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The Business of Baking Podcast

Updated 9 days ago

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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

44 Ratings
Average Ratings
34
3
3
3
1

Fabulous podcast!

By LaLuUno - Jun 06 2019
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So happy I found this podcast!

Love your podcast

By erikajulianna115 - Mar 06 2019
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You should really consider making a youtube channel! Lots of love from Puerto Rico ❤️

iTunes Ratings

44 Ratings
Average Ratings
34
3
3
3
1

Fabulous podcast!

By LaLuUno - Jun 06 2019
Read more
So happy I found this podcast!

Love your podcast

By erikajulianna115 - Mar 06 2019
Read more
You should really consider making a youtube channel! Lots of love from Puerto Rico ❤️
Cover image of The Business of Baking Podcast

The Business of Baking Podcast

Latest release on Nov 11, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 9 days ago

Rank #1: Hobby Versus Business

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Are you building a business, are you enjoying a hobby, or...both? What's the difference between those two and why is it even important to care about? Does it even really matter? Are all those cheap cake ladies just hobby bakers who don't care that they are undercutting the rest of the industry? I've long been a supporter of the cheap cake lady (because we were ALL her at once point) but it's time to get real about what her role is in our industry, Okay so I might have gotten a bit ranty in this one....

May 09 2017

30mins

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Rank #2: Podcast Interview: Miranda from Sweet Sticks

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Welcome to the Business of Baking Podcast! I’m so grateful to be able to chat to you every other week on the podcast. Some weeks I do solo shows, and other weeks I get to introduce you to some pretty amazing entrepreneurs who think outside the box, or have an interesting story to share.

On today’s podcast, I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend, Miranda, who has a pretty amazing product line. She’s the owner of Sweet Sticks, which started life out as a cake pop company but as you probably already know, has morphed into an incredible, edible art paint empire! Join us, as Miranda takes us through her entrepreneurial journey which includes making and selling rave gear clothing to her friends at the tender age of 16, to making and selling scarf watches as a side hustle. Don’t miss this! We cover lots of other ground, from alcohol free edible art paint for the Halal community, to conquering your fears. 

Show Highlights:

  • Reinventing the cake pop wheel
  • Developing edible art paint
  • Why packaging is very important
  • The wonder at being successful
  • Making motherhood and business ownership work
  • Conquering your fear to free up your time for what’s important
        • The process of creating new products
  • Listening is #1 tool when it comes to marketing 
  • Quality standards for premium products
  • Having a mental health plan in place
  • Looking after yourself, and ideas to fill your “personal cup”
  • Dealing with copycats
  • Resolving to be the better version of your business and your product 
  • The future direction of Sweet Sticks
  • Advice for other entrepreneurs just starting out

Links & Resources:

To get a copy of Michelle's first book, The Business of Baking, go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any other good bookstore.

Michelle's email: michelle@thebizofbaking.com 

https://sweetsticks.com.au

Instragram: sweetsticksau

Jun 24 2019

44mins

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Rank #3: How My Business Grew and My Body Shrank

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Over the course of my business, I lost over 150 pounds - or the equivalent of a supermodel holding a very full handbag. I learned so much about myself through that process and I also learned a whole lot about business too. When I think about it now, those two things are more intertwined than you might think. When it comes to small business, so much of it is personal...and there's nothing more personal than our bodies and how we feel about ourselves. Small business also requires us to be so visible - we have to be in front of clients, our faces need to beam from our websites, and WHO we are matter so much to our success. This is my story of how my business grew and my body shrank. Enjoy - and fair warning, you might need some tissues before you start listening. 

Mar 15 2017

56mins

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Rank #4: Interview with Danira Cancinos from Danis Dulce Confections

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Would you like to make a good living out of a confectionary business? Do you believe that it's possible to do this? Today, I'm excited to introduce you to Danira Cancinos, from Dani's Dulce Confections, in Sylmar, California. One of the questions I'm asked very often is "Can you make enough real money out of this to support a family?". Although I always say you can, people still seem to think it's impossible. So Dani is here on the show with me today to prove that this is, indeed, possible. Listen in, to find out about Dani and her awesome, inspiring, and lucrative confectionary business.

Dani has really achieved a lot! I've been her Instagram fan for a long time and her posts are amazing! When I see them, I almost drool over her creations because she makes some of the most delicious-looking treats that I have ever seen! Especially her caramel apples!  In addition to making all kinds of treats, she also teaches a number of online classes and some in-person online tutorials. She recently sold a caramel apple class, which earned her over five figures! This is truly incredible, so we will be talking about it in today's episode. Dani did not grow up in a wealthy family, so her business is all about dedication and putting in a huge amount of work. Tune in today, to hear her story.

