Where Are The Orders???

Business By jackieblue Updated 2 Sep 2008 , 3:42pm by nefgaby

jackieblue Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 4:24am
post #1 of 46

I used to work full-time and do cakes full-time. In May I was totally overwhelmed with cake orders and they just kept coming so I decided to quit my job. As soon as I quit the orders stopped coming. What gives? I have been keeping somewhat busy, but not enough!! Has anyone else experienced this? I am really becoming discouraged and wondering if I should go back to work. icon_cry.gif

45 replies
SweetConfectionsChef Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 1:29pm
post #2 of 46

I find August to be particularly slow. Too hot for weddings and people are getting their kids ready to go back to school and not really planning parties. I use the month to get things in order for the coming fall....it'll pick back up...more than you might want it to! icon_wink.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 5:30pm
post #3 of 46

It'll pick up - maybe you can use this time to advertise more. Visit shops near your house and hand out your business cards?

DianeLM Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 6:14pm
post #4 of 46

August is usually slow. People are on vacation, getting ready for school, etc.. I was just looking at my past August orders and they've been sparse for the past 5 years (that I've been consistently busy).

Be prepared to see this again in January. Don't panic. Just plan to use your time to make new dummy cakes, organize your paperwork, play with your new Christmas toys, etc..

SpudCake Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 8:14pm
post #5 of 46

I find that Fall and Spring are my busiest months. Almost nothing during Winter and Summer.

Joanne usaribbon.gif

melodyscakes Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 8:53pm
post #6 of 46

I wouldn't pass out business cards just yet.....you have to work out of a liscenced kitchen in Kansas....maybe you do, the post didn't say.
Aug. is very hot, and people are getting ready for school, and that in itself is expensive so they don't order as many party cakes.

good luck!

melody

littlecake Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:58am
post #7 of 46

this week is the first lag i've had in months...

this business has it's super busy, and slow months....it will pick up again after school starts everyone is thinking of that right now.

you'll be ok.

shanasweets Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:06am
post #8 of 46

I am moving to Kansas, and spoke to the dept of ag. You can sell non perishable items under cottage food laws.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:48pm
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sltoklahoma

I am moving to Kansas, and spoke to the dept of ag. You can sell non perishable items under cottage food laws.




I'm not sure who you talked to but this:

You must have a properly equipped, licensed facility separate from your personal use kitchen to make food for the public or for wholesale. Contact the program for more information.

was taken directly from the Kansas Dept of Ag's website.

Here is the link:
http://www.ksda.gov/food_safety/faq/id/Can+I+make+food+products+in+my+home+to+sell+to+the

southernbelle Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:49am
post #10 of 46

I opened my shop a year ago today. This month I am booked with weddings and tons of birthday cakes. Haven't seen to much of a slow down. littlecakes is right, kids are going back to school, here in TN most of the county fairs are running so that tends make it slow for our craft/ Hang in there it will come. I too quit my job to do this and the first month....which was August was rough but it was worth it. Word of mouth will get around and before you know it you will be wishing for a lull icon_smile.gif hand in there.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 1:28pm
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernbelle

I opened my shop a year ago today. This month I am booked with weddings and tons of birthday cakes. Haven't seen to much of a slow down. littlecakes is right, kids are going back to school, here in TN most of the county fairs are running so that tends make it slow for our craft/ Hang in there it will come. I too quit my job to do this and the first month....which was August was rough but it was worth it. Word of mouth will get around and before you know it you will be wishing for a lull icon_smile.gif hand in there.




Well said and completely agree! It seems like once the cakes start "going" it's an explosion! I always take the break when I can get it and work on things I've neglected when the business is so busy I can't breathe!

Jeannem Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:08pm
post #12 of 46

I was checking my bookings on Monday-exactly one order for all of August. I just checked again (4 days later), and I'm up to 8 and counting. Go figure..

jackieblue Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:46am
post #13 of 46

Thank you all for your support. I will be more patient and hopefully they will come. icon_smile.gif

shanasweets Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 12:29am
post #14 of 46

Here is a copy of the email I received. Am I reading this wrong?

Shana,

Thank you for submitting your question. The Kansas Dept. Of Agriculture does not require a person to obtain a license to sell non-potentially hazardous baked goods directly to the end consumer. So, in your example of baking cakes in your home and delivering them to a person, or having them come to your home and pick up, would not require a license. If you were to bake a crème filled cake or cheesecake, you would be required to obtain the food processing license because these are a potentially hazardous food. Also, if you baked a non-potentially hazardous food and sold it to a person other than the end consumer (i.e. restaurant or retail store) you would be required to have a food processing license. These same rules apply to people selling at a farmers market.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.



Thank you,



Steve Moris

Program Manager

Division of Food Safety

Kansas Dept. Of Agriculture

785-296-3511

melodyscakes Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 12:46am
post #15 of 46

I'd still check, because I am from Kansas and had to install a complete second kitchen, orders of the health dept.





maybe it depends on your county?

littlecake Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 1:48am
post #16 of 46

in oklahoma every county is different....

nefgaby Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 5:43am
post #17 of 46

OK, same here... I'm with the OP! We opened July 1st and it has already been 2 months worth of rent and NOTHING, I mean... NOTHING! Just a $120 order of petit fours! It is starting to scare me as we have a lease for 2 years at $1285 a month! Ouch!

So I guess my question is... how do you advertise? Do you go door to door to wedding related businesses and offer your product with free samples? I'm just curious as I need to do something about it or we'll be broke in NO time. We will be participating in 2 bridal shows (at $500) but scares me to invest more and still have no orders... any thoughts?

