Giving Away Instructions?

Business By CakeMommyTX Updated 4 Nov 2009 , 7:06pm by FullHouse

Peridot Posted 28 Oct 2009 , 5:27pm
post #121 of 143

I have just read this thread and I just want to say that I am so greatful for the people on CC who have helped me get started with cake decorating. I owe a big debt of gratitude to Jennifer Dontz - without her I would not have been able to accomplish what I have. Very generous lady - but there are things that she will not give away or tell you - you need to buy her DVD's and I understand why. I also attended one of Jen's classes this past September.

Edna is another fantastic lady that shares so much and answers her pm's and is so gracious and so talented. She has helped me several times. Thank you Edna and I hope you are feeling better.

SugarShack is also very helpful and I have all of her DVD's. Indy has answered my questions (but I never asked her about running a business), Loucinda (I remember your email response to me about the gelatin bows), and Bobwonderbuns is always generous and helpful with her info and I could go on and on.

Then there are the numerous CC'ers that have helped me and yes answered my Cake Ball and Ganache questions. I don't know what I would do without all of you. I only do this as a hobby and will never have my own business. But my cakes mean a lot to me and I am proud of what I have accomplished and could not have done it without your help. I truly am addicted to this site!

I certainly do understand where the OP is coming from and I guess you would have to be in her place and actually deal with the person in question to know what to do.

And my parting comment is that when I use the Search feature and I do try and use it and 6,000 posts come up - really...... do I or anyone else have the time to open all of these and sit there and read everything - I don't think so - by that time my cake would be stale and I wanted to do this in a few days not two weeks from now. I don't think that the Search feature has improved any. So I can see why people ask the same questions that have already been answered. There would not be too much left to talk about if there were no repeat questions and newbies (like me) wanting to know what to do or needing HELP!!

Thanks again to all of you generous CC'ers that are willing to share and help those of us who are just starting out and have the same passion for this art as you do.

FullHouse Posted 28 Oct 2009 , 8:30pm
post #122 of 143

I agree with OP that she should not be expected to give step by step instructions to someone because they don't want to pay her prices. I also don't giving out recipes I've tweaked/heavily reasearched or elaborate instructions to local casual acquaintences. I will not take hours from my family for a casual acquaintence for the simple reason that it's not fair to my kids. But I am happy to point them in the right direction and if a FRIEND truly has an interest, I am thrilled to pay it forward with detailed instructions and hands on if/when I can get away from the kids for a bit (I'll even loan pans and tools). It gives our friendship more common ground in the process - I've never received anything but gratitude for that.

My son had a piece of fondant covered cake that a friend of mine had made and begged me to make one for his birthday. My friend showed me how to cover my 1st fondant cake, even spent the afternoon working on it with me and that is what go me into this, I need to pay it forward. I have learned more from CC in the past year than I could ever have learned at the limited classes offered in my area and I am SO VERY GRATEFUL to all of you on here who have shared your expertise so generously. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

tonedna Posted 28 Oct 2009 , 9:49pm
post #123 of 143

Thanks Peridot...Im getting better slowwlyyyyyyyyy..but surely..No flu here..lol
Edna icon_smile.gif

PartyCake Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 12:59am
post #124 of 143

I would go ahead and give her very basic instructions and make sure you ask her to send you a photo of it afterwards. Believe me, when she sees what it looks like compared to what a professional does, she will not only be embarrassed to send a photo but will soon realize that your fee is reasonable.

Loucinda Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 1:07pm
post #125 of 143

Partycake thumbs_up.gif

Edna - glad you are feeling better!

this-mama-rocks Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 1:32pm
post #126 of 143

This just happened to me a couple of weeks ago:

Her: Those cake turffles were teriffic! You have GOT to tell me how to make them!
Me: (laughing and smiling) No, I don't!

And another:
Her: I don't give a d*mn about Sugar Buzz (my business name), I need you to tell me how to make a cake for my son's birthday
Me: (seething at the insult, but smiling nonetheless) It's just not possible to do that!

cakesdivine Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 1:43pm
post #127 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

This just happened to me a couple of weeks ago:

Her: Those cake turffles were teriffic! You have GOT to tell me how to make them!
Me: (laughing and smiling) No, I don't!

And another:
Her: I don't give a d*mn about Sugar Buzz (my business name), I need you to tell me how to make a cake for my son's birthday
Me: (seething at the insult, but smiling nonetheless) It's just not possible to do that!




icon_eek.gif WOW! That last one...did she really think that by insulting your business she would get what she wants? The nerve of some people.

costumeczar Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 2:37pm
post #128 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

This just happened to me a couple of weeks ago:


And another:
Her: I don't give a d*mn about Sugar Buzz (my business name), I need you to tell me how to make a cake for my son's birthday
Me: (seething at the insult, but smiling nonetheless) It's just not possible to do that!




