How Do You Deal With This>>>?????

Business By apetricek Updated 20 Jun 2010 , 12:37am by sari66

apetricek Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:15pm
post #1 of 17

Hi there was wondering how you all get people to follow the "rules"? By this I mean what is outlined on your contract, or rules that you stick by for your buisness. I am finding lately that people are taking advantage of me more and more, and really need to find a way to put a stop to it...I am at the point where I almost want to pack it up and forget about doing this. I send everyone a contract with mulitple points "rules" in which they sign and return with their deposit. I have so many people lately that what all the WOW cakes that are hours and hours worth of work, and think that they can order 3 days in advance and that that is enough time....Do you cancel people? I do have this in my contract that if I do not have the details 10 days before, that order is subject to cancelation. Should I start to enforce this? It is just so much time confirming everyone and I feel like at times I am running around trying to figure out what they want, or reminding them it is almost at that 10 day mark...I know I should put my foot down, and this is their cake, blah blah blah, but just wanted some suggestions/tips on how to get people to cooperate...LOL I do not take last minute orders. I just wonder if anyone has any tips on how to get people to "follow the rules"? I know everyone is busy, but so AM I!!!

16 replies
cupcake_cutie Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:34pm
post #2 of 17

I know that it's going to be hard, but you're going to have to enforce your contract. If not they won't take you seriously and they will keep taking advantage.

Caths_Cakes Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:35pm
post #3 of 17

You just need to be honest and stick to your guns! If you tell them you need all info signed and sealed 10 days prior to delivery . . And you dont get that info, then they get NO cake, no exceptions! Let them you know you will send a reminder, But if you dont hear back then you will assume its a cancellation and will wipe there order, You cant run around after everyone, its not being rude, its being efficient!

mayo2222 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:36pm
post #4 of 17

Not sure if I am following you...So are you taking orders only 3 days in advance or are people only deciding on what they want 3 days before they need it but after they signed a contract beforehand?

Either way if you are not enforcing your contract then why do you even bother having a contract or rules? Seriously...you need to put your foot down. This your business and your livelihood and if you don't run it as such you won't have either for very long.

erinalicia Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:43pm
post #5 of 17

like you have to do with children.... follow through! If you say you will cancel the order, cancel it. If you don't think highly enough of your "rules" to follow them, why should anyone else? You're just leaving the door open for them to trample you.

apetricek Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:43pm
post #6 of 17

thanks guys, I know this is what I HAVE to do...haven't really had this problem until recently, I am also busier that I have been in the past. I think these reality shows make things very unrealistic. To answer your question MAYO2222 no these people are waiting till 3 days before to let me know what they want. I guess I will just have to start canceling and then people will know that I mean business. I have been doing this for 13 years and have loved it really, but lately people are just pushing me to the limit and making me start to hate it and people too...LOL

leah_s Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:47pm
post #7 of 17

With me (for wedding cakes) designs, flavors, payments HAVE to be confirmed 3 weeks prior.

jerseygirlNga Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:50pm
post #8 of 17

If you don't enforce the rules you set up, why have a contract? 3 Days for a decorated cake? I think the general public believe if you can bake a cake at 3PM and have it for dessert, after dinner...then why do you need more time. Also, I have heard some say if they order too much in advance, they will get "something thats been frozen."

When you find the situation frustrating, refuse the order or the client will not get your best work. Keep in mind, that your work is your business card. It's not one or two people that see (and judge your creation) ...hopefully its a roomful of prospective clients.

If you have time available and need the order, accept the order and explain that you will not have enough time to decorate it as you would have liked with more time available. Tell them what they can get for the time allotted and allow them to walk. That will make you look better than refusing them outright and maybe next time, they will abide by the rules.

