What Make Your Business Better Or Different...

Business By rnp3603 Updated 29 Sep 2008 , 3:57am by quilting2011

rnp3603 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:00pm
post #1 of 29

than the competiton?

28 replies
chutzpah Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:11pm
post #2 of 29

Everything!

I usually say I have no competition.

Homemade-Goodies Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:14pm
post #3 of 29

You didn't start...that's not fair! hehe

I know my attempt at a 'hook' - being the only advertised American style baker in my neck of the woods. It is hard to break through the known favorites, but some people already know American goodies and can't wait to have it again! thumbs_up.gif

Cookies, Brownies and Cheesecake for all of North Holland!!!!!

chutzpah Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:19pm
post #4 of 29

I, too, live abroad and do real US goodies!

Cakes in this country are gross. Well, I should really cake cake (sing.), as there is really only ONE cake here.

No one had ever done a stacked cake in this whole country.... before I did.

MacsMom Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:36pm
post #5 of 29

I think it my personability. I take phone calls all hours and email promptly with tons of photos to give clients ideas of what they might like. I'm very flexible.

Plus, no one in town does carved cakes, "Duff" style, lol.

littlecake Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 9:21pm
post #6 of 29

bling bling...everything i make shines and sparkles...

plus my icing....and i forgot to mention....me!

FromScratch Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 9:43pm
post #7 of 29

Making everything from scratch (aside from jams and sometimes fondant) using the highest quality ingredients I can find and using a meringue based buttercream.

People say my gp flowers are a big draw too. icon_smile.gif

MikeRowesHunny Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 9:47pm
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade-Goodies

You didn't start...that's not fair! hehe

I know my attempt at a 'hook' - being the only advertised American style baker in my neck of the woods. It is hard to break through the known favorites, but some people already know American goodies and can't wait to have it again! thumbs_up.gif

Cookies, Brownies and Cheesecake for all of North Holland!!!!!




Yup, and I've got the South covered - so together we WILL convert this country into recognising GOOD cake lol! icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif I too have very little competiton and expats from all over the world are always so grateful to have found me (because we all think Dutch cakes are a big pile of poop).

Kitagrl Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 10:07pm
post #9 of 29

I have a ton of competition around here (big area) but at the same time there are a ton of people to serve.

I guess my main draw has been my 3D cakes and the taste. I would like to get more into weddings so I am thinking the groom's cake thing will hopefully open the door for brides to just order the whole bundle from me instead of just the groom's cake.

But yeah usually people tell me they look "everywhere" for someone to make something 3D and finally find me...although I know for a fact there are several other bakers in my area that also do it...usually more privately owned ones though, as the bigger ones do more weddings and are more booked up.

robinscakes Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 10:38pm
post #10 of 29

I guess the fact that we are a small family-owned bakery with no corporate rules to get in the way helps. Some bakeries have to follow a certain formula and can't be flexible. My middle name is flexible! We can do egg-free, wheat-free, vegan, organic....whatever. I really customize everything for the customer. I also come from an art background and I freehand a lot of my work. Sheet cakes seem to be very passe on this website and people tend to turn their noses up at them. I personally love sheet cakes because they're really blank canvases. Most of my cake business is sheet cakes.

CambriasCakes Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 10:53pm
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

bling bling...everything i make shines and sparkles...




Me too! Sometimes I think I over-do it with the sparkles....I would luster dust my children if they stood still long enough!

Kitagrl Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:07pm
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriasCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

bling bling...everything i make shines and sparkles...




Me too! Sometimes I think I over-do it with the sparkles....I would my children if they stood still long enough!




Disco dust is the best stuff isn't it! Some weekends I notice little glittery stuff on me and my kids....it floats in the air....haha.

indydebi Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:19pm
post #13 of 29

Flat pricing .... one price no matter what the design, cake flavor, filling or design (with one exception so far).

Wedding cake price includes delivery and set-up to most Indpls locations.

We don't charge an upfront gratuity (on catering). most places tack on an extra 20-28% for this ... on a $3000 reception, this can add $600-$750 onto the bill for the bride. We don't do that.

20% across the board discount to active military, police and fire.