Show Highlights:

  • Dani tells the story of her business and how it got to where it is now.
  • Dani is actually an introvert, so she's very shy.
  • You need to step out of your comfort zone if you want to grow.
  • Dani talks about her decision to start teaching.
  • Dani's cake pop class is her most popular class, with close to eight hundred students!
  • Dani's classes run on Facebook groups.
  • People love to feel connected to the person behind the business and the classes.
  • Dani really engages with her audience and this has helped her to sell so many classes.
  • Dani seems to be taking fewer orders, and teaching more, lately.
  • It takes a lot of dedication to do this kind of work. And it's taken a consistent effort for Dani to build her following.
  • Why Danira took so long to leave her job.
  • How Dani got to charge $200 for a class. She never imagined that she would be able to launch a course and make this kind of money!
  • Investing in her business by learning from Amy Porterfield.
  • Success doesn't happen overnight. You have to keep showing up and doing the work, even when you don't feel like it.
  • Danira talks to us about the way that religion plays a big part in her life- and her business.
  • It's not enough just to pray. You have to do the work. Dani gave a hundred percent to her caramel apple class.
  • Using lists to plan, and time blocking to get beyond procrastination.
  • Business requires a lot of sacrifices.
  • What's coming up for Dani's Dulce Confections.
  • Getting smart about managing money.

Links:

Dani's Dulce Confections' website: https://www.danisdulceconfections.com/

Jul 22 2019

1hr 4mins

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Rank #5: 10 Lessons You Should Remember in Managing Your Business

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We’ve all heard the saying “if I only knew then what I knew now”, especially when it comes to business. If we could all avoid the mistakes and hard learned lessons that come with maintaining a business, we would. Today, Michelle shares her cheat sheet to managing your own business and how to establish the foundation you need to be successful. To learn more about how you can create a flourishing business and maintain a fulfilling life, tune into this episode of The Business of Baking. 

Show Highlights: 

  • A cheat sheet Michelle wrote for owning your own business 
  • The benefits of getting to call the shots 
  • The importance of marketing yourself well 
  • Making sure your tide is built up of people who encourage you 
  • Not spending your energy on things or people that drain you 
  • Long term planning and anticipating success 
  • Acknowledging that life happens and dealing with unexpected situations
  • Creating procedures 
  • Recognizing that it is about the money 
  • Prioritizing your money and making smart decisions 
  • Setting boundaries in life and business 

Links: 

Michelle@thebusinessofbaking.com

https://thebizofbaking.com

May 13 2019

29mins

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Rank #6: Interview with Bronwen Weber

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Hilarious, honest and hugely knowledgable about all things cake and cake business, Bronwen Weber is an incredible character and asset to our industry. Full of sass and brilliant insight, she's the MD of Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas, Texas and she's a force to be reckoned with. Our chat runs the gamut of topics from offering cake slices via UberEats all the way to the controversial cottage food laws in Texas AND what really happens behind the scenes of all those competetive cake shows. Entertaining, informative and frankly all kinds of awesome, my chat with Bronwen is not to be missed! 

Feb 27 2017

50mins

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Rank #7: Making Sense of Advertising, Marketing, PR and Social Media with Cori Keeton Pope

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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 

Nov 20 2017

56mins

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Rank #8: At a Crossroads

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Welcome back to the podcast for 2019! I'm really excited to be back and I've come up with a whole list of topics that I want to talk about and a range of really interesting people to interview. My plan is to interview people who are a little bit left of center in our industry, related to it but not necessarily directly involved, like wedding photographers, marketers, or crafters. There are also some experimental episodes coming up this season where I do things a little differently. So tune in now for today's episode!

Today I'm going to be talking about being at a crossroads in your business. Last summer, I had a truly life-changing experience when I went on a month-long trip to South America, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Antarctica. Thinking about the business during that time prompted me to sent an email to my subscriber list. In today's episode, I will be sharing a bit about that email, what was behind it, and what I'm thinking about now, going forward into the future. Because many of us, at this time of year, reach a crossroad in our business and this will give you a number things to think about. Listen in to find out about my crossroads, the crossroads in our industry, and where to from here.

