Our latest customer story comes from Hanna Silander – an entrepreneur who’s managed to turn her passion for baking and cake making into a successful business. One look at the mouth-watering photos of her work below, and you’ll be craving something sweet. So be sure to have a moreish snack at the ready when reading this entrepreneur’s inspirational tale!!
Nurse, Baker, Entrepreneur
Baking and cake making have always been a bit of a hobby for Hanna. And a few years ago she decided to make the bold move of turning her culinary pastime into a full-on profession.
“I’ve always been into cooking. So when things started to go from the occasional order here and there to a constant demand for cakes I started to think that this might work as a legitimate business.”
As well as being a whiz in the kitchen, Hanna is a Registered Nurse. She splits her time between the 2 jobs, both of which are quite demanding (and thus testament to her ability to multi-task!). Indeed, each and every cake she makes requires several hours of detailed manual work.
“The hours soon start to add up if you’re working on a customised cake. They require so much more time, energy and concentration than the average cream cake or Victoria sponge. I usually have my hands full from morning until evening.”
So, any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
“As a small business owner it’s good to diversify risk. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, rather try and have a few on-going projects.”
Hanna’s custom-made cakes cater for every occasion – weddings, christenings, birthday parties, you name it. And it doesn’t stop there, there’s plenty of savoury offerings too.
What about the competition?
As all Hanna’s cakes are unique, there’s not much of a threat from bigger companies. Most of their cakes are mass-produced, so lack the attention to detail and personal touches that have made Hanna’s cakes such a hit.
In fact, it seems she can’t make her cakes quick enough! Demand far outstrips supply. But there’s no plans to bring on an extra pair of hands for now. And given that the business works with food, there’s the added challenge of sticking to strict health and safety laws and hygiene standards.
“Setting up a separate location for the business, other than my own kitchen, and buying all the necessary equipment have been quite a big financial investment.”
Word of Mouth is Key
Hanna was keen to stress the importance of customer recommendations and word of mouth when it comes to growing your business.
“It’s quite amazing how many new customers I get that actually heard about my business at an event, or just happened to try one of my cakes at a friend’s party.”
Another factor Hanna was keen to highlight was the importance of the internet for small business marketing. She has a great blog, which is updated regularly with all her latest creations.
Choose A Job You Love…
… And you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Although that actually comes from Confucius, Hanna has a similar take on the idea of being an entrepreneur. And as someone who’s managed to take her passion and turn it into a successful business venture, she knows what she’s talking about.
“It’s great to have a job that pushes you to improve each and every time. A lot of customers give me free rein over what the cake looks like, which means I’m really able to enjoy the creative process.”
Of course the flip side is the number of hours Hanna works. But as the work is so rewarding, this doesn’t seem to be too much of a bother.
“The best moment comes when you show your customer the finished product. Especially the look of joy and excitement on small children’s faces. Those moments make it all worthwhile.”
How Does Zervant Help Hanna?
Like many other entrepreneurs, one of the biggest challenges Hanna faced was all the paperwork that came with having your own business. There was the admin, following-up on late payments, and keeping all the bookkeeping in order.
“Luckily for me, I now use good invoicing software and have a great accountant, which leaves me to get on with all the creative stuff.
Hanna had previously tried 2 other invoicing solutions. Dissatisfied, she had a look on Google and found Zervant. Since then she’s never looked back.
“What I really like about Zervant, and what I found lacking elsewhere, is how easy it is to use. I’m very busy and not the most tech savvy of people. The more time I save on bookkeeping, the more time I have to make cakes! The price is totally accessible. I’d recommend it to anyone just starting out on their own.”
For more tasty treats and all Hanna’s contact details check out her blog and website:
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