Are you serious? icon_eek.gif I'll bet that came from a "friend", or more likely, a relative! Whoa! That kind of thing makes you tempted to give it right back..."I don't give a d@mn about your desire for free instruction, I need to get paid for my time!"

Loucinda Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 3:00pm
post #129 of 143

I must live on the side of the country where all the NICE folks are! icon_eek.gif

You all can keep the mean and demanding people. icon_wink.gif

all4cake Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 4:03pm
post #130 of 143

Just finished page 3 ...here's my view so far (may get swayed the more debate I read)...

I consider every member on here my friend (even though we might not agree on everything). If asked, will do my best to explain. This is a sharing community. Most times, it's just a "how'd you do that?" type question. Answer, clarify if needed and done.

When someone comes up as did the OP's inquirer, who wants to make it for a specific SPECIAL occasion, to be vague with the answer seems like it would reap more questions and agitation. To give directions completely, doesn't guarantee that the person will be able to complete the task and might even fail horribly only to blame you for bad directions(it couldn't be that they weren't able to follow the directions!). You wind up getting hate mail for their failure.

Maybe a response like...
"To give you step-by-step instructions to complete the cake would be too involved and time consuming. However, I can tell you it requires ____, ____, _____, and _____. Instructions for those can be found by Googling them on the internet or in numerous how-to books. Those instructions which possibly include pictures and help sections that will come in handy as you practice the techniques, will be much more beneficial than mere written intructions. All the best to you. ____"

As for the mechanic...I can understand why he/she wouldn't want to give out directions...I wouldn't want to be held liable for someone's mechanical failure due to someone not following directions. "he told me to put the red wire on the minus sign and the black one on the plus sign... and the thing just BLEW UP ON ME!"

littlecake Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 5:41pm
post #131 of 143

after reading all this, i think everyones right, for different situations...you just gotta be lead by your gut feeling who to share with....you cannot share with everyone.

i lost a biz i had for 10 years that way(not cake related)....i was trying to help other people out...after years of turning it into a science, i helped them...they didn't change a thing, put thier own spin on it or anything...and followed me where i was selling....sure wasn't expecting that either...so needless to say, there went 50% of my sales.,,and i was a single mother with mouths to feed.

my son used to get mad at me for sharing too much...in that situation it wasn't good.

i try to help out people who are looking for answers in this biz., i don't think i'll ever tell all i know again.....the bible even says that doing that is foolish.

cakesdivine Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 7:32pm
post #132 of 143

Yep Little Cake I have lost several biz ideas and an invention due to me being too excited and sharing too much with someone I called a friend. Unless you have the mega funds to make your idea a reality keep it mum until you do...LOL! But even then people who you think are your friend can stab you in the back.

I have a colleague and friend in the dance industry. My hubby & I have been trying to get our new dance competition off the ground for 5 years now and this year is the year! However we tried to launch last year but due to the economy down turn couldn't get it launched. This colleague was asked to be a judge and workshop teacher for us last competition season.

Well when I called her to pick her cities for this year she tells me she won't be available to judge but will bring her students to mine if I bring my students to hers. I said certainly, then she proceeds to tell me how her comp is different than everyone elses and it is specific for our state...yep you guessed it..my competition layout to a "T" and she even tried to call it the samething!!!!!!! Said she had a dream about it. Then I told her...gee don't you realize you are copying exactly my competition company? And that is the name of our company that is registered already with the State and has had a website up about it for a year!...didn't you do a name search? Then she said "Oh no mine is nothing like yours", then I said "how can that be you described my competition company exactly name and ALL!" Then she said "we're still friends, we can do each other's comps" I said sure but you have to come up with a whole other name and whole other schtick too or you might find yourself in some legal issues.

littlecake Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 7:58pm
post #133 of 143

(((cakesdivine)))) it's heartbreaking, isn't it?...i think sometimes peoples greed is so strong they don't even realize what they are doing, all they see is a way to get money.
i was in my early 40's when this all happened to me, i was so ignorant i didn't know people would do something like that, i was just thinking of giving them a boost up...i wasn't wanting to give my business away.

after it was all over i had an epiphany .....there was a reason those 11 herbs and spices were "secret"
lol

JanelleH Posted 1 Nov 2009 , 9:04pm
post #134 of 143

Really, I wouldn't even list my basic steps for the cake, just point them towards decorating classes or websites (no, not CC). If you do decide to help them at all, it can really come back to bite you when they do make they cake (terribly!) and they tell all their friends "Sure, so-n-so helped me make it".

cathyscakes Posted 1 Nov 2009 , 9:31pm
post #135 of 143

Wouldn't bother me a bit, but then I don't have a business or trying to build a business. I love to help people learn new things. I have learned so much from everyone on here, why not pass it on. Some people can't afford custom cakes, you probably wouldn't have them as customers anyway.

