Help!! Please Read.....

Business By dalis4joe Updated 6 Mar 2010 , 12:32am by EvMarie

dalis4joe Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 5:44pm
post #1 of 41

I started my cake studio about 1 year ago... I am not from this area...I relocated here about 3 yrs ago, so I do not now anyone... I am doing my cakes a a fiull time career, so I do not have a regular 9-5 job where I can network and get clients....

I attend a small church (which I love) and most of my orders have been from my church family.... I charge them a lot less than I charge my clients:
1. because I feel like they are my family
2. because I know our church body is 90% or so with families that do not make too much money annually to be able to afford what we must charge for a custom made cake.

I have a website but is self-hosted so I do not come up on most searches... icon_cry.gif


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I need some advice on how I can advertise, what ways other than what I already have... or why are the resources I already have not getting the hits that other sites are getting? I have a blog that I have no clue how to increase the hits on... a facebook fan page that I do not know how to promote... a website that I have no clue how to make it more visible... I need help!
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I know my work is very good and compared to other business that I know are getting a pretty decent client base/flow, my work is petty darn good.. and my prices are not outragous... I look to charge between 5-7$ a slice.

I recently got a big budget wedding project and I loved it! not just because of the money, but because I was able to make the kind of work that I want to make more often....
But those are few and far between.... I know here at cc we have a lot of successful bus owners....any advice, hints, pointers.. places where I can go personally to advertise... anything will be gladly appreciated....

I am loosing my positve attituide in the process and I don't want to....

Please help.... I hope you can see my dilemma..... icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_sad.gif

Thanks in advance..

40 replies
leah_s Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 6:21pm
post #2 of 41

1. Stop self hosting. GoDaddy is cheap and will help get your website seen.
2. Start networking. There have got to be other professionals like photographers, caterers, rentals places etc in your area. Take them a cake, drop off some biz cards.
3. Again, stop self hosting. I don't want to beat you up, but that's just shooting yourself in the foot.
4. You're in Philly? Damn, aren't there any wedding shows in Philly? Business and professional womens groups? Chamber of Commerce? Networking is key.

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 6:25pm
post #3 of 41

The first thing I noticed on your site in the Birthday cake section is that you require 4 weeks advance booking for a birthday cake...I don't know of many Mom's who have everything planned out in 2 weeks never mind 4 weeks...I would lower the advance notice to maybe 2 weeks as you may be scaring potential clients off thinking they have to comitt to a theme or party idea 1 month before when they are not sure of one yet...JMO icon_smile.gif

Your site is wonderful as are the cakes..Keep at it!!!

dalis4joe Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 6:39pm
post #4 of 41

thanks so much!! I will change that... I didn't even think bout it that way.. I wrote that with wdding cakes in mind... that makes sense... I will update that info...

rosiecast Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 6:51pm
post #5 of 41

Hi! Your cakes are great. Is there any way that when people click on one of your pictures they can see the image bigger? I think the pics are too small for people to appreciate the details.

ayerim979 Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 7:12pm
post #6 of 41

your cakes are really nice, you should definately find other ways to promote your work , and get your name out there.

Uniqueask Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 7:20pm
post #7 of 41

Correct me if I am wrong, but are'nt Birthday, Wedding, and Anniversaries considered "speciality cakes", I see you have a section for Wedding cakes, Birthday cakes and "speciality cakes" you may want to say you make "speciality cakes" and then put Anniversaries or so in the section where you have speciality cakes. and you may also want to make it where your photos can be enlarged when they are clicked on, your cakes are fabulous, keep up the good work and your business will be very successful.

TexasSugar Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 7:32pm
post #8 of 41

Maybe I missed it, but does your website have anything listed about prices? If I was window shopping for a cake, I'd want to know about how much I could be spending before I even contact them to set up a consult. People may not see any price information listed and decide to click off your site and move on to another one.

Other than the advance 6 weeks for wedding cakes and 4 weeks for birthday/speciality cakes, I'm not seeing any other information on booking or payment schedule. Under your cake flavors section, or start a new page, you may want to go into how scheduling works and give some information on pricing. Do you require a deposit or full payment when they schedule? Do you deliver and what is the fee for that?