Show Highlights:

  • Some of the email that I wrote.
  • I've been running my business for five years now, and I've turned it from a hundred dollar, three-hour class in my bakery into what it is now. 
  • My business is now a community, a blog, a book, a podcast, online classes, in-person classes, social media communities, etc. 
  • I wasn't sure if just making more of stuff was the best way to go forward, so I wanted to know what my community needed from me.
  • The crossroads in our industry.
  • People in our industry are giving up a whole lot faster now.
  • Why I think the number of people going into business in our industry has slowed down significantly.
  • Lately, baking shows have become super niched.
  • There is still money to be made from sweet foods.
  • My love-hate relationship with the whole tools thing!
  • My personal crossroads.
  • Some of the responses I got from the email I sent.
  • Do what you love, and do it from your heart!
  • Business is really about both passion and profit.
  • Reaching the grow or stop phase in our business.
  • Doing a check-up from the neck up.

Links:

Email me at michelle@thebizofbaking.com

Mar 04 2019

29mins

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Rank #9: An Interview with Kim Werker of Mighty Ugly

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Are you willing to try something new? And then try it again if you fail? In today's episode, I'm talking to the inspiring Kim Werker, who I think is completely amazing! She is totally my people! She is an unbelievably talented woman who describes herself as a camp counselor for grownups and she thinks we need to aim for creative, messy fun, rather than hoping for perfection. 

This season, my intention is to interview people who are not necessarily in the baking industry, but who have lots of things in common with those of us who are, like photographers, florists, and crafters. These people are creatives who experience similar struggles and successes in their businesses to those that we experience here, in our industry. So I'm really excited to be talking to Kim today, about her life, her work, her website, and the way she inspires people to try new things. Tune in now to find out more!

Kim is a super-guru of the crochet world, and she's also a freelance writer, editor, and speaker. And most interestingly to me,  she's the woman behind the Mighty Ugly website and movement, a website that encourages everyone to try things. (Mighty Ugly is all about celebrating the benefits of failure so that we're not so afraid of doing the big things.) Kim has edited magazines, she's written seven books, she created and then sold an online magazine, she curates online communities, and she teaches her own creative classes. She also used to be a podcaster and currently, she runs an online community for creative adventurers. She's even dabbled in a bit of baking too, so listen in, to find out what Kim has to share with us in today's episode.

Show Highlights:

  • Kim tells her story and explains how she ended up with such a varied business.
  • Knitters and crocheters are completely different demographics as far as the industry is concerned.
  • How Kim's online magazine started out.
  • Book royalties have never been a big part of Kim's income.
  • Most of Kim's books are now out of print.
  • Kim's first book, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crocheting, is now in its second edition.
  • Make It Mighty Ugly was in print for five years and will most likely be going out of print at the end of this year.
  • Kim teaches workshops about Mighty Ugly, and it also forms the foundation for most of the writing she does.
  • Kim now has multiple income streams and her husband provides her venture capital.
  • Kim enjoys doing editing work most of all.
  • The choice that Kim faces right now in terms of her revenue stream.
  • All about Kim's workshop to help people confront their fears.
  • Kim has an ongoing theme in her life, of bringing people together, to go on creative adventures and building something. 
  • The pros and cons of social media.
  • Doing the best you can right now, in this moment!
  • There is so much meaning in gratitude!
  • You can try, fail, and try again.
  • Coping with burnout and finding balance again.
  • How Kim keeps herself inspired to make things every day.

Links and resources:

Book mentioned: Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller

Knitty.Com (Online knitting magazine): www.knitty.com

Mighty Ugly Website: www.kimwerker.com 

Mar 18 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #10: 10 Fun Marketing Ideas to Increase Your Revenue

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Today we’re talking about marketing and I'd like to give you some ideas that are a little out of the box, as well as some stuff to motivate and inspire you. I also want to give you some things to help you to think about marketing in a different way, because I know that everybody really seems to hate it. So today, we're going to lift the lid off that and come up with some really cool and fun stuff that you can do, that doesn't cost the earth. Listen in today, as we make this a Playful Marketing Monday (even though it may not even be Monday when you listen to this) and really have some fun on the show.

I actually love marketing and I'm constantly out there, taking photos of other people's marketing that I think is cool, or even ads that I think are fun. I often look at funny viral ads on Youtube, because I really am a fan of clever marketing- of the kinds of things that are so funny or clever that you don't even know that you're being marketed to. So I've come up with ten ideas that I'd like to share with you today. These ideas are really intended to get your creative juices flowing, so listen in and be inspired!

Show highlights:

  • #1: Figure out ways to cross promote yourself to other products. 
  • #2: Using some sidewalk chalk, to create something that really captures people's attention, perhaps like a huge mural. 
  • #3: Create an info-graphic for you.
  • #4: Create a competition on Facebook
  • #5: Harness word of mouth marketing
  • #6: A Cookies and Milk Story Time, done somewhere locally.
  • #7: Do some video story telling on social media.
  • #8: Market to a specific niche group. You need to offer the right thing to the right people
  • #9: Chase the Corporates
  • #10: Do a blind taste test between your cake and a plain bought sheet cake

The thing about marketing is that it has to be do-able, as well as being really fun and effective. Show off your personality and have some fun!

