Should I Donate Cakes For Advertising

Business By KellyJo3 Updated 16 Mar 2011 , 5:51am by Lelka

KellyJo3 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 11:31pm
post #1 of 16

I got an email today from a retirement community asking if I could make 2, 2 tiered wedding cakes for them. I just started my business and would like to build up some customers. The event is for couples that live there that are married and it's like a wedding vow renewal ceremony. The cakes are going to be feeding up to 50 people each. They also requested sugar roses on the top tiers.When they requested the cakes they informed me of having a tight budget and if I could quote them a really cheap price. They also mentioned that my business would be put in the paper as well with the article of the ceremony and a picture of my cakes. I really need more customers and there will be a lot of people there. I quoted them $20.00 for both cakes together, which barely covers the cost of supplies, but I was more thinking of the help advertising. What I was wondering is, should I just donate the cakes and forget about the little amount I already quoted her or should I just stick with my original quote. Thanks for reading! : )

15 replies
KathysCC Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 11:33pm
post #2 of 16

I think you should stick to your original quote. If they are okay with paying that amount then not only do you get some money to help pay for supplies but you are getting the free advertising as well.

KellyJo3 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 11:38pm
post #3 of 16

Good point. I think I'll stick with the original quote, thanks! : )

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 12:04am
post #4 of 16

At $20.00 you are oractically donating the cakes already, stick with the $20 at least some of your expenses are covered then.

homebasedbaking Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 1:56am
post #5 of 16

I must agree, stick to your original price and try not to donate unless you are doing it for a group that will provide you with the exposure to the type of target market you're looking for. You have to ask yourself what kind of business will this really generate and will these customers "talk up" my product? It matters not if you are just starting out, don't sell yourself short, you are a professional and you want to be paid like one. Give yourself permission to make money on your products, nothing, absolutely nothing in life is free!

donnlara Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 2:22am
post #6 of 16

I agree with sticking to your original quote. I did a cake for a retirement community last summer, and charged a bit less than usual with the same hope of getting more orders from them down the road. Turns out I did get one additional order from them a month or so later, but not enough to warrant the discount they got the first time around.

scp1127 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 11:43am
post #7 of 16

Fixed incomes are generally not a good target market for a more expensive, non-necessity. I give to Hospice because they took care of my father when he was passing. But I want nothing in return. For other charities, I make it a full donation. A discount will not endear you to the cause. But make sure the audience IS your target market.

KellyJo3 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 12:01pm
post #8 of 16

Thank you so much for the advise everyone. I love this site! I learn so much here! : )

leily Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 6:58pm
post #9 of 16

I only donate to organizations that i want to offer something to to begin with. I don't try to use it as advertisement anymore, it's not worth it. I donate to help them out.

platinumlady Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 7:29pm
post #10 of 16

I think you told them a great price. You may or may not get a lot of orders out of it. However, you never know where this is going to lead.

I know sometimes we get caught up in the how much I'm gonna make because we do this to make money...that IMO we forget about the relationships we are building. Yes this is a retirement community however they have grandchildren & some great grandchildren that may enlist your services. But for me when I read it my mind went to the kind gesture that your doing. With the bonus perk of a free add in the paper.

Sometimes it's great every so often to just be able to help someone out. & that's what you are doing KUDOS

costumeczar Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:58pm
post #11 of 16

Donations are not a good way to get more referrals. Just donate to the groups that you want to donate to, and don't expect ANYTHING in return in terms of new business. If you do get an order that's nice, but don't be fished in by people saying how good it will be for your business, and how many people will see your ad. It won't, and they won't.

scp1127 Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 8:01am
post #12 of 16

For wedding and higher end specialty cakes, I can see that donations would be tough to expect a return. Conversely, a bakery, even my specialty bakery, does benefit as long as I choose right. I say yes to my contractor's boy scout troop, a child I know with CS, DOGS, Hospice, anyone I know with a fundraiser . These are usually not my market. When it's a charity that I don't feel a personal "closeness", I pick by whether the audience is my direct market, for example, a black tie fundraiser. There is nothing wrong with donating for market exposure. That is how these events get funding.

howsweet Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 3:56am
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Donations are not a good way to get more referrals. Just donate to the groups that you want to donate to, and don't expect ANYTHING in return in terms of new business. If you do get an order that's nice, but don't be fished in by people saying how good it will be for your business, and how many people will see your ad. It won't, and they won't.


x2 icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 12:45pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Donations are not a good way to get more referrals. Just donate to the groups that you want to donate to, and don't expect ANYTHING in return in terms of new business. If you do get an order that's nice, but don't be fished in by people saying how good it will be for your business, and how many people will see your ad. It won't, and they won't.

x2 icon_smile.gif


thumbs_up.gif , too.

Also agree with previous statements that a retirment community, which stereotypically will be filled with folks who are (a) not getting married (b) have limited income (c) have health issues that prevent eating a lot of cake or sugary foods is not good advertising nor is it your target market.

would you spend money to put an ad in a newspaper or magazine aimed at this target market?

adventuregal Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 5:27am
post #15 of 16

When I first started out I was giving out free cakes hoping to drum up more orders and it never worked-if anything I got more people calling or emailing me saying " I saw the cake you did for ***** for free-are you still needing people to make free cakes for?" icon_rolleyes.gif
Right now I donate cakes to Stand Up for Kids and Free Cakes for Kids and I do that for the fun of it not for the potential referrals.

Lelka Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 5:51am
post #16 of 16

I noticed from the past that every client that asking for a specially low price in return for an amazing advertisement and more business from the people for the party never EVER perform. There is only 1 client that I do all her auction/donation cakes for absolutely free and go all the way for her, and got the most business from her and her friends and families. I think I can pay my kids college just from that client. But it was my choice and I never expected anything when she first came to me.

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