Small Business Saturday Blog

The perfect planner for when you didn’t plan for this

Friday, September 24 at 06:00

Shelly Shulman of former #SB100 La Belle Cake Company tells us how publishing with Amazon allowed her to add an additional income stream to her business, leading to her company pivoting completely and becoming a six figure business during a global pandemic.
I started my first business, La Belle Cake Company, back in 2006, making bespoke wedding and celebration cakes. It started off slowly, but after investing in some business training and with the support of great campaigns like Small Business Saturday, it grew exponentially leading to wealth of celebrity clients, including world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey and Her Majesty the Queen of England. I even made the very first Love Island wedding cake!Due to my success, I started to coach other cake makers, giving them help and advice to grow their own profitable cake businesses. I eventually grew a community of over 3000 amazing cake makers and everything was going brilliantly.
And then coronavirus happened. Being a cake maker who makes cakes for events during a global pandemic is not great from a business point of view. Orders were being cancelled and postponed from all directions. However, at the same time, the demand for my coaching services grew as people took the time to revisit the foundations of their business whilst they had the opportunity to work on their business rather than in it.
From the conversations I was having, time management and organisation were two of the biggest issues that people struggled with, so I started to think what I could do to help with that. My solution was a planner for cake makers.
I looked at various publishing options but using Kindle Direct Publishing from Amazon looked the best for me: it was easy to set up, and I didn’t have to worry about printing or delivery or ordering copies, as everything was printed to order.
I launched the planner on 31st August 2020, and it quickly became a best seller in its categories. And not only did it add another income stream to my business, it also served as part of a marketing funnel, as people would find the planner, then find me on social media and join my groups and purchase other services.
At the same time, I was also being approached by other business owner who weren’t cake makers, asking for advice as they had seen the results I had been getting. In October 2020, I opened my services to business owners in general rather than specifically just cake makers.
In January of this year, due to demand, I released a 2022 version of my cake business planner, again through Amazon. This time I was also able to offer the planner as a hardback: this was one of the most requested options I got through customer feedback, so it was great to be able to offer that option.
I also wanted to do something similar for my new client base and create a planner for business owners to help them get more organised, set and achieve goals and ultimately get the results they wanted. I used lots of tools in my business to help me do that, but they weren’t all in the same place.
And so, I created the Ultimate Business Planner, featuring all the tools I use in my own business. Again, I used Amazon because the whole process is so easy.
Selling on Amazon has been instrumental for me in becoming a six figure business during a global pandemic, by giving me an additional income stream and allowing me to reach my audience in another space. I even have people coming to me now asking for help and advice on selling on Amazon! It will certainly continue to be a big part of my strategy going forward.
You can find Shelly’s full range of 2022 planners here.

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