I'm just getting started in the cake business, and since I'm still in my last semester (yay!) of college, I'm trying not to do too much. My question:
I'm planning to mass-produce Valentines Day cakes and will offer one, maybe two, different designs. How far in advance do I need to give people to place orders? And since it's going to be a small, relatively inexpensive cake, would it be wise to collect full payment at the time of the order, or should I allow people to pay the week before?
..moving to Cake Decorating.
The more lead time you give your potential customers, the more time they have to fit the cake/s into their budget. (So could potentially lead to more sales.)
I would try to get as many orders pre-paid as possible to eliminate as much extra paperwork as possible. However, you can take a deposit to start their cakes. But all orders should be fully paid at least two weeks before delivery so that you can deposit and clear any checks you may have received. (Don't want to be running around at the last minute trying to get cash for any checks that bounced.)
From other members experience, it seems that customers who haven't paid for their items don't always feel the necessity of picking them up at your convenience, or picking them up at all - because they have nothing to lose if they change their minds.