We are legal and can't wait to get cake orders! I'm kind of desperate to honest with you...

nefgaby Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:34am
post #18 of 46

No one???? icon_sad.gif

littlecake Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 4:08am
post #19 of 46

do they know you're there?

truthfully you opened on the slowestmonths, after kids get back to school they usually get ordering again.

have you taken any sample cakes and price lists around yet?

my first couple of weeks i made sheet cakes and price lists and dropped em off lotsa places...dressed in my apron.

i took half sheets to every school teachers lounge in town

to tanning salons...stuff like that...they just started calling.

they have to taste it.

MichelleM77 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 12:51pm
post #20 of 46

When you say sample cakes, do you decorate them like you would for an order, or are these more plain cakes with maybe just a border and a few flowers (so more for the taste than the decoration for sample cakes)?

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:22pm
post #21 of 46

i would suggest doing a local mailing for advertising. Do a special event....a "free tasting day". Choose a day and mail out invitations (especially if you can come across a bride contact list) and mail advertisments for this free tasting day. It may help to bring in some clients.
That is just one of the ideas I have for when i open my cakery!

varika Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:29pm
post #22 of 46

It may be a bit expensive, but try and purchase an ad in your local paper, too. It might seem old-fashioned, but you'd be surprised at how many people notice ads for new places in the paper. Especially if you're advertising a "free tasting day" as CoutureCakeCreations suggested.

littlecake Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:21pm
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleM77

When you say sample cakes, do you decorate them like you would for an order, or are these more plain cakes with maybe just a border and a few flowers (so more for the taste than the decoration for sample cakes)?




i made half sheets...half and half....and decorated it to whatever matched where i was going.....like if it was the school i put their mascot on it....tanning salons i put a beachy scene....nothin that look all day....but it was cute.

and i had a 8 by 10 basic price list taped to the top.

i just strolled in....big smile...compliments of the little cake co!....laid it down and left.

we prolly gave away 15 to 20 cakes the first week...that's all it took...the phone just started ringing right away....ya gotta do something to prime the pump.

meancat Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:05pm
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

No one???? icon_sad.gif




Well I just wanted to say that you do awsome work! I'm very picky about people taking the time to make their cakes look good, so congrats there!

One suggestion, that might help you in the long run (especially w/ bridal shows coming up) is to have your prices listed on your website. When I did my wedding and was looking for someone to do my cake (before i did cakes) the price section was the first place I looked, as do most people. If I saw your website and didn't see prices I would keep going, no matter how good your cakes looked. Just a small tip icon_smile.gif

meancat Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:07pm
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by meancat

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

No one???? icon_sad.gif



Well I just wanted to say that you do awsome work! I'm very picky about people taking the time to make their cakes look good, so congrats there!

One suggestion, that might help you in the long run (especially w/ bridal shows coming up) is to have your prices listed on your website. When I did my wedding and was looking for someone to do my cake (before i did cakes) the price section was the first place I looked, as do most people. If I saw your website and didn't see prices I would keep going, no matter how good your cakes looked. Just a small tip icon_smile.gif




Okay, I just clicked on your "contact me" part and saw your prices...I would move that to your gallery pages also...just incase so no one misses it...like me....haha icon_redface.gif

sweettoothmom Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:55pm
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

So I guess my question is... how do you advertise?




Just a thought take this time to bake and create cakes as give aways to the local seniors homes. Then advertise that. Go to the HR people at the homes and tell them in exchange for the cake you would them to run an ad like a pic of a resident with the cake and permission to use the business name in your advertising in the future. The cakes will be taken off as an expense under advertising on your taxes. You could do the same thing with your Bank or Credit Union. It is best to Butter up the bankers wink wink
Tellers can hand out your cards or a coupon with each transaction too.

They can allow the staff and customers to sample your wares bring along a bunch of business cards and a large sign saying cake courtesy of your business name, place them next to the cake.
You could do the same thing with the local chamber too. Present them with a new cake each month for those businesses with a grand opening that month for membership in exchange. You have to stay in thier faces, bellies and minds to be effective.

Rhienn Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 10:17pm
post #27 of 46

If you have a website - look into Google adwords. I gues most of my business from people that found me on the 'net. You can set whatever monthly budget you can afford.

HTH

nefgaby Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 12:17am
post #28 of 46

Oh wow, I haven't been getting any notices of new replies to threads... THANKS!

So those were my plans exactly! icon_smile.gif Thanks for re-assuring I am on the right track... I decided to bake mini cakes and also different flavors cupcakes and start delivering around town. I have a list of places from florists to reception sites... wish me luck!

And would you advice to call first or just show up like littlecakes said and tell them that it is courtesy of such and such?

Also, sooo is it really the "slow" months? When does it start to pick-up again? We have our first bridal on the 31st so I hope to get some business soon. Thanks again for the advice!

nefgaby Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 12:19am
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhienn

If you have a website - look into Google adwords. I gues most of my business from people that found me on the 'net. You can set whatever monthly budget you can afford.

HTH




Please, can you tell me how to go about doing it? I am very interested and would love to do it, I do need the traffic on my site! Thanks again!

moxey2000 Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 12:41am
post #30 of 46

Gaby, I just looked at your website and I must say your cakes are amazing icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif ! You really should make the most of this slow time because once the folks in your area find out how awesome your cakes are you are going to be sooooo busy icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif !!

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