I'm Scared-- Mostly Venting

Business By Lenette Updated 15 Sep 2009 , 7:17pm by marmalade1687

Lenette Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:26pm
post #1 of 23

The rest of the year is looking rather scary. Very little on the books. I was looking forward to the holidays but my attempts at holiday promotion has been less than successful. I usually send out an email blast but it hasn't got me much and I don't have money to do much else.

I am running out of money and trying to not freak out. I just don't know what to do.

Can anyone relate to feeling this way? If anyone has advice I am all ears. I just thought maybe ya'll could relate to looking at the calendar and realizing you don't have much going on.

Trying to keep the faith but scared.

22 replies
-K8memphis Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:28pm
post #2 of 23

Omg--so you have overhead, rent I mean to keep up with you mean?

Kitagrl Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:32pm
post #3 of 23

It still might perk up....I notice my email box is getting slow...I think its because school is starting. Cheer up, you may get alot of orders again soon.

bakery_chick Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:37pm
post #4 of 23

Things are not nearly as booked as they were last year by now. It is definitely making me nervous.

mrswendel Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:42pm
post #5 of 23

After the middle of October, I really have nothing on the go. I'm hoping upcoming bridal shows will bring in some late bookers for the end of the year (or at least some kind of orders for the holidays). I'm in the nervous boat with you!!

traceyjade Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:42pm
post #6 of 23

It is the hardest thing to run your own business because you never know when the next person will come through the door. I would try to do as much "free" marketing as possible. Post ads for your business on kijiji, make flyers you can hand out at local schools and different areas in your community! Keep your chin up and try to stay possitive. You can even do a few small samples that you can put your business card on. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing. Also check your competition and see what seems to work for them. For the Holidays try to think out of the box and create something unique. I hope things start to look up for you...Good luck!

Win Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:53pm
post #7 of 23

I just always marvel at the posts that proclaim they just got their business loan approved, etc. God love them and you as well, Lenette, who are trying to make a go of this as a business. It's tough times right now and I can see that high-end cakes are a luxury item some will cut from their "must have" lists. Of course, there's always those who don't care and will spend the money anyway... if only they walked around with a big 'ole sign on their heads letting the small business owners know that!

all4cake Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 8:56pm
post #8 of 23

Like mrswendel, after October I'm running pretty flat on orders. I found myself panicking during the first year when this would happen. I'm deep into my 3rd year, and if the pattern holds true, I'll be alright. Aside from a few brides/hosts/hostesses who take care of the cake several months in advance, the bulk of my orders come from those with less than 30 days notice. During lull periods, I just try to organize for a 'rush'(sometimes it doesn't come) and keep building up my decorations 'just in case'.

I'm just so non productive when I worry...

cownsj Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 9:22pm
post #9 of 23

I'm not like those of you here who have overhead and have to rely on your cakes for your living. I only made my first cake a year and a half ago, and I mean that literally.... never baked or frosted a cake in my life. But through word of mouth I've always remained busy and have always had at least a cake or two to plan for. The end of May I realized I didn't have a single cake even to give thought to. It was disconcerting (which is nothing compared to what you are going through). My wife even commented that it was the first time I didn't have anyone's cake to be planning or working on. Then I got a last minute call for a cake, then another, and another and within a the next 2 weeks I had 3 cakes to have done and a few others that people wanted. It was very weird, but the calendar began to fill up for the next 4 months.

So for now, I'm hoping you get lots and lots of last minute orders to cover your immediate future, and lots more who begin ordering for the next few months.

Lenette Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 11:29pm
post #10 of 23

Thank you for your replies. I don't feel like such a loser since others experience similar things.

I am hoping things will pick up, I am working on a few ideas. Still trying to think of how to effectively market for the holidays with no $$$.

To answer the question, I do not have a retail shop but I do have other bills like the payment for my equipment and remodel, phone bill and insurance that are all separate for the biz.

Let's keep looking up! icon_smile.gif

heavenlys Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 12:06am
post #11 of 23

Why not host a customer appreciation event where you showcase yummy holiday ideas and offer a discount to people who advance order some tasty treats. we do it every year and it is always a success.
Hope this helps.

Jessica1817 Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:17am
post #12 of 23

I was totally feeling that way about a week ago. In the last couple of days I picked up 2 weddings, scheduled 2 consults, and booked several specialty cakes. I guess in this business you never know what's around the corner thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:45am
post #13 of 23

feast or famine

jammjenks Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:54am
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenette

Still trying to think of how to effectively market for the holidays with no $$$.




Do you ever use facebook? Some people don't really like it, but I LOVE it for advertising. I have a fan page with my best cake pictures on it and I get more business that way than any other single means of advertising...and it's FREE! Hey, even if you don't get many orders it sure wouldn't hurt the ol' pocketbook to give it a try. Just a thought.

