prettycupcake Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 10:45pm
post #1 of

Im feeling really out of whack today I just need someone to relate to...I am a licensed and insured baker in NJ (3 miles away from the Cake boss) lol...So needless to say competition is stiff. Well I haven't had any orders in the last two weeks..I feel like a failure. I left my job of 11 years to pursue this full time because I absolutely love decorating. Honestly baking not so much but I LOVE decorating. I taught myself everything like most of us here on cake central. I get allot of comments and great reviews but NO ONE is ordering!!!!! Its driving me insane, I cant help but doubt and question myself if I did or Im doing the right thing...

To top it all I get a notice in the mail today from the city of Hoboken that I cant place my flyers on cars since thats littering!! I had no idea that was illegal. I get things on my car all the time!! Ohhh what a day..leaving my job really had a financial effect on us, being backed up on bills and putting more pressure on my husband really doesn't help my state of mind. I just need someone to vent and relate to...sighhhhhhhh
=(

Heidi

78 replies
costumeczar Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 11:00pm
post #2 of

Where else are you advertising?

prettycupcake Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 11:06pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Where else are you advertising?





Thats the thing Idk where else to advertise...I have car magnets and Im registered with the search engines like, google places, yelp, yellow pages etc...Any recommendations or advice would help please...

BakingIrene Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 11:18pm
post #4 of

Get a job as a decorator at Valastro's bakery? No need to bake, just decorate...

costumeczar Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 11:23pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Get a job as a decorator at Valastro's bakery? No need to bake, just decorate...




I had that thought too!

I'd say that you should figure out who you're selling to and target that person. I do mainly wedding cakes, so I concentrate on ads in the two local wedding magaziens that are handed out at the biggest wedding shows in town. Plus my website...I also have a blog and an etsy shop, so that helps me in the search engine rankings. If you do birthday cakes you could check with local party venues or party planners to see if they can refer business to you. I haven't found facebook or google ads to be much good for bringing in business.

prettycupcake Posted 19 Sep 2012 , 11:23pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Get a job as a decorator at Valastro's bakery? No need to bake, just decorate...




As crazy as this sounds I cant imagine having any boss never mind the Cake Boss lol

jason_kraft Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 12:47am
post #7 of

You should really have a solid advertising strategy as a part of your business plan (clearly identifying your competitive advantages and target markets) before you open your doors. This includes a financial plan for how to pay your bills, since you can usually expect to either break even or lose money in the first year.

To be honest, putting flyers on cars may have been doing more harm than good...whenever I get a flyer on my car I make sure to never patronize that business and warn against using them if asked.

Your top priorities are to figure out who your target market is and how to reach them. This may involve your web site, in which case you should look into hiring a professional designer to revamp your site with a strategy for SEO and online advertising.

kelleym Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 1:21am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

To be honest, putting flyers on cars may have been doing more harm than good...whenever I get a flyer on my car I make sure to never patronize that business and warn against using them if asked.



Why is this so offensive to you that you would need to warn people against businesses who advertise like this? I'd much rather a flyer on my car than, for instance, a telemarketing phone call, or a flyer on my home's door (I don't like random strangers coming up to my door).

jason_kraft Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 1:49am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

To be honest, putting flyers on cars may have been doing more harm than good...whenever I get a flyer on my car I make sure to never patronize that business and warn against using them if asked.


Why is this so offensive to you that you would need to warn people against businesses who advertise like this? I'd much rather a flyer on my car than, for instance, a telemarketing phone call, or a flyer on my home's door (I don't like random strangers coming up to my door).



Non-targeted cold calls, flyers on my door (except menus for highly-rated local restaurants), and in-person solicitors get the same response. In my opinion, if a company can't afford to pay for advertising, it probably means they aren't getting enough business. This could mean they are new and word of mouth hasn't spread yet (in which case I will hear about them via other means if they are good), or they don't compare favorably with their competitors.

Given the choice I would rather get a cold call than a flyer on my car, at least the former doesn't create a huge mess (since many people will just toss the flyer on the ground). Said mess then needs to be cleaned up by city workers, so in effect the city's taxpayers are unwillingly helping to subsidize this form of advertising.

