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A year in business for OH MY Cakery!

OH MY Cakery create fabulous cakes
Click to enlarge
OH MY Cakery create fabulous cakes
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Hands up if you turned your hobby into a business? Many successful entrepreneurs do.  But to create a profitable, sustainable company means devising business development and operational strategies to underpin your enthusiasm.  It’s a learning curve that many business owners have to go on, and our customer OH MY Cakery, based at our Milton Keynes Business Centre, is no exception.  We’ve caught up with them to find out how they have developed the business since being given the keys to their new unit last April.

Moving out of the kitchen

The director of OH MY Cakery, Kirsty Lund, began her business as a hobby, selling mostly to friends and family: “In October – the year before we got the unit – we did a bake sale for charity and people were asking if we ran a business – which we didn’t. I started up on social media and suddenly it got really busy! It got to the point where I didn’t have the space in my kitchen to make it plausible, so my mum and I sat down and said, ‘We either do this and make it work, or we treat it as a hobby.’ We decided to go for it as a business.

“I already knew the units here because I train with a PT at the Milton Keynes Business Centre. We know we didn’t want a shop front – we didn’t want to be open to the public all the time because of all the orders coming in. But we still needed a proper base and we couldn’t find anywhere as nice as here. Although we don’t have a retail presence, we host kids’ birthday parties and workshops, so we knew it had to look right and have the right feel to host families – we held out until something came free and we took it. We got the keys in April 2018 and we opened in the June, after it had all been kitted out.”

New opportunities facilitated by a professional work space

Since OH MY Cakery moved into the Milton Keynes Business Centre, it’s been crazy from the get-go, with plenty of orders and new prospects: “We’ve got a lot more wedding cakes this year and some opportunities and different ventures that we didn’t realise we could do have opened up for us. In the past, with the bulk orders, we never had the space, but now it’s become an option, we can also work on corporate events. We’ve secured a huge order from Swarovski for two separate events this year. I also never envisioned working with so many small businesses. It’s just made us think more outside the box and adapt as a business as we grow. As we hit the next milestone, we think ‘Oh, let’s do this’.”

OH MY Cakery make full use of social media
OH MY Cakery make full use of social media

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When it comes to marketing, OH MY Cakery have secured a huge number of sales through their social media: “We haven’t had a solid website until recently, it’s just Facebook and Instagram. We’ve managed to grow our following really quickly; when we first opened, we grew from our family and friends supporting us and by word of mouth. Now we’ve grown from almost 300 to over 4,000 followers on Instagram in less than a year, and it’s about half that on Facebook. We get almost all our orders through social media. That’s been a huge key to how we’ve branded and other businesses even come to us for help with the branding side, which is quite flattering.”

A personal touch

“For us it’s easy to make our business personable – people like to know who they’re buying from, they like that personal touch and to be able to relate to people who work for a company.  In the past, I’ve done courses and people were saying, ‘Don’t share too much about your business,’ but I don’t think you can overshare – when it comes to social media, we get the most reach and comments from our more personal posts! People like to see those sorts of things and I think that’s what people like about small businesses. They get to know you when you show that personal side; people like to see how much effort you put into your business. When you hide that, it feels a bit rigid; in today’s society, people are nosy – they like to see what’s going on behind the curtain to get that personal feel, which we’ve embraced.”

Year two and beyond

With the first year now under their belt, OH MY Cakery have already been nominated for two awards: the FSB start-up business of the year award and Mpower rising star award. Having such a strong start to the business, they’re keen to continue growing and build themselves even further: “Going forwards, we’re trying to work out a more structured plan for marketing purposes.  We also want to streamline our operations through our website – at the moment, all of our event and workshops are booked through a third-party system. Also, it’s crazy to keep up with all the messages we get over the different platforms and we want to make it all run through the site. This coming year we’re determined to make a profit and have more structure in place to streamline our processes about designing cake. None of this was possible in the past, but we’re learning constantly.”

OH MY Cakery are following the path of successful entrepreneurs: they’re learning on the job and developing the skills they need to support their creative talents and passion. 

To find out how CapitalSpace virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667