Cake a Wish Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 8:27pm
post #1 of

I am a new member to cake central and have been trying to think of ways to expand my business.  I know I need a website, marketing material and wondered whether anyone had any other tips?

I have also wondered where to find information on entering to local competitions.

Are wedding fayres a good way of getting yourself recognised?

Thanks guys x

23 replies
-K8memphis Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 8:51pm
post #2 of

yeah, watch your back around here asking business questions--some members take no hostages--think twice before divulging much of your unique business information.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

Cake a Wish Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 8:56pm
post #3 of

Oh dear,

thanks for this piece of advice. 
 

costumeczar Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 9:15pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake a Wish 

I am a new member to cake central and have been trying to think of ways to expand my business.  I know I need a website, marketing material and wondered whether anyone had any other tips?

I have also wondered where to find information on entering to local competitions.

Are wedding fayres a good way of getting yourself recognised?

Thanks guys x

You could post this to the business forum, you'd probably get more responses there!

AZCouture Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 9:16pm
post #5 of

Yeah watch out, this place is crazy, full of business idea stealers! Paranoid, back stabbing, over medicating idea stealers waiting for you to post something unique! Like f'real!!! They're just waiting for you! Oh noooooooooo! icon_rolleyes.gifdunce.gificon_lol.gif

jason_kraft Posted 31 Dec 2012 , 9:29pm
post #6 of

AYour starting point should be a business plan, where you determine what your competitive advantages will be, who your target market is, and how to price your products based on your local market.

Godot Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 1:36am
post #7 of

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Yeah watch out, this place is crazy, full of business idea stealers! Paranoid, back stabbing, over medicating idea stealers waiting for you to post something unique! Like f'real!!! They're just waiting for you! Oh noooooooooo! :roll: :duh: :lol:

Snork

Godot Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 1:37am
post #8 of

AEdited for double post

costumeczar Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 1:44am
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Yeah watch out, this place is crazy, full of business idea stealers! Paranoid, back stabbing, over medicating idea stealers waiting for you to post something unique! Like f'real!!! They're just waiting for you! Oh noooooooooo! :roll: :duh: :lol:

I came here to steal some secrets but I guess I should go drink some more cough syrup first?

Izzy Sweet Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 1:54am

What niche do you want to fall into, wedding, birthday etc..

I just ask so people can help you better.. I would read as much as you can on this forum it is very helpful.There is quit a bit to read but everytime I look at something else I find something helpful.I wish I had more answers for you other than looking through the forum but honestly it is very informative.

vgcea Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 2:21am

One important tip is to know your customers. What type of customer are you trying to reach with your product? Then understand where and how they shop and spend money. If you're targeting clients with high discretionary income who enjoy premium products and services, advertising on Craigslist wouldn't work for you.

 

Networking with other professionals in the area you want to reach also works too. If you do mainly children's birthday cakes they you would want to build relationships with party planners for example.

Annabakescakes Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 3:21am

AI don't have anything to add, just posting so I will get updates so I can steal ideas ;-)

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 3:44am

 'her unique business information' is her location, the rules in her locality, her rent, utilities, did she do her math, set her pricing, did she prepare every business scenario in advance and etc. it's unique to her.  her information she should be careful with it before she spills her beans and might regret it.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 3:52am

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

 'her unique business information' is her location, the rules in her locality, her rent, utilities, did she do her math, set her pricing, did she prepare every business scenario in advance and etc. it's unique to her.  her information she should be careful with it before she spills her beans and might regret it.

Is this sarcasm or are you serious? It's difficult to tell online.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 3:59am

are you serious what are you talking about how could that possibility be sarcastic

 

posts keep piling up about stealing ideas and so i explained what i meant

 

 if fellow posters want to take her temperature i wanted her to be aware that it sometimes gets uncomfortably in depth --

wanted for her to have a heads up on it.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 4:09am

AHopefully you didn't scare her away, I really don't think it will be necessary to post this warning in every business-related thread. The vast majority of these types of threads end up helping out the OP with a minimum of drama, let's try to keep it that way.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 4:11am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

I really don't think it will be necessary to post this warning in every business-related thread.

