How Am I Supposed To Charge The Right Price, When Hubby...?

Decorating By FloraFlora Updated 19 Jan 2010 , 2:21am by FloraFlora

FloraFlora Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 5:45am
post #1 of 27

I need to vent here.

I just started my cake business as part time. My best friend is my partner. My hubby is usually very supportive, never complains when I filled our house with cake stuff. We all have well-paying full time job, so money isn't a big issue. But that doesn't mean we want to get under-paid for my cakes!

I'm making this cake for a friend tonight. His budget was only $50. The cake is for his wife's b-day party, to serve 20 ppl, including hubby and me. So I made an 8" round cake as base, and a 6" round to cut in half to be sculpted into a little makeup bag. Planning to add some fondant makeups and a gum paste flower. I know I could charge a lot more than $50, but I'm just giving it to the friend at cost.

When I was finishing up crumb coating the cake just now, he came downstairs and started saying he thinks the cake is too small. He thinks a person paying $50 should get more than that. He's making reference to the local grocery store and costco cakes! He said how much more in eggs and flour would it cost me to make the cake one size bigger! He said I should think for recurring customers. If they're not happy with the size, they won't come back.

I showed him another cake shop's prices in our area. He still wasn't totally convinced.

This friend's wife (also a friend) ordered from me before. They ARE my recurring customer! I admit, the cake's serving size is a bit tight. But I really don't feel I'm over-charging...

icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif
pulling my hair out...

going to sleep it out now...

26 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:11am
post #2 of 27

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif

mamawrobin Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:14am
post #3 of 27

LaBellaFlor....I totally agree icon_biggrin.gif

ksmith1012 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:32am
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif





ditto icon_cool.gif

Jeep_girl816 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:36am
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif


Totally. My dh is usually pretty curious about the whole cake process and I'm lucky that he's incredibly supportive about my cakes, he always accuses me of undercharging(he has high hopes, my business will one day conquer our little city and he'll be able to quit his job,lol) If your customers aren't batting an eye over it, I wouldn't stress.

metria Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:47am
post #6 of 27

FloraFlora, your cakes are beautiful! Hubby hasn't seen this cake anywhere near done yet; he'll know he's wrong when you're finished. I want to see pics!!!

Mensch Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:48am
post #7 of 27

You need to NIP this behavior in the bud. Hubby need to be your biggest supporter, not your biggest downer.

CarolAnn Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 6:57am
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif




In my world this is a hilarious suggestion! LOL

In this instance instead of doing it for cost I'd probably do it for the $50 he has budgeted. If his wife has already ordered from you sounds like you're getting some exposure with this couple. Sure wouldn't do this with everyone, but good press is worth treating a couple friends special sometimes. JMO

motherofgrace Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 7:06am
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep_girl816

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif

Totally. My dh is usually pretty curious about the whole cake process and I'm lucky that he's incredibly supportive about my cakes, he always accuses me of undercharging(he has high hopes, my business will one day conquer our little city and he'll be able to quit his job,lol) If your customers aren't batting an eye over it, I wouldn't stress.




my hubby is the same way (more or less) once I get off the ground he says "maybe youll be making more then me and ill stay home with grace (our daughter)!

julzs71 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 7:27am
post #10 of 27

what if your right hand is aching and you have to wear a brace...take some tylenol...drink some wine....and cry a little bit, and beg him to make this cake that is due tomorrow.
Cause i know if I asked my husband to make a cake with me so he understood he would say no way....You got yourself into this...get yourself out of this. If I hurt myself, that's totally different.
By the time he would be done he would understand.

artscallion Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 27

a) have him make a complete cake with you, as has been suggested.

b) show him the formula you use to come up with your prices, and detail how that formula applies to the current cake.

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 1:55pm
post #12 of 27

I just went up on pricing after a year in business. My hubby was very skeptical and said well you probably won't get much business now. He knows how much time I spend on cakes and how hard I work.. He does agree with what I charge and knows its well worth it. I just booked 2 special occasion cake orders for 1 weekend for well over $250. So he is a believer now that less work for more money is the way to go and when you charge what you should you attract the type of clients you are aiming for. I have actually gotten him in the kitchen to help with certain details so he knows how much work goes into it! He is also my hunky delivery boy! icon_biggrin.gif I say get him on board working as a team or it will be a hard road ahead.

costumeczar Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 1:58pm
post #13 of 27

Tell him that the next time you talk to his boss you were going to mention that well, you were thinking that he could probably take less pay for the work he does, or do more for the same amount. Yeah, he and his work have set his pay, but why shouldn't you be able to interfere and adjust that?

