I live in UK and have been into cake decorating for a couple of months now and I am getting pretty good at it.
I have my own shop where I sell sweets and food and the best way to sell my cakes is obviously at my shop.
But I live in this small town where everyone is just sooo used to buy there cakes at this local bakery for years now.
So how do I promote my cakes, I have already put banners on the windows with a few pictures of the cakes I've done, and have printed on the banners that I am selling barbie, image, birthday, wedding cakes etc etc. but still I am not attracting customers somehow.
I've also added a special "cakes" page on my shops website, but that is just recently launched, but I am not expecting much from that as well.
I haven't got any family or friends here that can do some mouth to mouth advertising for me, so I am a bit stuck, I really want to expand my cake business, but somehow everyone is just heading to the bakery for their cakes, although my food&sweets business is going well.
Customers always say we'll come and place an order, but never come back to actually place it. My prices are also not very different to the bakery, so any suggestions what to do next????
Set out a sample tray for customers to sample in your shop.Maybe go to a few craft/bake sales and set up a table to buy and taste your cakes.I wouldn't however advertise that you do Barbie or any other kind of licensed character cakes as you need special premission from those companies to sell their product and it is costly to get permission to do so.Have flyers made up and send them out.Donate whenever you can to a local community events.Once you get your baking out there for people to try..then the orders will come.
oh really, are we not even allowed to make barbie cakes, gosh, did not even know that, I knew about the images but barbie????
Wow, that's something isn't it.
Barbie is owned by Mattel and you would have to get permission from them..It's like Disney and Nickelodeon....
You can make a generic Doll cake but not Barbie perse.
If you have people that come through or by your shop daily, I'd make up some dummy cakes. Do something traditional and then something non traditional. Dummy cakes will be more eye catching than small pictures.
How are your cakes different than the local bakery's? Do they taste/look better? Made with fresh fruit, high-quality chocolate, or organic ingredients? Do you offer some unique flavors? And how are your prices? You have to somehow differentiate yourself.
I love the idea of the tasting samples and dummy cakes. Maybe you could also sell some cupcakes and small cakes so that customers could try out your products without making a big investment.
I have to admit, that I don't have a shop, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, lol! I do, however, donate dozens of cupcakes and 6 inch decorated cakes to a non-profit, which sells them at our weekly local farmer's market as fundraisers. My cakes and cupcakes sell out every week, even though there are several other vendors selling these items. I try to make them as eye-appealing as possible to catch buyers' attention, and their yummy & unique flavor combinations keep them coming back!
I'd make up some mini's and offer them to customers when they come in our shop. OR, do an after hours cake tasting party. Invite people in to have minis and coffee, or tea. They need to know that they are getting the same or better quality than they are already used to getting. And the best way for them to know is to get a taste of your cakes so they'll know for sure when they need a cake for a special occasion they won't be taking a chance on the quality of the cake.
Thanks everybody for your suggestions, I really like the dummy one, I was actually thinking about that as well, and the minis are a good one as well, I'll try going from here and then see.
Actually yes I think my cakes are fresher as I tend to make them nearest to delivery/pick up time, and also I use fresh fruit for at least one layer, and all my cakes are filled twice, and not to forget, they look lots lots better than the bakery ones. The community is just so hooked to this bakery lol, so I will definately start working on my dummies, and for the barbie cakes, I will just use a doll that looks like a barbie lolz....
And make some minis!!!
Best of luck to you. I hope your cake business picks up soon!
Go get em!!!