Why Do I Do It Haha

Business By Kitagrl Updated 15 Jan 2009 , 4:55am by indydebi

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 2:50pm
post #1 of 16

Awww man. Just got a 3D cake order, a larger one.... for a cruise ship. I charged decently for it, but the bigger number scared me off a bit and I ended up probably charging a dollar or two less per serving than I should have, especially as its a business! Grrr. I hung up the phone and kicked myself!

Oh well. icon_biggrin.gif

15 replies
jenncowin Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 3:09pm
post #2 of 16

I think that we are scared that a customer won't think that we're charging a fair price or that they will go somewhere else when we tell them the price. There have been several times that I've known I was undercutting myself a bit a then when the customer heard the price and was more than okay with it, I told myself "I should have told them more!" I think we all go through it. We live and learn. Eventually I know that I will feel more comfortable and not have a problem charging what I think should be charged for my time....hopefully.

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 3:13pm
post #3 of 16

Lately too, I"ve been feeling like I"ve been OVER charging the "little guys"! Someone will order a 3D cake for 30 ppl and I calculate per serving and it seems alot for one small party.

But then somebody orders a 3D cake for twice or three times that amount and with the same price it seems like so much more...yet I could even yet charge MORE and still not be overcharging.

Crazy! Why can't I just get some nice normal wedding cakes. haha.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 4:35pm
post #4 of 16

Here's a thought for you. Cake sculptures should be expensive. Nobody needs a cake sculpture. I mean maybe children need a bithday cake. That's arguable but nobody needs a cake sculpture.

Please next time, get even closer to the price it needs to be.
The industry you save could be your own. icon_biggrin.gif

Because we all know thee sky will fall if we go over by ten dollars--God forbid.

I mean my Kroger stores have some really cute puppy dog sculptures. Our knowlege is so prolific and we need to consider putting a halt to dumbing down our work with lowball prices for what should be our cadillac creations. Yes?

Do the sculpture for a silent auction charity event or something. If they cannot afford the price you quote then sell them a cake they can afford.

Pretty please?

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 4:46pm
post #5 of 16

I know, I know. LOL.

I charged her $6/serving for it, but I probably should have added $1 or $2 to that. No internal structure involved, so that's one thing...I normally charge $6/serving for a car cake so I figured it was similar. I really really REALLY am trying to get up into the realm of the "high end" cakery, with high-end prices....just going slow as in that process, I'm slowly losing old customers and getting new. (You know, in the beginning had all the moms doing birthday cakes...slowly losing those as my prices go up...which is GREAT but have to take it gradual.)

Once I start getting booked up, I'll know its ok to jack up prices again. icon_biggrin.gif

j-pal Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 10:06pm
post #6 of 16

Something you might consider... not charging a per serving fee on sculpted cakes. Think about it... whether you're doing a cake for 25 or 50, it's the same amount of work... just a little extra cake batter. (In most cases) You might consider charging by the piece as a whole - not the serving amount. For instance... just tell people that you start at $175 (or whatever) for a small sculpted cake that serves from 25 - 40 and you go up from there depending on the structure and the detail. This leaves you room to add to your price depending on what they want.

I've seen the cakes on your sight... they are VERY good. Don't sell yourself short and I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster that nobody "NEEDS" a sculpted cake!

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 10:09pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Something you might consider... not charging a per serving fee on sculpted cakes. Think about it... whether you're doing a cake for 25 or 50, it's the same amount of work... just a little extra cake batter. (In most cases) You might consider charging by the piece as a whole - not the serving amount. For instance... just tell people that you start at $175 (or whatever) for a small sculpted cake that serves from 25 - 40 and you go up from there depending on the structure and the detail. This leaves you room to add to your price depending on what they want.

I've seen the cakes on your sight... they are VERY good. Don't sell yourself short and I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster that nobody "NEEDS" a sculpted cake!




Thanks! I'm definitely going to keep that in mind...I've thought about it but as of yet it seems too difficult to price an entire cake that way....

Also as of yet I'm still serving too many "moms" who will pay me $150 for a sculpted cake to serve 25...but if I start doing minimums of higher amounts for sculpted cakes, I'll lose some good regular customers so...I'll probably go to this when I get busier, but for now I'm trying to make the transition a little more smoothly (to higher cost cakes).

Dunno if that makes sense...?

LKing12 Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 10:35pm
post #8 of 16

I have underpriced myself a couple of times because someone would ask me about a cake when I am out in public. I have learned to tell them to call my office so that I can give them a quote. That way I can pay attention and don't give a price off the top of my head. And, the way the price of supplies have gone up, I can't keep things straight in my head. I live very close to my price list these days!!

littlecake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 12:46am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Something you might consider... not charging a per serving fee on sculpted cakes. Think about it... whether you're doing a cake for 25 or 50, it's the same amount of work... just a little extra cake batter. (In most cases) You might consider charging by the piece as a whole - not the serving amount. For instance... just tell people that you start at $175 (or whatever) for a small sculpted cake that serves from 25 - 40 and you go up from there depending on the structure and the detail. This leaves you room to add to your price depending on what they want.

I've seen the cakes on your sight... they are VERY good. Don't sell yourself short and I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster that nobody "NEEDS" a sculpted cake!




that's the smartest advice....i'm gonna use it myself....it seems like they want the most amount of work on the smallest cake possible for the lowest price they can get, i'm getting worn out after 7 years.....

after all it's not about the servings...it's the artwork they are paying for.

i swear they want the freaking mona lisa on a cupcake for 1.50....ugh.

