i know word of mouth is the best advertisement. but i need to get some people in then they can put the word out.
what did you find your best way of advertising to be? i have craigslist basically but people going to craigslist already want a deal and i end up having to lower prices to get cakes sold.
i dont have a whole lot of friends.
i know i need to make some business cards and i was thinking one of the clings for the sides of my van
what else is good. i have two small kids with me so i cant really go knocking on doors or to offices really
and im in texas so i dont think that the grocery stores would let me do a bake sale.
when the next bake sale comes around at my kids school i can bake and donate there with my lable on my boxes. their school has over 700 kids.
maybe donate to the school just for a teacher appreciation thing so all the teachers taste them then they know who to go to for cupcakes.
i dont want to do weddings right now til i have more experience and atleast one less kid at home in the mornings.
You need to figure out who your target audience is, and advertise where they are. This could be local wedding magazines, wedding events, Google ads, Facebook ads, Yelp ads, networking with event planners, etc. But before you advertise be sure you have your business plan ready with a coherent marketing strategy, a web site, pricing, and a product assortment.
As you've seen, free ads are usually worth about what you pay for them.
If you are looking to make wedding cakes then advertising at school probably won't help you much, considering the kids won't be getting married for a while and the parents are likely already married. If you want to make birthday cakes the school might be a good marketing venue, but only if the demographics in that area support premium cakes, otherwise you will lose all your business to the grocery store.
EDIT: Just saw that you don't want to do wedding cakes yet...if that's the case you need to figure out what you will sell and why someone will buy your cake instead of a cheaper cake somewhere else. Selling baked goods at a premium for regular events like birthdays is very tough if you don't have a clear competitive advantage.
I have a car magnet and an optimized web site that comes up high when people are searching for cakes in my city. Between those things, and word of mouth from my friends, family, and existing customers, I don't find that I need to do much else.
I just wanted to add that Google AdWords has worked really well for us. It's pretty inexpensive, especially as far as advertising in concerned, and you can choose how much you want to spend per month. Of course, if your website is already optimized to where your business comes up first in searches for cakes for your area, that helps a lot too.
Also, hand out business cards everywhere you go! It's fairy common for our business to come up in conversation with friends, family, the lady at the grocery store, etc. and when it does, I pull out our business card. Have them with you at all times.
What part of Texas are you in? I have an ad in "Woodlands Online". It's only $200.00 per year. Check it out.....Woodlands Online "Cakes by Vicki". You can update the ad as often as you like. I have been completely booked every week since I got the ad a few months ago! You can also get a facebook business page completely free.
im in austin. there are alot of people in my area that just wont fork out the money and there are other bakers that sell from their home too that sell for dirt cheap prices that will knock me out. im not going to lower prices to compete . i use lots of my time i could spend with my kids to make cakes for a few extra dollars.
One of the first things I did was donate a free cake certificate to the silent auction of local preschools/churches. I made an 8x10 collage of my best work & framed it. Yes, I was out the $40 worth of cake I donated BUT (1) everyone who won the certificate ended up ordering more than just a $40 cake, (2) all but 1 has ordered a second /third cake for other occasions, and (3) I got several additional orders via the business cards laid on the table by the frame!
thanks everyone. last night i made 15 dozen mini cupcakes and took them to the local bouncy house party places. the one that is closest to me said i can keep my business cards at their front counter. i made a small 6 inch roiund cake and a matching cupcake as a display to show what i can do. made them cookie mosnter eating a chocolate chip cookie. the employees loved it!!! the other place i took a picture of the cookie monster cake and printed out 5 of my best cakes pictures punched a hole and put them on a key ring. they layed out a table for me and set up the cupcakes with business cards and the pictures they said once the cupcakes are gone they will hang the pictures on their local business board. hopefully i get some bites from these.