New Cake Business & Can't Believe What Some People Do!

Business By korensmommy Updated 24 Dec 2010 , 4:16am by dldbrou

korensmommy Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 11:59pm
post #1 of 35

Ok, I *can* believe what people can do!

I just got legal a few months ago, I combined my at-home cake biz with a brand new local coffee shop and things are going wonderfully!!

I am running around like crazy, baking/decorating as fast as I can to keep up with the demand and this is what happens:

*People come in at all times, and on the phone, and try to sell me things. They want to be a supplier of this or that (I already have a supplier) and want me to tell them what I need or prepare them a list to look over.

*People call and ask for my recipes! Are they for real?

*People come in and try to take over my baking spot at the coffee shop. I had one woman ask for a meeting with me and the coffee shop owner and proceed to tell him how she could plan and create a better menu and make it herself for him - out of her home!

*99% of the customers are wonderful and compliment me on my baking. You have to love the 1% who will tell you that your baking is the worst thing they have ever eaten!

*Customers just walk back into the kitchen just to take 'a peek' of how I bake and what I'm using in my recipes!

Luckily I am not a doormat and have no problem getting rid of these people quickly but do other business owners have these same issues? I am a little surprised at what people think they can do!

34 replies
pixiefuncakes Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:08am
post #2 of 35

After 16 years of running restaurants my husband has become quite cynical about 'people' and what they are capable of. I think he only tells me about a 1/3 of what goes on and that gobsmacks me.
Thankfully they are not all like that and sometimes the kindness of a stranger (or even of a friend) can take my breath away and make me want to be the person to do that for someone else.
You sound like you have the right attitude to make it in the business and I wish you lots less 'people'. lol

Dayti Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:10am
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by korensmommy


*People come in at all times, and on the phone, and try to sell me things. They want to be a supplier of this or that (I already have a supplier) and want me to tell them what I need or prepare them a list to look over.




This is the one thing that really gets my goat! I took the time to find my suppliers all by myself and I am happy with them all. If it gets to the point where I am not happy, I will change. I do not need cold callers who happen to have found out about this new business I have because someone sold them my info, calling me and wasting my time. If I needed your products/services, you would already be on my supplier list!!!!

korensmommy Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:11am
post #4 of 35

Thanks! In the 2 months we have been open, I have met some wonderful strangers who are now regulars and they outweigh those 'people' by far!

Stephy42088 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:17am
post #5 of 35

I definitely understand because I get sick of all kinds of people calling me too but you have to remember that these cold callers are not calling simply to waste your time and annoy you. They are calling because they truly believe what they are offering could have a positive impact on your business, they don't want to hurt you or cause you anger or frustration. In fact, they are the same as you and me, just trying to convince strangers that their product is the best and you cannot get it anywhere else. Yes, some are better than others but many times that can be unique to the kind of business you do.
P.S. - I also have learned to mildly dislike some people because of this business! The 1% of people who are picky and rude and self righteous just make me so angry! But the people who are unbelivably kind and generous make it worthwhile : )

korensmommy Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:25am
post #6 of 35

I'll agree with that for most people, but the people who call to get recipes or who tell the owner, in front of me, that she wants to come in and take over the baking business, that's not trying to be helpful to me. I can see the cold callers are just trying to do a job too.

I'm not angry or frustrated with these people, more shocked about how they approach the situation.

Dayti Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:27am
post #7 of 35

Oh, don't get me wrong, if someone called me and offered me a fondant sheeter for 300 I would definitely listen to them, but why would one company's gloves, hairnets or bleach (to name a few examples that some want to sell me) be better than another's!

Stephy42088 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:28am
post #8 of 35

Yeah, I completely forgot to comment on that! That is ridiculous! The nerve of some people trying to get your recipes and saying they could come in and do better is beyond ridiculous. I can definitely understand your anger on that aspect. People these days.....pshhh icon_smile.gif

korensmommy Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:37am
post #9 of 35

Luckily the coffee shop owner is a great guy and told her thanks, but no thanks. We were all very polite to her while she was giving her presentation but afterwards were all a little surprised at what she had to say.

adventuregal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 9:04am
post #10 of 35

the nerve that some people have really surprises me...

wespam Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:16pm
post #11 of 35

A sign on the front door of my shop that reads "NO SOLICITATION" is the best thing I ever did to ward off the salespeople. Pam from Bama

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:28pm
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

Quote:
Originally Posted by korensmommy


*People come in at all times, and on the phone, and try to sell me things. They want to be a supplier of this or that (I already have a supplier) and want me to tell them what I need or prepare them a list to look over.



