I'm trying to break out of the family & friend cake baking business, where you do it 'for cost' or a fee that doesn't even start to cover the time spent on everything. Just got asked for a quote from someone who found my ad online and lives in my neighborhood. A more skilled caker down south starts at 2.75 a serving, so I was thinking a more moderate 2.25-2.50 a serving starter price for myself.
I asked the lady's budget, she said 20.00-25.00 to serve 25 and a smash cake (which I wanted to add for baby's 1st birthday). I knew that wasn't near what I was intending to charge, but made adjustments - -making a cake for 21, frosting for filling, not a different flavor and limited decorations, plus the smash cake...for 30.00. She just came back and told me that is more expensive than his present and way off their budget, but thanks, maybe next year.
I'm all nervous that I shouldn't come to some further compromise, so she can have the cake. My husband says then I'm just doing cakes for cake's sake, not for a profit and building my business.
Charging for my work is THE hardest part for me, but I can't continue baking if I don't start being more assertive. Argh, to quote Charlie Brown!
Gosh, what would you all have done?
I stand firm on my price. If you continually give it away, you'll end up being the "cheap" cake lady. Don't be afraid to state your price. And remember it is a business.
My Blog: www.minetterushing.typepad.com
Hold firm to your price. It is always the best way to go. Everyone would like to get the cake for a cheap price. Your time is valuable. Good luck
I hate to sound mean but man that lady is CHEAP... maybe it is the economy but my gosh she wouldn't be able to go to Wal Mart and get a serving cake AND a smash cake for 20.00!!!
I would of said my price and not made adjustments... more then likely she wasn't going to budge anyways.
You can order from me or not.. your choice....
When I made one of my first birthday and smash cakes I remember quoting a price...the couple was THRILLED and said, "wow, you are even cheaper than Publix!" (that's a grocery store btw) It was at that time I knew I needed to charge more. I certainly did not want to be known as the CHEAP CAKE LADY-UGH!!! Stick to your guns. People WILL pay for a quality product and your talent.
I have the same problem. I feel like I get invited to birthday partys now so I'll do the cake as their "gift". I'm thinking I'll start charging family and friends for supplies, and tell them they can "tip" me what they feel fair. Only because in my area I can only accept tips, and can't actually charge for my cakes. But, people need to understand that we're not a bunch of housewives baking a plain ol' cake. We're artist, and need to be treated as such.
I am in the same boat as you. Just starting out and only charging $2.25-2.50 per serving and yet I am told that is too much! For the ones that agree to the price, they absolutely love the cake and know that they can not get a cake like that at Wal-Mart or any other grocery chain store! But I keep looking at the grocery store prices for supplies and let's face it they are not getting cheaper but more expensive! I recently had to tell a prospective client that I could not reduce my cost and explained that in order to do her wedding cake that I am basically in the kitchen baking and making her buttercream for the better part of a day and lets not forget the decorating. Unfortunately, people do not understand that it does not take an hour to decorate and make a cake.
You have to stay firm! You are creating a wonderful cake that she would not be able to get at a grocery store! Your time and creativity is valuable!!
I'm glad the lady's lowball budget spared you from getting mad at yourself. It is really really difficult to price things right. But consider she needs to pay under $30 for her budget? By the time one goes to the store and purchases all the ingredients you've spent way over that much. You'll have some ingredients left over but you're not walking out of the store without paying at least $30 in gathering up the raw ingredients including the board, food color, vanilla, etc.
You did very good to Not do her cake. Think of it this way, I would not be one my own customers. I would encourage you to look and wait for a different clientelle who have the money to afford your services and creativity. There's a lot of us who cannot afford this luxury product. The ones that can are out there though!!
In fact you really get a gold star for having to say no first--even though she kinda said it for you. You have to say no sometimes. Bravo!!!
Consider setting a minimum too.
You did really well for yourself. I congratulate you.
Thanks a bunch...I knew my CC sisters would sooth my nerves over this! Whew! I know that all deep down, but sticking to it is difficult for me....thank goodness I have such a practical husband too!
k8memphis, you brought up something I keep saying to myself when someone isn't liking my quote: "*I* wouldn't pay that for a cake either..." But, I guess I don't have to, I know to bake! haha
You are all absolutely right...thanks for the kindly reminders!
Good cakes are not always cheap and cheap cakes are not always good!!!
If YOU don't value YOUR work, who else should?
Honestly, until this year's birthday I NEVER would have paid to purchase one of my own cakes. The realization I came to is that time is money, and no baker I know is out to gouge people but they are out there to stay in business and pay the power man. No one else is going to value the quality of workmanship of your product until YOU do.
I often think of a quote from the Late Dottie Walters of how to earn top dollar in the speaking industry, her quote was simple... "Honey, JUST ASK FOR IT!". Some people will turn you down and THEY were not your customers in the first place, and THEY are not going to value the work you do. The more you waver and cave the more you resent taking orders. Stand firm because it will bring you business in the long-term even though it's ramen in the short term.