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 1:34am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Something you might consider... not charging a per serving fee on sculpted cakes. Think about it... whether you're doing a cake for 25 or 50, it's the same amount of work... just a little extra cake batter. (In most cases) You might consider charging by the piece as a whole - not the serving amount. For instance... just tell people that you start at $175 (or whatever) for a small sculpted cake that serves from 25 - 40 and you go up from there depending on the structure and the detail. This leaves you room to add to your price depending on what they want.

I've seen the cakes on your sight... they are VERY good. Don't sell yourself short and I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster that nobody "NEEDS" a sculpted cake!



that's the smartest advice....i'm gonna use it myself....it seems like they want the most amount of work on the smallest cake possible for the lowest price they can get, i'm getting worn out after 7 years.....

after all it's not about the servings...it's the artwork they are paying for.

i swear they want the freaking mona lisa on a cupcake for 1.50....ugh.





Hahaha! Too funny.... I do have minimum servings, usually about 25. I do think if I started charging more, the cakes would be nicer as sometimes I'm making a cake...and I look at the clock...and I remember how much I'm getting paid and if I feel I undercharged, I take short cuts. They don't ever know, but I do! I think once I charge even more, I'll feel more comfortable taking the time to really be detailed in the work.

CakeForte Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:19am
post #11 of 16

I never would have guessed that you WEREN'T a high end bakery. From your website and photos...you definitely look like it to me.

I agree on the "per project" pricing. I switched over to that and while I'm not as busy as I was...I'm making a lot more per cake.

littlecake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:27am
post #12 of 16

i'm always under the gun...i got so many cakes to do on saturdays...sometimes as many as 30......it's so stressful...i'm thinking of cuttinf out the mid price cakes...and doing just really cheap cakes you can do in 10 minutes....and really expensive cakes...the mid priced worky cakes take up your time, don't pay enough, and stress me out.

i can do the dumbed down ones so fast i can make good money doing them.....i'm kinda at a crossroads, something has to change.

i had an epiphany or revelation reading this post...cake lady aint gonna take it any more...thanks for posting this....i'm starting tomorrow.

some lady called wanting a 3 tier cake for her 10 year olds birthday today...i could kinda "tell" she was thinking it was gonna be like 75 bucks.

i told her i'd be happy to make it for her , but my smallest bare bones buttercream tiered cake is 250..(i know don't kill me)

OH HEAVENS! I DIDN"T WANNA SPEND THAT KINDA PRICE!

then she went on to tell me there would only be 40 kids there, and her idea was to have the bottom shaped like a basketball, then the middle a soccorball and the top some other ball...triple tier sculpted cake for real good and cheap....

can ya even make a cake like that?...i told her i didn't know how to stack a cake like that....maybe she can call duff and pay 1500 for it.

sorry i'm being so longwinded....this just struck a nerve.

this is my only income i'm single and pay all my bills with the shop....i just wonder how hard it would be to do only high end cakes....i feel like i'm over a barrel sometimes, i gotta make $$$$

j-pal Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:06am
post #13 of 16

Littlecake - When I had my shop I worried about money all the time. People always told me to raise my prices, but I was always afraid if I did that I'd lose business. That's not something a business owner can afford to do and so we're afraid to take that step. Unfortunately, You can kill yourself making so/so $$ on so/so cakes! Or, you can raise your prices, do less, still make the same $$ - or more - and have a life! (Easy for me to say, since I'm not paying your bills!!)

indydebi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:41am
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Littlecake - When I had my shop I worried about money all the time. People always told me to raise my prices, but I was always afraid if I did that I'd lose business. That's not something a business owner can afford to do and so we're afraid to take that step. Unfortunately, You can kill yourself making so/so $$ on so/so cakes! Or, you can raise your prices, do less, still make the same $$ - or more - and have a life! (Easy for me to say, since I'm not paying your bills!!)



Very good post!

I did a rate increase just a short time ago, and I'm booking bigger caterings. I added a 20% service charge and no one is batting an eye.

I know a photographer who added a $10,000 package to his menu because he lost a booking when the groom said, "If he's ONLY $6,000, then he can't be any good." (This is in an area where you can get a photographer for $2000-$1500 or less any day of the week!)

While we have to do that careful balancing act between making enough to pay the bills and not pricing ourselves out of the market, there is a train of thought that equates "higher cost = higher value".

Modern Baking magazine has run a few articles about how it's a "little" easier to raise prices because all of our customers are out there and see how much groceries are going up, gas is going up, all costs in general are going up. So they understand it.

My best lesson on this was in my corporate world job ... one of our sales reps was wanting a ridiculously low price and he was telling our Marketing VP "If we can't meet this price, the guy is going to take it to our competition." Well, I looked to the Marketing VP to see how he was going to save this order. I was shocked (and learned a VERY valuable lesson) when he said, "Oh, please! PLEASE .... and tell him I said so .... PLEASE take this order to my competitor! Because at this kind of price, I won't have to worry about him being my competitor very long!"

Don't be that competitor who might get the job, but ends up going out of business because you can't pay the light bill. It's probably the hardest part of what we do ... and we ALL hate dealing with this part of it .... which is why I am so glad when we all share these stories, because they inspire ... and motivate!! thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:44am
post #15 of 16

I think my pricing is "okay" for now. Its not ridiculously low...its probably about right for the area. However for extremely custom work, it is probably a tad low. And plus I'm getting greedy and want more money for less work. haha.

So I guess I'm having trouble figuring out how much of a price increase is "fair" and how much is just me being greedy, which will lose me business.

indydebi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:55am
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

So I guess I'm having trouble figuring out how much of a price increase is "fair" and how much is just me being greedy, which will lose me business.




Yeah..... I HATE trying to figure this out, too! I really do! dunce.gif It's the hardest balancing act, isn't it?

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