Also as was mentioned above, I'm not sure the average person plans out the details for birthday parties 4 weeks in advance. I always laugh at my best friend because she often doesn't know the week of her child's birthday when she is doing the party.

I can understand if it is a detailed cake and you needed time to make the items but you may want to reword it a little. Maybe "please reserve your date 4 weeks in advance, details need to be finalized atleast 2 weeks before cake is due"?

Also do you really do consult/tastings for every birthday cake? I see that alot of your cakes are tiered cakes which can cost what alot of wedding cakes do, but unless I just had no clue about your cakes, I'd probably want to skip a tasting for the birthday cake and could handle most of the details over the phone or through email, that may just be me though.

I think you could move the Intro on each your Gallery pages to under the picture on the main Gallery page since it is pretty much the same for all of them. On your wedding page the pictures are actually covering up part of the last sentence on my screen. I'd love to see either bigger pictures or more of the pictures being thumbnails.

Over all I love the look of your website, and I'd take Leah_s advice, and buy your own domain. Being on google search will really benefit you, espeically if you are in a larger city where people may go to the internet and search cakes in Philly.

My family business is roofing, no internet website (yeah I know, they are old school) and the only advertising we do is a ad in the phone book. I know they get costly, but it could be an option as well to get your name out there, if you aren't as widely know as some others in the area.

Also what about partnering with some other business that would cross your customers paths? Have you gone around to florist or other wedding venders and see if you can leave your card or a flyer with them?

Mabma80 Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 9:02pm
post #9 of 41

Go to visaprint.com or zazzle.coma nd print up some flyers, stickers, etc. and ask local businesses if you can leave some with them. Get one of those car magnet things with the business name & number, and slap one on your car when you go out. Maybe on deliveries and such. Buy a little piece of the local paper and splurge on an ad. ESPECIALLY is this is your livelyhood!

dalis4joe Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 11:21pm
post #10 of 41

u guys are amazing!!! thank you ... thank you.... I willl do those things u r mentioning and I will check out GoDaddy.com... i think that might help more than I thought... also... there are a lot of bridal things going on.... there is a magazine called Philadelphia Brides and maybe I need to start going to the shows???

Please continue to tell me all those things... and some people might think some of your comments are "strong" but that is what I need! honesty! and what I am doing wrong to be told to me... I will make a pricing page (will start making it tonite) do I need to be very specific? or a price range?

It's like as I am reading what u r writing...I'm like... of course! who plans a kids birthday 4 weeks ahead? duh!!!!

again... tanks to everyone.. I will take all this and anything else cc'ers add to this thread and use it...
I love you guys !!!

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 12:18am
post #11 of 41

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif Always here to lend a hand!

dalis4joe Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 5:40am
post #12 of 41

just bought lastest issue of Philadelphia Brides!!! will check out upcoming events and potential vendor partnerships....

my neighbor just got a magnet for his DJ bus. he does parties and weddings... maybe I need to ask him also... he kinda works in the same field... right?

minicuppie Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 4:07pm
post #13 of 41

Philly= big Italian Weddings. Big. Italian. Weddings. I agree with leah...get out and network. Find those shops that specialize in the big trays of cookies that the B&G pass around during the recepition...if they don't do cakes, wow them. Might get you some biz.

Sagebrush Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 4:56pm
post #14 of 41

I'm looking at your flavorings page, and I'm thinking of other flavorings I've heard of. I don't know if it means anything different, or if they're just fancy-ing the name up, but, for instance, lemon chiffon might sound more appealing than just lemon. Mocha or tiramisu instead of coffee. If it sounds less like something they can just whip up themselves or copy w/ store bought mixes and frostings, it will up the gotta have THAT factor. Name and describe them in such a way that it makes peoples mouths water icon_smile.gif

(Sorry if this isn't coming across well... I'm having a hard time trying to find the words for what I'm getting at moment. Hopefully I'm at least making SOME sense.)

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:52am
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagebrush

I'm looking at your flavorings page, and I'm thinking of other flavorings I've heard of. I don't know if it means anything different, or if they're just fancy-ing the name up, but, for instance, lemon chiffon might sound more appealing than just lemon. Mocha or tiramisu instead of coffee. If it sounds less like something they can just whip up themselves or copy w/ store bought mixes and frostings, it will up the gotta have THAT factor. Name and describe them in such a way that it makes peoples mouths water icon_smile.gif

(Sorry if this isn't coming across well... I'm having a hard time trying to find the words for what I'm getting at moment. Hopefully I'm at least making SOME sense.)




