One Place For All You Best Business!

Business By korkyo Updated 9 Jun 2008 , 2:25am by snarkybaker

korkyo Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 12:57am
post #1 of 19

How about a thread for all your best business tips. Things that worked, diden't work, best bang for the buck, advertising, suppliers, word of mouth. All the things you wish you had known starting out.

I'll start:

Advertising: I've spent big bucks advertising with some expensive companies. So far the places my web site get the most hits from are the free ones like decidio and wedding wire.

That's the best one off the top of my head. I'll think of more later.

Anyone else???

18 replies
NrsL22 Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 1:12am
post #2 of 19

This is a awesome idea! Can't wait to see what others are going to post. I will be watching this.

peacockplace Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 3:13am
post #3 of 19

Find your niche market and stay there. You can't please everyone. Find your style and your customer base and cater to their needs.

drowsyrn Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 4:03am
post #4 of 19

korkyo, thank you so much for this topic idea!! I didn't know about weddingWire. I just went there and set up my store front.
Great topic! thumbs_up.gif

ccr03 Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 4:06am
post #5 of 19

I agree 100% with peacockplace!

Find our niche and don't compare yourself to others.

I would also say give the best customer service you would like to recieve. I'm huge on customer service and firmly believe good customer service will take you a long way.

indydebi Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 4:25am
post #6 of 19

I agree with ccr with one minor alteration, and it comes from a number of marketing gurus' and my quote collection: Compare yourself to the company you WANT to keep.

I dont' compare myself to the grocery store bakeries. I want to be compared to the premium bakers in town. It gives me goals and motivation!!

Never think in terms of today .... always, always be thinking about tomorrow and where you want to be tomorrow and how you will be able to handle the growth of tomorrow, what your expenses will be tomorrow, what's your sales plan for tomorrow. Never look behind you ... always look ahead.

CoutureCake Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 5:24am
post #7 of 19

I agree with many of the tips everyone has already mentioned. The best two pieces of advertising for me have literally been my website (#1!), and a listing in my LOCAL (not the yellow pages or dex, but the small localized) phone book.

Learn to read the BS from reality... Every business offers a great product, some better customer service than others. Trust your instincts. If a bride is coming in, and their non-verbals aren't giving you the right vibes... TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!! You're better off to not waste your valuable time (and theirs icon_rolleyes.gif ), on someone who is not going to be a sale because your product/service doesn't fit what they're looking for. Same goes for the personalities that go along with ANY business and the sales reps.

Don't be afraid to refer to the business up the road!!! Oh I love doing this sometimes. If I've got someone who is complaining about my prices, I send them up the road to someone who is 3x higher than mine or over to the grocery store (we've got a few good ones who do wedding cakes).. It gives what they experienced a comparison, and if I wasn't a fit, I'd rather refer business to people I know who frequently return the favor. It gives you a good light in your competition's eyes and it gives you a good light in the customer's eyes because they know you're serious about your business and product that you aren't afraid of sending them to check someone else out because their product is more fitting. Referral business is where you're going to win on this! "Yea, she didn't fit my budget, but the cake was delish and her CS can't be beat"...

Mike1394 Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 10:55am
post #8 of 19

Look at what your trying to do in a realistic light. Don't look at your venture in a starry eyed " Ohhh I'm going to be a business person" way. Running a business will be the hardest thing you ever do. Keep that fear of failing very very close. The closer you keep that feeling the further away you will be from it.


Homemade-Goodies Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 11:20am
post #9 of 19

One thing I've been learning along the way, so far, is that learn your resources. The large wholesale companies may have larger quantiities, but it won't necessarily be your cheapest/most effective way to go.

For example, at my regulare supermarket, I can get a known local brand of cream cheese for cheesecake for .75 200g, whereas figuring out the larger pots at the wholesale place, of Philadelphia comes to 1.48 200g...double costs!

