How Is Business With The Economy?

Business By amariefen Updated 2 Jul 2008 , 12:31pm by marmalade1687

amariefen Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 1:13pm
post #1 of 21

I was wondering for those who own their own business how the economy, gas prices and flooding has effected your businesses?
Has your prices for the product and delivery increased? Has your profits dropped at all?

20 replies
indydebi Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 1:27pm
post #2 of 21

My sales are 142% of what I did all of last year ... and it's only June.

There's an economy problem? icon_confused.gif

No, seriously, I think I'm in the perfect position by being a "you don't have to cater it expensive" type of business. Those who are cutting back, are cutting back by calling me instead of the big expensive caterers and the big expensive hotels. I'm not the cheapest cake in town ... and I'm not the most expensive either.

loriemoms Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 12:24am
post #3 of 21

I agree, I see a lot of brides are booking WAY ahead of time (I am getting a ton of calls for NEXT June!) because they know prices will go up and trying to jump on this years prices. But people are still buying plenty of cake!!!

I have noticed people are charging to their credit card a lot more then paying with a check or cash..

Now, the economy is affecting my bottom line..I have been spending more time trying to find other avenues for supplies, as many deliveries now have surcharges from the trucking companies...

indydebi Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 12:42am
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

I have noticed people are charging to their credit card a lot more then paying with a check or cash...



Statistically, people will spend about 15-28% more if they use a credit card than if they spend cash/check, so credit cards are a GOOD thing, if you're the merchant! thumbs_up.gif

Cakery Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 1:33am
post #5 of 21

My business has almost doubled from last year...no signs of slowing down for me anyways....and as mentioned....I've gotten 3 calls this past week to book for next June. Already have 3 booked for next May. I have even raised my prices on per slice and my sheet cakes....no one is blinking an eye. So...to answer your question....business for me is good...even with the talk of the economy.

poshcakedesigns Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:14pm
post #6 of 21

Business has been good for me. I too seem to be getting a lot of bookings for 2009.

My birthday cake orders have slowed down a bit but the brides are picking up the difference.

I'd rather do a wedding cake anyways - more $$$$ for me.

moreCakePlz Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 5:01pm
post #7 of 21

I just make cakes for fun, but Iâm finding that more of my âfriends & familyâ are asking me to make cakes/cookies/desserts for their events. Just yesterday my sister-in-law asked me to make a cake for her best friendâs baby shower. Normally she would order from a bakery, but she said her electric bill went up $275 in one month and she didnât have the extra cash to spend on a fancy cake.

Jenn123 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 10:17pm
post #8 of 21

In my 20+ years of experience, people spend more on special occasions when they are in a money crunch. They spend so much time conserving money all the time that when there is a birthday or wedding, they want to have a special treat. I've always done better when the economy is down.

Monkess Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 10:38pm
post #9 of 21

I agree with Jenn above. I recently raised our prices and other than the odd one or two no one even noticed. Nonetheless, with reports of gas prices doubling next year, the worse might be still to come. Having said that though, as DH says its going to hurt alot of bigger businesses before it hits the small ones.

Mamas Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:10pm
post #10 of 21

I raised my prices twice this year and increased my minimum purchase amount. I was a nervous wreck after each increase. I was hemmin and hawin and wringing my hands because I was terrified this would mark the beginning of the end but to my surprise sales are up instead of down.

My hubby says it is because people are staying home and entertaining more at home. I am shocked because I consider cake a luxory item and figured it would be the first thing to go when things get tight. Whatever the reason i am now looking foward to the holiday season if things keep going at this rate it might be the best one we have seen so far.

Indy how on earth do you keep such a close watch on things? Impressive! Do tell . . .

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:22pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas

Indy how on earth do you keep such a close watch on things? Impressive! Do tell . . .




I'm a numbers geek with an analytical mind. "Debi Does Data". I tell people "Give me a spreadsheet and within 30 minutes I'll be able to tell you the color of socks the guy was wearing when he created it." My ideal job would have been to be an insurance actuarian .... nothing but number analyzation all day long! Now THAT'S hog-heaven to me!

apetricek Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:39pm
post #12 of 21

My orders have gone up significantly....I am way busier now at this time of year than last year. It hasn't been an issue yet for me, but I know I am posting on my website this week, that prices will be increasing, so we will see how that goes...

Mamas Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 2:50am
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas

Indy how on earth do you keep such a close watch on things? Impressive! Do tell . . .



I'm a numbers geek with an analytical mind. "Debi Does Data". I tell people "Give me a spreadsheet and within 30 minutes I'll be able to tell you the color of socks the guy was wearing when he created it." My ideal job would have been to be an insurance actuarian .... nothing but number analyzation all day long! Now THAT'S hog-heaven to me!




This is the part of the business that I do not relish. I know that it will ultimately be the death of me if I don't get a handle on it. I should know what my year to date sales were for every month so that I can compare. I should also know by what percentage the cost of my ingredients have risen so that I can acurately raise prices to compensate. I have raised prices twice and I am still not sure that I have covered myself.

