Before starting your cupcake or cake business did you do any research on your competition? The dear husband is over here laughing at me because I came in the house with more cupcakes. Let me tell you the background story. There is a very popular and delicious cupcakery over near my job. There's also a fairly new cupcakery directly down the street from my job. So when I thought about starting my own cupcakery I decided to try out their delights and check out the prices and get an idea on what type of flavors they offered.
So a few weeks ago I was telling the hubby that there isn't anything like that out near our house (I work quite a ways from where I live). So one day I was going to purchase a new cell phone and what did I notice but a new Bakery right next to the Verizon store. It had been open about a week. At the time I didn't go try it out, but I decided to go try it out today. They were really good. They had the traditional flavors, plus of course red velvet (my favorite), wedding cake, and a cream brulee flavor that was to die for. The cake was so moist and delicious! So the hubby was like you have more cupcakes? I said this is research for our new business. So now he keeps teasing me. Telling me I'd find any excuse to eat cupcakes (this much is true). Let me say this is the best tasting research I've ever done!
I'm just a hobbyist, but my girls and I "research" the local cupcakeries all the time!!! It's a good way to keep up to date on the local trends and favorites.
I just tasted the wedding cake cupcake. It was the WASC recipe and it was to die for. I wonder how she got hers so moist. It's way more moist than mine. I am going to have to practice that recipe more.
Gee...you must live near me, as I know just where you are talking about the new Bakery. I was tempted to walk in an try, but got to the front door and turned and walked away. I have been in the area and doing custom cakes for about 10 years. I just immediately thought, I bet I know the person that opened this business and she will know I am "checking her out." I have heard that the cupcakes are quite delicious, and seeing as I am not in the cupcake business, I guess I will have to just give it another shot...
I keep track of all pricing, flavors, and taste of every one of my competitors.
What drives me CRAZY is when a fellow baker calls "pretending" to be a customer inquiring about pricing. It is such a collosal waste of time...I wish they'd just be honest and introduce themselves. That's what I did when I opened shop a few years ago. Friendly competition, referrals, etc. Don't burn bridges...Very sad, especially when they then copy and paste to their site, word for word. Isn't that plagarism?
I do try to keep up with the comp. too, through their websites. There is a local caker whose gallery pictures are uploads from CC and other professional sites and not their own work. This is really irritating, but when you think about it, why should it bother me, but it does really burn my butt. I don't falsify my abilities and hate that the competition does, plus I like to see what the competition is able to do.
If you go through all her text, she does say, on a different web page, that they aren't all her pics, but she certainly implies they are hers on her gallery page, and what do many customers do, but go straight to the gallery and not read all the text.
I love research! Especially when most of the time the cupcakes around me are terrible.
True story though, there is a bakery that is a few blocks from my house, I never went there because parking sucks. The other day I was driving home from the store and miracle of miracles, someone pulled out of the space right in front of the bakery! So I took it (there was even 15 minutes left on the meter!). I went in and bought 4 mini cupcakes ($10! Sheesh.) I fully expected these cuppies to suck like all the other trendy cupcake joints around my house. But... no. They were really really good.
So, am I too infer that it's common practice to pretend one's interested in an order just to cyphen information, and waste my time? My cakes taste better than my competitions also, or so I'm often told, but there's a market for everything...look at how many people still buy cakes from the large chains grocery stores. I make custom cakes so I don't care, but I don't like the sneaking around, asking how my recipes work, etc. A lack of creativity on their part is not my problem, nor is it going to be.
you better believe that Target execs tromp through Walmart just to check it out!
I am pretty friendly with most of my competition ( I think we all kind of agree that we offer different products and there are enough brides to go around), but I still check their websites, facebook pages, and other review sites. I just like to make sure that I'm in the know, ya know?
Yes, checking websites is one thing and wasting someone's time is quite another. That's all I'm saying. I'm a homeschooling mom, also running a home business, so I don't like being jerked around with someone pretending they'll get back to me, when I can clearly see where the number is coming from. Just come out and ask...I'll gladly reveal my prices, but not my recipes.
I don't waste anyone's time. I buy the product. Having competitors' pricing does you absolutely no good unless you taste it. You cannot honestly find your place in the market unless you know everyone else's place. And then be honest with yourself. I'll give an example too. Do you think GM calls up Ford and asks for their pricing? Or do they buy the car and totally disect it to find out every possible thing they can about it? You can say the same for any industry... potato chips, computers, appliances. Cake is no different.
I fully expected these cuppies to suck like all the other trendy cupcake joints around my house. But... no. They were really really good.
Ah man I HATE that when that happens!
I hate it when they are really good and I eat them all instead of throwing them away.
Market research is crucial when you own, or are looking into starting, a business. I buy one each of anything that appears interesting. But I don't eat the entire product, that would be too many calories.
I have helpers to eat everything. They aren't as picky as I am and I love it when they can't eat the cake either because it is terrible.