Doing my first event next month...It's to raise money for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, It's not going to be a huge event...which is okay for me, since I"m just testing the waters. 10% of sales goes to them as a donation. I will be offering a few options..all decorated "valentine" theme. So here's my ?:
Cupcakes (4 different flavors, simple frosting swirl with simple fondant decorations) $2.00 each.
French Macarons (a 6 pack w/ 3 flavors) $5.00 a pack.
5 Inch Heart Shaped double layer cake (Designed to look like a Conversation Heart Candy) $10.00
Do these prices seem reasonable for an event? Any info, or questions, or thoughts would be great!
Approximately how long does it take you (including prep, baking, decorating, packaging, and cleanup) to make each one of these products?
Scratch macarons go for $1.50 each, 6 pk maybe $7 or $8 in almost any area. I don't know how you can make them for that when almond flour is $9.00/lb.
BUT... do you know the demographics of the guests? You should know this before you commit to an event if you expect to make money. Do you know if this is a target market for you? I know that my cancer (or any fundraiser for an illness) is mostly mainstream and they are not my potential customers. Is this a macaron demographic? Not in my area. I would not sell one macaron at a cancer event and if I did, they would probably wonder why they just paid $1.50 for a weird little cookie. It would not help my business because the mainstream doesn't even know what a macaron is.
I never make a dime on my charity work. I contribute all proceeds, so the demographics aren't as important. I pick the cause because I want to support it. Breast Cancer Awareness is one of those charities.
Is every vendor doing 10% of sales? I would look down on a company that is profiting from a charity event. Think about this and how it makes your company look. I know you are already comitted, but this is for thse CC members who may be approached with a similar offer. A big sign that states 100% of the proceeds go to charity will get you goodwill.
Sorry to sound so down, but you need to know your market and where you stand compared to your competitors in order to arrive at a price. The COGS is not a factor in the final price, only a tool to decide if any job is worth the work. After you know your market price, then you need to line it up with the demographics of the group to find the event price if you plan to go below market price.
jason_kraft : As of right now I only have supply cost for all the items I plan on making. Cupcakes w/ packaing: around .80 each, 5 inch heart cakes - $4.00, macarons 6pack w/ packaging $2.00.
scp1127: I wasn't using almond flour, I actually was just grinding up the almonds...so maybe that's why it ended up being a little cheaper? I did see online that macarons seemed to go for $1.50 each...but I wasn't sure if that was too expensive to charge...
As for a target market...I'm not even sure where to start to make sure I do have one! I've been offered a few different events like this, others weren't chartity related...But I'm not quite sure how to make sure they are for customers in 'my market'. As for being a macaron demographic...I have no idea! I just thought they would be add to a nice selection of items..instead of just cupcakes. I will be the only table there w/ desserts...and yes other vendors are also giving 10% (plus the $20 table cost) toward as donation. A few tables are also raffling off items, where 100% of that goes to the charity also. (I am planning on doing this too...making a tiered cake to use as display, and also to raffle off at the end of the night). Macaron's may not be the right thing to sell..like you said, lots of people don't know what they are, and may not splurge on it.
I guess my biggest issue is finding where I should sell my items, to make sure i have the right market. But i just don't know! I figure trial and error??
Thank you both for writing back! Any other thoughts from you, or anyone else would be greatly appreciated!
If you're gong to have a business, you MUST start with a business plan.
I'm sorry to say, that if you don't know your target market, and you're accepting events to figure out who/where your customers might be, then you'd better have deep pockets because you're going to be spending a lot of money on things that will prove to be of no benefit to your business.
As far as charity events go, from my experience (12 years in food biz, MBA) these will not "get your name out there" nor will they bring you any business. People at these events are NOT there to shop for a vendor. Yes, there will be a lot of people at one place, but why are they there? To support a cause, not shop.
Now, I donate to causes also. No issue with that. But I donate a product or a gift certificate to raffle. That way, I'm not out any product.
If you're committed to this, then look for the product that a) is the absolute least expensive for you to produce and b) has some shelf life. I'd suggest cookies made with the Spinning Leaf molds or chocolate accented caramel popcorn in a pretty valentine's theme cello bag.
Leah - i guess i know i want my target customers to be parents with children?! I enjoy making birthday party related cakes and cupcakes. I don't think i want to venture into wedding related events. It's just not my thing right now..So I would hope events like the one I"m doing could bring potential customers..but I can see how like you said, they may not.
I guess my hardest thing to figure out isnt so much "who" i want to appeal to, but HOW i can appeal to them and get my name out. There are farmer markets I can attend..but still...is that the right avenue to go? Other than word of mouth from past friends/family that i've done cakes for, its hard to find the place to set up and spread the word.
Thank you again for all your input tho, I really appreciate it!
I agree that charity events generally bring you no business. If they do, just count it as a nice bonus, but don't be surprised if you get nothing from it.