Baking a cake plus making money

Baking a cake plus making money!

My story this week is about baking a cake and at the same time making money for your time too.

A little while ago we had a plasterer in our house plastering a chimney breast ready for a new fire. Whilst I was in earshot he made a phone call to his friend.

The conversation went like this…

‘Hi Jo, is your daughter still cake decorating? Oh good. Could she fit in baking a cake for the missus? Its her 50th birthday. And she does them so nicely. Great. OK. I will pop over and see her.’

And here is the punchline…

“Tell her I will give her a little bit for her time”


So here was a man charging me a small absolute fortune for basically smoothing a substance onto our wall. But weirdly for an acquantance to be “thanked” for smoothing an edible substance onto a cake. …this is only worth a ‘little bit for her time’.

Does it appear that only some trades get rewarded for their knowledge and talent.

Apparently…… 🙁

Now is this because…

She is a friends daughter and should be treated as a favour and should not be charged full price? Mates rates syndrome.

Does the plasterer think she does not deserve to be paid much?

He has a mortgage so his income is way more important?

She works from home – so it cannot be expensive?

Plastering walls last longer than edible art?

Is the ‘Its just a cake’ syndrome rearing its ugly head again?

Is it because he knows she is too timid to argue and thus he will get away with offering too little without query?

Why would a person believe it is alright to ask someone to help them. All the time hoping that they are too naive to discuss a firm price up front.

Agreeing to make the cake(s) ?


Discussing the charges

the cake decorator is leaving themselves wide open to loss of money.


You can bet that the price is way lower than the decorator wants or needs. This all becomes all very embarrasing.

Just twist the discussion around

Discuss the charges for the said cake design


Agree to make the cake.

You will be in a much stronger position to negotiate the price in this instance.

My belief is that this is all to do with confidence. The confidence to not be treated like that. To stand firm and explain what the price really is before agreeing to do the contract.

And if you think about it – if a stranger asked you for a cake you wouldn’t agree to make it before discussing the price. But with friends of friends – suddenly things get twisted about. Now its awkward.

Before I became a cake decorator I had zero clue about how much a three tiered wedding cake costs would be. It became clear to me that for most of the orders I had for wedding cakes, the brides had zero idea either.

So what to do?

For starters we need to start being perfectly clear what our prices are. And be willing to stick to them. Having a price list printed out or a space on a website or Facebook Page complete with prices starting from…. for a particular style will give purchasers a clue on where their price might start.

But it certainly should NOT BE ‘a little bit for your time’.

Rant over


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