Slow?

Business By Kitagrl Updated 24 Dec 2008 , 5:39am by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 2:37pm
post #1 of 26

Anyone else slow right now? I had to take a month and a half off for surgery but I'm getting worried as I have hardly ANY orders lining up for January, and hardly any calls. Alot of my customers knew I was getting surgery but I took the notice off my website and I'm still not getting alot of new calls.

I'm raising my prices a little on 3D cakes and I did have a girl call about a couple of 3D ones but after I quoted my price she did not call back.

I have an ad on WeddingWire and TheKnot and so far hardly anything there either. Nothing from TheKnot yet.

Trying not to freak out or anything haha but come January I'm going to have all the beginning of the year stuff to pay for...website, insurance, licensing fees, etc.

Anyone else going slower? Should I chill out on my price ranges? For the girl who called I quoted $6/serving for an LV purse cake and...I don't remember, $7/serving for something she wanted, think it was some sort of animal or other 3D idea.

Anyone who has actually price checked around for 3D cakes in our area usually think I'm extremely reasonable. However anyone who hasn't, I guess, thinks I'm extremely UNreasonable. So pricing is difficult, especially when I need orders right now...

Also, I am still having trouble getting past the catering thing....EVERYBODY gets their wedding catered with an included wedding cake around here, so the only wedding orders I'm getting are generally groom's cakes. (And often they comment mine tasted better than the wedding cake haha). So I'm having a difficult time really getting into the wedding thing.

On a plus note, we just met someone whose relative owns a bridal shop and I may be able to put up business cards or even a display there....have to still contact them.

Just rambling...sorry! But curious as to how everyone else is doing.

25 replies
Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 2:39pm
post #2 of 26

As a side note...would it help my business to begin offering dessert/cookie trays for weddings/events or would that cause more trouble?

littlecake Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 4:15pm
post #3 of 26

i'm always slower this time of year...christmas is just not cake season around here....it always starts picking up the second week of january....(after they have dropped the diet)

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 11:09pm
post #4 of 26

I'm actually so slammed it's crazy! One customer ordered 100 dz cookies, packaged 1 dz to a customer-supplied-special-box that he is taking to his customers as an end of the year thank you. A church ordered 60 dz cookies for a Christmas program/reception. This is in addition to the car dealership's 1000-cookies-a-week order. Plus the smaller orders of 6-12 dz that are lining my wall.

I'm home right now for only 45 minutes .... I had a 175 person catering at lunch today and I'm doing a 50 person catering tonight for their 2nd shift. (I am so freakin' tired, my eyes are crossed right now!) I have 2 wedding cakes on New Years Eve and one on the 28th.

January starts my fraternity caterings of 3 days of breakfast/lunch/dinner for 100+ college guys. (I pretty much shut down the shop for a week to do this one.) I'm doing a cake in Jan for 200 for a company's 80th Company Anniversary celebration.

Ironically, I ran end of the year numbers and was VERY surprised to see that April thru Sept was only 31% of my sales. Jan/Feb/Mar and Oct/Nov/Dec made up 69% of my sales.

Jan thru April are the big wedding planning months. I do more samplings and consultations during this period than any other time of the year. (This past April I did 23 samplings and booked 19 of them.)

suz3 Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 11:16pm
post #5 of 26

I was just thinking I wish I had a cake to do.

hamie Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 11:28pm
post #6 of 26

Debi, I wish I had your problem...

Kitagrl I am really slow as well. This time last year I was almost 2/3 booked for summer, so far I only have two weddings booked for next summer. Needless to say I am a bit concerned.

I also have all the bills renwing in January but very few orders in Dec or Jan. I get most of my bookings through respond, but they just called and are discontinuing the service I use and are now charging significantly more and they want the money up front.

I have always put money away for times like this, but I don't know how long I will be able to go on unless things pick up.

costumeczar Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 1:29am
post #7 of 26

I always have a slow-down in phone calls, etc. in late November and December, then the planning picks up again in January. Cakes are usually slower other than for New Year's weddings, but it will pick up. I remember last year starting to panic and wondering why I wasn't getting as many phone calls, then realizing that everything just kind of slows down for a while this time of year.

Bonnie151 Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 7:01am
post #8 of 26

This week and next week are quiet (though I've had a flurry of last minute cupcake requests for Christmas presents, unfortunately all too small and far away to not have astronomical delivery charges). I'm relieved to have a quiet fortnight as I'm battling a cold. I also have a work experience student coming in next Tuesday to see how the business is set up/play about with decorating for a day so I need to plan out what I'm doing with her.

The start of January is looking great with me booked with birthday/anniversary cakes through the middle of the month and a couple of weddings in the latter part.

AZCakeGirl Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 7:43am
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Jan thru April are the big wedding planning months. I do more samplings and consultations during this period than any other time of the year.