Adevag Posted 1 Nov 2009 , 9:56pm
post #136 of 143

I see it as two completely different situations. CC is a sharing community. The difference is that EVERYONE shares back and forth with what they choose and with what they know/have learned. It could not be compared with a person who want to learn tricks and secrets so that she does not have to pay. Some people just want the nice things but they don't want to pay for it. I am so tired of them. Does not mean I am not willing to share. But to take for granted that you should give out the information that has cost you time and probably money is too much for me.

melodyscakes Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:57am
post #137 of 143

I had a competitor ask me to teach her how to make my flowers.
as much sharing as I do, and don't mind, I can't show you. she already prices cakes lower than me and I loose business to her as it is.

all4cake Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 4:53am
post #138 of 143

I was actually decorating for a competitor who's decorator/partner walked out on. She knew NOTHING about decorating or baking. I was not about to bake for her nor give her my recipes (she didn't ask for recipes...but I was prepared just in case she did to say NO)...for several months, I decorated one day a week for her to clear her books of orders ...or so I thought (she was to look for someone permanent and I told her I wouldn't be able to do it indefinitely and that my biz came first)...it was when I found out that she was boasting about the cake decorator(me...and normally it would be flattering...in this case, it did piss me off) she had working FOR HER that I had to cut out of there....(I had made it clear from the get-go that I didn't want her telling people that I was decorating her cakes and that I didn't want to have my name associated with her cakes nor her cakes associated with my business...she said she understood....after that experience, I decided that if a competitor has problems, they can fix it without my help and no matter how much I may feel compelled to agree to help, I must say no. I've got DH as backup to help me say it should I ever even think of considering it.

FullHouse Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:00pm
post #139 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

....after that experience, I decided that if a competitor has problems, they can fix it without my help and no matter how much I may feel compelled to agree to help, I must say no. I've got DH as backup to help me say it should I ever even think of considering it.




That is so wrong. I'll never understand how people are able to take such advantage of another's kindness. Good for you for walking away. Hubby's are great for helping with the backbone, I also find it easier to say no when someone wants a free cake when I can say "I promised DH that I would not spend any more of our family's $ or take so many hours away from our children."

all4cake Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:52pm
post #140 of 143

Would you call the owner of a business and ask them to work for one of your chain stores as a decorator??? One chain was calling my BUSINESS almost daily and leaving messages about how much they'd like to hire me as their decorator....I thought that that was ballsy for one, inconsiderate for another(I took it like, "since you're a small business, you'd benefit more from working for us...")

FullHouse Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 3:15pm
post #141 of 143

All4Cake, that is incredibly tacky, I can't imagine. On the other hand, tell them "sure, I need to make $100 per hour to make up for my lost time at my business."

Loucinda Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 6:30pm
post #142 of 143

I hate hearing about those who have so much trouble with others and their business ventures. It is too bad those situations come about.

On the other hand - I still believe in what comes around - goes around.....and there are folks on here that prove that every single day with how much they are willing to share. Just do a search on any of the ladies who DEPEND on their cake businesses - and yet, read their posts that are there for anyone to read....you don't have to be a member here to do so either. (sugarshack, JenniferMI, Indydebi, tonedna, Leahs, and many more I am forgetting)

And again, I would not have the skills I have today if it werent' for those who were willing to share! I thank you all everyday. icon_smile.gif

FullHouse Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 7:06pm
post #143 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I hate hearing about those who have so much trouble with others and their business ventures. It is too bad those situations come about.

On the other hand - I still believe in what comes around - goes around.....and there are folks on here that prove that every single day with how much they are willing to share. Just do a search on any of the ladies who DEPEND on their cake businesses - and yet, read their posts that are there for anyone to read....you don't have to be a member here to do so either. (sugarshack, JenniferMI, Indydebi, tonedna, Leahs, and many more I am forgetting)

And again, I would not have the skills I have today if it werent' for those who were willing to share! I thank you all everyday. icon_smile.gif




All of those ladies are so wonderful and generous, and so are you Loucinda, I appreciate all your help with gelatin sheets icon_lol.gif . CC is truly the best cake school!

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