Growing My Business

Business By Esthersimkin Updated 19 Apr 2011 , 3:53pm by CoveredInCake

Esthersimkin Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 10:29am
post #1 of 8

Hi, Everyone!
About a year ago, I decided to make it official and start my home-based cake business. Since then, I've done a couple of weddings and a cake for a local food-tasting festival, and a LOT of free cakes for friends and family to develop a word-of-mouth reputation. However, business (especially wedding cakes) has not been steady. I have a web site, (that gets a lot of positive reviews) I give out business cards generously, I get good traffice to my page but no calls. A couple of days ago I signed on with The Knot, in the hopes of getting more business. My cakes get RAVE reviews from people, including professionals, so I don't understand why my business hasn't really taken off. I'm a little frustrated.
Any ideas or suggestions? Is it supposed to be this hard to get your business off the ground? icon_sad.gif

7 replies
jason_kraft Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 12:27pm
post #2 of 8

How much competition is there in your area, and how do they compare in terms of quality, product offerings, and price? If you are in a state with a cottage food law there will probably be quite a few home-based bakers if you live in an area with a large market.

costumeczar Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 7:19pm
post #3 of 8

First of all, stop giving out free cakes. Your friends and family have had your cake before, so they don't need more freebies. You can also expect that your frienda and family will be your worst clients, so don't expect them to order anything from you. If they do it will be a bonus.

The knot mgiht work. For me it didn't, so track how much traffic your'e getting from it. Check to see if hthere are any wedding guides that are given out at wedding shows and advertise in those. That's the best way to get your ad in front of a lot of brides.

If there's a wedding networking group in your area go to meetings and meet other wedding professionals. They're the ones who are going to refer you to clients.

You could call any party rental places in your area and ask if they need a display wedding cake for their wedding displays. They'll put your business cards out for people to pick up,usually.

jammjenks Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 10:16pm
post #4 of 8

One word: Facebook.

You wouldn't believe the amount of business I got from people in my area finding me on FB.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 10:18pm
post #5 of 8

We actually get far more business from Yelp and Google Maps than Facebook...but then again the SF Bay Area is the epicenter for both Yelp and Google so YMMV.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 11:49pm
post #6 of 8

You say your website gets good reviews, but by who? Is it searchable on google or another search engine? Have customers given you positive reviews of your website, or is it family and friends? Just wondering how many people are able to find you easily online by searching "cakes" or "custom cakes", etc. It's so common now for people to turn to an internet search first when looking for ANYTHING. We have gotten a lot of business from people finding us through google, yahoo, and such. HTH!

indydebi Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 12:15am
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If there's a wedding networking group in your area go to meetings and meet other wedding professionals. They're the ones who are going to refer you to clients.

If you only listen to one piece of advice from this thread, listen to the above piece. Networking groups that are focused on and devoted to nothing but weddings are THE vehicle to get your name out. Find out; start one; but whatever you do, be a part of one!

There are tons of wedding websites that you can sign up for at no cost. I was on 21 of them. Not big volume from all of them, but (a) they were free (b) only one booking more than "paid" for the listing! icon_biggrin.gif

CoveredInCake Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:53pm
post #8 of 8

I second Facebook. It has been the driving force behind our success so far!

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