 

 

then don't never do it

mydearbakes Posted 1 Jan 2013 , 9:21am

Hi Cake a wish, 

 

Like what Jason Kraft has mentioned, it's good to have a basic business plan. That way, you would be able to map out some ideas on how to proceed to market your business.

 

Additionally, you might like to check out what sort of license you might need to apply in your country before you start your business.

 

Hope it helps! =)

MagicalKreations Posted 2 Jan 2013 , 11:18pm

AWow!! Lol

LeslieBruckman Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 7:12pm

Sorry... this is a pretty long post!

First, you need to know the reasons you want to grow your business... why is it not ok the way it already is? For me, it's just been my biggest dream to have my own bricks and mortar shop. I knew that I couldn't afford any loans due to credit issues with student loans... so I know that I have to pretty must quadruple what I did the year before while also saving for what I want...

That beings said.. I would then begin doing massive amount of homework. It can get to be complete total information overload... I started with state laws concerning food businesses. I found out that the state I live in has a cottage food law, so I'm protected to work from my home. I also contacted the state "Small Business Administration" and found out what they had to offer... My state also has a website for small businesses that acts as road to business ownership. The business plan is also a great start.

Then I decided I need to figure out what other competitors in the area are doing... who is also making cakes, do they make anything else besides cakes, are there certain areas that have total product saturation (for instance, 10 other cakers in a small town who specialize in custom cakes), etc.

Once I have a good list of potential competition that are just like me, I find out all I can about their business... prices, how they make their products, I've even stopped by actual local cupcake shops to taste the competition. If you're cake is not as good as local area competition and yet you charge $2.00 more a serving... your business will fail.

You need to price out all your recipes... the Cake Boss software is great for that. Can you afford to be in the same range as your competition? Are you using better ingredients that cost more, putting more time and effort into your designs, your cakes look/taste better... these are selling points.

Then you need to analyze all you know about competition, your own costs to bake/make and see if you can afford to run your business on the same prices... If not, you'll need good reasons for baking at higher costs and need to really work to prove yourself to your customers... most of whom may constantly ask you "Why are you more expensive than "so and so". Be prepared for questions like these with well thought out answers.

Marketing. You may think you are covered in that area... but you would be surprised. Utilize social media... cake central is great, facebook, twitter, pinterest. Scheduled posts on facebook get my business the absolute most local attention. I have a website... but what good is it if it doesn't show up in local searches for bakeries or cake makers? Utilizing "yellow pages" and certain types of directories are great for this. While you might not show up with your own website, you may show up in the searches in yellow pages directory and when they click the link, your info will come up. Yahoo listings to come up in their "local results" searches. SEO is your best friend for google and bing... but it's one of the most complicated things to learn about. I decided to see if anyone at the local college would do intern work for the ability to use my website in their portfolio.
I'm also a member of a local bridal association and work to plan a bunch of bridal shows in our area. I then attend these shows with my business to target the bridal market specifically. I attend a local artisan market and farmer's market to take orders for my business and also sell smaller, easier to carry and eat on foot goods... like candy and truffles. I do or attend personally EVERY community event... I try to attend as many town hall meetings as I can, downtown community events, help/donate goods for/with fundraisers for charity organizations and have made friends in high places. It's nearly exhausting... I buy tons of business cards and leave them with my cakes, hand them to people I meet, etc.


Which brings me to the most IMPORTANT tip: Learn all you can! To be a business owner means to not only bake and make cakes... but to be your own accountant, secretary, pr person, business researcher and putting in 100's if not 1000's of hours doing work to learn. You have to take the time to constantly upgrade your skills and learn all you can about your particular industry regarding trends, etc. You also need to be a savvy business person... you must know your tax laws, keep all of your records accurately, licensing requirements, health code requirements, marketing changes and how to best utilize what tools are available. Just to begin...

I've just recently come to the conclusion that in order to get it all done, my employee will be my baker. She will be coming to bake all my cakes and I will focus on the rest... you'll need to be able to recognize when things will need to change and what your new roles will be in regards to everything.

 

Because the best tip I ever got... if you don't want all that (above) to manage a business... go work for someone else.

 

KellyMorgin Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 9:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

are you serious what are you talking about how could that possibility be sarcastic

 

posts keep piling up about stealing ideas and so i explained what i meant

 

 if fellow posters want to take her temperature i wanted her to be aware that it sometimes gets uncomfortably in depth --

wanted for her to have a heads up on it.