Referral credit system that allows the bride to lower her cake/catering bill.

My unparalleled and bubbly personality! icon_biggrin.gif Seriously, I use that. I stopped coloring my hair as a marketing tool ..... it gives me the Gramma look. And everyone knows that Gramma makes everything ALL-L-L-L-L better!! icon_rolleyes.gif

Jenn2179 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:24pm
post #14 of 29

I give a free 4 in round when I deliver your wedding cake and a free anniversary tier. All my cakes are from scratch and taste amazing. My personality has sold many a cake. I give a 10% discount to active duty military, police and fire.

indydebi Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:30pm
post #15 of 29

Free anniversary tier ..... taking advice from many CC'ers, I started giving the option of a free tier at the wedding, and we won't count that in the number of servings ... or a coupon for a free anniversary tier. Brides are LUVIN' the coupon thing! They think it's the best thing since double pepperoni's on pizza! Thanks, CC'ers!!

Jenn2179 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:53pm
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Free anniversary tier ..... taking advice from many CC'ers, I started giving the option of a free tier at the wedding, and we won't count that in the number of servings ... or a coupon for a free anniversary tier. Brides are LUVIN' the coupon thing! They think it's the best thing since double pepperoni's on pizza! Thanks, CC'ers!!




I don't give the coupon. Tell them they have to call 2 weeks before anniversary. All their info is in my records. Brides LOVE it.

indydebi Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:05am
post #17 of 29

Jenn, I'll probably not even take the coupon from them when they pick up the cake..... it gives them something to put in their wedding book. I even tell them "Put it in your wedding book so you don't lose it!" thumbs_up.gif

ShopGrl1128 Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 2:05am
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn2179

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Free anniversary tier ..... taking advice from many CC'ers, I started giving the option of a free tier at the wedding, and we won't count that in the number of servings ... or a coupon for a free anniversary tier. Brides are LUVIN' the coupon thing! They think it's the best thing since double pepperoni's on pizza! Thanks, CC'ers!!



I don't give the coupon. Tell them they have to call 2 weeks before anniversary. All their info is in my records. Brides LOVE it.




Yes! the free anniversary tier is a hit for me...I tell them as long as they let me know a couple of weeks in advance I will make a fresh tier for them that way they don't have to eat old cake from the freezer...they loooove it!

Other things that work for me:
*Flat prices, my base price $3.50 per serving for either fondant or BC.
I was sick of people going with BC because it was cheaper (I had it at $2.50/ serv.) so I raised BC same as fondant.
To me, the time I spend getting the BC super smooth compensates the price of the fondant.
I don't charge extra for 'premium' flavors or anything like that...that confuses people; I only add additional charges if the cake design is really complicated or has lots of GP flowers.

*Yeah lusterdust!: I use it on all my GP flowers, borders, scroll work, etc.
It makes the cake look "expensive".

*Hand made figurines: I ask customers for a picture of the birthday boy/ girl and make a cute figurine to make more personal...I learned with Aine2 tutorial...THANK YOU AINE2!!!
Nobody does this in my area.

*Quality ingredients!!!...no more immitation vanilla (big waste of money...tastes, smells like nothing). Good ingredients make a HUGE difference.

*3D cakes: also a big plus.

*Presentation, presentation, presentation: When I meet my customers I always dress nice and clean, my hair is up so they don't get the impression my kitchen is full of hair (I have longgg hair), I put some makeup (not too heavy), etc.
The whole idea is to give the impression of clean-ness (not a real word, right???....but you get the point).

If I remember something else I will be back.

Jenn2179 Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 2:14am
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Jenn, I'll probably not even take the coupon from them when they pick up the cake..... it gives them something to put in their wedding book. I even tell them "Put it in your wedding book so you don't lose it!" thumbs_up.gif




Ah see I would have lost it as I didn't have a wedding book.

MacsMom Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 4:38am
post #20 of 29

Have you tried luster dust as lip shine? So pretty. Too bad it's gone in one lick, lol. But my favorite is the bright blue boogers I get when I dust an entire tier "super blue" icon_razz.gif .