Evoir Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 2:23am

What is your target market? What do you specialise in? With something as 'major' as Cake Boss around the corner that could actually work to your advantage - either doing what he does, but better, or offering something completely different. It depends on your market there though...does everyone who wants cake immediately want a Buddy-style/tasting cake?

If its weddings, then wedding networks are a good thing, as liaising with other wedding professionals and venues is a good way to get respected word-of-mouth referrals.

CWR41 Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 2:38am

So you've been in business since July 2011 and have only had a slow period for 2 weeks? If this is correct, tell us what you think has changed during the past 2 weeks that's different from the prior 13 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Non-targeted cold calls, flyers on my door (except menus for highly-rated local restaurants), and in-person solicitors get the same response. In my opinion, if a company can't afford to pay for advertising, it probably means they aren't getting enough business.



You're assuming these companies aren't paying for advertising, when (to be fair) in fact it does cost money to hire telemarketers, solicitors, and companies that deliver flyers on doors.

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 2:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

So you've been in business since July 2011 and have only had a slow period for 2 weeks? If this is correct, tell us what you think has changed during the past 2 weeks that's different from the prior 13 months.

I have been doing cakes for friends and family since 8/2011. Its on 8/2012 I became certified and inspected to actually sell my cakes. I haven't done anything different at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Non-targeted cold calls, flyers on my door (except menus for highly-rated local restaurants), and in-person solicitors get the same response. In my opinion, if a company can't afford to pay for advertising, it probably means they aren't getting enough business.


You're assuming these companies aren't paying for advertising, when (to be fair) in fact it does cost money to hire telemarketers, solicitors, and companies that deliver flyers on doors.




I totally agree with you!!

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 2:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

What is your target market? What do you specialise in? With something as 'major' as around the corner that could actually work to your advantage - either doing what he does, but better, or offering something completely different. It depends on your market there though...does everyone who wants cake immediately want a Buddy-style/tasting cake?

My target market market I guess would be weddings but I haven't even got one wedding cake order yet, lol. I make allot of birthday cakes. I am trying everyday to perfect my skills to be better or even as good as he is but honestly he's been doing this for so long that it really is hard to compare...He even has his cakes in our local BJs store now!!! You can buy it for $25.00!!!

If its weddings, then wedding networks are a good thing, as liaising with other wedding professionals and venues is a good way to get respected word-of-mouth referrals.


prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 3:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

To be honest, putting flyers on cars may have been doing more harm than good...whenever I get a flyer on my car I make sure to never patronize that business and warn against using them if asked.


Why is this so offensive to you that you would need to warn people against businesses who advertise like this? I'd much rather a flyer on my car than, for instance, a telemarketing phone call, or a flyer on my home's door (I don't like random strangers coming up to my door).


Non-targeted cold calls, flyers on my door (except menus for highly-rated local restaurants), and in-person solicitors get the same response. In my opinion, if a company can't afford to pay for advertising, it probably means they aren't getting enough business. This could mean they are new and word of mouth hasn't spread yet (in which case I will hear about them via other means if they are good), or they don't compare favorably with their competitors.

Given the choice I would rather get a cold call than a flyer on my car, at least the former doesn't create a huge mess (since many people will just toss the flyer on the ground). Said mess then needs to be cleaned up by city workers, so in effect the city's taxpayers are unwillingly helping to subsidize this form of advertising.




I never knew that putting a flyer on someones car was that offensive. I nver threw the flyers I received on my car on the ground. First because I don't litter second I think thats really disrespectful throwing someones hard work on the floor. Believe it or not flyers are hard work and they cost someone $$. But I respect laws and regulations so I wont be doing that anymore.

vgcea Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 4:34am
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettycupcake



I never knew that putting a flyer on someones car was that offensive. I nver threw the flyers I received on my car on the ground. First because I don't litter second I think thats really disrespectful throwing someones hard work on the floor. Believe it or not flyers are hard work and they cost someone $$. But I respect laws and regulations so I wont be doing that anymore.




Exactly, so now I have to take time out to find a trash can to throw away a flyer I never asked for, and am completely uninterested in. Nuisance of the highest order. It's the same as the people who leave flyers on the door. More trash for me to deal with. Nuisance, nuisance, nuisance! It's disrespectful for someone to leave their property on mine when I did not ask for it. Don't touch my car, and don't touch my door, and don't leave trash for me to deal with. Did I say nuisance? NUISANCE!

