Hello all! I am REALLY struggling to bring in more customers... I have the facebook page, 80 fans and counting! but NO ONE is ordering cakes... I've heard from several people on here that I should take cakes into local businesses and schools.. bring business cards and let them know to bring business my way. How do I go about this? Do I just show up with cake and business cards? or do i call ahead first? and what types of businesses do i bring them to? what kinds of cake is appropriate? a small stacked cake? or just a simple sheet?
Where do you live? Is it a very large town/city? I really don't have an answer but thought I'd give your post a bump
I've been told that car dealerships are a great place to bring a basket/platter of free product and business cards, especially around lunch on Saturdays.
Real estate angencies and doctors offices might be good places, too.
I had a car dealership as a customer. If you go there, ask for the person in charge of ordering refreshments for their customer lounge. If they don't have such a person, ask for the person who plans the company events ... promos, christmas parties, employee birthdays. If you just leave them with the receptionist, the salesmen will eat the samples and you'll never hear from them again.
Funeral homes are now offering "catering" services to their clients. Many are converting large spaces in their facility to banquet rooms and getting extra income by renting the space to the families for the post-funeral dinner, usually catered by an outside company. Find out who's doing this.
Real Estate offices can be good if you market it right. Again, don't just leave it with the receptionist. Who handles the most open houses? Who is the biggest seller? Open houses can have a tray of cookies available to house lookers. Biggest sellers might offer a cookie bouquet or a "welcome to your new home" cake. Get the salesperson's name and target them directly.
Car salesman are also good targets. The top salesman at a dealership (which happened to be a woman) began ordering a dozen cookies to give to her customers, when she gave them their keys to the new car.
those are very good ideas indydebi.... thanks
That's pretty much what I was thinking, but you put it so much better ID!
Although the funeral home is a new one to me. Maybe it's a regional thing, but around here, the reception is almost always held at a church and catered by the women at the church. I know at my church I'm on the funeral receptions committee (actually, I'm on all of the receptions committees, but that tends to happen when people know you're a good cook ).
preterrell, that is true, these are usually held at the family church. From my time spent working at a casket mfg'r company, let me share some cool stuff I learned.
TOday's demographics have changed from "traditional" demographics. People are more mobile, which means they are not as likely to live close to family as they used to. When people move away, they are less likely to become affiliated with a church. With so many family members mobile and decreased church affiliations, more and more post-funeral dinners are catered at a hall somewhere. I won't say "most" ...... but it's moving that way.
Funeral homes have seen this trend and with a decreased market potential (*), funeral homes have figured out a way to supplement their decreasing sales and incomes.
* (2010, ironically, was the "big year" for the funeral industry as this was the peak year for Baby Boomers to hit 65; peak year for aging means peak year for casket-needs. After 2010, the "pool" of potential customers is smaller. And in the casket/funeral business, there are NO repeat customers! )
This trend is more common in places like Fla and Calif and Ariz ... states where people move to and retire to ... away from family and friends. It is less common in places like Iowa and Nebraska.... places where people are less mobile and tend to stay in the same area they were born.
Sorry to detrack from the orig topic, but just wanted to share. This is stuff I put in the column of "things you NEVER thought you'd need to know to run a cake/catering business!"
Wow! ID, you've done so much in you're life, and you're still "young and spry"
It is sad but true that our society is becoming more and more disjointed...personally, I moved 8 hours away from my family when I married my DH and I've never been close to his family. And while I get along with his friends and their wives really well, if it weren't for my church family--they've made a huge difference in my life and have really been there for me through all of the health troubles I've had over the past few years.
Living as I have all my life in the "Bible Belt", one tends to forget that most Americans aren't associated with a church in one way or another.
I can't imagine catering a funeral, though. By matter of course it's last minute and that makes it so hectic to prepare a meal for a large crowd. It's one thing to be one of a dozen ladies who makes a few dishes and brings them to the parish hall, it's a whole 'nother ball-game to be in charge of the entire reception!
Here in the uk, I've seen dummy wedding cakes in wedding dress shops windows with the business card on the counter. Also in glass display cabinets in greeting card shops where they sell all the wedding stationery/table decorations.
I would target florists, photographers, bridal shops, party planners, halls that rent out for functions and children's party places. You want to target businesses that cater to brides and others throwing large functions (if that is the customer you are after) Also consider wholesale, maybe a cafe or restuarant in your area that doesn't make its own desserts. I have only 1 wholesale account (to a cafe at a large mall near me) but it is nice to know that I will have covered the rent for the month with the weekly order to them. Plus they want delivery on Wednesday which then leaves me the rest of the week for my cakes which are usually needed for the weekends. HTH
Plus they want delivery on Wednesday which then leaves me the rest of the week for my cakes which are usually needed for the weekends. HTH
wow, that is the ideal client!
I send cakes to work with my family, then other people see them and wonder where they came from, I get practice and customers. Also my daughter does gymnastics at The Little gym whichc also throws birthday party's and they take business cards down there, pump it up, places that kids play and throw parties are good places.
You can also go to places that cater weddings and special events. Often times they do not provide wedding cake services. I've also done birthday cakes for nursing homes. It's also pretty cool when you can make a birthday cake for someone turning 101! I've actually gotten more work from word of mouth than myspace or facebook. So, I think the most important thing is network in your area. Put yourself on local area topix boards and such. Good luck!