  There is always so much that you can learn from employing somebody. I've written a whole lot of articles on my blog (www.thebizofbaking.com- under 'staffing') about how to be a good boss, how to hire and fire etc.  I'll be traveling a lot later this year, so for more info about where you can meet me in person, go to www.bizbakeontour.com.

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#14

Ask Me Anything - Business Stuff!

August 20, 2018 • 41m

Today we are going to continue with the Ask Me Anything questions. For those of you who missed the first episode of this, I recently put up a post in several of my Facebook groups saying that I'd tell you about anything you want to know. So in the first part, I dealt with the really fun questions that you asked me and today I will be answering some of the more serious,  interesting and harder hitting questions that so many of you have asked about running a small business. Listen in today to find out what they are! These questions all came from my Facebook group, Baking Business Confidence by The Business of Baking, or my other Facebook group, Build Your Profitable Cake Business. They come from people, just like you guys, who are truly in the trenches, so listen in to find out more! Show Highlights: Best advice for someone thinking about opening a brick and mortar store. Why you really need to take a look at your lifestyle if you decide to open a store. Some things you need to do if you decide to open a store. How long to persist with your business before you can expect to start making a profit. Some warning signs to look out for when a business venture is in jeopardy of going under. What to do if things are not working out with your business. Be completely honest with yourself about what's really going on with your business. Persistence really does pay off. Some things to consider when thinking of employing staff. Some great tips for de-stressing, or for coping with overwhelming feelings when they hit you. Learning to eat an elephant one bite at a time. Breaking the perception that home-based cake businesses don't equal store-based businesses. Be the level of professionalism that you want to be so that location becomes irrelevant. Keeping things fun and relaxing with your business Remembering to be grateful for being able to do what you are doing- even when the going gets tough. Don't burn your apron just because of one mistake. Remember that I have a lot happening for the podcast between now and the end of the year.  Resources Mentioned on the Show: The Business of Baking On Tour, (www.bizbakeontour.com) which is my super fun, super informative  live, in-person classes that I teach. These will take place in the US, Canada, and in the UK for the rest of the year.  At the end of October, I'll be opening Build Your Profitable Cake Business, which is the biggest class that I offer. It's intended  for those of you who intend making a full-time business out of this.  And this August, my colleague, Sharon, and I are starting a brand new class called Sweet Side-Gig, (www.sweetsidegig.com) an online community and membership forum where we teach business skills to the people who are only doing this as a side-business but want it to be legit. You can email me at michelle@thebizofbaking.com

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#15

Ask Me Anything - Part Fun!

August 06, 2018 • 46m

Today’s show is part one of an experiment! Normally, on the podcast, I plan all the content and just outline my answers and record the show. But recently, in my Facebook group, I put out the invitation to ask me anything and I would answer the questions on the podcast!   I thought you would give me some easy questions that I could answer easily. What I got was anything but easy questions! So today we are focusing on the fun or what I would consider the funny questions - and there are business lessons to be learned, even in the funny questions.   The business oriented questions will be answered in a separate podcast, so stay tuned for that.   Show Highlights:   My hair - oh wow, are you serious? Crack cocaine in a jar A Christmas baby - and how I was able to win at life by having 2 birthdays in one year The emotional memories of raising the triplets Vegan cakes?? Who cares as long as it is cake! Stupid things happen to me all the time, so it’s hard to narrow it down to my most stupid. Cake nightmares? I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying about cakes falling Find out whether I am a midnight snacker - having such a sweet tooth, it’s an interesting concept. Find out about my favorite pets growing up and what kind of animals we have today. All things are possible, so does other life exist? I share my take on it. Find out if I have been cursed or hexed by someone, and no, I’m not talking about my hair! My favorite Disney movie - the first movie I remember seeing in a theater Lots of movie questions…….I love movies! If I could change one thing in life, I would call my Dad. Find out why and how I still don’t have questions answered. Topsy turvy cakes are the worst idea ever! Drip cakes look like cakes that I want to eat, so I love this cake trend. Yummy cake is my favorite. What cake decorating icon would I like to meet? You’re going to have to listen to find out. There are thousands of lessons that I would teach young Michelle, so where do I start?       Life isn’t all about business or baking, so i hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and more importantly, I hope I’ve answered all of your crazy questions! Don’t forget to join me again when I finally get around to answering your serious business questions. I can’t wait to share them with you!       Resources:   bizbakeontour.com - See me in person and join me on my world tour Build Your Profitable Cake Business - opening in October  Sweet Side Gig - opening in August - this is different that anything I’ve ever done!

