Question For Home Bakers--How Did You Get The Word Out??

Business By cupcakeco Updated 31 Jan 2009 , 3:25pm by godsgood

cupcakeco Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 4:45am
post #1 of 15

Hi all, just a question for all home-based bakers here on CC: how did you get the ball rolling and get the word out that you do cakes?

I have been toying with the idea of selling cakes on the side, since I have just learned that it is legal to do so out of my home in my state. But my question is, where do I begin?

Your stories, tips, tricks, much appreciated! Again I am still in the very very early stages of consideration but am also very curious.

Thank you! thumbs_up.gif

14 replies
jammjenks Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 1:22pm
post #2 of 15

You should start by calling the county health dept or the state dept of agriculture. They can direct you from there because each state is different.

As far as getting the word first two years were strictly word of mouth. I would take practice cakes to my work and to family functions. Once I had all my ducks in a row, I set up a booth at our town's fall festival and it really gave me good exposure.

loriemoms Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 1:36pm
post #3 of 15

Same here, my first couple of years (and come to think of it, I think 50% of my business is still word of mouth) I would do a birthday party for a neighbhor and give them a stack of cards, they would pass them out and the next party was a friend of the neighbor and they would pass cards around. I also had refridgerator magnets made up and I gave them to everyone who picked up a cake. After you do a couple of weddings, thats when it really starts to just burst! The venues also pass your name around..

BUT please make sure you are fully legal before getting cards passed out!!

pinkpiggie78 Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 2:30pm
post #4 of 15

I have been doing practice cakes for friends to make sure I wanted to do this. Now I am in the process of completing all the paperwork to become a home baker. Once I am legal, I will have business cards and magnets, post on craigslist, bring goodies (and cards of course) to functions that I am invited to. I am also planning on a website and getting my info in the phone book. I plan on doing things in phases... I don't want to suddenly have more work than I know what to do with!!

leah_s Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 3:03pm
post #5 of 15

Once you complete all your paperwork to be legal (and a big congratulations for that!) get a website up. My website drives a large part of my biz.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 9:04pm
post #6 of 15

Definitely get a website, that's key. Then start leaving business cards wherever you can. And don't get cheap business cards, they make you look cheap. Get some printed, NOT from one of those FREE BUSINESS CARDS websites. If you're legal it's a write-off in your business taxes, and it looks better for you if you use the best paper you can afford for everything that gets into a potential customer's hand.

leah_s Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 9:09pm
post #7 of 15

I get the heavy weight paper, glossy finish, my photo uploaded cards from VistaPrint and have been quite pleased.

KHalstead Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 9:19pm
post #8 of 15

just wanted to add that recently I've received a ton from doing google alerts for "wedding cake in XXX" and put my city and state as the alert and I get email alerts when someone looks it up and I've found about 8 websites that will allow you to fill out a profile for free and advertise with them it's been VERY successfull for me!

cupcakeco Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 10:08pm
post #9 of 15

KHalstead: I was thinking along those lines, only more towards Craigslist. I am not familiar with Google alerts, though, I will have to look into it.

Anyone had success with craigslist? Thanks.

something_sweet Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 10:39pm
post #10 of 15

My advertisement has been 100% word of mouth. I did practice cakes and gave to friends, I also took them to a couple businesses. This got me some business and then people who had my cakes at parties and weddings would call me. I put one ad on Craigslist and had only 1 reply. I didn't have any success with it. It takes time, but if you don't want to put the money into advertising, I would pass out "samples". Also, a website with pictures of your cakes is good to hand out to people.

indydebi Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 10:59pm
post #11 of 15

Yes, on the high quality biz card. I now have a hobby looking for Ugly Business Cards. My 16 year old dubbed them "throw away" cards: "....because there's nothing on here to make me want to keep them." You want one that will stand out. No black-n-white's!

I am on 21 bridal websites. Most are free.

Before you pay for phone book, talk to your clients and target market. My target market is the 20-something bride .... the I-Pod / Blackberry generation, high-tech everything, who probably wouldn't know what a phone book looked like unless they saw it in a museum. Someone on here pointed out recently that 77% of brides do their wedding shopping via the internet ... not the yellow pages.

Heck, I'm 50 years old ... not a 20-something .... and when they leave a new phone book on my door, I pick it up and put it in the trash. Can't remember the last time I EVER called a biz from a phone book listing. If a business doesn't have a website, I'm probably not doing business with them.

myslady Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 4:54am
post #12 of 15

ummmmmmmmmm....... I'm in the 20 something crowd......... and sometimes I use the phone book.......when I don't feel like turning on my computer, letting it boot up and putting in all the passwords just to get on the internet and still have to find something.

not that I'm saying everyone in my age group uses it, but some still do. icon_smile.gif

Momof4luvscakes Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 5:15am
post #13 of 15

I get more business from the signage on my car, and my website, and wedding info sites (most of which are free) than I ever did my $600.00 phonebook advertisement. Waste of money in my book, and it takes an act of congress to get it cancelled sometimes.

indydebi Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 11:26am
post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by myslady

ummmmmmmmmm....... I'm in the 20 something crowd......... and sometimes I use the phone book.......when I don't feel like turning on my computer, letting it boot up and putting in all the passwords just to get on the internet and still have to find something.

icon_lol.gif My computer is never turned off, and being wireless, it's always within reach. It would take longer for me to try to remember when we used to keep the phone books! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

godsgood Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 3:25pm
post #15 of 15

I would say about 95% of my business comes from my website. The only reason I even have a phone book listing is because I think it makes a company seem more legit. And it's only like $10 per month. And all the online advertising I've done has been free. I have had some success asking bridal wear shops if I can leave a card holder full of cards on their counter. Usually they will let you, and no other company ever has anything advertised there. Good luck!

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