I have just discovered today how many people in my general area do custom cakes. I am suprised at this.
So, I am definatly competeing, which is fine but I wanna continue to stand out.
I am offering a sale this month on my cupcakes but I'm not getting as much of a hit on this. I have also just added cake combinations to my menu to offer more to my clients. Cakes and cupcakes like peach cobbler, apple pie, smores, cookie dough etc.
I have these priced at $24 per dozen and on sale this month for $21.
I am already a "homemade everything" baker with 10 years experience with a huge client list and I stay fairly busy. I just want to bring more people in and continue to be on top in my city.
Any ideas would be great from any of you baker's. Maybe sales, freebies, incentives...anything you use to bring more people in and check you out.
Thanks sooooooo much in advance!!
Are you doing much advertising in your local newspaper or local radio station? Business cards and brochures are also a great idea. You could offer existing customers a discount say 10% or $5 off a cake order if they refer a new client to you. Offering items your competition doesn't make is also a good idea. . You could also send existing customers on your client list postcard mailers of upcoming new products, holiday specials, or a coupon for a future order. Samples are also a great way to drum up business. I use my left over cake batter and make mini cupcakes for samples. Since you make everything from scratch use that information in your marketing.
In my experience the biggest ROI in terms of advertising spend comes from Yelp.com, Google Places, and Google AdWords.
You could also look at selling items wholesale, if the GA Cottage Food Law allows that sort of thing, and networking directly with venues, wedding planners, and local businesses.
I find that an excellent place to advertise is on Facebook. I get so many requests for my cakes (that I turn down because I'm just a hobby baker). One of my other cake decorating friends in my area, just recently said to me too, "you were right, I'm getting so many customer from Facebook", friends of friends will see comments that others make etc. Your cakes are really good too!
I would say, take it to Facebook. Put your freebies to use and ask people to like your page for a chance to win
Thanks alot!! So far I am on Facebook and I have to agree BIG TIME....it's a HUGE way to get business Infact I get a really large amount of clients from facebook and word of mouth too.
This is actually where I discovered I had such close competition.
A lady posted that she was looking for a good baker because her cake lady was too busy. Within the hour she had a list of people suggesting bakers nearby. I was brought up atleast 5 times by my clients who tagged me in the brag. So, I started skimming through all the other bakers and discovered they are all local. I went through thier pictures and they seem to be pretty good. Question is...what are they charging? I am a lil higher and proud of it because of all i do.
I will try out some more ideas you all have given. I have periodically ran specials where whoever refers the most people will receive a $25 gift certificate towards a custom cake. That works too.
In addition to facebook, I suggest you place your physical location on your website. Not an address, but at least your city and state. Unless I missed it somewhere, the only way I know you are in the metro Atlanta vicinity was through your FAQ, in mentioning how far you will deliver. If I were searching google, I would search for custom cakes and my city and state. If you do not have those listed on your site, google will not even know and you will not come up on searches specifying a location.
By the way, you do nice work!
Maybe when you have a large order, give them a few boxes to send leftovers home with their guests. Put your information on the boxes, and then people will take your business info home and probably see it every time they open the fridge for a couple of days
I think you've gotten a lot of good feedback. I would focus on your website first and foremost. If you can, buy your own domain through Godaddy or another service so that your website is easy to remember AND you can get rid of the ads in your sidebar.
I definitely agree with the other poster that your city and state should be somewhere on your site. This will help you in search engines as well. You want YOUR site to come up when someone searches for cake in your city. If your city is not on your site, then that will never happen.
Also add a link to your Facebook page on your site somewhere.