Agumenawe ditched her formal job to pursue baking

Saturday August 31 2019

Peace Agumenawe is the founder and director,

Peace Agumenawe is the founder and director, Cake Nation and has been baking for a living for three years. Photo by Pauline Bangirana.  

By Pauline Bangirana

Walking to her home in Najjera, I was attracted by the scent of different cake flavours and butter. Peace Agumenawe is the founder and director, Cake Nation and has been baking for a living for three years.
“I started baking when I was doing a 9am- 5pm job. I would bake during the night and go with a cake to my work place, where a client would pick it up from,” She shares.

“However, with time, I could not balance the tight work schedules with baking. I was constantly feeling exhausted. This affected my performance at work because on some days. I had to work throughout the night to ensure orders are ready by morning,” she recalls.
Three years ago, she decided to take on baking as her sole source of income. She says she is able to earn money at home as well spend quality time with her family.

Investing more
“In entrepreneurship, the more effort and resources you invest in a business, the more you are likely to make. I get about eight to 10 orders a week. In a week, I can earn Shs1.2m, which is way more than what I used to earn from my office job,” she says.
Agumenawe explains that she has procured baking equipment which facilitates her to take on more cake orders with ease.

She is currently a member in various cake groups which have provided a platform for her to learn from the best and gain new insights in decorating, the art of baking cakes with different cake flavours, pricing, marketing and customer care. “Whenever I need help, I just share on one of the groups and I get help instantly.”

Record keeping
I have a dairy book for my cake business. Every order that comes in is recorded with all its details and I make a follow up on all clients to ensure that delivery was made on the agreed time and date. I record all the transactions made, the profits, the losses on a daily basis, to track business growth. I am able to save some monthly income my business.”

Marketing products
“Every morning when I wake up, I go through my social media to check if I have any orders. To anyone in a business that requires constant pictures, people should invest in taking good quality pictures. Read online and strive to always have presentable products that will appeal to your clientele,” Agumenawe advises.

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Challenges
“Sometimes, I are not sure whether the orders will come in. The cake industry is seemingly saturated and clients have many options to choose from. This means I have to ensure that my products are unique, of good quality and delivered on time.

This calls for constant learning to counter the stiff competition. I also need more state-of-the-art equipment to process many orders at the same time. Power supply is also unstable but I am saving for a big generator, she explains.

Lessons
“There is never a right time to start a business. If you have a business idea, believe in yourself and start now. Find people to mentor you –people who are role models and have succeeded in business,” she advises.
“In baking, the more people you know, the more money you are likely to make. Many friends will connect you to other riends, which ultimately translates into more cake orders,” she recommends.

“When I left my formal job, I thought I would have so much free time at my disposal, but I was wrong. You cannot sleep when you do not have any orders. Tuesdays and Wednesdays find me looking out for new clients,” she explains.

Patience is key
When you try once and make losses, do not give up. Be persistent. You need financial discipline. Cut down on unnecessary expenditures. Unlike a salary earner, an entrepreneur needs track every coin because that is your source of income.
Before resigning your job, first nurture your business alongside your job. This way, the transition becomes easier because you can use your job to grow your side hustle.

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