I try to be vigilant of pricing...

kettlevalleygirl Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 3:12pm
post #10 of 19

Homemade Goodies
- You are soooo right, my husband started a business out of his garage, and turned it into a multi million dollar business (just too bad, he was busy working and his partner was busy spending), but anyway, that is something that he always has watched. His buying prices, always looking to save money on buying his products, and watching his margins....
Now with the day of internet, information is out just have to work it!!

btrsktch Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 4:31pm
post #11 of 19

Know your competition! Find out who else in the area (within 50 to 100 miles) offers the same type of product, their pricing structure, flavor profiles, quality of work, their pros and cons of their business and what you can do differently ~ or better!

CoutureCake Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:51am
post #12 of 19

One thing I forgot to mention was for one of the best tips... YOU are not in direct competition with Wal-mart, Super Target, Costco, Aldi, grocery store, etc. You are NOT in competition with the baker up the road. YOU ARE your own business and YOUR OWN competition. Base YOUR prices based on the level of service, quality of product, and overhead that YOU have, not what JimJoeBob up the road has. Let THEM lose their shirt because they didn't know how to run a BUSINESS. Don't worry about what "THEY" are doing, focus on what YOU are doing and YOUR customers.

kettlevalleygirl Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 2:48pm
post #13 of 19

I agree with CoutureCake, you really can't compare yourself completely with other business', even though you should be aware of what is out there.

korkyo Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 8:22pm
post #14 of 19

Great ideas and thoughts for keeping it all in prospective. I have to really focus on the fact that I am really different from the groceries and such..... I'ts just hard to hang in there sometimes.

Anyone else??

kettlevalleygirl Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 8:37pm
post #15 of 19

I think that what people don't realize is that we don't have the buying power of large supermarkets and bakeries.
Basically most of us are made to order and if I might use the word "boutique" style. We don't make large batches of batters etc. everything is made to order. We (I) can't throw the whole cake (meaning a several tier wedding cake) in the oven to bake it because I just have a small home wall oven.

ccr03 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 8:58pm
post #16 of 19

Oh, something my sister is working on is building her brand.

For instance, have the SAME logo/design/feel in ALL your marketing pieces, t-shirts, banners, that when people see the logo they automatically recognize it as your own.

Build your brand!

Jenn2179 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 9:09pm
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by ccr03

Oh, something my sister is working on is building her brand.

For instance, have the SAME logo/design/feel in ALL your marketing pieces, t-shirts, banners, that when people see the logo they automatically recognize it as your own.

Build your brand!

That's what I am doing. Everything revolves around my logo.

Homemade-Goodies Posted 6 Jun 2008 , 4:25pm
post #18 of 19


I never leave home without "Mr Goody", he's part of the family these days.

Only thing I'm trying to confirm is use of MS clipart <eek>, seems obvious they know it will be used in all walks of life - including small businesses coming up with logos. But I found him somewhere not MS...just found out it was theirs afterward. That may bite me in the @$$ someday....

snarkybaker Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 2:25am
post #19 of 19

Building a brand involves the number one most important thing you can do, which is " Know your market." Have a clear vision of what your business is, or will be. That will guide you in pricing decisions, hiring decisions, all of the questions that get asked over and over on this board.

We have a logo, a slogan, three very specific company colors, and a whole range of company lingo that have given us a brand identity. For example, we have had gift coins made instead of plastic gift cards the come in a little Sugarland blue box tied with our logo ribbon. We call it Sugar Dough ( dough like money...get it). Our little spin off store in the grocery store strip mall where no baking is done, but people can buy a gelato or a coffee and pick up their birthday cakes is called the "Sugarland Express". Our Sugaland blue electric scooter that we use for deliveries... you guessed it . It's caled the" Sugar Rush" and our counter employees are called the Sugar Peeps ( as in I've got my peeps etc)

People really like the cleverness. They ask to buy our coffee mugs and Martini glasses all the time. We get loads of free press. People have actually paid us extra to be able to come in to the kitchen and watch us make their cake...all because it's "Sugarland"

Know your your brand around it.

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