"friend" Keeps Trying To Get Business Info -

Business By arosstx Updated 13 May 2010 , 5:02am by johnson6ofus

arosstx Posted 12 May 2010 , 1:52pm
post #1 of 19

I have a person in my life that was at one time a friend. Over the years (about 15) we've become less and less so, partly as a result of choices she made that caused me to distance myself from her. I've had contact with her maybe three times in the last 12 years, each time because she contacted me.

A week ago, she writes me via Facebook asking me for my phone number so she can call me and ask questions about starting a cake business in her area (she lives about 4 hours south of me, in Texas). I didn't respond. Then yesterday I get home and she has somehow gotten my # and left me a long message about the same.

I have no idea if she's ever even made a cake, much less decorated one. I'm guessing she hasn't, but has seen my cakes online and maybe thinks it looks 'fun' and wants an easy paycheck - something we cakers already know is not very realistic.

I kind of put this in the realm of "if your sink broke, would you call the plumber and ask him how to fix it?" but don't want to be rude to her. What I've learned has taken time and though I'm not opposed to asking a question or two here on CC, or calling one of my cake buddies, I would never expect someone to just unload all their knowledge on me so I could do the exact same thing. It's not a competition issue, it's just good manners. I hope I'm making sense here.

Anyone want to take a stab at suggesting to me how I should handle this? I'd really appreciate some help on this one.

Thanks,

18 replies
mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 2:03pm
post #2 of 19

I had a "friend" to send me a message saying she loved my cakes and wanted to "learn". I sent her a message back and told her to "go for it" I was self-taught and if I could do it I was sure that she could.
She messaged me back a few hours later and said "I don't know about that, at 48 it's hard to learn anything new." icon_confused.gif Ok, she wanted to "learn" but when I didn't offer to "teach" her she decided she couldn't? icon_confused.gif

That just confirmed to me that she was fishing for me to say "come on over and I'll show you everything I know" icon_lol.gif Since I didn't offer anything except a "go ahead and learn then" she didn't know what to say.

Summer09 Posted 12 May 2010 , 2:05pm
post #3 of 19

say you have no advise to give, as advise is irrelivant as everyone has there own way- and u cant just tell someone how to do something, then they know- it takes practise-physically which she can only d on her own.

hth

leily Posted 12 May 2010 , 2:50pm
post #4 of 19

Since she is asking about "Starting a cake business in her area" I would tell her since she is so far away and in a different county and town that she'll need to call her local health department (or agriculture, not sure who it is in Texas)

This way, if she really wants to go into business she is going to have to do the leg work too. And really, 4 hours away can make a big difference in any state on regulations.

If she is planning on asking for business advice, such as recipes, decorating techniques, what to charge etc.... well then again, tell her she needs to find what works for her and she'll need to do research on what pricing is in her area.

KSMill Posted 12 May 2010 , 2:55pm
post #5 of 19

I like mamawrobin's response that she was "self-taught, good luck". You could also direct her to search for on-line cake communities. Since you're so far away from her, it wouldn't make sense to try to teach her anyway.

Auryn Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:17pm
post #6 of 19

If you have no contact with this person- 3 times in 12 years is tantamount to no contact- I talk to the ppl at the cable company more than that.
I don't think you even owe her a response.
You did not give her your phone # for a reason.

Don't even waste your time answering her.
You might think me rude but she started it by being rude in her request.
If she really was serious about it she would be doing the research on her own - thats what the internet is for.

Peanut1027 Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:35pm
post #7 of 19

I would have her do her own research. Tell her besides checking with the health department, go to the library! I am self taught and still learning and I learned the things I know from cc and checking out books from the library. Then pratice, practice.

arosstx Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:37pm
post #8 of 19

I guess that's the one benefit to her being 4 hours away - can't physically teach her anything from here. I didn't call anyone when I started. I just started. I wanted to do it that bad.

If I'd have called someone and they told me how much cleaning was involved, I'd have never turned on the oven!

Late2class Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:41pm
post #9 of 19

Tell her to try a Wilton class and see if she likes it or has a knack for it first.

bakers2 Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:41pm
post #10 of 19

when I research a subject - I start with the people I know who may know somethng about what I'm interested in - what does it hurt to take 10 mintutes of your time to say - Hey, you need to contact your local health dept - you need to experiment and find recipes that work for you - and you need to look at local pricing -and there's a website called cake central that has info.... it took me less than a minute to type it - and I'm not a fast typist.....

why is it okay when we want knowledge from someone else - "how do I?...." but it's not okay for someone to ask us? I don't get it....

tmcakes Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:02pm
post #11 of 19

First things first, DON"T CALL HER!! Send her an email But Be nice, VERY nice and tell her you only have two suggestions: One pick up a Wilton yearbook and enjoy learning the basics. Once she becomes comfortable or frustrated with actually making cakes from start to finish and still want to go into business tell her the next step would be and give her the Secretary of State website and phone number (she must be legal) and thats it!