Lenette Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:05am
post #15 of 23

Yeah, feast or famine for sure. I think I am more caught off guard because I was so busy this summer, then I look ahead and it's like WHOA!!!

JammJenks, I do have a facebook page for my biz (just did it a few weeks ago) but no one is looking at it. I have 4 fans, one is my husband and 2 of the others are really good friends. LOL! I know it takes time to build momentum there.

I think will start working on my holiday cookies, come out with some new and interesting designs. I have offered the discount if you order by a certain date but still very few bites last year.

I'm sure things will turn around. I've come too far to just give up!

HarleyDee Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 4:20am
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenette

Thank you for your replies. I don't feel like such a loser since others experience similar things. I am hoping things will pick up, I am working on a few ideas. Still trying to think of how to effectively market for the holidays with no $$$.
To answer the question, I do not have a retail shop but I do have other bills like the payment for my equipment and remodel, phone bill and insurance that are all separate for the biz.
Let's keep looking up! icon_smile.gif




What about making up some flyers (copies are cheap) and hitting up the doctors' offices? Advertise cakes for holiday parties. Doctors' offices love an excuse to cater in! icon_smile.gif

1nanette Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 5:00am
post #17 of 23

Ive been doing cookie and cupcake decorating with kids at birthdays parties. People hire you to come to the party and do a project with the kids. You supply all the supplies and charge a per kid fee. You spend about 45 mins. depending on the number of kids, maybe an hour. The kids love it!!! It takes care of the favor to take home. I have done as many as 3 parties on a Saturday and ended up making more than if I had done the birthday cakes for each party.

littlecake Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 5:31am
post #18 of 23

it happens every year...this is the slow season...it'll pick back up....it really slows when school first starts.

december is my slowest month every year......september is right behind that.....

i know what ya mean, the first year i was open and sept came...i thought..."what the heck???"

it'll be okay...i do this for a living...and haven't starved out yet.

Gefion Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 6:55am
post #19 of 23

Have you considering offering something that can be made for a small price in large quantities and sold by the bag? Call it "Exclusive sweets for the holidays" or something. It can be cookies (undecorated), bars, candies, truffles and ect.
If it looks (and tastes) like luxury but is affordable, people might be more inclined to decide they can afford it.

Of course I don't know your area, so I have no way of knowing if it'll work, but they are always popular here. Might get you through the slow season without too many red figures.

jlynnw Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 9:06am
post #20 of 23

I would go to every office in town, not just the doctors, and pass out a brochure for the holidays. In the brochure include everything you can make for the holiday season, from Halloween, fall festivals, Thanksgiving, Haunika(seriously sp), Christmas, New Years, etc. You can include a small discount for group/quantity orders. Give them a reason why they should buy from you. IE- free delivery of high quality fresh ingredients baked goods to you office will save a stop during this hectic time of year. I did MK for years and marketed to men in offices. Packaged and wrapped gifts in various $$ amounts, free delivery, no trip to the mall. They loved it. So, I would think the office manager who already has enough to do, would love a preplanned party setup. The cake and cider, hot cocoa will be here Friday at 1, or whatever. She looks good, minimal effort on her part and sales for you. HTH

GottaLuvCake Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 9:23am
post #21 of 23

Don't give up, hang in their. I think more and more the "average" person is going through tough times right now and can't commit to something more than 30 days ahead of time. I would be prepared for last minute orders. Others have given some good advice too. Hope things take a turn for you soon!

jammjenks Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 12:42pm
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenette



JammJenks, I do have a facebook page for my biz (just did it a few weeks ago) but no one is looking at it. I have 4 fans, one is my husband and 2 of the others are really good friends. LOL! I know it takes time to build momentum there.




Well, you could post the link to your fan page as your personal status update.

You could also suggest the page to all your friends. You do that by clicking on "suggest to friends" under your fan page's profile picture. Then your friends will become fans...then their friends will see and maybe become fans...then friends of friends of friends...and on and on.

marmalade1687 Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 7:17pm
post #23 of 23

You could also list a link to your website on any free local advertising sites that are available - just do a search for say, kids cakes, wedding cakes, or whatever you want to market, and see the sites that come up. Contact them to see if they will do a reciprocal link. It won't cost you anything except some time on the computer.

Another (cheap) way to market your business for the holidays is to rent a table at local Christmas/holiday craft fairs. Here they are about $10/table...I just handed out brochures, but I got my name out that way too.

Hope it works for you Lenette - it's pretty slow up here too. 2010 weddings are slower to book this year, and what is being booked are smaller cakes. Hopefully it will pick up soon!! birthday.gif

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