Friends And Business Don't Mix Well

Decorating By mommie917 Updated 8 Mar 2011 , 8:26am by cupcakesnbuttercream

mommie917 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 12:53am
post #1 of 17

Hi, I need to rant for a minute and I'm curious to see if anyone else has the same issues. I'm a stay at home mom w/ 2 children and I decorate cakes for family and friends as a hobby (not for profit but I do request that they pay for the supplies, unless I make the cake as a gift.) I'd rather have a great reaction to my work then worry about making money. Well, as we all know cake decorating is not a CHEAP hobby or business. It takes a lot of time to come up with a unique idea, research supplies, and finalize all the details.- OK, here's my issue... I've had a few "friends" recently request cakes and inquire about prices. I usually ask them what their budget is so I know what I can work with, this is before I even start thinking of ideas. When they send back $30-40, I'm insulted, apparently they think they're ordering from WalMart. I usually decline those orders. However, when I'm told that $100-$200 is their budget then I get excited because I know I can definitely make something awesome within that price range. I start spending all my time focusing on the cake and coming up with 2 to 3 different ideas, they always say "I love it! We will get with you this week to pay you" and since they're "friends" I order the supplies because I trust them (I also make them aware that I'm going to go ahead and order everything as long as they're 100% sure they want it) But when it comes down to getting the payment it's like pulling teeth. I've lost over $100 this month on unused supplies because in the end they decided to do something cheaper, but I've already bought specific things for the cakes. They don't even offer to cover my loss. It's really starting to get on my nerves and I'm almost to the point of stopping all orders because it just seems to be a hassle. I don't like having someone waste my time or my money. I've come to realize friends and business don't mix well. Sorry about the long ranting but I had to get it off my chest.

16 replies
angelcakes5 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:07am
post #2 of 17

Yes I totally understand. I would maybe tell them if you have to order the supplies you need the money upfront to cover your cost. Good luck!

platinumlady Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:30am
post #3 of 17

I definitely know where you are coming from. I heard similar stories to this before I started make cakes for others. I set up a PayPal account for people to make payments in advance. Because like you I can't just go out and buy all the supplies & then have someone decide or never mind or my budget is....or can I write you a check...I have my PayPal set up to only take Debit or Credit cards. I don't start doing anything until I get payment. Even if I have the money to spare. So if they want me to make something & the local supply place don't carry it and they want to wait till 2 days before to pay me...they are pretty much out of luck. I tell them in order to make sure I can get everything payment has to be in at least 10 days in advance. This way it gives me time to order supplies (online or local) & make the cake. Sometimes the ones closest to us want us to make exceptions for them but you just need to put your foot down & let them know the full process so they can get some sort of understanding where you are coming from. HTH

Jesse0977 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:58am
post #4 of 17

At the beginning I would make the cake and take the whole payment the day it was ready to get picked up. But now I ask for 50% in advance to confirm the order and the rest the day the pick up the cake. And I always ask for the deposit 2 weeks in advance or at least 10 days to give me time to buy the supplies and make the decorations. A lot of things can happen between the day the customer says "yes" to have the cake done and the day they are suppose to pick it up. they can change their mind, find a cheaper alternative, maybe even a family emergency (like it happen to me once), and you just cant take the risk and buy everything without a payment confirmation to at least cover your materials, or you'll end up losing money in the end. Cheers!

cupcakesnbuttercream Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:03am
post #5 of 17

I definitely understand where you are coming from. The past few weeks I've had many different friends ask me to do cakes for different events. They KNOW my prices, have tasted my cakes on so many occasions, and LOVE them.....yet, they end up with some excuse at the last minute as to why they have decided to go another route. I just don't get it. Why even bother asking me?

I have customers sign a contract, I think I need to start requiring the same for friends.

KodiSnip Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:46am
post #6 of 17

Wow, do you have the same friends I do??? I have a friend/coworker who was always after me to do a cake for her family. I made one for her sons birthday and she was a little put off by the cost, but ordered/paid for it anyway. She liked the cake but felt I should be in the $30-40 dollar range. The 2nd time she requested I make a cake for her she ordered a large cake (again) so I set off and bought the supplies after she assured me that it was a go. Two days beforehand she casually mentioned to me that her family "decided to go with something from Walmart". I was upset that I had bought everything and was already started. The third time, she called me to make another cake for her family and I quoted her a price and decided to go with my gut feeling and do NOTHING. She called me the day before the event to tell me that her brother was going a "different way".

By the way the 1st cake was a FULL SHEET half vanilla half strawberry cake with fruit filling. the 2nd cake was to be a 3 tier carrot/chocolate/lemon cake. The 3rd was to be a full sheet WASC sprinkles cake AND side cupcakes - All these cakes she was willing to pay $30-40 for ~imagine that!~

I learned my lesson with that and always tell my friends/clients that I need the $ upfront for supplies and that I need the money at least two weeks in advance. If it's last minute - they pay last minute prices. thumbs_up.gif

mommie917 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:14am
post #7 of 17

I'm sorry that we all have to deal with this but it does make me feel better knowing that I'm not alone. I just don't understand why friends think they can get away with certain things. I'm honestly going to start treating them like strangers when they want a cake. From here on out I refuse to cut deals with anyone. If they don't like my prices (which are soooooo much cheaper than any local bakeries!) then they can carry their butts to WalMart....Can you tell I'm still super irritated? Lol

SophisticatedSweets Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:33am
post #8 of 17

You must know the same people I know. icon_smile.gif I have had "friends" show to pick up the cake and then pull the "Can I pay you Monday?" bit. When someone is your friend you think you can trust them but often times it ends up in disappointment. It is more amazing when they have the galls to call a month or so later asking for another cake! Grrr.

