Paz Siranidis of Five Sweets Melbourne is sharing her trade secrets:
The business owner with two very active kids
Date: September 30 2015
For mumpreneurs, life can be a balancing act of business and raising a family. Between emails, meetings and running the day-to-day operations of your business, it can be hard to carve out time for the things that matter most— spending time with family. Paz Siranidis whose cake making business, Five Sweets Melbourne took off into a successful operation after what began as a hobby five years ago.
1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
It started purely as a hobby. I was baking cakes for my son and daughter’s birthdays, got addicted to it as a hobby, and decided to start taking courses to improve my skills. Friends started to order from me, and before I knew it, word of mouth spread and people were approaching me with order requests. The more cakes I did, the more courses I took, the more confidence I got to take it from hobby to business. Now I run a full time custom cake business from my home, creating and delivering cakes for every occasion - from birthday cakes to wedding cakes.
2. What's your company’s goals?
I’m thinking about the possibility of expanding my business by partnering up with other suppliers in the same industry. There’s lots of opportunity within the wholesale market as well as the retail market. I plan to buy a commercial oven within the next 3 months and then my next goal is to try to establish a commercial kitchen away from home.
3. How many employees do you have?
It’s just me for now! I am the baker, decorator, designer, delivery driver, customer service person, sales & marketing, website developer and anything else that comes along with a small business.
4. How do you advertise your product/service?
I’ve been fortunate to receive a lot of word of mouth referrals. I do rely on my website as well. Now I’m experimenting with new ways to get the word out, like building relationships with wedding reception venues and function centres.
5. To what do you attribute your success?
I think I am very focused and I have learnt to be very organised. I start the day with a list of everything I need to do. If something does not get done during that day, I move it to the next day however I try to make sure I don’t push things back too much. Also, I’ve been doing this for a little while now and I know my limits. I am confident enough to know which cakes will be the challenging ones and know not to take on other orders when I have one of these orders. I try to prioritise! I’ve also learnt from my mistakes. I am constantly learning and trying to improve.
Also, I’m not especially tech savvy, but I do use a number of mobile tools and websites that make me more efficient. Invoice2go, for example, is a really simple mobile app that helps me create quotes on the spot for my customers, and send invoices from anywhere with the click of a button. I’m extremely time-poor, so having a tool to help me quote and invoice quickly helps me stay organised, and win more business in the end. I know that if I do not get a quote out to my potential customers quickly I will not end up getting the business as it is an extremely competitive market!
Bakingit.com has a really helpful cake calculator tool that helps me measure, sketch and plan my cakes, and Cost a Cake Pro is great for pricing guidance as it gives me a rough estimate of how much a cake costs me.
6. Will you suggest other new entrepreneurs to use services of a professional accountant or attorney?
Yes I do use an accountant. My invoices and quoting app, Invoice2go, allows me to enter all my expenses. I collect every single receipt and enter them each quarter. This app allows me to generate a report giving me my income, gst amounts and expenses. I then hand this over to my accountant who does the rest.
7. What is unique about your business?
Because it started out of a pure love for baking, I still pour so much heart into every cake I create. My work is extremely custom, and involved. I recently did a car cake that took me four days to create. It’s a huge process, but I still love every part of it. Any chance I have, you’ll find me experimenting with new ideas and creating new flavours.
8. What are your days like, as the business owner?
I’m a one-woman show with two very active kids, so my days are quite hectic - but exciting. As a business owner, if I’m not working on a big cake order (some custom jobs can take hours on end), quoting new customers, or working to spread the word, I’m looking ahead to the next school holidays or getting organised for Christmas. I’ve always got to stay ahead while managing the day to day.
About Five Sweets Melbourne:
Five Sweets Melbourne is a home-based business owned and operated by Paz Siranidis. Paz bakes beautiful custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cake pops and macarons from her home kitchen for a wide range of events.