cakes every freakin weekend...last week was the straw that broke the camels back....i'm 53......too many hours and hours on my old feet.
i'm letting my youngish son have all that now.....and i'm gonna try to build up a high end cake spot in my shop....any suggestions how to get this start?
as some of you guys know, i moved in december to a bigger shop...(for a GREAT PRICE!)....don't be hatin' but it's only 350.00 for 1200 square ft....
so i won't really have to slave as hard as before...to make the overhead.
Are you registered with google? In this day and age, advertising has changed just like every thing else. I can't remember the last time I opened a telephone book or magazine to find a vendor/restaurant/clothing shop/ auto repair shop/etc, etc etc... Now I simply pull my phone out and google it. "Wedding Cakes you area".... "Chinese Food your area"... and so on.
I took at look at your website, I think it could use a lot of work. You posted that you would like to change gears and work more on high end cakes. If that is the case, you need a high end website. That doesn't mean an expensive website.
Most of the cakes on your website are sheet cakes - that doesn't exactly say "pick me for your really expensive cake order". The pictures themselves could use some help. The bakery is in the background of most of them.
I think you need more than one photo gallery. There should be a second one showing off the high end cakes. That way brides do not have to sort through a ton of sheet cakes to find a tiered wedding cake you have done.
You need to step up everything- from your logo and branding, to your cakes, most definitely your website, and have some high quality digital photographs taken professionally. I would also suggest you get an email account for your domain/company name. I know Go Daddy does them extremely cheap. You have to market not to the brides, but to everyone else in the industry: Wedding Planners, rental companies, caterers, venues, etc. Those are the ones that send high end brides to you. It's extremely rare that a high end bride will walk into your shop by herself wanting to sample a cake.
Go into your most expensive store in your area and see how they handle customer service (when they know you have money to spend). They 'cater' to the client. You need to know that up front that these brides have higher and more demanding expectations, and you need to meet them.
And every little bit helps. Real forks and plates when doing samples. Get nice napkins and serve tea in china cups and saucers. Have a quality photo book that is elegantly displayed. Nice folders for the contracts, etc. Invest in making your showcasing your brand as quality, and you will get quality in return.
Littlecake, I looked at your photos and I think your piping is amazing especially the wording.
I think you should do a display cake which shows off your skills! Take photos of it. I also think your airbrushing is great. Good luck
Wow..so envious of your space! I am willing to go 2.5 times that much a month and can't find anything in NJ - everything thing is a big hassle to get approved, blah, blah, blah. So I'm stuck renting a tiny spot for way too much an hour that is 45 mins from my home.....grrr....Anyway - good luck w/ the new spot. Have you thought about doing kid's parties or instructional classes for adults? They are very big right now and it looks like you have the room. By the way your piping skills are awesome - Personally, I think there is going to be a big movement away from the fancy fondant stuff and back to the vintagy old school piping with a new twist..just my opinion.
How to move up in your market to get the higher clientele:
-update your site
-highlight your 30 best wedding/ custom cake photos take the rest off your site and email to people only if they need ideas, (a few I saw that are some of your best: the one with the feathers and mask, lime green tiered cake w/ big pink flowers, the wedding cake next to the lime green one in the gallery, 3D dragon cake)
- get rid of the sheet cake photos on your site
-email needs to be email@example.com. Or something tied to your domain
-you have branded yourself as the local "cake lady". that needs to be cut out
-you new space needs to have an upscale/ modern/ attractive feel. Think hotel lobbies or nice restaurants. When you walk in to some of those places, you feel and act a certain way. That's what you need to go for.
-you need a logo
-Start networking with the hotels/ caterers/ bridal salons. Ask them to lunch, or take coffee to them with a samples.
this is a really good post, God is good. I just pass my inspection for a new location. new start and this really helped me with my pricing and website. Thanks