Godot Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 4:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettycupcake

I never knew that putting a flyer on someones car was that offensive. I nver threw the flyers I received on my car on the ground. First because I don't litter second I think thats really disrespectful throwing someones hard work on the floor. Believe it or not flyers are hard work and they cost someone $$. But I respect laws and regulations so I wont be doing that anymore.




I don't litter either and others who do is one of my pet peeves.

I don't care how much work you put into your flyer or how much money it cost you. If I find that thing on my car it is going into the bin, unread.

AnnieCahill Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 10:30am

Maybe it's just me, but I am not a huge fan of the business name. I don't feel like you should have a business name with sexual overtones unless that is part of your marketing strategy (i.e. erotic bakery). Definitely consider revising your website. Look into local colleges and see if anyone wants to take on that project.

You do very nice work. You should showcase some of your nicest work on your homepage. I also think you should expand on your flavors a bit.

Also, try tapping into something that BV doesn't do. I am not familiar with his products, but maybe look into allergy-friendly products or try to find something else he doesn't do.

Definitely narrow down your target market because that will make it easy to determine what your products will be.

Good luck!

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 10:36am

If your target market is weddings you do NOT want to be using flyers like that. I'm also one of the people who ignore/throw out/get annoyed by flyers, and that kind of thing isn't going to win you any bridal love.

Your best bet is to find a wedding networking group in your area, advertise in wedding magazines (not national ones, local ones that actually have a circulation, you'll need to research that), contact venues and planners, that kind of thing. Wedding cake business is a different animal, and not always a kind one.

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 11:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettycupcake



I never knew that putting a flyer on someones car was that offensive. I nver threw the flyers I received on my car on the ground. First because I don't litter second I think thats really disrespectful throwing someones hard work on the floor. Believe it or not flyers are hard work and they cost someone $$. But I respect laws and regulations so I wont be doing that anymore.



Exactly, so now I have to take time out to find a trash can to throw away a flyer I never asked for, and am completely uninterested in. Nuisance of the highest order. It's the same as the people who leave flyers on the door. More trash for me to deal with. Nuisance, nuisance, nuisance! It's disrespectful for someone to leave their property on mine when I did not ask for it. Don't touch my car, and don't touch my door, and don't leave trash for me to deal with. Did I say nuisance? NUISANCE!




Please tell me whats on your mind!! I feel like your holding back..lol...You know many times I skim through the Forums and I read some of the posts and I reply to try and be as helpful as I can, I never just bluntly and rudely come out and make harsh statements like you are doing. This Cake Central community has always been so helpful to me. Yea sometimes I don't agree with what someone has to say but I don't come out and call them a "Nuisance" and be a jerk about it. I don't care if you didn't call me directly a nuisance but you called what Im doing a nuisance like my attention was to annoy people.You make it sound like putting flyers is vandalizing someone personal property!!!! There was a better way of stating that you don't like flyers. The is a support forum and I posted on here to get peoples opinion not to be called names. Allot of people replied with some criticism about this or that of what Im doing or did but they also supplied me with some helpful words and advice not just posted negatively and left it at that. In my opinion please stop replying to members posts if you have nothing good to say at all!!!!

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 11:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If your target market is weddings you do NOT want to be using flyers like that. I'm also one of the people who ignore/throw out/get annoyed by flyers, and that kind of thing isn't going to win you any bridal love.

Your best bet is to find a wedding networking group in your area, advertise in wedding magazines (not national ones, local ones that actually have a circulation, you'll need to research that), contact venues and planners, that kind of thing. Wedding cake business is a different animal, and not always a kind one.




Thank you so much..I'm definitely going to look into that..This is great advice. Now to figure out what to d with my 2500 flyers lol

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 12:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

Maybe it's just me, but I am not a huge fan of the business name. I don't feel like you should have a business name with sexual overtones unless that is part of your marketing strategy (i.e. erotic bakery). Definitely consider revising your website. Look into local colleges and see if anyone wants to take on that project.

You do very nice work. You should showcase some of your nicest work on your homepage. I also think you should expand on your flavors a bit.

