Thinking About Changing Consultations

Business By Lenette Updated 29 Mar 2009 , 3:00am by indydebi

Lenette Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:31pm
post #1 of 9

I have two ideas I am tossing around regarding changing the way I do consults. I currently do them by appointment and honestly, it is getting a little tiresome. I generally have to clean up, send my kids and DH off somewhere or make them stay upstairs etc. I only generally offer vanilla and chocolate cake plus whatever fillings I have on hand to make it more efficient for me.
It just seems that some people are just running around town tasting free cake and taking up my time. Now, granted most couples that end up coming in do book- I don't know why I am getting annoyed at the process. icon_confused.gif Maybe because I end up meeting with most couples twice, the second time to finalize details. Maybe I am just being cranky about it this week. LOL!

So, I am thinking of either

Option A: choosing one weekday and one weekend day (afternoon/evening) per month and booking folks on those days only back to back.

OR

Option B: choose a day per month and make sample packages, folks can reserve one ahead and pick it up on that date. Then if they want to book they send the deposit and we can hold a consult at some point about the design. I have read on here that some of you pack up the samples so the couple can eat it and talk about it privately plus it gives them a chance to share with family as well. I can certainly see where that is a good idea.

Either one of these options would allow me to offer more flavors by condensing the baking plus it would make my schedule more efficient. And I could always make extra to take around and market too.

So, does anyone have any feedback about this? Is Option B impersonal? Have you found that either of these works for you?

Thanks for your thoughts on this!


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8 replies
Kitagrl Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:05am
post #2 of 9

I was the same way and got on here and got some suggestions and decided for now to just have one "tasting Saturday" per month, and schedule all couples for that day.

I suppose if someone really can't make it that day I will work something out but for now that way I can just make a few 6" cakes and then slice them up for everyone. I'll still make individual appointments but that way I am only doing the cake one day per month.

We'll see how it goes...I'm still at the point the majority of my orders are party cakes so I'm sure my tastings will evolve as I get more weddings. May even look at doing an "open house" or two this year, just have to figure out when and how.

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:22am
post #3 of 9

There's a good split between those on here who do A and those who do B.

I lean toward A. I dont' like doing samplings thru a drive thru window. I would think you'd get more "let's get some free cake" people with method B than you would with method A. They tell you they're engaged, pick up their freebies and you never hear from them again.

When I have them come in and sit with me for an hour, they are going to commit an hour of their time and have to answer a lot of questions. I think I"m less likely to get the phony brides or the looky-loo's this way.

Plus it's my opportunity to sell me and what I do. Order of selling: Sell you, sell your company, THEN sell your product.

I had a few days recently that I did samplings back to back and I LUVED it!! I scheduled them every 2 hours (with catering, it takes a while longer). It's easier for me to make chicken and green beans for 3 or 4 appts all at one time, than it is to cook them individually. (Unlike cake that I can bake ahead of time and freeze, the foods have to be made that day.) I'm actually trying to do that more and more, now.

If you go that route, it will be relatively easy to guide them to that day by saying things like, "Let's see, my next openings are on Thursday ... can you do 2:00 or 5:00?"

I'm trying to get more organized this year (the filing system of "Throw it all in a drawer and then sort it out by April 15th just isn't working! icon_confused.gif ) and I think this is one way that may help me out .... scheduling samplings on one or two days.

Kitagrl Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:28am
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Quote:

I'm trying to get more organized this year (the filing system of "Throw it all in a drawer and then sort it out by April 15th just isn't working! ) and I think this is one way that may help me out .... scheduling samplings on one or two days.




Hey now...what's wrong with that filing system????

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:31am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Hey now...what's wrong with that filing system????


Well, for one thing, I went thru it today and found an $1100 check dated December!! icon_surprised.gif

now THAT is bad!!

Although it makes my new accountant guy feel good. Everytime I pull one of this bloopers out of the air, I just know he's nodding and thinking, "Yep ... she NEEDS me!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

CakeForte Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:35am
post #6 of 9

Yes, that way will drive you up the wall. There is a thread a couple of weeks back on this..but you will save yourself and be more productive if you can set aside a block of time once a week for appointments, do big open houses once a month. That way you only have to prepare cakes once.

It works for me and I have been able to cute down on the no shows and the "window shoppers".

Deb_ Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:38am
post #7 of 9

I tend to lean towards option A also. With option B, I'd have to commit a day to just tastings and wouldn't be able to work on orders. Maybe if it were a weekday night that would work, but definitely not a Saturday or Sunday.

miss-tiff Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:53am
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Well, for one thing, I went thru it today and found an $1100 check dated December!! icon_surprised.gif




Ooh, I'll bet the writer of the check has been crossing their fingers it was lost for good!

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 3:00am
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss-tiff

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Well, for one thing, I went thru it today and found an $1100 check dated December!! icon_surprised.gif




Ooh, I'll bet the writer of the check has been crossing their fingers it was lost for good!




Nah ... it's corporate customer.

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