I was wondering if some of you more experienced in this could give me some advice. I have my home cake business started and at the moment am just doing stuff for family and friends. Can anyone give me some advice on how to attract customers?
I think word of mouth. Also giving away samples ?
Get prepared to be flamed. Are you able to bake in your home?
I live in Iowa and can bake in my home.
I don't have a home-based business, I just bake for family and friends. But a couple of times friends have asked if they can give my info to their friends attending that party. I say no because I'm just a hobby baker. But I think that is an opportunity you can capitalize on. Just like ljslight said -- word of mouth. Since you have a business, maybe you can give your friends some business cards to give to friends that ask about your cake and are interested. Then they'll have your info to use or pass along to someone else.
If you can legally sell baked goods from home (some states require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen) the first thing you should focus on is a business plan. This will give you an idea of which products to offer, how much to charge for them, what your competitive advantages are, who your competitors are, and who your target market will be.
Once you figure all this out, then you can start looking at marketing strategies, as they will vary widely depending on who you are targeting.
Get prepared to be flamed.
Thanks for the reply, What is flamed?
Getting flamed = getting yelled at by other posters. Fortunately that doesn't really happen much around here any more, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Just saying, people jump on each other about being legal.
I am because I live in Iowa. I am a hobby baker, mostly for family. I have no desire to go professional, I don't have the time. But good luck to you, follow your dreams!
I love giving my kids and grandkids a nice cake that tastes great and is cute. Saves them money and I have fun with it.
A website is a must. The site should include pictures of cakes you have done, flavors/fillings/icings offered, starting pricing (I think a starting price is needed to weed out people that do not have the budget for your cakes and you won't get as many phone calls from people asking "how much for a cake for 100" - it will still happen, just not as much), FAQ... Look at other bakeries websites and write down what you liked and didn't like (colors, font, page layouts...).
I focus on weddings because where I live that is where the money is. I have a free listing for my home business on every wedding/party site that allows a free listing. I have a paid listing on the knot. I have had really good success for the knot listing, but I know others that haven't. I think it comes down to where you are located and how the knot search works.
I don't give away samples except to business I do business with. I give the girls at the salon I am at every month cupcakes a couple times a year, same with my accountant and the bank. I don't ask them to pass the cupcakes out to their clients, I give the cupcakes to the workers. Now, I do this so they tell their clients about the great cupcakes they ate - which has worked out quite well for me.
Give it time; they will find you.
People won't travel too far for things like Birthday cakes (wedding, maybe), so I'd suggest you start off with Facebook, word of mouth, local things like church bulletin advertising, town weekly newspapers and a few event donations- not too many (church, corporate events, etc). Depending on how big you want to get how quickly you want to get that business. Things can happen really fast.
Thanks everyone, a lot of really great ideas here, some great staring points. Yes, a website is essential... I like the facebook pages option but it doesn't really allow for a catalog of products.
Anyone recommend a particular website provider/package for cake businesses?
1and1.com has a pretty good reputation as a web host. For your web site, I recommend planning it out on paper and contacting a professional web designer to build it for you (or even a web design student at a local college).
There are tools that let you build a basic site for free, but if you are serious about your business and want to stand out from the crowd a professional designer is the best choice.
I am currently putting together a website for my home business, would recomend Mr Site for design and hosting or word press to design your site and inmotionhosting.com to host your site. The customer service at In Motion Hosting is fantastic and both Mr Site and In Motion are very reasonable
In live in Swansea, Wales, UK.
I set up my home baking business last October.
What a steeeeeeep learning curve !
I still have difficulty pricing my cakes - I know how much they cost to make ...
I would like to see a sample of a HACCP for home baking - can anyone help me !
My e-mail address is : firstname.lastname@example.org
and my website address is www.susiebellestreats.co.uk
I also have a page on Facebook and occasionally get onto Twitter
Thankyou & good luck to those of you like me - learning as we go along.
Among popular marketing ideas you may find the following. Develop a brochure of services your shop offers, submit to the local newspaper, trade journal or other publications, print a tagline for your business on letterhead, fax cover sheets, e-mails and invoices, include customer testimonials in your printed literature, distribute specialty products such as pens, mouse pads, or mugs with your store’s logo, old an open house. Invite prominent city officials and the press, join a trade association or organization related to your industry, create a press kit and keep its contents current. read more http://marketing-idea.mix-marketing.net here