Does This Happen Often?

Business By ANDaniels Updated 21 May 2012 , 2:13pm by rosech

ANDaniels Posted 18 May 2012 , 2:58pm
post #1 of 22

I am a very very small business... well I would call it more of a hobby. I operate under the CFL in my state....As I am really just starting out ( I have only been decoration for about 4 months now....) I get REALLY excited when someone contacts me to do a cake... especially if it is a large order. Even more exciting when it comes upon the day they will pay the retainer. However twice now I have gotten cancellations right before they pay icon_sad.gif Is this normal? Happen often? The giddy feeling quickly dashed is really no fun!

21 replies
rosech Posted 18 May 2012 , 4:56pm
post #2 of 22

Very normal.

AZCouture Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:46pm
post #3 of 22

No, this never happens with me. I don't get excited until they're in front of me and it's pretty much understood if we are meeting, there's a deposit being paid. Maybe a couple of emails and a phone call or two...and any work after that, it's show me the money time. How much time are you allowing from "initial contact" to "time to pay?" Hope that makes sense.

leah_s Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:49pm
post #4 of 22

Yeah, I either got $ at the consult or generally we weren't gong to do business. Occasionally someone would email a week or so later asking if the date was still available, but they still understood that they need to bring cash or PayPal me the money right away, or we weren't doing business.

Inquiries are not contracts. icon_smile.gif

AZCouture Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:51pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Inquiries are not contracts. icon_smile.gif


Exactly.

ANDaniels Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:52pm
post #6 of 22

That makes sense. In this latest instance, she contacted me Wed afternoon, we chatted back and forth through Facebook messages about what she wanted... talked about price flavor etc etc I told her 50% retainer fee was needed in order to ensure her day booked, she signed off with something along the lines of how excited she was for me to be making her cake and shed pay me the amount Friday (today) to book her day. I run around all excited do my giddy dance etc etc then this morning I message her to finalize meeting time and place to get the fee and she says "oh hey, sorry my brother in law will make the cake" icon_sad.gif

Guess I just need to hold the enthusiasm until I get the green in my hands!

ANDaniels Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:54pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Inquiries are not contracts. icon_smile.gif

Exactly.




Completely understand that! I guess I was just SO excited about getting a large order.... :-/

AZCouture Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:55pm
post #8 of 22

Eh, it's understandable. I'll admit, it's hard not to get excited and assume it's going to play out with a paid order. icon_smile.gif

akaivyleaf Posted 19 May 2012 , 2:22am
post #9 of 22

I've learned to curb my enthusiasm until after the wedding date actually. But specifically in terms of the initial consult and deposit, I pretty much put that ball in my potential customer's court. We talk, I explain what it is I can do, discuss my flavor profiles, decor, might even send a few pictures to them. I will make a tasting appointment - which is ONLY free if a signed contract with a deposit is paid that moment; otherwise there is a charge that is disclosed over the phone or through e-mail.

I don't ask whether or not the potential customer wants to set an appointment, for tasting or for paying. I politely end the call with an invitation to call me back to set an appointment but I very often say that dates are filling up fast (which is entirely true - between my personal life schedule and my customers). I am probably a strange person in that I don't do followup calls/emails after I've talked with a potential customer. One and done type of thing - don't want to seem as if I'm pressuring them.

Back to my first sentence, I've had people cancel while I was on my way to deliver. Sad but true. I'm never happy when the entire event is cancelled and it has happened twice.

kakeladi Posted 19 May 2012 , 6:22pm
post #10 of 22

when there is a delay between their 'ordering' and the paying it is normal for some to find someone cheaper to do their cake icon_sad.gif
Maybe not the same way it happened to you but often 'something come up' to make them change their mind. Simply put she didn't want to OR was talked out of spending 'that much money'.

Amberwaves Posted 19 May 2012 , 6:40pm
post #11 of 22

When someone contacts me the very first thing I ask is What is your Date? The second thing I ask is What kind of budget are you working with? Those 2 questions all by themselves weed out a lot of potential time wasters. The very next statement from me is that I require 1/2 down with a signed contract to secure their date on my calendar. I have no wiggle room with this one, they either want the date or they don't. I don't chase people down, I don't call looking for their order, I am not wishy-washy with my prices. If they no-show me they are officially off my list of people I will bake for.

So far this has worked very well for me to find serious customers and eliminate the time wasters. Up until the deposit money is in my hand I do not consider them anything except a casual inquiry and I don't put any time or effort into thinking about their order.

bobwonderbuns Posted 19 May 2012 , 7:07pm
post #12 of 22

Good questions! I struggle with those who want to know the entire cost up front (like I know what the hell they are going to order icon_confused.gif ) before they even set up an appointment. I give them the "my prices start at..." etc. speech and sometimes they book and sometimes they don't.

costumeczar Posted 20 May 2012 , 9:22pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaivyleaf

I've learned to curb my enthusiasm until after the wedding date actually. But specifically in terms of the initial consult and deposit, I pretty much put that ball in my potential customer's court. We talk, I explain what it is I can do, discuss my flavor profiles, decor, might even send a few pictures to them. I will make a tasting appointment - which is ONLY free if a signed contract with a deposit is paid that moment; otherwise there is a charge that is disclosed over the phone or through e-mail.

I don't ask whether or not the potential customer wants to set an appointment, for tasting or for paying. I politely end the call with an invitation to call me back to set an appointment but I very often say that dates are filling up fast (which is entirely true - between my personal life schedule and my customers). I am probably a strange person in that I don't do followup calls/emails after I've talked with a potential customer. One and done type of thing - don't want to seem as if I'm pressuring them.