Do you have formulas or spread sheets or something for those of us that are not mathematically inclined that you would be willing to share?

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:14am
post #14 of 21

Oh mamas, I'm more than happy to share what I have, but I'd be afraid to! You'd run away scared!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

You know that one commercial where the girl holds up this HUGE honkin' print out and says "I make my own spreadsheets"? That's kinda what mine are like! icon_redface.gif But it works for me!

Here's a small example for eggs. First two columns are date and price. "Diff" is the difference in price between the last two purchases. then the % of increase between the last two purchases. Running Increase is a running total of how much they have gone up between first-ever purchase and most recent purchase. Running % is the percentage of increase between first-ever purchase and most recent purchase.

Eggs...............Price..........Diff.........% incr......run incr.......run %
5/14/2008.......$17.85      
6/4/2008.........$19.22.......$1.370......7.7%.......$1.370   
6/11/2008.......$21.08.......$1.860......9.7%.......$3.230.........18.1%

I keep a very large spreadsheet on every item I've ever purchased, including stock number, size (ounces, servings, etc....depending on how I measure the price). Right now it's about 30 columns by 350 rows.

It's formula driven to show me the price per serving or per ounce or per packet, plus formula driven to apply my desired margin and compute what the selling price should be, plus columns on the pricing history and dates. Example: Crisco is set up with price-per-cup, enabling me to apply a price-per-cup to the recipes to determine my cost per dozen cookies.

With everything on one sheet, it's easy for me to price-negotiate when I have the GFS or the Sysco sales rep sitting in front of me. "I can get it at *** for $xx.xx. You've got to meet it or beat it if you want me to buy it."

On my sales spreadsheet, I have a page for sales data /invoices, then this info automatically transfers to the page that computes my sales tax, then all of this automatically transfers to the page where I have it graphed for the past 5 years, showing me sales trends. I have it formula driven so I enter one number and it updates 3 pages.

(oh geesh this got long! TOLD ya I was a numbers geek!)

poshcakedesigns Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:49pm
post #15 of 21

icon_lol.gif oh Indydeb I got tired just reading that process, I couldn't image doing it. LOL.

I've got to get more organized with keeping up with my cost. You so inspire me thumbs_up.gif

Mamas Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:28am
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Oh mamas, I'm more than happy to share what I have, but I'd be afraid to! You'd run away scared!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

You know that one commercial where the girl holds up this HUGE honkin' print out and says "I make my own spreadsheets"? That's kinda what mine are like! icon_redface.gif But it works for me!

Here's a small example for eggs. First two columns are date and price. "Diff" is the difference in price between the last two purchases. then the % of increase between the last two purchases. Running Increase is a running total of how much they have gone up between first-ever purchase and most recent purchase. Running % is the percentage of increase between first-ever purchase and most recent purchase.




. . .and this is where my eyes glazed over. . .
I started a spreadsheet like this and then . . . well . . .I know that this level of detail is essential to maximizing your profit but . . . well . . . its ANOTHER FULL TIME JOB!

I am on my knees waving my hands up and down in homage. I aspire to such exactitude!

melodyscakes Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 6:31pm
post #17 of 21

wow Deb....very impressed!
I am not a numbers geek....and couldn't even tell you if I've made a profit or loss as of yet, I let my accountant handle that!!
head hurts thinking about all those numbers!

haha

marmalade1687 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 8:20pm
post #18 of 21

My profits have gone up this year, even though gas prices are hitting everything. Couples are still getting married, and I do notice that they are still ordering the medium to large cakes from me. Fondant is more popular this year than it ever has been - so brides are willing to spend more on their cakes for it.

The one thing that I am noticing on some wedding message boards is that some brides are opting not to have a wedding cake at all - not sure how this will affect my business in the long run, and I am not sure if it is just a fad...I am still booking up quickly for 2009!

indydebi Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:05am
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas

. . .and this is where my eyes glazed over. . .



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif That's what my hubby says and HE spent 25 years as a banker! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

marmalade, do the articles indicate if the brides are REPLACING the cake with something else .... pies, dessert table, choc fntn .... or just omitting "the big dessert" altogether?

Mamas Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:50am
post #20 of 21

Hey marmelade are they replacing the cake with cupcakes perchance? All I seem to get requests for are cupcakes these days. Just wondering.

marmalade1687 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 12:31pm
post #21 of 21

About 20% of my wedding orders are for cupcakes, but that changes each year - sometimes it's a little more, sometimes it's a little less, but it averages out to 20% overall. This year (200icon_cool.gif brides are going for the big, stacked cakes...cupcakes are out (in my area anyway!) - I am sure each area has their own trends! For 2009, I am beginning to get more requests for cupcakes, so we'll have to see what the trend works out to be.

The brides that are choosing not to have wedding cake are choosing candy buffets (these are becoming really big here), dessert buffets (ie. pies, squares, etc.) or chocolate fountains (although not so much on the chocolate fountain anymore either). Again, this is in my area - could be different in other areas!

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