Just Say No!

Decorating By Williamus Updated 18 Sep 2009 , 1:14pm by TexasSugar

Williamus Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:26pm
post #1 of 16

Ok...I am in a different situation than many of the people who post on this site, in that my baking is not my primary source of income but a small hobby/mini business. I only bake for family/friends and friends of friends...and do just a few cakes a month. (3 or 4).

I was asked yesterday to do a cake for 30 for the next day. (One of the managers at the hospital I work at was transferred at the last minute to another location and today was to be her last day). "Could you do a going away cake for her for tomorrow morning?"

I had dinner plans for last night and wasn't expecting to get home until perhaps 11 PM...and under normal circumstances, I would have gotten home, preheated my oven, and worked till perhaps 3 or 3:30 in the morning and shown up at work at 8 AM with a cake, perfectly iced and decorated.

They just expect it. And for the first time I said "Nope". It was very liberating!

15 replies
Ruth0209 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:37pm
post #2 of 16

Good for you! When you start letting your hobby dictate your life, it gets so it's just not fun any more. You're wise to maintain a healthy balance!! You're a great role model for all of us, professionals and hobbyists both.

ccr03 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:37pm
post #3 of 16

I think you're actually in the same position as many! I think most ppl. on there have it as a small hobby/mini-business with dreams/goals of making it their primary source of income.

Anyway, on to your post...congrats! We should all know/learn when to say no!

tiggy2 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:46pm
post #4 of 16

I did the same thing last night. My DD called about B'day cakes for the 2 GD which I have no problem doing then asked if I could do a "small" cake for her room mates BF. I said sure, what is her budget? After a long pause she said well she doesn't have much money (the girl makes more then I do at my job)I said well maybe she should go to WalMart. I explained to her the cost of supplies alone was probably more then she wanted to spend not to mention a few hours of my time.

cathyscakes Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:56pm
post #5 of 16

I know how you feel, I'm the one everyone calls for a free cake, and yes they think you can produce it out of thin air. I need to grow a backbone too, but not quite there yet. I'm getting there. I did a cake a couple of months ago, that they were going to transport 4 hours away, on very curvy road. Anyway they talked me into do the cake, because of course no budget for a wedding cake. Well, as I expected, cake did not arrive in one piece, all that work for nothing. I knew this girls dad would not drive carefully, people don't understand how careful they need to be. But after this, its taught me to go with my gut, and not get talked into things, like you said just say no. I'm learning.

Gingoodies Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 12:29am
post #6 of 16

I would bet, for most of us, NO is just about the first word we learn to say. Why do we have sooooo much trouble saying it as adults?? icon_surprised.gificon_cry.gificon_cool.gif When someone makes that oh so demanding last minute request, dig down deep into that inner child. Make that oh so cute pouty face and yell NO!!!! It makes me feel so much better! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 12:53am
post #7 of 16

When I worked in an office, this was a frequent conversation.....

Co-workers: When are you going to bring in a cake?
Me: Just as soon as I see your check made payable to me!

I also began telling them, "My oven time is at a premium. Money talks and that other stuff walks, so when you hand over the cash, I'll let you know when I can squeeze you in."

Blunt? Yes. Did it work? You betcha!

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 2:02am
post #8 of 16

Good for you! Now they'll know that you're not a source for free cakes. Last minute? Try the grocery store pre-made shelf. It's always there (wonder how long the cakes have been there, too).

TexasSugar Posted 12 Sep 2009 , 3:29am
post #9 of 16

I see alot of my students coming in and talking about how everyone wants cakes at work after they bring in one cake. I often think it is because they think they can get it free or cheap since the person is still learning.

I just started working for my dad's company and have been nice to them and have brought in a sweet once a week except for one week. I would take them stuff here and there before I started working there. I don't mind right now, because they aren't demanding it, and if I don't feel like doing it one week, I don't. And I don't make anything eleborate. The get cookies or cupcakes with just a swirl of icing or a pan of brownies.

I've put a tip jar on my desk, mostly has a joke, but it has gotten a little bit in it. When they say something to me about the sweets I always laugh and tell them my tip jar is empty.

Of course I'm the only female employee, so I have learned if you give men sweets they will more likely do things for you with less hassle. icon_smile.gif

I do think though that at your job you do have to 'teach them how to treat' you when it comes to sweets. Congrats on not giving up your time and plan to do something last minute for them (even if there was a reason for it) because it shows them that you aren't going to do cakes for them with no notice at all.

Mensch Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 7:00pm
post #10 of 16

Mazel tov!!

idgalpal Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 7:26pm
post #11 of 16

Yep, I'm in that same boat also; caking is just a hobby.My cakes are catching on in my office and I just gave someone a quote for a sheet cake that I was sure they'd think was too much. I had my "Walmart-Costo" speech all ready for them -but to my surprise they asked me to do the cake and they changed the delivery date for the cake to accomodate my out of town trip!!

saffronica Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 7:38pm
post #12 of 16

TexasSugar: Start putting some seed money in that tip jar. And not just pennies, either, but bills. If those men think everyone else is tipping, they might all start!

kkitchen Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 7:39pm
post #13 of 16

I have been saying a lot of NO lately.
One Bride came to me wants a detailed 3D grooms cake and a wedding cake with a lot of flowers. To feed about 250 guests, I had to stay to cut and share and I had to deliver it. I quoted her $1000.
Called me wanting to do the grooms cake and not the wedding cake.
I said NO very quickly....

I feel so good now that I say NO cause the people that come to me for cakes are the non drama/ serious ones.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 6:17pm
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by saffronica

TexasSugar: Start putting some seed money in that tip jar. And not just pennies, either, but bills. If those men think everyone else is tipping, they might all start!

LOL!! I usually go ahead and take it out because I'm afraid someone else will come along and empty the cup before me. There are people in the office a few hours before I get here.

I do it cause I enjoy it and they aren't demanding and picky. If they start being, they won't get anything. I laughed yesterday cause they were picking at me, the way family does, and I told them to be nice or I'd take my cupcakes back. I got told "I love you" after that. icon_wink.gif

Writecakes Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 6:36pm
post #15 of 16

At first, I was afraid to say no because I thought I'd never build a client base unless I took every request and got my name out there as often as possible. I was afraid if I said no, they'd go to someone else. Now I say no and REFER them to someone else when I don't have the time, they can't afford a custom cake, and I end up feeling good about it. The only person I really feel guilty about saying no to his my hubby, but that depends on how good he was that day. icon_wink.gif

TexasSugar Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 1:14pm
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Writecakes

At first, I was afraid to say no because I thought I'd never build a client base unless I took every request and got my name out there as often as possible. I was afraid if I said no, they'd go to someone else.

If you always said yes to the last minute cakes, yes you would be building a client base, but it wouldn't be the kind you'd want. You'd train them to call you last minute because they know you would do it no matter what. We have to train them that we do need time to plan and work on the cake. icon_smile.gif

This goes along with doing them really cheap to get people interested in your cakes. They are often interested in the cheap price then you have to deal with all the questions when you do up your prices and often you will lose some of those loyal customers cause they will want quality cakes for a Walmart price.

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