Back to my first sentence, I've had people cancel while I was on my way to deliver. Sad but true. I'm never happy when the entire event is cancelled and it has happened twice.




This is almost EXACTLY what I do (other than the paid tasting, everyone around here does them at no charge.) Without a deposit there's no client.

I don't get excited until I'm...well...I don't get excited about cakes at this point. I've also had peopel cancel their weddings when the cake is ready and sitting in the fridge, and once after it was delivered. Oh well.

AZCouture Posted 20 May 2012 , 10:40pm
post #14 of 22

Richmond specials wouldn't excite me either. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif

costumeczar Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:10pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Richmond specials wouldn't excite me either. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif




Working in general doesn't excite me but the paycheck is good icon_wink.gif I know a guy who has a job testing games for Xbox...Where do I sign up for that job?

AZCouture Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:24pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Richmond specials wouldn't excite me either. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif



Working in general doesn't excite me but the paycheck is good icon_wink.gif I know a guy who has a job testing games for Xbox...Where do I sign up for that job?


True. I do not look forward to a lot of the parts of this job. Friday night and Saturday mornings should be for relaxing!

mom2twogrlz Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:46pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Richmond specials wouldn't excite me either. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif



Working in general doesn't excite me but the paycheck is good icon_wink.gif I know a guy who has a job testing games for Xbox...Where do I sign up for that job?

True. I do not look forward to a lot of the parts of this job. Friday night and Saturday mornings should be for relaxing!




I agree!!! That is why I haven't dove into a full time business. I don't want to spend every Friday night in Cakeland. That is movie night in our house, and I have missed so many. Of course my kids are 5 and 7, so they usually involve talking dog or two, so those I don't mind missing so much!!! icon_smile.gif

it's weird, the closer CA gets to passing the CFL, the farther I get from wanting to go into business. My free cakes keep me busy enough.....

costumeczar Posted 21 May 2012 , 1:44am
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Richmond specials wouldn't excite me either. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif



Working in general doesn't excite me but the paycheck is good icon_wink.gif I know a guy who has a job testing games for Xbox...Where do I sign up for that job?

True. I do not look forward to a lot of the parts of this job. Friday night and Saturday mornings should be for relaxing!




This past week it was Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today! Wedding season has started so I'm going to be slammed for the next two months, then just generally busy until October. Booooooo....

I saw some little cartoon that said "They say that your work should be something that you love...I I need to find someone who's willing to pay me to drink wine and look at pinterest."

mom2twogrlz Posted 21 May 2012 , 2:14am
post #19 of 22

This past week it was Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today! Wedding season has started so I'm going to be slammed for the next two months, then just generally busy until October. Booooooo....

I saw some little cartoon that said "They say that your work should be something that you love...I I need to find someone who's willing to pay me to drink wine and look at pinterest."[/quote]

Me TOO!!!!!!

rosech Posted 21 May 2012 , 11:17am
post #20 of 22

Maybe for some of us the love and excitement is because we are just starting. I once sent emails to enquire on cake prices to cakers in my city just to have an idea how much they are charging. They are not willing to tell. Most of them asked me to go over and discuss. I on the other hand reply to every email and give all the information wanted. For wedding cakes, things have been very slow. I wonder if there is an advantage to talking to someone directly. Say stuff to entice potential customer over coffee and cake. (At least one of the emails I received from a caker said so.) Then again I think of wasting all that time and resources and still not get what I will be looking for. I am also torn between exhbiting in an upcoming mid July event or not to. Thinking of the pressure whilst coping with work, birthday cakes and preps for two wedding cakes, mid August and early September. What to do, what to do.

costumeczar Posted 21 May 2012 , 12:11pm
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosech

Maybe for some of us the love and excitement is because we are just starting. I once sent emails to enquire on cake prices to cakers in my city just to have an idea how much they are charging. They are not willing to tell. Most of them asked me to go over and discuss. I on the other hand reply to every email and give all the information wanted. For wedding cakes, things have been very slow. I wonder if there is an advantage to talking to someone directly. Say stuff to entice potential customer over coffee and cake. (At least one of the emails I received from a caker said so.) Then again I think of wasting all that time and resources and still not get what I will be looking for. I am also torn between exhbiting in an upcoming mid July event or not to. Thinking of the pressure whilst coping with work, birthday cakes and preps for two wedding cakes, mid August and early September. What to do, what to do.




It's definitely better to talk to someone because you can answer their questions, but I'd do it over the phone. If I tried to get everyone who called or emailed to come in for a meeting I'd never have time to do anything else. Between May and June this year I have about 35 wedding cakes plus more grooms' and other smaller cakes scheduled, so I could barely find a weekend to do tastings. And that's a light year, things have been slower this year around here too.

If someone asked me how much I was charging I'd have a hard time saying, because I can give a general range but unless I know what they want in terms of cake size and design I can't give a firm price.

rosech Posted 21 May 2012 , 2:13pm
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar


It's definitely better to talk to someone because you can answer their questions, but I'd do it over the phone. If I tried to get everyone who called or emailed to come in for a meeting I'd never have time to do anything else. Between May and June this year I have about 35 wedding cakes plus more grooms' and other smaller cakes scheduled, so I could barely find a weekend to do tastings. And that's a light year, things have been slower this year around here too.

If someone asked me how much I was charging I'd have a hard time saying, because I can give a general range but unless I know what they want in terms of cake size and design I can't give a firm price.




Thank you.

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