Hi Everyone Guys, sorry for the bother, but I need your awesomeness advice and inputs. So, I just recently officially (I don't want to go through the paper works again, LOL)started my home based cake business, and I'm trying to do some marketing strategy. Since I still can't afford to pay for a commercial ad, I opted for free ones, and for that I emailed couple of charity groups at my area offering my cakes as an in-kind donation to their events. So, one of the reply suggested about having a gift certificate. I don't know about gift certificate How do you think should I manage this? And, if you have some other suggestions to do some perks aside from the GC, I will really appreciate it (^_^)!!! Thanks a lot in advance.
It's been my experience that the only free advertising that really works is the word of mouth of your customers. In-kind donations are great if you want to help out an organization but again they don't really do much in terms of bringing people to your shop.
Which customers are you trying to target, and what is your competitive advantage?
Hi Jason! Thank you for the reply. I understand the word of mouth strategy, but for a very new business (just couple of months), and didn't have much orders yet, I'll take any form of free advertisement. I make Egg-less, Vegetarian, and Vegan cakes and sweet, so customers that are into this are surely my prospects
IMO your best bet is to pay for ads targeting vegans in your area on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and local magazines or blogs catering to vegans. Relying on free ads probably won't get you very far so it's important to put some money into your advertising budget.
Networking with other vegan businesses or wedding planners in your area will also be a big plus, as well as food allergy support groups for people with allergies to eggs. I started a bakery catering to people with food allergies, there is a huge untapped market there so if you can also eliminate nuts that would help you quite a bit. I'm sure you are also aware that some Asian populations avoid eggs, so focusing on those communities would help you target your ideal customers.
From the pictures on your web site your products look great, and your prices look reasonable so you don't need to provide discounts...you want people to buy from you because of the quality of your products, not because you are cheaper than the competition.
all though I don't have a cake business, I do have a home daycare business... and word of mouth is by far the best way to advertise. Let all of your friends know that you have a business and give them business cards to hand out to their friends or collegues. Make a website, it's not hard at all, and free! Make sure to put it into the web crawlers of yahoo, google etc. Make a facebook business page with pictures of cakes...