Also, try tapping into something that BV doesn't do. I am not familiar with his products, but maybe look into allergy-friendly products or try to find something else he doesn't do.

Definitely narrow down your target market because that will make it easy to determine what your products will be.

Good luck!




To tell you the truth I LOVE my name...I did allot or research when I was naming my business. I'm definitely not the only fetish lol..there is sweet fetish, cake fetish, fondant fetish. etc...The list is long. I know the name is risky but I feel it makes me stand out. I know not everyone is a big fan of it and I completely understand if you are not. On the other hand, I love that suggestion of finding something he doesn't do and doing it...I will definitely being doing this. Thank you so much for the helpful advice!!

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 12:28pm

Just an aside, I don't think that vgcea meant that you personally are a nuisance, but that the experience of having to deal with unsolicited stuff being put where you then have to deal with it is a nuisance. I have to agree...And the brides that I talk to agree too. They don't like it when people send them emails, direct mail etc. They get so much of it it gets to the point that they just ignore it, or actively won't buy from the people who send them things.

You could always put the flyers up on community bulletin boards, like in Panera or the library. Or at preschools, daycares etc if you want to do littel kids' birthday cakes. Or save them for handing out if you do a wedding show eventually. Or just write them off as a business expense. Everyone has tons of marketing materials that make their way into the recyciling eventually, not every advertising campaign is successful.

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 12:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Just an aside, I don't think that vgcea meant that you personally are a nuisance, but that the experience of having to deal with unsolicited stuff being put where you then have to deal with it is a nuisance. I have to agree...And the brides that I talk to agree too. They don't like it when people send them emails, direct mail etc. They get so much of it it gets to the point that they just ignore it, or actively won't buy from the people who send them things.

You could always put the flyers up on community bulletin boards, like in Panera or the library. Or at preschools, daycares etc if you want to do littel kids' birthday cakes. Or save them for handing out if you do a wedding show eventually. Or just write them off as a business expense. Everyone has tons of marketing materials that make their way into the recyciling eventually, not every advertising campaign is successful.




I totally agree with you..Actually I think you made me see the light...Its not what she said but how she said it. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think the approach and choice of words was a little too much, at least for me. I guess maybe Im a little on the sensitive side today. Like my Original post said Im feeling really down and sensitive. Im definitely going to use everything you suggested. I really do appreciate and value your opinion and advice.

AnnieCahill Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 12:51pm

I just thought I should clarify something. What I meant by expand on your flavors was to give the potential customers a very detailed description. For example, really emphasize the quality ingredients you use (vanilla bean paste, liqueurs, etc). Let them envision the cake taste and texture from your description, if that makes sense. It sounds corny but it works. If you bake from scratch, definitely advertise that!

But definitely put a lot into your website. In today's technology-based world, people go to the web first 99% of the time.

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 2:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

I just thought I should clarify something. What I meant by expand on your flavors was to give the potential customers a very detailed description. For example, really emphasize the quality ingredients you use (vanilla bean paste, liqueurs, etc). Let them envision the cake taste and texture from your description, if that makes sense. It sounds corny but it works. If you bake from scratch, definitely advertise that!

But definitely put a lot into your website. In today's technology-based world, people go to the web first 99% of the time.




yes...make them hungry with the descriptions of your cake.

vgcea Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 3:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettycupcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Just an aside, I don't think that vgcea meant that you personally are a nuisance, but that the experience of having to deal with unsolicited stuff being put where you then have to deal with it is a nuisance. I have to agree...And the brides that I talk to agree too. They don't like it when people send them emails, direct mail etc. They get so much of it it gets to the point that they just ignore it, or actively won't buy from the people who send them things.

You could always put the flyers up on community bulletin boards, like in Panera or the library. Or at preschools, daycares etc if you want to do littel kids' birthday cakes. Or save them for handing out if you do a wedding show eventually. Or just write them off as a business expense. Everyone has tons of marketing materials that make their way into the recyciling eventually, not every advertising campaign is successful.



I totally agree with you..Actually I think you made me see the light...Its not what she said but how she said it. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think the approach and choice of words was a little too much, at least for me. I guess maybe Im a little on the sensitive side today. Like my Original post said Im feeling really down and sensitive. Im definitely going to use everything you suggested. I really do appreciate and value your opinion and advice.




