i recevied a call yesterday from a refferal from a regular customer. i sent my customer a little thank you note for the refferral and she said that she printed up some post card sized sheets with my name, number & email and put them in a box and when people asked about the cake, she would tell them my contact info was in that box. so, she didn't display the info, she only gave it out if people asked. this is her 8th cake she has gotten from me and she said that everytime people would ask about the cake...half the people either wouldn't have a pen & paper on them or their cell phone to take down my number. she thought this would be easier. i remember her asking for business cards a while back, but i told her i was unable to do that...you know due to advertising issues, DHEC, i'm not licensed and all that good stuff. i actually had made some nice cards with a pic of one my cakes on there and my contact info, but when i signed up for cake central...i found out real quick that this was big NO NO considering the dhec laws in sc. so she knew how funny i was about all this. i was a little upset at first, but she was only trying to help me, she is actullay one of my biggest supporters. i get real nervous with these kinds of things, so all my business is refferal based, as it should be. but is it still considered advertising with something like this...if someone had my info...no pic of a cake or anything or nothing on the paper that says that i make cakes...just my name and contact info? should i ask her not to do it again? i just don't want it to get into the wrong hands...what do you all think?
Although it isn't technically 'advertising' it does increase your odds of getting caught. The reason that you can't advertise, is that it brings you to the attention of the people who can close your business and fine you.
It is a risk you have to consider. Also, does your regular client know you aren't 'legal' It might be hard to explain why you want her to stop handing out referrals without telling her your status. It may or may not make a difference to her.
when she asked for my business cards the 2nd time she got a cake from me, i explained to her why i couldn't pass them out. she knows the situation. she just felt it would be easier just to put only my info, because none of it has anthing to do with cakes...(not even my email address) on a piece of paper. she said that she put it in a box on her bar and when people asked about the cake, she directed them to the box and gave them the slip of paper. i didn't know she did it until i sent her the thank you note. i know she just wants to support me so bad....but it is a very sticky situation.
Don't you hate SC laws when it comes to a cake business at home! I live in Clinton and would love to have a cake shop but I'm just not ready for that. I do cakes for friends and family but lately I'm also getting calls where people refer me. I worry that I will get 'caught' also even though I only ask for the cost of ingredients just to get the experience. I really know how you feel. Are you friends with this client? If so I would talk to her again. Good Luck!
Are you far from Clinton? We could have lunch or something. My husband gets so sick of me talking cake!