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#16

The Changing Cake Industry

December 04, 2017 • 28m

Today, it's all about how the Cake Industry has changed, so we're going to be talking about what I've observed to be happening in our industry over the last ten to fifteen years and also how the face of our industry has really changed a lot, during that time. Listen in to find out more! Back when I was a girl, just starting out on my cake decorating journey, there was no Youtube, or Craftsy. In fact, there was pretty much nothing at all really, except for cake decorating books and a couple of guilds, so it was really quite a sad and lonely place. Things have really changed, though and a lot of growth has happened, since then. Join me on today's show, as I discuss some of the things that I've become aware of lately in the cake industry, and the effect that our current culture of social media, online classes and gimmicky tools has had on it. Listen in now! Show highlights: The growth that has happened, as a result of TV shows and the accessibility of Learning Channels, like Youtube and Craftsy. Some of my observations of what I've noticed that has changed, in the industry. The cake that my older sister asked me to create for her wedding shower, when I was sixteen. (There are actually pictures of it on my blog!) The Wilton Level One Butter Cream Class that some friends of mine got together and bought for me, back when I was a young Mom, first living in Australia. We have a lot more awareness of our worth, as artists today, yet we tend to focus far less on the actual artistry, as the industry has grown. The stunningly beautiful work of the true artists of our industry, that are actually pushing the boundaries of the definition of cake, of art and even of edible. The widening divide, between the non-artists and the true artists of our industry. My love-hate relationship with the stamp out tools that are available currently for our industry. The sadness of the really easy to replicate cakes, that are available in today's mass market. The X-Factor about today's cakes that I wish were a little more X-factorish... What I've noticed about the average age of the people in our industry today. What I've noticed to be happening lately, with the 'Facebook famous' crowd and their culture of sharing. How the questions from my Coaching clients have changed lately. What's happening with live classes, today. Why you need to actually sign up for live classes as soon as possible, after deciding to do them. Cookies don't even look like cookies anymore! Pushing the boundaries of artistry. My predictions for what's to come in our industry. Resources: Join us on Facebook

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#17

Cake Flavors - How Many is Too Many?

September 03, 2018 • 25m

Are you strictly a chocolate or vanilla person? Or are there other flavors that you really like? I recently received a question from one of my followers, and I loved it because it really made me laugh! But it also offers a great learning opportunity, so today we're talking flavors! Listen in to find out more about this very sweet question! The question was: "Why do people always go with either chocolate or vanilla? Is it even really necessary to offer anything else? On the other hand, how many options are too many options? Do we really need strawberry cake with pineapple buttercream and whipped white chocolate ganache on our menu at all times?" Well, personally, I'm not too sure if the idea of strawberry pineapple white chocolate is actually delicious or disgusting, but today I will give you my opinion about why I think people make the kinds of choices that they do when it comes to flavors. Listen in as I offer my advice for the best flavors to have on your menu. Show Highlights: Not everyone likes chocolate! Why I think people tend to pick mostly chocolate. Why people pick the boring things they do for weddings. People tend to get overwhelmed by choice. My choice for my own wedding cake- a choice that most people actually liked. Go with what you enjoy for your wedding! All the cool flavors that I used to offer. What happened with my really fancy menu. Red velvet doesn't really go down too well in Australia. Should you have a fancy menu? What to consider when choosing to have unusual, interesting flavors. Thinking about your target market when creating your menu. Rural areas are very different from big cities. Why I push people towards the less exciting flavors. I would much rather decorate than bake. Fancy flavors cost a lot more. How to make a boring menu much more interesting. Giving normal things fun, exciting names. Get people to create their own custom flavors- with boundaries. Some of the mistakes that I've made in the past. The lesson that I'd really like you to walk away with.