Ditto. My slowest month of the year is usually always December. I enjoy the month off because once January hits, I'm swamped with consultations & tastings & it just gets busier from then on. I think a lot of people get engaged over the holidays & then start their planning.

marmalade1687 Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 1:07pm
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCakeGirl

Ditto. My slowest month of the year is usually always December. I enjoy the month off because once January hits, I'm swamped with consultations & tastings & it just gets busier from then on. I think a lot of people get engaged over the holidays & then start their planning.




Same here - I'm thinking of adding a couple of extra consultation days in January and February (I do them monthly) so that I will have enough room for all of the requests. It's slow now though, and I'm enjoying the peace - one more wedding cake this weekend before Christmas!

aligotmatt Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 1:37pm
post #11 of 26

I am slow, but I'm having surgery tomorrow, so I turned down 2 Dec. 27th weddings, a few baby showers, and a Dec 20 wedding. I planned it for this time of year because it's normally so slow...

Last January I did 7-10 consults a week, all planned in January, so I'm not concerned AT ALL about not having business planned for January. I'm doing an open house on January 11th, which is where that burst comes from. My next order is scheduled for February 28th!!! I could be freaking out, but I'm trying to not.

AS for you doing more dessert catering, that would your call for your market. If you would get more orders and bring in more money by doing dessert catering, it may be worth it.

loriemoms Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 12:30pm
post #12 of 26

Usually december is quiet for me, but this year I have been slammed as well. I am also very busy with consultations.

I used to worry when things were looking slow, but you will see in January, all of a sudden people will start thinking cake again!! In November, I had just three weddings on the books but every monday this month, the phone is ringing off the hook! (I am so sick of making green and red gum paste bows!)

Hey Deb, I also have a NYEve wedding this year. We are deliverying it pretty late in the day (around 7 PM) I hate going on the streets on NYE, as people are just nuts. So I am hoping we can get the delvery done and get home and hide from the crazy people! haha!

Lenette Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:35pm
post #13 of 26

I'm slow and I am freaking out. I probably shouldn't since it is the end of the year slow down. I do have some weddings booked for next year and 2-3 consults in the next week or so. I am praying that they book!

I am doing a lot of thinking about how to do some major promotion the first part of next year without spending a lot of money.

Now that I know it's not just me I will try to calm down some. I have been bummed and worried. I think it is extra hard when money gets tight this time of year with the holidays and upcoming bills.

Praying for 2009 to be a success for us all! icon_smile.gif

ziggytarheel Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 4:13pm
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms



Hey Deb, I also have a NYEve wedding this year. We are deliverying it pretty late in the day (around 7 PM) I hate going on the streets on NYE, as people are just nuts. So I am hoping we can get the delvery done and get home and hide from the crazy people! haha!




I don't like being out late on NYE either, although I don't worry so much about early evening. I heard recently that the day with the most traffic fatalities related to drunk driving is July 4th. I guess I can make sense of that...people tend to plan for their NYE celebration and the driving that might follow because it is talked about so much. Who ever emphasizes that point for July 4th?

loriemoms Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 12:25pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggytarheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms



Hey Deb, I also have a NYEve wedding this year. We are deliverying it pretty late in the day (around 7 PM) I hate going on the streets on NYE, as people are just nuts. So I am hoping we can get the delvery done and get home and hide from the crazy people! haha!



I don't like being out late on NYE either, although I don't worry so much about early evening. I heard recently that the day with the most traffic fatalities related to drunk driving is July 4th. I guess I can make sense of that...people tend to plan for their NYE celebration and the driving that might follow because it is talked about so much. Who ever emphasizes that point for July 4th?




you know, that doesnt surprise me. A lot of people start drinking in the afternoon during the barbeques and such and then continue right into the night during the fireworks and never think how much that case of beer they just drank affects them!!

indydebi Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 2:45pm
post #16 of 26

Fortunately, both of my NYE's have a delivery window between 5 and 7, so I'll be home long before the parties start. Thank goodness! We never go out on NYE ... hubby worked for the sheriff's dept for awhile and he saw too many "in the drunk tank".

He also calls NYE "Amateur Night" .... people who never drink all year long suddenly think they can handle it by drinking all NIGHT long! He says those people are a bigger danger to the public than the ones who drink all the time!

poshcakedesigns Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 3:07pm
post #17 of 26

I thought I was the only one having a dry spell. Up until 2 weeks ago I had cakes going out every week. And absolutely NOTHING for the last 2 except for orders that were paid for back in the fall. I started to freak out a bit but realized it had to be because of Christmas.

I am enjoying the break.

SugaredUp Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 3:39am
post #18 of 26

Very slow here also. I am just coming back after having my daughter. She is 1 month old. So I wasn't taking orders for a while. Now I'm slow, and I'm glad. I'd rather be home with my kids right now, not stressing out for some cake order. Although, I hope things pick up right away ! haha Talk about having your cake and eating it too, right?!

I did get a request for a wedding cake order for this upcoming Saturday, but this guy wanted a tasting and everything, and there was no way I would have time or want to deal. Some people just wait until the last minute, don't they?! Sheesh!