Thanks Costumeczar.

@ OP: I was going to say something about reading comprehension and be truly mean but since you're a little on the "sensitive side" now, I'll hold my tongue (or, in this case, my fingers).

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 3:14pm

Again that you everyone who had some advice for and helped me see what I was doing wrong. I most certainly see where I went wrong...So glad to have the forum to fall back on when things just aren't going right. Starting a business and knowing the rights from wrongs is certainly not easy. Thank you all!!

prettycupcake Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 3:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettycupcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Just an aside, I don't think that vgcea meant that you personally are a nuisance, but that the experience of having to deal with unsolicited stuff being put where you then have to deal with it is a nuisance. I have to agree...And the brides that I talk to agree too. They don't like it when people send them emails, direct mail etc. They get so much of it it gets to the point that they just ignore it, or actively won't buy from the people who send them things.

You could always put the flyers up on community bulletin boards, like in Panera or the library. Or at preschools, daycares etc if you want to do littel kids' birthday cakes. Or save them for handing out if you do a wedding show eventually. Or just write them off as a business expense. Everyone has tons of marketing materials that make their way into the recyciling eventually, not every advertising campaign is successful.



I totally agree with you..Actually I think you made me see the light...Its not what she said but how she said it. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think the approach and choice of words was a little too much, at least for me. I guess maybe Im a little on the sensitive side today. Like my Original post said Im feeling really down and sensitive. Im definitely going to use everything you suggested. I really do appreciate and value your opinion and advice.



Thanks Costumeczar.

@ OP: I was going to say something about reading comprehension and be truly mean but since you're a little on the "sensitive side" now, I'll hold my tongue (or, in this case, my fingers).




[b] icon_wink.gif have a good day!

bnbmom Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 3:35pm

See that's the problem with posting on this sight. It's like getting in a cat fight from the get go. Nearly every post, on every topic has someone who who takes a fit of somekind. I have a business of a different kind and i have flyers that have made me lots of money. It is not illegal to put flyers on houses or cars and i will stand behind me flyers 100 percent. Go to wedding expos with your flyers and pass them out, if that IS illegal than see if you can place them on cars outside that venue. Post ads every other day on craigslist in your area, put up a facebook page of your cakes and show them to your friends and family and watch the word spread. Offer a discount on your flyers like 5 % off your first order. If you check out the other bakers on facebook through craigslist you will see how many people like there cakes and ask there prices and then they tell them to call them for a quote.
Do not be discouraged from some on CC, you will find that alot of them get into cat fights all the time on here.
Everyone has very strong opinions on EVERYTHING. BTW i get lots of business from my flyers for my other business, it just takes a little while. I will get a call like " i have your flyer from a while back and i was just wondering if i can make an appointment."


when the CFL passes here in california, i will try my business but i will not give up my day job cuz i make way more money than i ever could making cakes. However i love making cakes and it is something i would love to try.
Although CC kinda takes the fun out of all of it when there are so many cat fights.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Sep 2012 , 4:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnbmom

See that's the problem with posting on this sight. It's like getting in a cat fight from the get go. Nearly every post, on every topic has someone who who takes a fit of somekind.



I'm not sure how accurate that is. In my experience the vast majority of posts do not have this kind of drama, it's just that the small minority that do are more memorable.

Quote:
Quote:

It is not illegal to put flyers on houses or cars and i will stand behind me flyers 100 percent.



According to the OP it is illegal, at least in some areas.

Quote:
Quote:

Go to wedding expos with your flyers and pass them out, if that IS illegal than see if you can place them on cars outside that venue. Post ads every other day on craigslist in your area, put up a facebook page of your cakes and show them to your friends and family and watch the word spread. Offer a discount on your flyers like 5 % off your first order.



I agree that a FB page is valuable, but you'll want to be careful with the other advertising strategies you mentioned like posting on Craigslist and offering discounts. If you want to focus on the low end of the market that's fine, but if you want to compete on quality instead of price and target upscale customers you'll want to stay far away from CL and littering with flyers, and pricing too low or offering discounts may even be seen as a negative with upscale customers.

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