So I'm Starting A Cake Biz And Would Like Your Input

Business By Crustymuffin Updated 21 Sep 2009 , 7:58pm by momtofourmonkeys

Crustymuffin Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 5:11pm
post #1 of 41

My wife and Are very eager to get this business off the ground. We have:
Incorporated
Set up and web site with a great domain name!
Found a local Commercial Kitchen to rent by the hour for Now
have insurance ready to purchase
We are currently getting all food permits

I am concerned about Pricing and finding higher end clients who do not mind paying for my work.

So my questions are, are there any suggestions on how I should price my work?

What marketing strategies should I use to get higher end clients?

Does my Site look professional and complete?

Thank you in advance!
-Crusty

40 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 5:22pm
post #2 of 41

I can't help with most of your questions because I don't sell cakes icon_biggrin.gif

But your website was hard to read because the font was so small...I had to put my nose up to the screen to read it. Also, if you could slow down your slide show a bit so that people could see the lovely detail in your cakes, that would be great. Other than that, it looks wonderful.

Crustymuffin Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 6:12pm
post #3 of 41

Did you navigate through all the pages or stay on the home page?
I am wondering if it is hard to see the Navigation bar?

Kiddiekakes Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 6:13pm
post #4 of 41

I agree with Texas..The cakes are awesome and will attract high end customers..The font is too small and hard to read and yes..the slide show is too fast.Everything else is great!! Good luck!!

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 6:58pm
post #5 of 41

Agree, the font is too small.

I personally am ok with the speed of the pics, because I get impatient with pics that run too slow. (Hurry UP!!! I have things to DO!!!!) I see your home-page pics as the teaser to get me to explore further on your gallery page. But I do understand how the faster speed could be irritating to some folks.

I would suggest removing Batman and Sponge Bob as these are copyrighted characters, unless you do have the licensing to re-create these images.

Contrary to what we believe, people are not as interested in us as we think they are. Your "about the artist" section is too long. we really don't need a history that goes back to the womb! icon_lol.gif Your work speaks volumes for the talent you have. "A picture is worth a thousand words".

$20 for a 60 mile round trip delivery sounds low to me and I'd also suggest final payment due prior to delivery.

KoryAK Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 6:58pm
post #6 of 41

And, great as they are, I'd take the character cakes OFF the site ASAP (batman and sponge bob)

Crustymuffin Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:15pm
post #7 of 41

Does the copyright change at all if I didn't sell the Sponge Bob and Batman Cake. It is only to show the ability I have.

saffronica Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:16pm
post #8 of 41

I agree with the comments about the font size -- it definitely needs to be bigger. But if for some reason you don't want to increase the font size, you might want to consider a font with serifs (the little tails on letters, like in Times New Roman), since they are easier to read in small sizes -- that's why newspapers use them.

The other thing I noticed is that the bulk of the space on your home page is devoted to text instead of graphics, and it's about you and your wife instead of your cakes. Customers want quick information (photos), and they tend to care more what you can do for them (i.e., your cakes) than about who you are. You might want to consider having the "About Us" information on a separate page and make your slideshow larger (and slower!).

Good luck!

saffronica Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:21pm
post #9 of 41

Ah, they beat me to it while I was typing! (No, it doesn't really take me that long to type two paragraphs, I had to take a break to take care of my kids!)

Anyway, I just noticed something else. The title of your site -- I mean up at the very top of Internet Explorer, or in the tab at the bottom when I minimize it -- shows up as "Untitled Document". It's just a little thing, but it could be confusing to some people and will reduce the likelihood that your site will come up if someone tries to google it.

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 41

Yes, because of copyright...here's more info: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=618237&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

There are lots of threads that discuss the issue, if you want to search for them. The one I posted the link to seems to be the most thorough.

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:25pm
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crustymuffin

Does the copyright change at all if I didn't sell the Sponge Bob and Batman Cake. It is only to show the ability I have.



Yes, it does make a difference. You can make the characters for family/friends for FREE ... you just cannot profit from the creation of a copyrighted character.

I might suggest that you put some kind of disclaimer on there for these.

veronica720 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:28pm
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crustymuffin

Does the copyright change at all if I didn't sell the Sponge Bob and Batman Cake. It is only to show the ability I have.




If they are on your site, customers will want them and possibly not believe you didn't sell them and go elsewhere. It would just be a precautionary thing. If you have other pics, just replace them.

Crustymuffin Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:30pm
post #13 of 41

Thank all of you for the feedback It will really help!

ccr03 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:55pm
post #14 of 41

I'm going to attempt to address these:

So my questions are, are there any suggestions on how I should price my work? - Research your market. I know Dallas is further away, but Bronwen Weber has her studio there. Check out her pricing. Given the type of work you are doing, I would consider increasing your $100 minimum. Maybe to $250?

