Unfortunately, God has not blessed me with the gift of gab. I know some of you like to drop off samples to spread the word about your business. I was thinking about doing this, but what exactly do you say? I am confident with my product and the presentation of it, but tongue tied for what to say.
I really struggle with how to talk about my business. I have a legal home bakery and "officially" started this last spring and have just been relying on word of mouth. Getting orders from people who tasted or saw one of my cakes at a party. I'm ready to take it to the next level.
How do you bring it up with casual acquaintances? There never seems to be an appropriate time to say, "oh by the way, did you know I do cakes?" I've given a lot of thought to this and just feel clueless.
I've talked to my husband (who's a successful business man) and even he doesn't know the answers to these questions. I'm really hoping I can find some help here. Thanks CC'ers!
Well...make up some baskets of goodies and start dropping them off at Dr's offices..Dentists..Real estate offices....anywhere where there is good exposure to people.Go in and introduce yourself..meaning your company name and just say you are new and trying to drum up business..(Advertise) and leave the goodies and lots of business cards.Everyone likes freebies in the office!Tell them to contact you for more information.You don't have to stand there and try and sell your baked goods like an infomercial!! People will call if they have questions or want to order!! It gets easier to talk about you business when the time arises.Also have a Grand Opening type deal...Rent a table at a mall or fresh food Market,Fair etc...set out your goods to sell and lots of cards etc...
Call up your local radio station and tell them that you want them to raffle off a gift certificate for a wedding cake. It could be something like $200 off the purchase of your wedding cake. If they mention that every morning, for a couple of weeks...that will really help get your name out there. They are always looking for free things to give away to people.
Just a thought. =o)
And don't forget samples at hair and nail salons, maybe with a few pictures in a tri-fold format of the sorts of cakes you do. Same goes for the break room at your husband's office; teacher's lounges; where yu bank regularly, etc....... I think some sort of picture hand-out of actual cakes is as invaluable as the samples themselves!
How do you bring it up with casual acquaintances?
Very easy. Most conversations start with "So how have you been?" You reply with, "I've been great! I finally got my bakery business going and right now I'm trying to get some more clients. Do you think it would be a good idea to drop off some cupcakes or something at *insert random local business*, do you think they get enough traffic that would help get my name out there?"
So you started with the fact that you're doing great and you're really excited about your business. That shows you're confident about what you produce. Then by asking them a question, you're engaging them in more conversation. That way you are not an informercial that they can tune out. People love to discuss their own opinion (no matter what they may say) so by you asking them for some opinions (even if you really don't need their help) you're telling them that their thoughts are important and that flatters a lot of people. Chances are they are going to tell their friends about the new bakery in town and they will think of you as well when they need a cake.
I do samples a lot: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-629574-fox.html Not just small offices, like doctors and dentists, but large corporate offices also do monthly birthdays, special promos, company anniversaries, etc.
I walk in with my box of a dozen cookies, a flyer and a biz card .... go up to the receptionist and say, "Hi, I have some free cookies for you! (hand them the box). I'm Debi with Cater It Simple and I'm just introducing myself to my neighbors. We do catering, cookies, special cakes and lots more. So when you're planning your Christmas party, customer or employee appreciation events, office birthdays, just give me a call and let me know how I can help! Bye!"
Takes 30 seconds. In and out. Non-Pesty.
A friend of mine who owns a florist shop told me that people were always asking for names of cake decorators for weddings, etc.... and she asked if it would be okay to give them my name or if I would leave some cards for her to give out.
Ask your local florists if you can set up a display with pictures of your cakes. You could also set up some sample dummy cakes with your business cards. Whatever the occasion - showers, weddings, birthdays, holidays - if they buy flowers they'll buy cakes too!!
Well, I have a full time job. I sell advertising. You can go into places and leave samples or you could place some ads. We have people who come in here and do that but ususally we just eat the goodies and never call. If you like email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you some free pointers.
I send interns out all the time with boxes of 4 cupcakes, a menu and business cards. I have them call ahead of time to find out the name of the office manager or purchasing manager so they have someone to ask for when they walk in. They are told to say " Hi, we are just dropping off some samples for <insert name here>. I've left a menu and some cards. We're right down on Franklin Street.
The cupcakes get enough attention that we don't need to say much else.