Aug 14 2017

35mins

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Rank #11: Interview with Tim Engelbrecht

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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             

Apr 15 2019

41mins

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Rank #12: The Changing Cake Industry

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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

Dec 04 2017

27mins

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Rank #13: Raising a Family And A Business

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This episode is a bit of a behind the scenes look at how I raised my triplets and raised my business at the same time. Being a parent is hard work at the best of times, so why was I crazy enough to think that was a good time to start a business?!  In this episode I give you my 5 best tips for keeping a household running while keeping a business growing. As I look back at it now, I realize that I always just did the best I could with what I had - which is pretty much how I think all of us should run our lives!

This episode was created by Michelle Green, and produced/edited by David Green. We're awesome that way. 

Mar 02 2017

34mins

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Rank #14: Confessions of a Health Inspector

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Are you just starting out in your business and feeling somewhat daunted at the thought of having to register your kitchen with the local Health Department? If so, don't worry because I want you to do everything possible to keep your business legal! The featured guest is a bit of a crazy mixture- she's a Cake Maker and she's also a Local Health Inspector, working in the United States. I get lots of questions about this as most people seem a little afraid to get their kitchens registered because they don't really know what it's all about. Today's guest with de-mystify the health inspection process and you can finally see that it's nothing to be afraid of!

Jul 03 2017

1hr 16mins

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Rank #15: Should I Quit My Business?

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Have you been considering giving up your business lately? 'Should I quit my business?' is a question that tends to come up for many of us small business owners when the going gets tough. In today's episode, I'll be taking a look at why we sometimes think about quitting, and whether or not it really is the right time to do it. This is something that I've talked about a lot on my blog, but never before on the podcast. I realize that this question might be a little hard for some of you to hear, and I don't mean to depress anyone, but running a business really isn't easy and I think that this is one of the things we need to think about, and to talk about openly, more often. Listen in today, to find out more.

Last year I did a podcast episode about a blog post that I wrote a while back, about a typical small cookie company. That was one of the most popular episodes of all of last season. So I've chosen one of the blog posts that I wrote some time ago, about quitting your business, and I'm going to read it to you today. I will be adding in the things that have changed for me, and the things that I feel differently about now, so tune in, to hear what I wrote about whether or not it really is the time to quit your business. 

Show Highlights:

  • I sometimes used to have a little voice in my head late at night, urging me to quit my business.
  • The idea of relinquishing my business responsibilities was sometimes really appealing to me.
  • I get a lot of emails from people asking me if they should quit their businesses.
  • I don't have a secret sauce, and I cannot give you permission to quit.
  • Our lives and our circumstances are way too complex to simply use happiness as a measure of your success.
  • Businesses are like relationships. They take time and they take effort.
  • Why people sometimes think about quitting their businesses.
  • It's pretty upsetting and scary when the little voice in the night starts talking to you, and it's hard not to listen to it.
  • Acting like an irresponsible business owner and losing yourself for a while.
  • How to find an answer to the question 'Should I quit my business?'.
  • Answering the question with three more questions.
  • Question one: Am I feeling this way because of a temporary situation, or have I felt this way for a long time?
  • Question two: Why am I doing this business in the first place?
  • Close your eyes, look into your heart, and imagine what your life would look like without your business in it.
  • Some ideas for how to move forward if you decide to stay in your business.
  • Developing a vision is really important.
  • Everybody needs business friends.
  • Fixing temporary situations.
  • Choosing to walk away is a really brave decision.
  • Some tips for closing your business.
  • Give yourself the mental time and the mental space to close your business down with dignity.
  • You have to have a purpose for staying in your business.

Links and resources:

Michelle's website: www.thebizofbaking.com  You can search for the article there. It's called 'Should I quit my business?'

Apr 29 2019

32mins

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Rank #16: My Business Lifecycle

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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.

Apr 01 2019

26mins

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Rank #17: Interview with Georganne Bell of LilaLoa

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Today I'm super excited, because I get to talk to somebody really awesome and I also get to fan-girl all over the place! I'm going to be talking to Georganne Bell, who I know a bit better as Lilaloa, from lilaloa.com. Listen in today, to find out all about this amazing Cookie Legend.