What marketing strategies should I use to get higher end clients? - Go to top-end children stores, reach out to the local media - new business opening in a recession is a story getting played up- , get on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook - all free means of advertising and really big right now. Try to find out where your competition advertises.

tiggy2 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:30pm
post #15 of 41

There is also a typo in the third line of the paragraph about your wife.

Spuddysmom Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 5:35pm
post #16 of 41

Very fun Web site! Tougher words: do more editing - don't be too in love with your words. Use fewer words. The first two paragraphs are fun -
"If you can dream it, we can make it! " (That is a great line - could you incorporate it again? It is strong enough to use as a last line).
A "wordy" example:
"Absolutely no idea is too crazy."
" If you have something insane you want to do, BRING IT ON!"
Two good lines saying the same thing.

"We've piped fog through cakes, shot edible confetti or whipped cream out of them, and we have even BLOWN them up! "
and
" If you have something really pretty or elegant in mind, don't fear! We believe in crazy beautiful too." Both of these pieces are pretty good - mostly just need a little tweaking. You can lose a lot of words by using strong verbs.
I agree that most clients are just "not that into you" when it comes to your bio - so tighten that up. Um, can I ask... just exactly how did you "hone" your skills while in the womb?...nevermind, don't really want to know...

Overall - a fun site, looks professional to me, but I'd ditch the Spongebob and Batman - you're going to get requests for those. Slideshow is too fast for me. The was a thread recently on direct marketing to reach those high end clients - search for that.
Best wishes on lots of success!

ziggytarheel Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 5:57pm
post #17 of 41

I think I have a pretty good attention span, but I tend to lose interest in a website I don't know anything about if there are too many words on the home page. I think a home page should be a good teaser that makes me want to explore the rest of the website.

Not only is the slide show too fast, but I think it could use an effect when the pages change? I felt like picture bullets were being shot at me. Batman seemed appropriate! icon_smile.gif

I think you don't need me to add my 2 cents on the trademarked cakes, but I will add one other perspective, just for emphasis. If this were your personal page, not intended for business use, then you could post the pictures. But, if the idea is to make money at all from your website, then you are attempting to use a trademarked piece to promote your business. I would think that would take you into an area you don't want to go. In addition to all the other things mentioned. icon_smile.gif

Once I hit 40, I needed larger fonts and lots of contrast (and light) to read things. The older I get, the more I don't even want to bother if something is difficult for me to read.

eilidh Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 6:57pm
post #18 of 41

OP did you see one of your cakes is on Cake Wrecks (as one of their great Sunday cakes!)

Obviously impressed them!!! thumbs_up.gif

Crustymuffin Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 6:46am
post #19 of 41

It's very cool to be on Cake wrecks in a positive way! Thank you to whomever submitted my cake!

Thank all of you for the feedback on my site. I am not a writer by any means. The funny thing is that the copy was too serious and straight forward before. I had a Screen play writer help it liven it up. I guess I just need to strike the right balance. I have some changes planed based on the feedback and I hope to get it all updated in the next few weeks.

GottaLuvCake Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 10:14am
post #20 of 41

Well I feel like an idiot cuz i don't see where the website is posted to even look at it??? I'm curious

CakeWhizz Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 11:39am
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaLuvCake

Well I feel like an idiot cuz i don't see where the website is posted to even look at it??? I'm curious




click on the www box at the bottom of OP's post (hope that makes sense)

-K8memphis Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 12:40pm
post #22 of 41

The slideshow is fast but it's not overloaded with fourteen tons of pictures so the speed is not a problem for me I kinda liked it like Indy did.

I think your wifelette should have already arrived at the perfectly moist wonderful cake rather than being on the quest.

I agree less is more on the wordiness.

I think you're both cool/awesome and you think you're cool/awesome but you win customers with cool/awesome cakes which you totally have.

Consider removing the word fail from your bio is my suggestion. And the word limited from the placing orders section. Also the phrase, 'do not hesitate.' There are 'no issues' delivering your cakes! See where I'm going? You don't wanna go there.

If you are 'testing often' and you have only one dozen flavors you are documenting your briefness.

Be confident be assured. They will come.

Your stuff looks fabulous. Since you are getting this all together & gettin' 'er down the road I recommend loosing the copyrighted items entirely unless you have permission from the owner. It's a twitchy world we live in huh.

Making a great cake sculpture is creating an illusion huh. Transfer that thought process to your website. What would you wanna see and know as your customer. Sculpt your website.

I honestly critiqued some of your website and I hope I'm not stepping on your toes. Just pointing to a few things to improve your set up.

Just some sincere thoughts of mine to you guys. I wish you the utmost best of all things baking and sculpting. Onward and upward!

CakeWhizz Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 12:56pm
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

The slideshow is fast but it's not overloaded with fourteen tons of pictures so the speed is not a problem for me I kinda liked it like Indy did.

I think your wifelette should have already arrived at the perfectly moist wonderful cake rather than being on the quest.