SugaredUp Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 3:39am
post #19 of 26

Very slow here also. I am just coming back after having my daughter. She is 1 month old. So I wasn't taking orders for a while. Now I'm slow, and I'm glad. I'd rather be home with my kids right now, not stressing out for some cake order. Although, I hope things pick up right away ! haha Talk about having your cake and eating it too, right?!

I did get a request for a wedding cake order for this upcoming Saturday, but this guy wanted a tasting and everything, and there was no way I would have time or want to deal. Some people just wait until the last minute, don't they?! Sheesh!

Kitagrl Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 4:00am
post #20 of 26

I'm glad its not just me! I was slammed in Sept/Oct and beginning of Nov. Then I had surgery and its like everything died. haha. I had one order that would have been worth like $800 that I reluctantly had to turn down, because my recovery from surgery is a long one and I wouldn't have been able to guarantee my best work. (Turns out it was a good thing as I had a surgery complication the day before that cake would have been due! Although that kind of money right before Christmas would have been totally awesome...)

I don't really have any money put aside to speak of right now so just hoping more orders come in. With four boys and Christmas and all things are a little tight. I can't wait until my business is a little more established and I can rely on more regular orders, like Indy, instead of slammed for two weeks and then off for a week, etc.

I had like two VERY profitable months this year, and the rest were negligible (okay but not as much as I'd like). I'm really hoping to nudge this year up into more very profitable months. Which means my phone really needs to start ringing SOON. And with people willing to pay my prices too. haha. I think the economy is scaring off some of my people....

But HEY I just got a bridal magazine and what's with these wedding cakes selling in NYC for $10-$11/serving for something fondant and a ribbon and some simple gumpaste flowers? Gee whiz....

mommakristin Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 4:21am
post #21 of 26

I too am slow this month but I dont mind with all the personal holiday parties we go to. I think I have done two cakes this month. One for a birthday and one for a personal party we had.

I know that before long it will pick up. I have already had some girls call me for birthday cakes for January and February.

I am busy the next five months with my 13yr old DD who is a competitive cheerleader and just got a bid to the World championships in May as well as a Nationals competition in February on her bday no less! she says I have to make a cake to take on the trip with us!! OH BOY! OH yea, not to mention all the small competitions they do between now and May. AND a 16 yr old son who runs track and always goes to reginals and he also plays baseball and plays golf. On top of a full time job!!!

So I relish these times when the cake orders are not coming fast and furious! Of course I only do cakes for the love of it mostly anyways. I would love it to be my fulltime job but it hasn't made it that far yet. Maybe once my kiddos are grown and gone but now would not be the time for it!! My fulltime job is very flexible with the kids so it works!

OOPS! I think I got off subject there! SORRY!!

tcakes65 Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 3:54pm
post #22 of 26

Things have been slow for me as well. I've been slammed the past few months, and the past couple of weeks inquiries and orders have decreased significantly. Where I was getting multiple inquires a day and six to ten wedding cake bookings a week for '09, I only booked three last week. I don't have many weddings this month, but a few more in January. Once I get past January, things will turn around since I already am booked from February through July. However, it doesn't make it any easier to pay the bills for December and January. I too am enjoying the break. It is nice to be able to spend some quality time with my children without any obligations. icon_smile.gif

melodyscakes Posted 23 Dec 2008 , 6:06pm
post #23 of 26

glad its not just me! I've been very worried about being so slow right now.
although I have enjoyed it, and slept in almost every day, hehe.

hope 09 picks up!

melody

Kitagrl Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 4:15am
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by metrocakes

Things have been slow for me as well. I've been slammed the past few months, and the past couple of weeks inquiries and orders have decreased significantly. Where I was getting multiple inquires a day and six to ten wedding cake bookings a week for '09, I only booked three last week. I don't have many weddings this month, but a few more in January. Once I get past January, things will turn around since I already am booked from February through July. However, it doesn't make it any easier to pay the bills for December and January. I too am enjoying the break. It is nice to be able to spend some quality time with my children without any obligations. icon_smile.gif




Wow...if I could even just have a fraction of that!!!!

Building my business has been very very slow word of mouth. Now I'm licensed, insured, and advertising...so its even scarier to have hardly ANY orders booked for '09. I have ONE order for January...ONE! And that's it! Oh wait...one for the summer.... and that's it. Two orders for '09 so far.

*sigh*

I think I remember feeling like this last year too, and I remember things picking up...but I want this year...I NEED this year....to be busier than last year. Our finances could use some help, and I know we can't afford to take up MY slack if I don't start pulling orders in. Plus I really need a new oven.....

littlecake Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 5:37am
post #25 of 26

i only got a couple of orders for the new year...it's okay, they'll come, this happens every year...

i've been grateful for this slow time, my knees have been so sore i could barely walk now for about 8 months....

it only took a couple of slow weeks, now i'm good to go again.....maybe next year i'll take december off....i'm getting kinda burnt out.

Kitagrl Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 5:39am
post #26 of 26

Yeah I have been glad for the quiet....

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