Hi.. please don't be sorry...that is exactly what I need... good info like that... that makes so much sense... I will re-word the flavors page... thanks!!!

I started working on the page and should be done soon...

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:00am
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by minicuppie

Philly= big Italian Weddings. Big. Italian. Weddings. I agree with leah...get out and network. Find those shops that specialize in the big trays of cookies that the B&G pass around during the recepition...if they don't do cakes, wow them. Might get you some biz.




Very Very interested in what you say.... do you know any shop like that than I go look at so I get an idea what to search for here in Philly?

I got like 4 bridal events coming up that I already emailed to request information on having available spots for me to take some dummy cakes and sample tastings...
Does anyone know how that works? the shows? do yo pay a flat fee? do they require minimum tastings? is it better to take cupcakes? mini-upcakes?, or just pieces of cake displayed in a tray? any info would be appreciated...

I got a quote for the magnet for the cars.... we might go ahead and get them!

as far as flyers... where are good spots to post them? maybe like shopping centers? malls?

You guys have giveng me a whole new drive... it's like I see all these things that I was (or wasn't) doing that have so much room for improvement and I am for sure doing my homework and listening to everything you guys tell me so I can trend in the right direction for once... lol...

LeckieAnne Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:13am
post #17 of 41

Here's some info on how to get your site to come up higher in the google search rankings, might help with getting your website noticed...

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Website-Indexed-by-Google

Jo-melia Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:52am
post #18 of 41

It could just be my computer, but, I can't really read any of the text on your website...
icon_smile.gif

joenshan Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 10:28am
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by minicuppie

Philly= big Italian Weddings. Big. Italian. Weddings. I agree with leah...get out and network. Find those shops that specialize in the big trays of cookies that the B&G pass around during the recepition...if they don't do cakes, wow them. Might get you some biz.



Very Very interested in what you say.... do you know any shop like that than I go look at so I get an idea what to search for here in Philly?

I got like 4 bridal events coming up that I already emailed to request information on having available spots for me to take some dummy cakes and sample tastings...
Does anyone know how that works? the shows? do yo pay a flat fee? do they require minimum tastings? is it better to take cupcakes? mini-upcakes?, or just pieces of cake displayed in a tray? any info would be appreciated...

I got a quote for the magnet for the cars.... we might go ahead and get them!

as far as flyers... where are good spots to post them? maybe like shopping centers? malls?

You guys have giveng me a whole new drive... it's like I see all these things that I was (or wasn't) doing that have so much room for improvement and I am for sure doing my homework and listening to everything you guys tell me so I can trend in the right direction for once... lol...




Hi There, I was born and raised in Delaware County. THE place in Philly for those big trays of cookies is Termini's in Reading Terminal Market. Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions about the area, you know...the stuff only locals can tell you!

noahsmummy Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 11:05am
post #20 of 41

as far as flyers, are you able to do a letterbox drop? if you do, pick your area carefully, i know its horrible, but its easy to tell what sort of areas youll get business from and what sort you wont. of course if you can afford it, drop them to everyone; it cant hurt; if money tight.. pick your areas! if not, post on community notice boards, etc, anywhere you see flyers for other business, puyt yours there too.

noahsmummy Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 11:21am
post #21 of 41

also; i am also having trouble reading the text; i think its the font? the white writing in about me and on the home page...

there are also a few typos.. eg in the flavors meringue is spelt wrong and its also says at the top "browser through" i think you meant browse?

i just double checked, i think the writing im having trouble with is the text that has black filling and white outline.

also in pricing you dont need a comma after "we"; just make it "we at natalie cakes", also after "other factors are"; dont need a comma there either. =)

i think "specialty cakes" would sound better than "various cakes" as well.. or maybe assorted. i dont think you really need the asterix there either.

in flavours instead of this... Gluten-free, Reduce Fat, Reduce Sugar
and/or other special needs/requests for
cakes and filling are available upon request
for an additional charge.

