First months of my Cake Business
I thought I would like to share with you my journey in following my dream so far. As many of you may know I resigned from my full-time job in September 2016. I was doing food quality assurance for a Sushi Company. The team there always encouraged me to take the plunge and go for it!
I started doing some volunteer work at a Patisserie here in Sydney but unfortunately, I tore a ligament in my left shoulder. I think a lot of stirring at a bench that was not the right height for me caused this and so I remind you all to make sure you always work in a space that accommodates your postures. We tend to forget about our bodies and keep going and going, only to realise when it’s too late.
This injury made me unfit to do much baking or exercising. I am a bit of an exercise freak. But it made me focus on the organisational side of my business and get that up to scratch. Business name, registrations, insurance, website, social media, who was going to help me, funds, clients, marketing, oh! the list was endless. I must say many days were hard and I put on a few kilos as I had strong pain in my left arm which would not even allow me to sit in front of the computer and work. So looking back many days were not productive at all. I was so lucky to meet Paul my Physio in Pyrmont which I recommend highly. He basically helped me get through my rotator cuff injury and explained very well the exercises I could and couldn’t do. A month later the pain was much more tolerable, I was back into baking and exercising regularly.
After this it was a matter of getting people to know my brand and get a website up. It all sounds quite straight forward but it wasn’t. Domain names, emails, images, content, design, SEO etc.. I ended up doing most of it on my own thanks to many friends who helped me with several aspects. I could not afford to spend $5,000- $7,000 on a website so I used Shopify which has great templates that you can tweak to suit your needs. 3 months later I had my website live, oh that was a great moment of joy!! So many hours spent on it. I have no clue about IT, photography, graphic design or anything so it meant a great deal for me to have it up 😃.
The social media aspect was being covered thanks to a lovely girl named Aleen who taught me so much. I had very little knowledge about Social Media before starting my business. When the website was launched, I decided to continue the Social Media on my own, as I had a lot of expenses in starting the business and no stable income coming in.
I have been sampling my products as much as I can to continue to grow and get my name out there. I make sure I try to attend as many networking events as possible and I joined the Females in Food network, founded by Chelsea Ford which has given me many opportunities.
I take the time to talk to every single one of my customers. Ask them their opinion, feedback, etc.. I am committed to giving them an excellent service.
I am now in the process of tweaking my business plan and setting myself monthly and yearly goals so I can push myself a bit more. In business, it’s not only about the passion of baking (in my case), but the numbers need to add up as well. And this is one of my weaknesses, therefore I am well aware I need to push this and make sure I have a good financial forecast in place. I also need to focus on newsletters and getting more content written up for my lovely followers, customers and friends.
The hardest thing is to find balance. The balance to breath, play, work, live, laugh, eat and share moments with your friends and loved ones. Not having a boss watch over you is; yes amazing, but also means you must be so strict and stick to your schedule, because time does get away very quickly.
Sometimes it all looks like a blob of confusion in my head, pointing in many directions. Meditating frees my mind so much. However, the best thing is to tackle one thing at a time. You will get it all done it’s just a matter of staying focused, breathing and embracing the tough times so that we can learn from them.
I have learnt so much in these past 6 months, I don’t only mean business related but also spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc. And I have also met so many incredible people.
The universe will always help you achieve what you truly desire within your heart, if you work hard and consistently. This I can assure you.
So many more challenges and experiences to go through, but I am looking forward to it all! Lastly I need to thank all those people in my life that encourage, believe and help me on a day to day basis. You know who you are, and I am eternally grateful for you being a part of my life.
Con Amor Gabriela X
- Gabriela Oporto