How I Changed My Pricing Structure and
Doubled My Coaching Business Income
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Natasha Orumbie and I’m CEO at N.O. Cakes R Better which stands for (Natasha Orumbie’s Cakes R Better). I would describe myself as a ‘Cake Biz Coach’. Whilst I still bake and decorate cakes for customers directly, I primarily coach and educate other cake-making business owners. My goal is to help them turn a very expensive hobby into a profitable passion. Baking and coaching is my thing!
I currently run my business independently with the sole support of a virtual assistant. She aids me with a lot of the administrative tasks involved with serving my clients. I actually couldn’t do it without her, she’s amazing. But largely I manage most of this myself, which I love because I’m secretly a bit of a control freak! Don’t judge me!
When I started my baking business, it was originally a short-term, maternity leave hobby. However, my customers wouldn’t let me go when I decided to go back to work! That was almost 11 years ago. I have been running the business ever since, with short breaks in between for varying different reasons.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
So I have no idea why I thought I would start baking! Maybe it’s in my blood. My dad bakes, his sister bakes, his brother is a professional chef and my grandmother is a master baker too. There is an element of hereditary interest that stirred within me (out of boredom initially!)
However, I am quite artistic, I love being creative and this does help when it comes to baking cakes. But the business I have now is very different from what I initially started with! Initially, I started just aiming to sell cakes, like everyone else. I had a lot more focus on novelty. There were still quite a few people doing that at the time, so it was nothing particularly new.
This continued for around 10 years. Now I realise that, contrary to my belief, I wasn’t running a business, I was running an expensive hobby! I had no idea about income and expenditure and everything was largely guesswork. I originally trained as a teacher, and I think that side of me was dying to be involved in the baking business.
The whole change of direction came after attending Rosemary Design School. There I met Kubi Springer, a brand strategist. She challenged me on what I was doing to ‘help’ my clients and what would make me stand out.
During the following year, everything changed. I realised several rookie mistakes that I was making in my cake business and I could see them being replicated across the cake community and I thought ‘this is how I can help!’ It took a while to evolve into what it is now and initially I was still focused on helping the customers, so was considering baking classes etc, which is still an element of my baking and coaching business but not the main strand.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
The biggest challenges I face were/are largely around time. Currently, I still work full time. I am a mother of three children, married and have a very demanding day job which requires my full attention. As a born again Christian, many evenings are taken up with church activities, which leaves me with limited time to fulfil the orders that I receive each week.
That problem was part of the reason why I needed to reconsider ‘how’ I was doing business. I had to ask myself ‘am I getting enough return on the investment of the time that I put into all of this work for baking each cake?’ I was shocked with what I found and this formed the basis of my second e-book, ‘You CAN Have Your Cake and Sell It Too’ which breaks down the actual costs involved in running a baking business and compare this with the money that was coming in.
This was an eye-opener and I recognised I needed to learn and understand much more about business. I attended, purely by chance, after being asked to sponsor the event with cupcakes, the Women in Business Club summer event and it was through this community that I learnt many of the fundamental business principles that have helped me to create the brand you see today.
Who is your target market?
My target market is bakers who are very much in a position I knew all too well. They are talented, creative, working incredibly hard but they are taking very little home to show for it. They feel stuck, deflated and most likely disillusioned. There might be a nasty feeling that owning their own baking business isn’t what they had hoped.
From my experience, many of these bakers are mums, who are trying to be resourceful and top up their incomes to help support their family and allow their children to be able to have those things in life that their standard take-home pay just doesn’t stretch to meet. They are bakers who would love to make this their full-time income but just can’t see how that could be possible. That’s where we come in. We provide them with the education, strategy, direction and resources to take an expensive hobby into a profitable business.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
I use several marketing strategies across a number of different platforms, mostly online. The majority has been across social media platforms by raising my profile and building brand authority through the content I post. This has been incredibly successful and I have gained a really large following, particularly on Instagram.
I have branched out to blogs and podcasts and even recently branched out to Tiktok! I’m trying everything! In terms of paid marketing, I have only very recently started to think about paid promotions through Facebook Ads. This has been an incredibly uphill struggle and I’ve learned a lot. They have gained the business a lot of attention and my mailing list has grown significantly in just a few days!
