Do Your Local Comptitors Hurt Your Business?

Business By supakiki Updated 27 Oct 2010 , 6:05pm by CakeDiva101

supakiki Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 3:47am
post #1 of 14

Or do you not have any? If you did have competitors, say in the same town, do you think it would hurt your business? Just wondering. Thanks!

13 replies
PieceofCakeAZ Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 4:01am
post #2 of 14

More supply and the same demand equals less business for everyone.

We have more than 150 competitors locally (not counting grocery stores) and if they were all gone, we would be rich. Since we aren't, I'd have to say, yes more competitors hurt business. icon_biggrin.gif

jo_ann Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:50am
post #3 of 14

Where I live we have had a few decorators pop up within the last five years and it has slightly affected my business. With me I find it is mostly because they charge lower prices (I am the highest priced in my area) but I am one of the few that actually does fondant and gumpaste work so the orders are still up there. The majority do buttercream work, where there is nothing wrong with that but with the cake shows on today, more and more of my customers want the fondant work. Of course they want duff cakes at a cheaper price.

I did a couple of cakes for my husband's cousins last year, and her daughter and her decided to take wilton classes so they could get into decorating. I still make their cakes, they told my husband they had no idea how much was involved and how hard it could be. But then again his cousin is a quilter and I could never do that.

I just had a customer on facebook that stated on her page that she usually gets cakes from "so and so" ( one of my competitors) but that she wanted a beautiful cake for her mom's 50th birthday so she was coming to me. Now if I was "so and so" I would have been extremely ticked off and hurt. And she's not a bad decorator.

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 12:30pm
post #4 of 14

There is a Playcentre who opened up in July and it's huge.It offers everything for your party and the cake included in the price..I am beginning to wonder if I have lost few clients to the playcentre as September and October have been alot slower in years...Can't say for sure but I would bet dollars to donuts...

aligotmatt Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 12:31pm
post #5 of 14

We have tons of competition here, obviously if there was less, everyone may get more business. As far as *hurting* business, I have found that people who shop around and then choose me are very excited that I am part of their event. They have shopped around and decided my skill, style and price match what they are looking for which I've found tends to lead to a better working relationship. It leads to happier brides and a happier me.

On a side note, we have a cake decorator here who is a total smack talker. Not just a little bit, we have all heard all around that she will rip apart any other cake person just to get the business!! So she is trying hard to hurt our businesses.

costumeczar Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:12pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

We have tons of competition here, obviously if there was less, everyone may get more business. As far as *hurting* business, I have found that people who shop around and then choose me are very excited that I am part of their event. They have shopped around and decided my skill, style and price match what they are looking for which I've found tends to lead to a better working relationship. It leads to happier brides and a happier me.

On a side note, we have a cake decorator here who is a total smack talker. Not just a little bit, we have all heard all around that she will rip apart any other cake person just to get the business!! So she is trying hard to hurt our businesses.




I have to agree with this. Lots of competition (you can have a home-based cake business in VA), but the people who do hire me do so because they like my work and really want to work with me. The people who are just shopping for price can always find someone cheaper, or who's willing to undercut your price to get the job, but if a client wants that, I don't really want that client.

I also know of people who go around copying things that other people do and deliberately undercutting prices. Also know of some who trash other people and who pretend to be in certain associations when they're not, just to make themselves look more legitimate. They do shoddy work and it's irritating to watch, but some of the ones who are nasty are also having trouble in their businesses, so it will come around to get you if you act unethically.

leah_s Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:22pm
post #7 of 14

Of course the competition hurts your business. With this economy there are fewer people in the marketplace for custom cakes. What gets to me most are the unlicensed bakers who throw up a website, give themselves a fancy name and are doing this illegally. I can't compete with that since they simply don't have the costs I do. Which means I advertise more, further increasing my costs. OTOH, I have a great referral network of other vendors who keep putting my name in front of the brides (my primary focus.) And I do the same for them.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:26pm
post #8 of 14

The only input I have is"the cream always rises to he top". Do good work and charge a fair price - you will succeed.