KodiSnip Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:01am
post #9 of 17

Its the family and friend ideology: GET SOMETHING for NOTHING. I used to say nothing, but after a while its gets to you. I am now very polite and firm if you want a custom cake made to your specs or requested flavors I will do it for a certain price. I am not as expensive as the custom cakes at local metropolitan bakeries, but if they want a $30 white/chocolate/marble mass-produced cake from a superstore - by all means go get it!

I love cake-making and decorating and I want it to stay that way thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:39am
post #10 of 17

Since you are asking they pay for the supplies, then instead of you using your gas and time (my daughter is a stay-at-home with 2 kids, so I KNOW how hectic that can be to go on a shopping expedition!), make out a FULL AND COMPLETE shopping list and give it to them, telling them, "Here's what I will need to make your cake. I'll need everything by blah-blah date. If you can't get it to me by that date, I can't make your cake as this is very time involved."

You're not out anything and they get an eyeful of what this stuff REALLY costs.

oh .... and the list should be brand specific - "NO Substitutions!" (no walmart brand shortening instead of crisco; no margarine instead of butter, etc.) and if they have to go to 4 different stores to get it, then so be it. That's what YOU would have to do, right?

Your list should include a full roll of paper towels, even if you only use 3; a full box of parchment paper, even if you only use half; a full bottle of vanilla, even if you only use a teaspoon. If they complain, be very wiilling to give them the leftover stuff ... but they are nto much of a friend if they won't even let you keep 1/2 a bottle of vanilla as "payment"!

pixiefuncakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:04am
post #11 of 17

Indydebi, that is such a good idea!

tryingcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:16am
post #12 of 17

I have always asked for money up front, including friends. Real friends would not ask me to front the money. Everyone else is an acquaintance.

KodiSnip Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:01pm
post #13 of 17

[/quote]Real friends would not ask me to front the money. Everyone else is an acquaintance.[/quote]


thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif i love it

BrindysBackyard Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:29pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Since you are asking they pay for the supplies, then instead of you using your gas and time (my daughter is a stay-at-home with 2 kids, so I KNOW how hectic that can be to go on a shopping expedition!), make out a FULL AND COMPLETE shopping list and give it to them, telling them, "Here's what I will need to make your cake. I'll need everything by blah-blah date. If you can't get it to me by that date, I can't make your cake as this is very time involved."

You're not out anything and they get an eyeful of what this stuff REALLY costs.

oh .... and the list should be brand specific - "NO Substitutions!" (no walmart brand shortening instead of crisco; no margarine instead of butter, etc.) and if they have to go to 4 different stores to get it, then so be it. That's what YOU would have to do, right?

Your list should include a full roll of paper towels, even if you only use 3; a full box of parchment paper, even if you only use half; a full bottle of vanilla, even if you only use a teaspoon. If they complain, be very wiilling to give them the leftover stuff ... but they are nto much of a friend if they won't even let you keep 1/2 a bottle of vanilla as "payment"!





this is the best way to go. I do this for the friends and family who pull the "i don't want to pay after they have the cake."

abqgreene Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:57pm
post #15 of 17

I guess I am very lucky. Everyone I have made cakes for gives me the money when they ask. I have even had two give me extra when I delivered it. the one thing I can add is that i never plan a cake until I have money in hand.

shekelia Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:17pm
post #16 of 17

friends and business don't mix you got that right soon as they think they know you they think their getting a deal i had several family members ask me to make a cake and after i made the cake they issued me half of what im charging not alone the cost of supplies this sucks they rather spend money on cars jewelry or other stuff than pay for a cake

cupcakesnbuttercream Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:26am
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Since you are asking they pay for the supplies, then instead of you using your gas and time (my daughter is a stay-at-home with 2 kids, so I KNOW how hectic that can be to go on a shopping expedition!), make out a FULL AND COMPLETE shopping list and give it to them, telling them, "Here's what I will need to make your cake. I'll need everything by blah-blah date. If you can't get it to me by that date, I can't make your cake as this is very time involved."

You're not out anything and they get an eyeful of what this stuff REALLY costs.

oh .... and the list should be brand specific - "NO Substitutions!" (no walmart brand shortening instead of crisco; no margarine instead of butter, etc.) and if they have to go to 4 different stores to get it, then so be it. That's what YOU would have to do, right?

Your list should include a full roll of paper towels, even if you only use 3; a full box of parchment paper, even if you only use half; a full bottle of vanilla, even if you only use a teaspoon. If they complain, be very wiilling to give them the leftover stuff ... but they are nto much of a friend if they won't even let you keep 1/2 a bottle of vanilla as "payment"!




I think I will try this route the next time I get a 'request'.

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