I haven’t touched base here in a long time with a blog post, so I wanted to do that today as things are evolving.
When I was first approached with the idea of selling this mix as Sumo Cakes last year, I never thought in my mind that this “little” idea would turn into something like it has. This month (July) has been a monster as things have taken another step in a big direction and I am finding myself playing catch up.
Last year I thought this idea would mean making a little batch of fertilizer cakes a couple weekends here and there for friends and a few to sell online. This was a cool hobby while it lasted.
Opening My Eyes
I work full time as a Patient Care Assistant and I was talking with some of the nurses one night. I found out that one has a side job as a singer for funerals and weddings and she plans on doing that as a part time job after she retires. It was at that time that I had a moment of realization. Sumo Cakes is my second job. Then a few days later I was on Facebook chatting with a friend who was actually the first customer of Sumo Cakes and the reason I am making Sumo Cakes today. He made some things even more clear to me.
It really was an eye opening couple days there. To realize in a matter of a few days that you no longer have a hobby, but a second job, and then to realize that it is even bigger than a second job, but a business that I have to manage. I enjoy making Sumo Cakes so that is not a problem. Keeping up with orders as things keep growing and while I make changes, on the other hand, is becoming tougher and tougher. The good thing is that I have an idea of how many ingredients and how many bags of product I need to keep on hand as things grow. Over the next month, I will be focused on getting ahead of things and getting my stock and other things in order. There have been days when I have not made cakes because I thought I had enough stock. That will not be the case going forward as I now have a set goal of inventory to have on hand.
It is time to step up the game and start managing Sumo Cakes.
Below I will talk about some of the evolving things taking place.
Sitting Down Playing Manager
I sat down this week and finally did a full cost analysis. Way overdue as I have always guestimated my costs. I now know how much of the cost of one label goes into each cake. As I sat here typing this I just realized that I missed three more expenses that I need to add.
I am moving away from 55 Cakes per bag and going to 12oz per bag. This will make it easier for nurseries to sell at their locations as most state regulations ask for a weight to be placed on the label. What I am finding is that 12oz is actually an average of 56 cakes. As I transition to this method I will always place at least 55 cakes in the bag no matter what the weight is until I have new labels printed. It is a transition so everything that is currently bagged before the other night is 55 cakes. Until then expect to find 55 – 60 cakes per bag.
When I print new labels, I will probably have two labels. One on the front and one on the back. There are so many ingredients in Sumo Cakes it will help to declutter the front label. By moving the ingredient list to the back with a breakdown of the percentages of macro and micronutrients, I will be able to list the mycorrhizae on the label. I won’t be printing new labels until I send the fertilizer off to the lab to be tested. I have made a few changes to the mix over the last year as I continued to refine the recipe, so it will be nice to get it tested. I then can add “Guaranteed Analysis” to the labels. The cost to test is about $200 per mix if anyone is interested in knowing.
Deciding to sit down and to really look at Sumo Cakes as more than a hobby over the course of this week has really been informative for me. To see just how much it costs to make Sumo Cakes has been kind of enlightening. To think about the costs going forward. The increase in the price of some of the ingredients along with the increase in my shipping cost for materials over the last year. I never considered those things into the price of Sumo Cakes. Unfortunately, this all means that there will be a price increase to the customer sometime between now and the end of the year. I have a date in mind, but I am still working on a few things that will help dictate that new price.
I hope some of this helps you see where I am coming from and what I am going through as Sumo Cakes grows. One thing I try to do is to keep you as the customer and my boss informed on what is happening here. The best way to stay informed is to follow the Sumo Cakes Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/sumocakes/
I am very thankful to everyone that has helped Sumo Cakes grow and for everyone that has supported me in this adventure. It has been a fun ride so far. I am sure there will be many bumps to overcome and lots of new sites to visit along the way. Spread the love of Sumo Cakes and let’s keep this car moving.