Got a call today for a wedding consult...I usually have them at a coffee shop for now because with all my kids its too difficult to have it at my home (used to, but hit some technical difficulties....).
I told her where I have them, and told her she could have one as early as this Saturday (basically a free week before the next 6 weeks are booked solid). She said that her mom wanted to come with her and she lived too far and could I travel to a coffee shop closer to her mom?
I was unprepared for the question so may have stuttered a bit but finally I was like "Well I work from home, licensed and insured, and have the consults at the coffee shop near my home. I am not able to travel to other consults because I have other ones that same weekend and I cannot travel to all different places to have consults."
So she backed off and said she had to talk to her mom. I hope she'll call me back but she had that "I'm backing off and changing my mind" tone to her voice. I'm not sure if it was because she wanted to gracefully back out of a "home baker" or if she really thought I was the "mobile cake tasting lady" or what....
Surely I'm not expected to not only give tastings, but deliver them too?!
I have the advantage that I teach in the Columbus area, and live in the town north of there. I give them the option of meeting me at a coffee shop in Columbus, near where I work, or here at my home. It is about 50/50. Most of my clients live in the metro area, so they choose the coffee shop.....saves them the drive here to my home. I schedule 4 or 5 of them in a day there, and do them one after the other. (and I buy something from the coffee shop for each one, AND take them some cupcakes for taking up space in their shop for a couple of hours) I do the same for the ones here at home, same day, one after the other - that way I am only doing a tasting a month. I don't mind the 10 mile drive - well worth the bookings for me.
I can totally see that...but I don't have that many tastings yet and I don't want to have to drive here and there...also I get tastings from New Jersey...Philly area...and north of me...city all around this area, so I end up reaching up to an hour radius all around me.
I hold all my meetings at home. I did one consult at a local coffee shop primarily because the people wanting the consult skeeved me out but were insistent. As soon as I got home, i marked my website as "booked."
But to answer your question, NO I would not drive hither and yon to deliver cake for a FREE tasting.
I think those of you who live in or close to the big "metro" areas can ( and should!) use that advantage. For me, there is competition, and if I choose not to offer to meet them, I loose quite a bit of orders. Maybe after my business has grown considerably, I will be able to afford to just offer the tastings from my home, for now - that isn't realistic.