I agree less is more on the wordiness.

I think you're both cool/awesome and you think you're cool/awesome but you win customers with cool/awesome cakes which you totally have.

Consider removing the word fail from your bio is my suggestion. And the word limited from the placing orders section. Also the phrase, 'do not hesitate.' There are 'no issues' delivering your cakes! See where I'm going? You don't wanna go there.

If you are 'testing often' and you have only one dozen flavors you are documenting your briefness.

Be confident be assured. They will come.

Your stuff looks fabulous. Since you are getting this all together & gettin' 'er down the road I recommend loosing the copyrighted items entirely unless you have permission from the owner. It's a twitchy world we live in huh.

Making a great cake sculpture is creating an illusion huh. Transfer that thought process to your website. What would you wanna see and know as your customer. Sculpt your website.

I honestly critiqued some of your website and I hope I'm not stepping on your toes. Just pointing to a few things to improve your set up.

Just some sincere thoughts of mine to you guys. I wish you the utmost best of all things baking and sculpting. Onward and upward!




Loved your honesty and forthrightness. You can critique MY website anytime icon_smile.gif

loriana Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 6:19pm
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeWhizz

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

The slideshow is fast but it's not overloaded with fourteen tons of pictures so the speed is not a problem for me I kinda liked it like Indy did.

I think your wifelette should have already arrived at the perfectly moist wonderful cake rather than being on the quest.

I agree less is more on the wordiness.

I think you're both cool/awesome and you think you're cool/awesome but you win customers with cool/awesome cakes which you totally have.

Consider removing the word fail from your bio is my suggestion. And the word limited from the placing orders section. Also the phrase, 'do not hesitate.' There are 'no issues' delivering your cakes! See where I'm going? You don't wanna go there.

If you are 'testing often' and you have only one dozen flavors you are documenting your briefness.

Be confident be assured. They will come.

Your stuff looks fabulous. Since you are getting this all together & gettin' 'er down the road I recommend loosing the copyrighted items entirely unless you have permission from the owner. It's a twitchy world we live in huh.

Making a great cake sculpture is creating an illusion huh. Transfer that thought process to your website. What would you wanna see and know as your customer. Sculpt your website.

I honestly critiqued some of your website and I hope I'm not stepping on your toes. Just pointing to a few things to improve your set up.

Just some sincere thoughts of mine to you guys. I wish you the utmost best of all things baking and sculpting. Onward and upward!



Loved your honesty and forthrightness. You can critique MY website anytime icon_smile.gif




I know... she is goooood... K8, are you coming to the cake club meeting tonight at my house? I've been dying to meet you!

kelleym Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 6:20pm
post #25 of 41

Hello to a fellow Austinite! *waves* I have a few comments on your site, they are meant to be helpful and constructive. icon_smile.gif

1. As everyone else said, nix the copyrighted characters. That will not lead to anything good.

2. Only one view of each cake is necessary. Create a "photo collage" if you really feel that one view doesn't capture the essence of the cake, but having 4 photos of the Batman cake is superfluous.

3. The "about" of your wife, having her on a "never-ending quest for the perfect flavor, moistness...." etc, makes it sound like she's still trying to find the right recipe.

4. Along the lines of what others have said - in general, I think there is WAY too much "about" the "artists", way too much focus on "wacky" and "crazy". The site should be about cake, not about you. We recently had a very bad situation in Austin with some fake cake "artists" (who hurt a LOT of brides) whose web site was all about them and not so much about cake, and perhaps that's influencing my opinion here. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Don't have a thousand words on a cake site. A few words about who you are, your training, and your love of cake art would be more than enough. thumbs_up.gif

smoore Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 6:40pm
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crustymuffin

Does the copyright change at all if I didn't sell the Sponge Bob and Batman Cake. It is only to show the ability I have.


Yes, it does make a difference. You can make the characters for family/friends for FREE ... you just cannot profit from the creation of a copyrighted character.

I might suggest that you put some kind of disclaimer on there for these.




I agree -- if you can't bear to not put them on the site, put a disclaimer on them that you cannot/will not sell character cakes and that these cakes were made for your personal use. Seeing them on your site may lead someone to believe you'd do that cake for them, too.

shalini1 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 6:36pm
post #27 of 41

I'm a newb...but I must be missing something. I'd love to check out the site, but where is the link?

Spuddysmom Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 7:15pm
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup-bakery

I'm a newb...but I must be missing something. I'd love to check out the site, but where is the link?




Go to original post and click on www

midlight21 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 4:00am
post #29 of 41

I would also remove the "Finding Nemo" themed cake for the same copyright issues as the Spongebob and Batman cakes. Also, I'm not a gamer per se...but my husband is and I would check to make sure that the fighter girl coming out of the laptop is not from a copyrighted work.

cakegirl121 Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 6:00am
post #30 of 41

does TX require serv safe certification?

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