That said have a good business head. Advertise and watch your competition. Always improve and move forward (that includes pricing!). Provide great customer service and don't do stupid things because the customer asks for it. You are the expert. Let them pick flavors, style, colors etc. But you dictate structure and how it will work. That's why they come to you.

Never bad talk the competition. Customers know when that is going on and take it for what it is.Let their work speak for them and your work speak for you.

Competition is good for everyone.

Kitagrl Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:32pm
post #9 of 14

There are tons of bakeries around here and even MORE home bakers...they're everywhere, since its legal here to do so.

On the other hand, being a home baker with four kids, I can only take so much work. I book up at 2-3 cakes per weekend, and sometimes I'll have to direct people to other bakeries (who are probably also booked up). But then we have like several million people all within a half hour drive of us.

As long as your work is top notch though, you'll have business.....although of course to have a storefront, you have to work even harder to keep up your clientele and keep business booming.

sugarlovemom Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:56pm
post #10 of 14

In my case, i can bake from home, since i recently moved to this town i'm waiting to have more clients to actually take it as business... i tried flyers, internet but there is this lady charging $40 for a 2 tier cake and stuff like that... misteriously my flyers would desapear... no matter how many ill put... and got a lot of weird calls about cake orders... couple of weeks later i saw this lady's flyers where i used to put mines... that's how i figured it was her taking mines!
Im a big believer of " there is enough for everyone", there are enough brides, birthdays, celebrations, baby showers... so i decided to take it easy.. and the best marketing i can do is make the best job i can so people will love what i do and they'll tell a friend, and it'll go on and on... but... in my case, new in this town and with her giving away her cakes like that..with the economy as it is... yes it hurts my business

1234me Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:51pm
post #11 of 14

I would have to say no in my case. There are a few other competitors locally but our styles are much different. We all basically use buttercream with some fondant accents but the way we execute is completely different! Our prices are very similar.

CakeInfatuation Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 5:26pm
post #12 of 14

Kitagrl and I live about 30 minutes from each other, our work is very similar, and our prices are also pretty similar. BUT she's got 4 kids, I've got 2. We both stay steady busy and both turn away customers often.

If I was slow, I'd say that the competition hurts me, but in reality... like kitagrl said... there's only so many cakes you can take in a week when you work alone. I can't really handle more business than I have. In fact, I think we both recently raised our minimums...

If I was working in high volume, I'd say yes. But with the recent cake "craze". All the television shows, etc... There may be more cake shops, but there are also more clients. More and more people are turning to custom cake shops than ever before. People who never would have considered anything other than a large sheet cake 5 years ago are going for $400 custom cakes today...

I think it is all relative. In the long run... the quality shops will be the ones to stand the test of time.

mombabytiger Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 5:40pm
post #13 of 14

I'm pretty friendly with the other home-based bakers in my area. We refer each other all the time. I can't imagine talking smack about another HB baker! On the other hand, we have a store that recently started offering wedding and specialty cakes (very expensive) and used Facebook to admonish customers NOT to buy from home-based bakers because we're illegal and unsanitary. That was kind of below the belt I thought.

CakeDiva101 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 6:05pm
post #14 of 14

I believe cake decorating is an art. Therefor we are artists. Not every work is the same and not all cakes taste the same. Someone that my like one persons vanilla cake may not like another vanilla cake. Like in my other business ( nails for 25 years) I set myself apart from the others. There are dozens of discount salons all around me but I offer what they can't: quality, knowlege , reliability, excellence in products and high quality costumer service. Guess what...I also charge double! And I'm packed with a steady following that book tru the year. As I am starting this new carrear, cakes, I will use the same method. You offer people something great, excellent costumer service at a fair price and they will come to you. icon_smile.gif

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