This is the one thing that really gets my goat! I took the time to find my suppliers all by myself and I am happy with them all. If it gets to the point where I am not happy, I will change. I do not need cold callers who happen to have found out about this new business I have because someone sold them my info, calling me and wasting my time. If I needed your products/services, you would already be on my supplier list!!!!


Hubby warned me that the second I hung my open sign, the first few people walking in the door would want to SELL me something, not BUY something. My favorite were the AT&T folks who came in about every 3 months and their opening line was they wanted to see my AT&T bill to make sure I got the credit that was recently issued. I'd tell them, "Wow, that would be great if I had a phone in the shop OR an AT&T account at all. Doesn't yoru office give you a list of customers before you start out on this mission?" icon_lol.gif

CakeDiva101 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:46pm
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by korensmommy

I'll agree with that for most people, but the people who call to get recipes or who tell the owner, in front of me, that she wants to come in and take over the baking business, that's not trying to be helpful to me. I can see the cold callers are just trying to do a job too.

I'm not angry or frustrated with these people, more shocked about how they approach the situation.




When you first open a business, it is public record and vendors will get your info and call you to try to sell you theirs product. ( ex. Credit card services, supplies, phone Co. Etc.) gets old really quick but it is part of business. Now, calling for your recipe??? icon_eek.gif. Waste your time and the owner's in a meetting to get your position???? icon_surprised.gif. Are they SERIOUS?????!!!!! I think they need to be on medication thumbsdown.gif

Don't worry, this too shall pass icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:49pm
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva101

When you first open a business, it is public record and vendors will get your info and call you to try to sell you theirs product.


Kinda side tracking a bit, but it amazed me that when we filed for the building permit with the state, that I was bombed with calls from contractors wanting to do my build out. Are you kidding? Do you REALLY think that I got to the point where I was ready for a building permit and then slapped my forehead, going "Oh duh! Maybe I should get a contractor to do the stuff the building permit LET us do!" Good lord, if someone gets a building permit and DOESN'T have a contractor yet, they're too dumb to be going into business!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

(before I get flamed for being "mean" on here and calling people dumb, this obviously does not apply to those who are doing their own contracting work!)

CakeDiva101 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 12:57pm
post #15 of 35

AT&T solicitors are the worse! thumbsdown.gif

aligotmatt Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 1:50pm
post #16 of 35

I was hired to open a coffee shop for someone and work all the kinks out, try and write recipes, write an employee handbook.... When people came in with their stuff I always asked for a brochure and told them I would look at it later and if I needed their product, I would call them. Then they'd try to start on the sales pitch - credit card processors were the worst. They never ever had a brochure, and they would want me to just write down their rates and phone number and call them if I wanted them to process my cc's... no thanks shady shaderson. I would say it too, don't you think it would be poor business for me to call someone to process my credit cards who doesn't even have a business card?

Anyhow, ask for a brochure, if they don't have one, tell them they are welcome to drop one off and you'll put it in your stack of brochures and if you are looking for new products, you may call them.

leah_s Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:11pm
post #17 of 35

My "favorite" <-- sarcasm is the salesperson who doesn't know what business I'm in. I have several, so when they call telling me their product is the best ever, I ask, "How does you're product fit into my business?" You won't believe how many times the answer is, "What business are you in?"

Uh, yeah. If you don't know what business I'm in, why did you call?

"Please add this business name and phone number o your Do Not Call List. Thanks for calling!"

::click::

tracycakes Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:14pm
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva101

AT&T solicitors are the worse! thumbsdown.gif




I agree with that. Actually YP has been the worst about calling and pretending that we had ordered services from them and wanting us to pay. icon_mad.gif But what we got more than anything was request for credit card merchant services. As we ordered our business checks, we got bombarded with credit card merchant services wanting to sell us a swiper. When we got a call from one company wanting to check our swiper, and we didn't have one, I was just blown away.

The customers are great for the most part, it's some of the underhanded vendors that irritate the fire out of me.

TexasSugar Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:46pm
post #19 of 35

As far as the at&t people, do you know for sure they are at&t? I ask that because we get people calling all the time in my day job that want to speak to the person that 'handles the at&t bill'. If you ask them if they work directly with at&t, they will tell you no, they are with such and such other phone or long distance phone company. In my year plus of answering the phone I have yet to have an actual AT&T person call us to sell us something, but we get the other calls all the time.

The calls that annoy me the most are the ones that want to update our information on such and such free listing webite. We aren't listed on any to start with, so there is nothing for them to update. Then they argue with you. Which is another thing I hate!

