For Those Of You With A Minimum Purchase Amount..i Have A ?

Business By 1234me Updated 16 Feb 2010 , 6:14pm by alvarezmom

1234me Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 2:04am
post #1 of 12

well, several questions.

Have you ALWAYS had a minimum purchase amount or did you start it after your business grew more and more?

What about your customers who just want a simple cake, during the week for a family dinner? Do you turn them away because it doesn't meet your requirment?

Let me explain.


I do mainly buttercream cakes. The smallest size I do is a 9 inch and I have alot of customers who order them for family dinners, etc to celebrate someone's birthday. They are nothing elaborate....just simple buttercream decorations. I am obviously not making much money off of these cakes because they are simple and take very little time.

Where I run into a problem is having to make these on the weekends, when I would rather be taking a larger cake order, which I would make more money off of. I am a one-person business and take between 10-12 cake orders per weekend, and turn away business almost every weekend. I hate having to turn away a $100 cake when a small, 9 inch cake may be taking up a "spot".

I am thinking about going to a minimum amount to get rid of those cakes that I am making less off of. BUT, I live in a small town and I am basically the only CUSTOM cake decorator around. I am all they have and if they don't get it from me, they get it from WalMart. I don't want the people around me to think their order isn't "important" enough for me. Oh I hope that makes sense. I don't mind making them during the week, because I have the time. But I want to stop doing them on the weekends when I could be bringing in larger orders.

Any words of advice?

I am working in a licensed kitchen - before you ask icon_smile.gif

11 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 2:10am
post #2 of 12

Is there any way you could bake them during the week when you have time, and then freeze until the weekend?

Starkie Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 2:22am
post #3 of 12

You could simply tell anyone who calls, "This weekend may be booked up already, I will have to check my calendar ~ how large of a cake are you looking for?" If they tell you 9", check you calendar and "realize" that you are booked up! That way, no one gets their feelings hurt, you don't have to slot in the 9" cake, and everyone things you are very, very busy and worth every penny!

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 2:38am
post #4 of 12

I totally feel your pain! I have the same problem. I'm booking up ever week, mostly with tier cakes, but those small cakes still take time to do. I'm going to freeze a cake for a few days (buttercream decorated) and see how it thaws to see if this would be an option. I'm sure you are like me, most of the first part of the week consist of making fondant/gumpaste figures and flowers, then baking, then decorating at the end of the week...not much time for a lot of extra stuff lol

Mensch Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:06am
post #5 of 12

I have a minimum amount and I'm fully booked every week. Honestly, I'd rather do one cake for $200 than ten cakes for $20 each.

Mensch Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:09am
post #6 of 12

Just realized that I didn't answer the question thoroughly. When I first opened I did cakes of all sizes. Now I don't! I learned that those small cakes just aren't worth it. I mean, it takes almost as long to decorate a ten-inch cake as a six-incher. All the steps are there, no matter what size cake.

jenmat Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:11am
post #7 of 12

i don't have a minimum order, but you can always require that all those simple cakes be picked up on Thurs or Fri. That way you're getting the money when you need it, and not booking up your weekend on smaller cakes.
Otherwise, begin to limit your flavor options. Then you can have cakes tightly wrapped and ready to go for those who need those 9" cakes on the weekends. With 10-12 orders per weekend, you could probably use them up quickly.

CakeMommyTX Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 4:53pm
post #8 of 12

When I started out I was so deseprate for orders I would have sold a single cupcake just to get the order.

Now I have a minimum number of servings per order, this cuts down on time consuming small cakes and people wanting a 3-D carved cake to serve 3.

I also don't do sheet cakes.

On occasion I'll do cookies or cupcakes to supplement an order but I won't do those with out the purchase of a cake with them.

I only do custom cakes, no dessert cakes or simple celebration cakes.

And like Mensch pointed out I'd rather do one cake for 200$ then 10 for 20$ each.

Same amount of money, less work and way cooler cake.

cownsj Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:23pm
post #9 of 12

[quote="jentreu"]i don't have a minimum order, but you can always require that all those simple cakes be picked up on Thurs or Fri. That way you're getting the money when you need it, and not booking up your weekend on smaller cakes.
quote]

That was exactly what I was thinking myself.

_Jamie_ Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:44pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

I also don't do sheet cakes.

On occasion I'll do cookies or cupcakes to supplement an order but I won't do those with out the purchase of a cake with them.

I only do custom cakes, no dessert cakes or simple celebration cakes.

And like Mensch pointed out I'd rather do one cake for 200$ then 10 for 20$ each.

Same amount of money, less work and way cooler cake.




Can't think of any way to word this any better, because these gals did it perfectly. Ditto to all. Ditto ditto ditto.

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 6:00pm
post #11 of 12

I started out doing everything too.. I now have a minimum and stay busy. A couple days ago I had a lady call for a 10 serving cake.. told her I had a minimum.. her response.. WOW, too rich for my blood!" All I wanted was a small cake there is no way I'm paying that. I directed her to Walmart! Couple hours later I took a larger order for the same weekend for well over $150 for 30 servings. Now which one would you rather spend time doing?

alvarezmom Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 6:14pm
post #12 of 12

Last year I didnt have a minimum order, but this year I am! I got so tired of making small cakes for less that $50 that I'm already burned out on cake making.

With that said, I just decided that on weekends I wouldnt do sheet cakes only tiered cakes. I wanted to take that time and start practicing wedding cakes. I feel l need the time to help my skills along.

You know maybe you could start telling people that you reserve the weekends for tiered cakes and you have no problem making them a cake but they would need to pick it up during the week.

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