try this

Gluten-free, ReduceD Fat, ReduceD Sugar
and/or other special requests for
cakes and fillingS are available upon request
for an additional charge.


ok sorry. i find the little details count. cant half tell im going to be an english teacher either....lol.

yes i know the majority of my posts are misspelled all over the place.. its mostly because i cant type...my fingers have trouble keeping up with my brain... haha


good luck! your work is lovely! just a little work on the finer details and business will be booming! =)

noahsmummy Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 11:22am
post #22 of 41

oh by finer details, i dont mean your cakes! im talking about the advertising! haha.

jewelsq Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 1:55pm
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe



I got a quote for the magnet for the cars.... we might go ahead and get them!




Please be very careful about advertising with your vehicle. If you have traditional, personal car insurance most carriers won't cover a car used for business and/or advertising.

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:29pm
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsmummy

as far as flyers, are you able to do a letterbox drop? if you do, pick your area carefully, i know its horrible, but its easy to tell what sort of areas youll get business from and what sort you wont. of course if you can afford it, drop them to everyone; it cant hurt; if money tight.. pick your areas! if not, post on community notice boards, etc, anywhere you see flyers for other business, puyt yours there too.




Hi.. I like the idea.... ? for you though.. what's letterbox drop? sorry I don't know icon_redface.gif

I can make the flyers.... u mean like go to stores and stuff? is that what u mena by areas?

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:30pm
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsq

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe



I got a quote for the magnet for the cars.... we might go ahead and get them!



Please be very careful about advertising with your vehicle. If you have traditional, personal car insurance most carriers won't cover a car used for business and/or advertising.




thanks... I had no idea!

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:32pm
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsmummy

also; i am also having trouble reading the text; i think its the font? the white writing in about me and on the home page...

there are also a few typos.. eg in the flavors meringue is spelt wrong and its also says at the top "browser through" i think you meant browse?

i just double checked, i think the writing im having trouble with is the text that has black filling and white outline.

also in pricing you dont need a comma after "we"; just make it "we at natalie cakes", also after "other factors are"; dont need a comma there either. =)

i think "specialty cakes" would sound better than "various cakes" as well.. or maybe assorted. i dont think you really need the asterix there either.

in flavours instead of this... Gluten-free, Reduce Fat, Reduce Sugar
and/or other special needs/requests for
cakes and filling are available upon request
for an additional charge.

try this

Gluten-free, ReduceD Fat, ReduceD Sugar
and/or other special requests for
cakes and fillingS are available upon request
for an additional charge.


ok sorry. i find the little details count. cant half tell im going to be an english teacher either....lol.

yes i know the majority of my posts are misspelled all over the place.. its mostly because i cant type...my fingers have trouble keeping up with my brain... haha


good luck! your work is lovely! just a little work on the finer details and business will be booming! =)




thanks!!! I agree... the details count even the little ones... I will fix it!

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:47pm
post #27 of 41

Cake Central... My New Family.....

I just want you to know.... what you are doing to help me... it's priceless.. I appreciate it so much... I will owe you for a lifetime....

Thank you so much to all of you....

all this help is amazing!

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 4:49pm
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeckieAnne

Here's some info on how to get your site to come up higher in the google search rankings, might help with getting your website noticed...

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Website-Indexed-by-Google




Reading it......

dkltll Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:03pm
post #29 of 41

Hi, I am not a baker by trade but I am the Office Manager in a retail custom real wood furniture store so I understand a little about target audiences & niche businesses. You might try buying a mailing list, usually for about $24 depending on the size of your mailing. You can go to sites like directmail.com & specify income levels, homeowners vs renters, age groups, etc. to send your mailer to. You will then get a list that you can print onto mailing labels, attach those to your flyers and mail your ad directly where you want it.

I also totally agree with Leah. We don't use godaddy but a similar website builder where it is possible for you to choose the keywords that you think people will be looking for in their searches.

Your cakes are lovely & I wish you much success!

dalis4joe Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 8:16pm
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeckieAnne

Here's some info on how to get your site to come up higher in the google search rankings, might help with getting your website noticed...

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Website-Indexed-by-Google




WOW! This site is amazing!!! I'm on step 3 already.... everyone one of use shoud know this information in order to attract potential clients! I love it!

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