I saw a great idea mentioned here but I've yet to steal the idea:
Under the cake, under clear contect paper, leave a little note like "Hope your birthday was extraordinary!" or "Congratulations from Whimsy Cakes", etc. It's little surprise when the cake has disappeared.

The free anniversary tier is done by most bakeries here, so it doesn't count as setting me apart.

AsburyArt Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 4:21pm
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Making everything from scratch (aside from jams and sometimes fondant) using the highest quality ingredients I can find and using a meringue based buttercream.

People say my gp flowers are a big draw too. icon_smile.gif




Ditto for me.

But are you ever surprised at the number of people who insist lesser quality is better? ie hi ratio frosting and box mix/fluid flex cakes

OhMyGanache Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 4:34pm
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsburyArt


But are you ever surprised at the number of people who insist lesser quality is better? ie hi ratio frosting and box mix/fluid flex cakes




Careful what you say around here... thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 4:36pm
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsburyArt

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Making everything from scratch (aside from jams and sometimes fondant) using the highest quality ingredients I can find and using a meringue based buttercream.

People say my gp flowers are a big draw too. icon_smile.gif



Ditto for me.

But are you ever surprised at the number of people who insist lesser quality is better? ie hi ratio frosting and box mix/fluid flex cakes




Never have I ever had someone ask for me to use mixes or change my frosting.. I count myself lucky. I do cater mostly to weddings though so maybe that helps me?

I offer the free anniversary cake and people are very happy to hear that. I also give a 10% off your next purchase coupon when I deliver a cake.

I love the idea of putting a message on the cake board.. but contact paper isn't food safe. icon_sad.gif

chutzpah Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 8:05pm
post #24 of 29

What's a wedding book?

FromScratch Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 8:08pm
post #25 of 29

Some people have a scrap book of all of the things they did leading up to their weddings.. that's what I'd call a wedding book. All of the info for their vendors and color swatches and stuff like that. Some people save them forever. I had a folder, but I chucked it once the wedding was over. I'm not a saver. icon_wink.gif

SugaredUp Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 8:32pm
post #26 of 29

I have to say that I am FINALLY (Indydebi should be proud!) making a business plan now that I'm kind of on bed rest and can't bake... And I am surprised to be learning that where I see my business in a few years... I really don't have much competition at all. I want to do more than just baking, though. icon_biggrin.gif I'm way excited!

CakeForte Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 9:20pm
post #27 of 29

My marketing is cohesive. My website matches my office decor and business cards. I focus only on weddings and large parties.
I do tastings on bone china. (donated by my mom since she never used it)
I promote "full service". I don't just make your cake and drop it off, but I will finish the table, set up the flowers(must be cut and ready), picture frames...whatever they have to make the cake table look "pretty". This only takes 30 minutes to do, but clients love it.
I do flat rate/ all inclusive pricing per project. I don't have different pricing for flavors, fillings, premium flavors, etc. It's too confusing for clients. I also advise that they select at least two flavors for the main wedding cake. They like this because it doesn't change the price.

All of these elements allow me to charge a higher per person rate, even though I don't sell or promote it that way. I purposely avoid using and "per person" wording at all. I feel puts a limit on what I can make.

When I first started out, I was charging $2.50 per person for this, $3.00 per person for that. I was also driving around town meeting people at Starbucks for consults. I barely got any bookings back then and was wondering why I should even bother because I wasn't making any money.

But now...when all is said and done...the 'per project" price structure comes out to $5 or $6 per person because of the small changes I made. Those are not fondant cakes either.

megankennedy Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 2:51am
post #28 of 29

interesting cake forte... would you mind sharing an example of the "per project" strayegy, vs. the per serving? I have been having the same issue too - I do small volume and am not able to purchase many things in bulk, so my profit margin is really not great right now, but I am charging a "per person" rate comparable to local shops around here. I've been trying to figure out how to fix this...

quilting2011 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 3:57am
post #29 of 29

specialize in vegan and raw vegan wedding cakes. Most of our customers are vegan and health oriented-dancers, yoga and pilates teache etc.

Also being deaf, we have many customers that are hearing impaired.

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