I get that it is their job and they are just trying to make money for their families. I start off polite, and I just want them to accept a no thanks we already have someone that we get xyz from.

It is also my job to screen these calls before they get to my boss. Believe me, you don't want to get that far, especially if you agrued with me or acted like I had no say if we wanted the product or not.

And it is always fun for us when someone does come in the door to sell us something. Usually they get no further than telling us who they are with before they get asked to leave. Basicly how we look at things is if we are looking for a product we will look for it. We have suppliers we use and trust and have a good relationship with, why change that?

cakeandpartygirl Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:46pm
post #20 of 35

I get phone calls of pre-recorded messages to put an atm machine in my store...The funny thing about it is I don't have a storefront!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:47pm
post #21 of 35

Is is me or has the sales force in general become way more pushy, rude and bold? I get it at home, I get it at work... Seriously, what part of NO don't you understand??? (Wait, let me guess, it's the "O" -- it has no beginning, it has no end...) icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 3:20pm
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

My "favorite" <-- sarcasm is the salesperson who doesn't know what business I'm in. I have several, so when they call telling me their product is the best ever, I ask, "How does you're product fit into my business?" You won't believe how many times the answer is, "What business are you in?"

Uh, yeah. If you don't know what business I'm in, why did you call?

"Please add this business name and phone number o your Do Not Call List. Thanks for calling!"

::click::


One guy told me he could guarantee me better rates. I said, "So, waht ARE my rates?" and he said "Well, that was going to be my next question!" I said, "Oh no, buddy! YOU'RE the one who guaranteed me better rates and I dont' see how you can say that if you have no idea what I'm paying!"

I LUV'D putting them thru their paces! It was my favorite form of entertainment! icon_lol.gif

aswartzw Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:29pm
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Is is me or has the sales force in general become way more pushy, rude and bold? I get it at home, I get it at work... Seriously, what part of NO don't you understand??? (Wait, let me guess, it's the "O" -- it has no beginning, it has no end...) icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif




I assume it has to do with cuts in commission due to the recession and just the commission concept, in general. So many people only get paid based off commission anymore and I have a feeling I'd be very pushy, etc. if my livelihood depended on selling you something.

Sales has got to be the nastiest business alive and I could never do it. I'm too nice. I'd be a poor person. thumbs_up.gif

FullHouse Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:49pm
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Is is me or has the sales force in general become way more pushy, rude and bold? I get it at home, I get it at work... Seriously, what part of NO don't you understand??? (Wait, let me guess, it's the "O" -- it has no beginning, it has no end...) icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif




That's when I let my kids answer the phone. It's so much fun to tell a 3 year old talk all you want but say "no" whenever they ask to talk to mommy. Though I must admit that once I did talk to someone just because she was being so sweet with my son that I felt bad.

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:51pm
post #25 of 35

When i got a line at the shop strictly for my fax machine, I put a VM message that "you've reached the fax line of CIS. To reach the office, please dial blah-blah-blah. All vendors should ask for Sally in purchasing."

then .... when I'd get a call asking for Sally, I'd know it was a salesman and I'd tell him Sally just stepped out to go to the bank or pick up supplies or something and I'd offer to take a message.

There WAS no Sally. It was my way of screening my calls. icon_twisted.gif

leah_s Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:34pm
post #26 of 35

Evil. I LURVE that about you!

::blows kisses::

tripleD Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:48pm
post #27 of 35

*Customers just walk back into the kitchen just to take 'a peek' of how I bake and what I'm using in my recipes!

I have this also. I want to yell at them " get your dirty ass out of my kitchen" They come waltzing in like they pay the rent. I am very picky about cleanliness. And when they walk in off the street it makes me cring.

I got a baby gate put by the hallway and hung a sign on it no crossing without permission. Its working so far.

CWR41 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:51pm
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

There WAS no Sally. It was my way of screening my calls. icon_twisted.gif




Too funny! Delilah is our non-existant employee! icon_cool.gif

kelleym Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:55pm
post #29 of 35

My friend worked in a retail store where every male employee gave his name as "Clyde", and every female employee gave her name as "Bonnie". icon_evil.gificon_lol.gif

CakeDiva101 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 6:18pm
post #30 of 35

When solicitors came in an asked for the owner or manager, I told them the owner was away on a trip. Eventualy, they made comments like, " jeez, does your boss ever work?" and my response was: not really! I'm here slaving while she is always on vacation! Eventualy, they stopped coming because I did not have the authority to make any changes on orders or accounts. Or when they called on the phone, I just started speaking another language ( Portuguese) and they would also give up. Total entertainment, if I had the time to spare! icon_biggrin.gif

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