Georganne is from a military family. She's also a mom of four kids, all under the age of ten- which makes her legendary in my mind! She wrote the Cookie Companion book, which came with its own set of cookie cutters and she's also made custom cookie cutter designs for Anne Clark. She's a Cookie Con presenter, she was the Cookie Connection Educator of the Year in 2015, she's a Craftsy instructor, she teaches in-person classes and she also manages to run a blog, pretty much full time and, basically, she's really an all around Cookie Goddess! For those of you who don't know, she started out as a cake baker and then ditched that for cookies.  Listen in and find out about Georganne's amazing career in baking and also how Cookie-ers actually make money.

Show highlights:

  • Georganne's transition (which really hasn't actually happened yet) from baking as a hobby to it becoming a full-time business gig for her.
  • How Georganne doesn't really feel legit with what she's doing...  she somehow thinks that for a business to really be legit, you have to hate it.
  • What it would take for Georganne to do a custom order.
  • Where Georganne's main source of income comes from- a toss up between live classes and the advertising on the blog itself.
  • Is blogging really is a way to make money?- Georganne was making just over $1 per month after her first three months and then just over $20 after her first year.
  • The amount of time and effort that goes into blogging, so to make it, you really just have to keep on showing up consistently, until the return eventually comes...maybe...
  • Georganne's experience of growing her blog, while growing her kids. 
  • The three areas that allow for Georganne to feel valued and whole, as a person – her family, her church and her cookie community.
  • Georganne's struggle to balance her time, so that her kids get the best of her and not just the left overs.
  • The importance of being flexible when you're a working parent.
  • If you really want something, do it! You really can be so much more than you are right now!
  • The issues that cookie-ers have that cake bakers don't.
  • How cookie-ers get around the money making issue.
  • Getting over the weirdness of marketing yourself and your product.
  • The best and the worst parts of what Georganne does. 
  • The love or the money? Finding the balance.

Links:

Georganne's website: www.lilaloa.com 

Jul 31 2017

1hr 6mins

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Rank #18: Lessons From a Challenging 2018

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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

Dec 03 2018

38mins

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Rank #19: By All Means Necessary

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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.

Jul 17 2017

37mins

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Rank #20: Interview with Mike McCarey of Mike's Amazing Cakes

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I'm really excited today to get to chat to Mike McCarey of Mikes Amazing Cakes, located in Redmond, Washington! I feel that everybody knows who he is because he is truly one of the bright lights in our industry, known for his amazing sculptural work and also because he really is such a nice guy!                                                                            

To be honest, I actually think that he's kind of famous just for being a guy, in this very female dominated industry! I've admired Mike for a long time and last year, at Cake International he really knocked my socks off! When I went up to him there, he even knew who I was, so that was pretty cool. 

In addition to running his bakery in the US, Mike has been teaching across the world. He offers five classes as a Craftsy Instructor and he also teaches in person, at his premises in Washington. Several friends of mine have done his three-day Master Class and it's definitely on my cake bucket list! 

Mike is a dad to sixteen-year-old Olivia and he's also just a really awesome guy who's appeared on television a whole bunch of times. I'm pretty sure that you all know who Mike is and if you don't, we're going to educate you about that on the show today, so listen in now, as we find out more about Mike and the business behind Mike's Amazing Cakes.

Show highlights:

  • Mike explains all about his business and he discusses how many cakes they bake on average, per week. He also explains which lines are the most popular and which are the most profitable.                      
  • Although Mikes sculpted cakes make his business unique and give it identity, they're still not the bread and butter of the business.
  • The Home College Laws have really opened the door to much more competition, so Mike explains the impact this has, on his business.
  • Mike explains why he does every Wedding Show that he can. 
  • The types of cakes that Mike and his team show, at their booth at the Wedding Shows.
  • Cake TV helped Mike in the beginning, for exposure, but he's been battling to break a false impression that many people have. 
  • Mike's background as a trained pastry chef allows him to do things really quickly, so he explains how this benefits him.             
  • Mike will do a cake for $20, if required- or one for $2000. He explains how it would impact him financially if he were to decide to set a minimum price point.              
  • Mike explains why he doesn't make his own flowers.
  • Mike spends the majority of his time in the kitchen, as that's where his strength lies, so he explains how he manages to deal with the business and the administrative side of things.                 
  • The creative side of a Cake Business has to give way to the business end, so Mike discusses some sacrifices that need to be made, in order to make a profit.
  • Mike's secret to his longevity in this industry.
  • Mike discusses the most popular flavours in his shop.
  • Mike explains what he'd be doing today if he wasn't a baker.
  • Mike explains about the new cake class concept that he's starting in his shop. Email Mike for details. 

Resources:

Connect with Mike at www.mikesamazingcakes.com.

Email Mike: cakes@mikesamazingcakes.com

Sep 25 2017

49mins

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