Then make him do the entire cake himself to see how he likes it.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 2:17pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep_girl816

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Have him help you make a cake and then ask him how much he thinks it should cost. I mean like the WHOLE process, from going to the store to delivery. Seriously. icon_twisted.gif

Totally. My dh is usually pretty curious about the whole cake process and I'm lucky that he's incredibly supportive about my cakes, he always accuses me of undercharging(he has high hopes, my business will one day conquer our little city and he'll be able to quit his job,lol) If your customers aren't batting an eye over it, I wouldn't stress.




Me too! DH hopes to retire when the cake business takes off. Although I can't think he'd do well at home full time with three little kids! He's stressed by the end of the weekend.

Deb_ Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 3:00pm
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

You need to NIP this behavior in the bud. Hubby need to be your biggest supporter, not your biggest downer.





DITTO DITTO DITTO!!!

newmansmom2004 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 3:14pm
post #16 of 27

Gently remind him that "time is money" and you're not going to spend 10 or 12 hours on a cake and not get paid for it. After all, a plumber wouldn't come to your house and charge you $26 for a gasket that takes him four hours to install - he'll charge you $50 an hour (if you're lucky) for his labor!

After my hubby saw me do that first cake he totally got it. Now he's the one telling me what I should charge and it's surprisingly more than I would charge.

tootie0809 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 3:38pm
post #17 of 27

It's so true that until someone has gone through the entire process from buying ingredients to delivering the finished cake, no one has any clue the time, effort, and energy it takes to complete a cake. Even small cakes like a single tier 8-inch cake can hours and hours.

I have an extremely supportive husband in everything I do and he is particularly supportive of my new cake business, but because he's never done a cake from start to finish, he still, even though he knows how much time I'm in my kitchen working on a cake, he still doesn't get the whole pricing issue.

Example, last week I finished a 4-tier stacked pillow dummie cake for a bridal show I'm doing. I spent hours and hours over the course of 4 days on it. I finally finished, exhausted, and incredibly proud and pleased with it and asked hubby what he thought it was worth. He said "you know it's a really awesome cake. I can totally see that cake for like $400 or something." I just looked at him in disbelief. But of course, a cake is not something he would spend a lot of money on, so saying it was $400 was a lot for him. He'd never shell out that kind of money for a cake, regardless of how amazing it was because it's not important to him.

I do love the suggestion of having him accompany you through every process from going to the store to buy ingredients and doing every step of the cake until completely finished and then asking him how much that small cake should cost. What an eye opener that would be!

amytracy1981 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 3:38pm
post #18 of 27

I think the reason why your hubby is not being supportive this time (when he usually is) is because the cake is for a friend and you guys will be attending the party. He is probably afraid of what his friends will think of him. He's probably thinking they will see the cake and think "wow we paid $50 dollars for a cake and that's all we get?". I'm not saying your hubby is right, I certainly don't agree with him. I think they are getting a great deal to be getting a custom cake (not a Walmart cake) for $50. I'm just sayin' that's is probably the reason why he is acting this way all of a sudden whe he never has before.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 3:52pm
post #19 of 27

It took me awhile to help my hubby understand why my prices were high. We have both lived our whole lives in the "Costco budget" category so high-end, high-priced foods didn't make sense to him. I just had to walk him through the finer points in product pricing.

1) I show him my cost for materials, my time spent on the project, and the amount I charge for it. Then I divide my profit by the number of hours. I'm in cookies, not cakes, so the profit margin is often barely above minimum wage for me. When I show him what I am making JUST for the time spent in the kitchen, never mind time spent on the business end of things (which is usually far more than what you spend on the product!), it's quite an eye-opener. Since you are in a partnership you would divide that by half! AND, a good portion of your profit should stay in the business to cover operating costs. If your hubby has any business sense he will be shouting for a price increase after all this!