I have also recently evaluated my pricing model which has had a great impact on my sales. My monthly income changed significantly when I altered it based on a great deal of new information I had received, which allowed me to confidently increase my cost by adding additional income streams, allowing me to more than double my income!
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Consistency! Consistency is the number one thing that I think every business needs to grasp and act upon. To build that ‘know, like and trust’ factor, but particularly the trust element, your customers first have to trust you! If they know that, without fail, you are going to show up, you are going to be there and you are going to provide quality, this is a nurturing process that is invaluable to your conversion rate.
I spend a lot of time engaging in behind-the-scenes communication in the DMs with new followers as they come on board. From ‘liking’ their content to sharing tips and advice with them. I have recently started a mailing list where I aim to provide value there too. I believe that this will be really important to keep the connection going with my potential clients.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
Since I am the only employee so far, it’s quite easy to establish a culture or a way of working. However, I do believe that when I work with others, my main expectation and something I insist on and practice myself is honesty. It definitely comes back down to my Christian values. I just have to be truthful about everything.
If something isn’t working, if something is bothering me, if I feel unhappy about something and vice-versa with anyone I am working with, I’m a firm believer that there needs to be transparency and honesty about that. Anything else, leads ultimately to very messy situations!
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
I do a lot of video editing and for this my favourite two apps are Magisto, through Vimeo and PowerDirector, where I can literally create all my videos for advertising and tutorials on my phone, on the go, literally anywhere! They are simply the best and have saved me a lot of money.
All of my digital products, like my e-books, workbooks, social media posts etc are all created through Canva, which Is amazing and very cost-effective. I would recommend it to any small business owner as a one-stop creativity shop!
I capture sales in SamCart, which is awesome and allows for insightful analytics to understand your customer journey and make changes accordingly. Payments are taken through Paypal. I complete all of my invoices through QuickBooks and I share with my log-in with my accountant so that they can do all of my books (this takes a weight off my mind!)
For email campaigns, I use Active Campaign, but I know many people use MailChimp. I think my virtual assistant said we switched because it’s more cost-effective with this platform as we are paying by email as opposed to every registration.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
This is a great question! I captured most of this in my e-book, ‘Are You Ready?’ in which I summarise the 5 things I knew before getting started. I would genuinely recommend every business owner read it. It’s a short read and it’s insightful. I think it would help any person considering starting a business or who recently might have.
Without spoiling it for everyone, if I were to just summarise, on the whole, I would say that the most powerful lesson I have learned is that business is a journey where we are growing as individuals as much as we are growing our businesses. It’s so important to embrace the challenges and the steep learning curves as what they are and to have a ‘growth mindset‘. Business is tough, it’s not smooth sailing, but as Nelson Mandela quotes, ‘winners are dreamers who never give up’. It’s all about keeping going!
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I love the creativity, control and endless possibilities as an entrepreneur. With no-one telling me how things should be done or what to do, I am free to make decisions. I try to ensure that they are well-informed and not random! If I were to answer the question specifically as to my favourite aspect, it would be seeing the results for all the people who I have helped to achieve their goals. You just can’t put a price on that!
What is your least favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My least favourite bit of being an entrepreneur is the boring bit, the numbers, the maths, the money! I just want to create and have fun! This is probably the same for most creatives because it’s just our design. This is why I pay for someone else to do these things for me!
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
There are three main books that have really helped to inspire me and educate me on my business journey and they are, Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly, They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan and Driven by Eternity by John Bevere. They all inspired and influenced me for different reasons but I think in the main they all helped to have a greater belief in myself. They allowed me to be comfortable in the belief that all of this was possible and that I could actually achieve what I was setting out to.
The most powerful for me was Driven by Eternity. It opened my eyes to the fact that I had actually discovered my God-given calling and I can’t explain how much difference that has made to motivating, keeping me enthused and excited about the journey, even in the tough times!
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
Well if all goes according to plan, I will definitely be full-time and with more employees to help me scale. I want to be working with over 1000 business owners, helping them to fulfil their dreams for their own baking businesses. I also hope to be earning six figures each year. These are exciting times and I am really excited about what lies ahead!