#LearningCurve: Baking with love adds that special ingredient to cakes
Port Elizabeth resident Nikki Foot has had a passion for baking for as long as she can remember and it is this passion that helped her to create her small business, For the Love of Baking — Cakes by Nikki.
Please share some background on yourself and how the business was started?
I’ve always had a love for baking, ever since I could remember.
Friends always enjoyed my baking and would say “you should sell your cakes”.
I would always reply, “there is no money in selling cakes” and it’s true! You have to do it FOR THE LOVE of baking! I absolutely LOVE what I do.
How did it all start?
I just decided one evening I’m going to give this a try ... and it’s two years later ...
What is your core service?
I would say my baked cheesecakes is my top seller.
I don’t do wedding cakes or themed cakes.
What makes your business unique?
I use top quality ingredients and I don’t do it for the money ... but for the love of baking. All the cakes are baked by myself.
If someone wanted to copy your business model, how would they start?
You have to take a leap of faith. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be on your feet, baking the whole day.
What are some of the biggest inhibitors your business faced before getting off the ground?
You have to have the right equipment and space to do it in.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs or new business owners?
If you have the passion for something or the opportunity to do it, I would say just go for it.
What are some of your biggest challenges in day-to-day business operations and your particular industry?
Your forward planning has to be in place to be successful. Unfortunately load-shedding plays a big role in this as well.
What is the best advice anyone gave you on success?
Do it for the LOVE, not for the money
How do you measure or define success in your business?
When I have happy clients. I always welcome their feedback.
What are some of the best practices that have made your business successful?
I make sure that every cake is a masterpiece, baked with the best ingredients and most of all ... the secret ingredient ... LOVE
What kind of advertising do you do?
Instagram and Facebook
What is your company’s vision?
I would like to have my own coffee shop one day.
What is your target market?
My target market is individual households and for businesses for their functions
What have some of your highlights been in running your business?
Looking forward to my new kitchen which we are busy building
And expanding my menu and attracting more clients
How important is social media and an online presence for your business?
Very important, because people can see the feedback and recommendations from clients who have bought from me in the past. Word of mouth is also very important.
How many people do you employ?
Just one assistant, doing the dishes and some prep work. She is my rock!
Do you have any plans for expanding the business, and how would you go about this?
My long term goal is to have my own coffee shop, but it won’t be your average coffee shop. I’m still working on a few ideas
How did you acquire funding for the business?
No funding was needed. As the business grew I put the profits back into the business to buy more equipment
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your business journey so far?
Perseverance and to handle positive and negative criticism and to build on that.
What have been the greatest challenges and advantages of running your business in a city like PE?
Though it’s a big city, it’s also small ... everyone knows everyone. Word of mouth advertising is a big advantage
What do you say are the three key traits of a successful entrepreneur?
What do you say are the key traits of a successful employer?
Treat your staff the way you want to be treated. If you want respect then treat them with respect
What do you wish people knew about your industry?
There’s a big difference between a store bought cake made in bulk and a handmade cake made with passion and love.
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