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#18

Lessons From a Challenging 2018

December 03, 2018 • 39m

I've really had an unbelievable season of podcast episodes this year! I've done my best, given it a proper run, and I've loved it, but like all good things, it has come to an end. Today's episode is the very last episode of this season.  I did some awesome solo episodes this year, where I talked about all sorts of things, like the worst advice I ever got, strategies for mental health, and getting through the rough stuff in life. I also had some amazingly unbelievable episodes where I interviewed some incredible people, like Laurel Harlan. I spoke to Patricia Scheetz about running a charitable-based bakery, and I even spoke to my daughter Claire. I've had such a super amazing season, 2018! Thank you all so much for listening! When I record my podcasts, I have no idea how many, or where in the world, people will be listening. I also don't know if they've loved it or hated it, or what they thought of me. So, with this being the last episode of the year, I'd like to close it out with a heartfelt message of gratitude to all of you for listening! I also wanted to end off by sharing some of the lessons I've learned this year. This is a largely an unscripted episode and not my usual way of doing things, so listen in today, as I talk straight from the heart, tell you about my year, and give you some of the lessons I've learned. Show Highlights: This has been a really challenging year and yet so much has happened! How the three-pronged seat on which I rest my life works. Why I don't buy into the work/life balance concept. I really strongly believe in acceptance. Talking about forgiveness.  Gratitude is really so important! It has a way of pulling me out of really dark places. How to develop an attitude of gratitude. Becoming grateful for dumb stuff really lifts me up! Keeping busy and productive is really important to me. It's okay to drop the ball sometimes and it's okay to say no to people, events, or things. I learned how valuable it is to be checked-in on. I'm so grateful for all the check-ins, emails and messages, from you, the listeners! Human connection is crucial and we really need each other! The benefits of asking for help and then accepting it. Sometimes doing nothing is actually doing something. Doing something kind for myself every day to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Resources: Sleep Stories on the Calm App

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#19

How to Deal with Parental Guilt

September 11, 2017 • 32m

Today I'm going to be talking about something that I think has affected all of us in one way or another, whether we actually like to admit it or not. This is the topic of parental guilt. (I would normally refer to it as Mommy guilt, but not all of us listening to the show are Mommies.) We sometimes get that guilt from our children, but even our parents give it to us at times, so maybe I should be referring to this as family guilt. Although I've talked about this topic and I've written articles and posts about it over the years, I've never before actually spoken about it on this podcast. Then, recently, somebody left a comment about it on my Facebook page, which prompted me to discuss it with you on the show today, because  hearing somebody talking about it so openly, rather than it being this dirty little secret that we all harbour, really came at me like a breath of fresh air.  I really loved her comment and this is something that  women, as business owners, are really struggling with, so listen in now, because this is sure to be a meaty podcast! We've all had family members, or kids who get jealous or resentful about the amount of time we spend working. I've talked about my kids being a part of my business for a long time and I even named it after them and got them involved in it. I really wanted to talk about this in a little more detail though, so I started to think about why we  feel that guilt for running our own business, or even having a job, or a hobby like a blog.  I've come up with three main reasons that I think cause us to feel that way, so listen in as we explore them in depth, on the show today.        Show highlights: Society still views women's roles as home-bound caregivers, who are secondary to their partners in the relationship. The societal pressure for us to fit into certain roles. The personal reasons that cause us to feel that guilt. It's not okay for us to choose ourselves- we feel we have to choose everybody else as well as ourselves. The basic logistics and physical demands that can cause us to feel the guilt, as   only us, as women, can bear children. The things I had a really hard time with, while my triplets were growing up. It was just not in my DNA to be a stay at home mom. I have always fought tooth and nail to retain my identity, however that did not absolve me of the guilt.  A lot of what I do comes from the influence of watching my parents, as business owners. The response that I got from my Dad, early in in my business, which was really hurtful to me. The unsupportive response that I got from my Mom, when I was having a hard time with my business. Fighting against the rising tide of guilt. The lessons that I really wanted to give to my kids.  I wanted my kids to learn that if you really want to be something, you can do just about anything! I wanted to show my kids how to live a life without limits and also that having a business can happen alongside having a family.  A family is a community, so I tried to involve my kids in my business and that decisions that I make in it. I find that the guilt thing is usually temporary and triggered by a single event. After that, they seem to get over it and carry on. About six weeks ago, I did an eye opening Facebook Live interview, with my sixteen year old daughter, Claire. (It's in my Build Your Profitable Cake Business Group.)  Claire's opinions were really so very different to what I thought they would be. I realised that a lot of the guilt that I'd felt was actually invented in my own head. How much should we give up, or modify (if anything at all) for our children? Finding enough balance in your life, to feel comfortable. In retrospect, I'm okay that my process was slower in my business, due to my kids, because I was able to give them the attention that they needed. If you're curious about how I raised my kids in my business, you can listen to my podcast episode about Raising A Family And A Business At The Same Time, and get my tips on how to do it. Remember the bigger lessons that you're learning, and that kids do grow up and move on! It's your life - your rules! Choose which voice you're going to listen to.

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