2) tarheel makes a good point too, that your prices reflect the clientele you want to attract. My hubs kept trying to get me to offer cheap stuff because "not everyone can afford what you charge." It finally clicked with him when I said that it's FINE if not everyone can afford me. My target market isn't EVERYONE, it's a much smaller group of people who want top notch quality and presentation, and are capable of paying me what such work is worth. I know there are enough people out there who are willing to pay for such quality, so why waste my time and energy on a smaller profit margin to attract business I don't want/need when I can be making more for less work?

A simpler way to put it: Is it better to have 10 cakes at $50 apiece or 5 cakes at $100 apiece? Sure the higher price results in half the cakes, but your profit has actually increased and you're doing half the work!

Any way you put it, just keep at it and he will eventually come around. Sometimes you have to describe it six ways to Sunday before you reach an explanation that clicks with him. As long as he sees the value in what you make, and the value in YOU and your time, he will eventually understand and want you to make what you know you are worth. Good luck!

Mensch Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 8:02pm
post #20 of 27

Since i became a member here I have always written:

I'd rather do one cake for $200 than ten cakes for $20.

FloraFlora Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 3:12am
post #21 of 27

Thank you, everyone! Your replies really cheered me up this morning. That's how I got enough energy to finish the cake.

The cake was a hit, and there was enough for everyone!

I have to confess, I made a mistake icon_biggrin.gif The cake order was for about 10 people. And that's what I had in mind when I designed it, even had enough for 2nd helping. But when I told hubby, I somehow started saying 20.

amytracy1981 probably hit right on the spot about my hubby's reasoning. tootie0809 is also right, cake isn't very important on my hubby's mind. He would never ever pay that much for a cake, he'd rather spend it on video games.

Thanks for those who suggested getting him to help with a cake. However, my hubby is one of those who has two left hands in the kitchen. Only if I'm looking into making a cake wreck....

It is his birthday the day after tomorrow. His small bday party is tomorrow. I've said "no cake for you" to him twice yesterday, lol. But I did bake the cake any how. Just haven't decorated it yet... Having a killer headache now. He said he's ok without a fancy cake. He IS very sweet. I'll try my best to get something done tomorrow morning.

Attaching a photo of today's cake.. didn't get to add the gum paste flower as planned though. B-day girl's name on the bag tag, she loved that little detail.

nite nite everyone. Thanks again for all your support!
LL

LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 5:54am
post #22 of 27

WOW! ANd you gave that cake away for $50?!?!?! They got a GREAT deal! icon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 2:00pm
post #23 of 27

They did get a great deal! After seeing the cake does your DH still think he can get one JUST like that at the market for $10?

You did a great job on the make up too...love it!

tarheelgirl Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 2:07pm
post #24 of 27

WOW! Heck of a deal! Way more then $50!

FloraFlora Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 9:34pm
post #25 of 27

Of course it's a great deal. They are my friends.
And I've told them not to advertise that price to others, I charge way more for strangers. icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 1:31am
post #26 of 27

Tell your hubby he's an idiot and he needs to shut-up because he doesn't know what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks he's talking about (or nicer, if you want, but still, that's the God's honest truth in this situation). Unless he WANTS you to give stuff away for free, because that's what he's told you to do.

I posted this in another thread, but it applies here, too:

It is NOT possible to compete with grocery stores.

The reason is, grocery store bakeries run at a loss.

That's right! On everything they sell, they LOSE money!

Why? It's called being a loss-leader.

They lose money on bakery (and deli) products because those draw customers into the store. The idea is that since you're there to get the cake (party trays, etc), you'll buy all the other stuff for the party there, too. And since that was such a good experience, you'll return for all of your regular grocery shopping. It's on the "other stuff" and "regular grocery shopping" that they make their profit.

[That and leasing shelf space to national name brands (any time you see the Coca-Cola guy or the Frito-Lay guy or any one other than a store employee stocking shelves with product it's because that company actually leases shelf space from the store). The company sets their own prices and receives all of the money from the sales of those products, less the cost of the lease. Which is one of the reasons why name-brand products cost more than generic].

FloraFlora Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 2:21am
post #27 of 27

prterrell, wow, that's the first time I heard about the grocery store bakeries!
Thanks a lot! I just relayed that to hubby, too icon_smile.gif minus your first line, lol.

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