Let her do her homework. Im pretty sure if she is really serious about doing this she would have done the research on her own first. I say don't call her because she will have a million questions and will keep calling you for every little thing, a 2 min call will turn into a 2 hour conversation which will stop you for working on your client cakes. You don't want to be on the phone trying to explain simple methods to her. If you want to be super nice give her a little "Lagniappe" and tell her Youtube have some great videos she can view free of charge to help her along the way!!!!! I like to keep CC my little secret and only share it with people who are very serious and appreciate the work that goes into cake making.

HTH

arosstx Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:10pm
post #12 of 19

Loving all the replies - gives me a better perspective. I never said I was opposed to responding to her, I just want to do in a way that is helpful and not so friendly as it re-establishes in her mind that we are friends and that she can contact me any time she needs something.

I like the idea of responding to her online vs. by phone. You're right tmcakes, she is the type that will ask a lot of questions that are not relevant until she's made cake and found that she either has talent or is willing to practice a lot.

tmcakes Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:19pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakers2

when I research a subject - I start with the people I know who may know somethng about what I'm interested in - what does it hurt to take 10 mintutes of your time to say - Hey, you need to contact your local health dept - you need to experiment and find recipes that work for you - and you need to look at local pricing -and there's a website called cake central that has info.... it took me less than a minute to type it - and I'm not a fast typist.....

why is it okay when we want knowledge from someone else - "how do I?...." but it's not okay for someone to ask us? I don't get it....




You are right! I don't see anything wrong with sharing or helping someone out or get started. But I would hate to be the one to go through all the trouble explaining (which in caking is impossible to give all the answers to) and this turns out to be something they don't want to contuine doing. she has no idea how many hobbies this person has started and not contuined. I personally know which people I would share more in depth information with and those who are just blowing smoke. She in this case don't really know this person to know if she is just blowing smoke and could end up wasting her time in the end.

arosstx Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:28pm
post #14 of 19

Ok, so y'all gave me great thoughts and like I said before, perspective. I appreciate it all. I got on Facebook and sent her the following message. (For those of you that are curious, she and I are not friends on FB. She friended me early on, but I got contacted so much that I took her off.)
So here's what I sent:

"Sorry it's taken a bit to respond - I stay busy and am not on the computer or phone much these days. I have a few minutes between cakes to reply, and again I'm not sure what you expect, but this is my two cents:

Not sure what you're wanting in the way of business advice - with cake, most areas are pretty specific with regards to style, type of client, and more importantly, pricing. Also specific is each county health department's regulations on what is allowed and what isn't.

Have you been making/decorating cakes? If not, I would suggest classes at either a local cake shop, or at a Michael's or Hobby Lobby. If you don't love it, or find you're not talented in that area, you'll know it. Taking a class does not necessarily make you a cake artist. The key word there is artist. Are you artistic? Like to draw, paint, and so on? Cake people are creative.

I hope this helps. Most of what I know now comes from doing. Experience is always the best teacher!

Take care and good luck,

"

TexasSugar Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:43pm
post #15 of 19

I would have asked for this post to be deleted, and had directed her to CC, she could come here and read to her hearts content and asked any questions she wanted.

dinascakes Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:51pm
post #16 of 19

Great reply!! Short, sweet and to the point!! And still helpful. icon_smile.gif

cylstrial Posted 12 May 2010 , 5:42pm
post #17 of 19

I also think it was great reply! Let us know what she writes back. Hopefully, she will start to see that making cakes isn't easy!

classiccake Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:12am
post #18 of 19

I think you did a great job coming up with a reply. It gives her something to start with, but leaves the responsibility in her hands.

I don't really appreciate someone always asking me how to do things that I spent years and time figuring out, but at the same time, I don't mind giving occasional advice.

I am not talking about CC....I am referring to people who just don't want to think for themselves and need someone to give them all the answers!

johnson6ofus Posted 13 May 2010 , 5:02am
post #19 of 19

You can't run until you learn to walk....She's got to get up off her OWN behind and do it... again, and again...


Great starting point for her, off the hook for you... thumbs_up.gif

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