I have had a local competitor steal my ideas from another site, your statement is 100% true.

Cakemommy2012 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 2:21am

WOW!! That was very insightful!  Thank you for taking the time to post that!  I stumbled across this post and sooo glad I did!

jason_kraft Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 2:48am

AAgreed, excellent post and very informative.

vgcea Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 2:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 

Sorry... this is a pretty long post!

First, you need to know the reasons you want to grow your business... why is it not ok the way it already is? For me, it's just been my biggest dream to have my own bricks and mortar shop. I knew that I couldn't afford any loans due to credit issues with student loans... so I know that I have to pretty must quadruple what I did the year before while also saving for what I want...

That beings said.. I would then begin doing massive amount of homework. It can get to be complete total information overload... I started with state laws concerning food businesses. I found out that the state I live in has a cottage food law, so I'm protected to work from my home. I also contacted the state "Small Business Administration" and found out what they had to offer... My state also has a website for small businesses that acts as road to business ownership. The business plan is also a great start.

Then I decided I need to figure out what other competitors in the area are doing... who is also making cakes, do they make anything else besides cakes, are there certain areas that have total product saturation (for instance, 10 other cakers in a small town who specialize in custom cakes), etc.

Once I have a good list of potential competition that are just like me, I find out all I can about their business... prices, how they make their products, I've even stopped by actual local cupcake shops to taste the competition. If you're cake is not as good as local area competition and yet you charge $2.00 more a serving... your business will fail.

You need to price out all your recipes... the Cake Boss software is great for that. Can you afford to be in the same range as your competition? Are you using better ingredients that cost more, putting more time and effort into your designs, your cakes look/taste better... these are selling points.

Then you need to analyze all you know about competition, your own costs to bake/make and see if you can afford to run your business on the same prices... If not, you'll need good reasons for baking at higher costs and need to really work to prove yourself to your customers... most of whom may constantly ask you "Why are you more expensive than "so and so". Be prepared for questions like these with well thought out answers.

Marketing. You may think you are covered in that area... but you would be surprised. Utilize social media... cake central is great, facebook, twitter, pinterest. Scheduled posts on facebook get my business the absolute most local attention. I have a website... but what good is it if it doesn't show up in local searches for bakeries or cake makers? Utilizing "yellow pages" and certain types of directories are great for this. While you might not show up with your own website, you may show up in the searches in yellow pages directory and when they click the link, your info will come up. Yahoo listings to come up in their "local results" searches. SEO is your best friend for google and bing... but it's one of the most complicated things to learn about. I decided to see if anyone at the local college would do intern work for the ability to use my website in their portfolio.
I'm also a member of a local bridal association and work to plan a bunch of bridal shows in our area. I then attend these shows with my business to target the bridal market specifically. I attend a local artisan market and farmer's market to take orders for my business and also sell smaller, easier to carry and eat on foot goods... like candy and truffles. I do or attend personally EVERY community event... I try to attend as many town hall meetings as I can, downtown community events, help/donate goods for/with fundraisers for charity organizations and have made friends in high places. It's nearly exhausting... I buy tons of business cards and leave them with my cakes, hand them to people I meet, etc.


Which brings me to the most IMPORTANT tip: Learn all you can! To be a business owner means to not only bake and make cakes... but to be your own accountant, secretary, pr person, business researcher and putting in 100's if not 1000's of hours doing work to learn. You have to take the time to constantly upgrade your skills and learn all you can about your particular industry regarding trends, etc. You also need to be a savvy business person... you must know your tax laws, keep all of your records accurately, licensing requirements, health code requirements, marketing changes and how to best utilize what tools are available. Just to begin...

I've just recently come to the conclusion that in order to get it all done, my employee will be my baker. She will be coming to bake all my cakes and I will focus on the rest... you'll need to be able to recognize when things will need to change and what your new roles will be in regards to everything.

 

Because the best tip I ever got... if you don't want all that (above) to manage a business... go work for someone else.

 

Are you kidding?! Every single word in your post is a gem. I just printed it out. I've been trying to get my cake-self motivated for weeks now and this post is the kick I need in the rear to get back up and focus. THANK YOU!

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