PiccoloChellie Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 2:55pm
post #9 of 17

This is your business.
YOU run your business, not your customers. You're in charge. Your policies are in place for a reason. Stick to them and don't let customers walk all over you! icon_smile.gif

mayo2222 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 3:19pm
post #10 of 17

Sounds like you just need to be more proactive in following up with your orders to confirm all aspects of the cake xx amount of days before its due and/or start tacking on a rush fee for changes not within your specified timeframe

katibeth88 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 3:28pm
post #11 of 17

I would jack up the price on cakes that are submitted passed the deadline.

sadie098 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 3:34pm
post #12 of 17

I agree with mayo2222 Hike the price for anything under a 10 day notice! If they truly want the cake, they'll pay it. I had a bride that pulled that on me, except she never confirmed or made a down payment even after I had reminded her 3 times . She called 3 days before the wedding and said she just assumed we were set. I never even gave her a price. That's how little she communicated with me. I had to tell her she would have to find someone else after I told her the cake would be $650 for a rush order and she said that was way too much. icon_surprised.gif Yeah the cake shows are very unrealistic but I have to say, they've bumped up my orders because people want that statis of having a designer cake.

catlharper Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 4:55pm
post #13 of 17

My contract clearly says that the client can make changes to the cake up to the date the final payment is due. Thats 1 month before the event date for wedding cakes or 1 week before the event for party cakes. I let them know clearly at the signing of the contract that no changes can be made after that date...PERIOD. Also, if they do not get me the final payment when due then I will call ONCE and at that point they will need to get me cash by the next day or their order is cancelled and I keep the 50% deposit. Now, mind you, one week before the due date for the final payment/changes I do contact them...and yes, I will chase them down till I actually talk to them...no text messages/email/voicemail messages...actually talk to them and confirm that their final payment/changes are due the next week. Set your boundries early and then stick to them. Follow ups and reminders are needed but the due dates are set in stone and if they don't follow the rules then they get no cake. A bit hard ass I know but I'm not their friend, I'm their cake artist and if they want cake then they will follow the rules...if not then they can go to Costco.

Cat

mom2twogrlz Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 5:16pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlharper

My contract clearly says that the client can make changes to the cake up to the date the final payment is due. Thats 1 month before the event date for wedding cakes or 1 week before the event for party cakes. I let them know clearly at the signing of the contract that no changes can be made after that date...PERIOD. Also, if they do not get me the final payment when due then I will call ONCE and at that point they will need to get me cash by the next day or their order is cancelled and I keep the 50% deposit. Now, mind you, one week before the due date for the final payment/changes I do contact them...and yes, I will chase them down till I actually talk to them...no text messages/email/voicemail messages...actually talk to them and confirm that their final payment/changes are due the next week. Set your boundries early and then stick to them. Follow ups and reminders are needed but the due dates are set in stone and if they don't follow the rules then they get no cake. A bit hard ass I know but I'm not their friend, I'm their cake artist and if they want cake then they will follow the rules...if not then they can go to Costco.

Cat




I love that....they can go to Costco!!!!! LOL icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

KathyTW Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 6:00pm
post #15 of 17

I have a question.....how can you even draw up a contract with someone if you don't know what they want? If a bride calls to get a price, how can you even give her a price without all the details? Unless you have a 'one-price" type cake like some people have gone to and then there are no details to even worry about, but 3 days is still not enough.

If a bride waits until 3 days before a wedding to order a cake she'd be hard pressed to find any professional willing to do it, even at a high price.

dreamcakesmom Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 6:40pm
post #16 of 17

I agree with Kathy- I do not send a priced invoice until I have confirmed all details. If they want to hold the date wit hthe deposit they need to make a full commitment. I do have a caveat that they can increase servings, make minor changes (with bakery approval) in wiritng up to 10 days prior to event). How are you basing your seposit requirement to hold the date?

sari66 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 12:37am
post #17 of 17

For a wedding cake I charge 150 non-refundable retainer. If they don't yet have a final count (most don't) we just do an estimate based on their invites. They have until 3 weeks before the wedding to make changes/give final count.

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