Let me start out with this post that at 33 years old I've decided to go back to school full time to get my BA in Marketing.
Last Saturday I go to on of my class and part of the first excersice was to interview another classmate and stand up in front of the class and introduce them. This was good for me because I really need to work on my public speaking. Anyway, I told the girl (they all seem so young when you're 33!!) that I make and sell cakes as an outside intrest. When she mentioned this to the class my professor says "maybe you can make us a cake for next weekend". I assumed she was kidding. Then I emailed her about the assignement yesterday, she saw my link the my website and brought it up again.
Then last night my husband comes home and says there had been a discussion in the office on how he doesn't bring cakes in anymore. What a bunch of ingrates!! Most of my wilton course practice cakes went into work with him last Fall. One girl even mentioned that her birthday was in a few days and her cube-neighbors was coming up as well. I wouldn't mind making cakes for them but I'm not about to give them away for free. There are about 150 people in his building...when would the insanity end??
At what point do you decide that it's well worth the free advertising or just not worth your aggrevation.
I'd say right about now!!! What do these people think you do? I mean for the class teacher to just say "hey, make us a cake"? The nerve!!! I am in here for a business class-not to bake you a cake!!!! And as for your hubby's job, I think that they got all the "free" that they should get last Fall. I mean if they are willing to pay you to do the cakes, that's one thing. But they have had you "free advertising cakes" already. Don't let them bully or guilt you, or your hubby, into making them a cake!!! Sorry if it sounds harsh.
At what point? NOW! The word is out that you make delicious cakes, so start charging them now! Tell them you would be happy to do the cakes and here is what you charge.....
Tell them "Yes I do make beautiful, delicious cakes and I charge $___ for this size and I can give the cost of the other sizes too if you're interested." Let them know up front they are not free. Once they start expecting free cakes, there is no end. They will continue to expect them. Nip it in the bud!!
I'm sure your business professor would be the first to agree that giving away free cakes is not a good business practice.
As far as your DH's fellow workers....let him say...only half jokingly.....that the reason why you took the courses in the first place was so that you can make money from it.
You'll ALWAYS run into people who just haven't realized the time that goes into a well-made cake. I'm still looking for a way to set them straight without being rude.
Yes, I understand how you feel. Its funny that you mentione dyour marketing class.. When I took my marketing class, our project for the semester was to market a product. Of course, I marketed my cakes!
The teacher and students loved them!!! My teacher has a young daughter and asked me to make her a cake. Its the one on my photos for Snow White. But he paid for it. He right away asked me how much I charged for my cakes.
I haven't had much problems with people asking for free cakes for some reason. I do have a friend that has this problem. She is always underpaid.
Hhmn, isn't the whole purpose behind studying marketing, to learn how to find your market, cater to your market and maximize the potential of a product to make the best profit, with the emphasis on profit? Sounds like the professor needs to be reminded of that!
With your husband's workplace, I think I would suggest working out a business proposition whereby you would provide the cakes they want, for the fees they are worth.
What a lousy spot to be in! With that kind of attitude, I would wish I had never given them anything in the first place. Next time you do a practice cake, take it to a nursing home or a school instead.
First, I would tell your professor you'd be happy to make the cake - would she like a 1/2 sheet or a round 10"? This is what you charge for each...
For DH and his co-workers, I would make up some flyers with pricing info, so he has a way to easily respond to anyone that asks about it.
I probably would have made one for class just for brownie points.
Are you required to take public speaking? It was mandatory for every major where I went. And they filmed us. With 3 different cameras!!!! Hated it!
I feel you pain. When I was taking the Wilton classes I brought almost every cake from class to work. Now they bother me all the time. " When are you bring in cake again" i tell them if they want a cake get together and come up with the money and I will bake a cake. Until ten there will be no FREE cakes.
For class I would bake one just because you never know what business might follow. I believe this case is different than your husbands job because they had enough FREE cakes.
Get a price list together right now! I made a 2 sided bus. card. One side describes my services with name & email & Phone. The back is a short list of my cake sizes and prices. Hand them out whenever someone asks!
You said you made cakes "as an outside intereset." It sounds like a hobby so people would not understand why you wouldn't bring a class to cake just for fun. Just simply explain to everyone that you are no longer making practice cakes and now require compensation for your efforts.
The funny thing is that your professor saw your website (I'm assuming you have pictures and pricing?) and still expected a free cake.
The ladies have given you many good tips. I especially like the one about handing out business cards that have your pricing on them.
There's always some freeloader lurking somewhere.
Like someone else said, you might want to bring a cake to class, just for the advertisement, along with a pricing list for everyone.
Ask your husband who the person is in their office that coordinates the birthdays and other celebrations and call them. Or just give him a price list to take to them. You know they go out and buy cakes for stuff like that, at the very least they could pay you what they pay at the store!
As for your professor, ask him what part of your marketing plan covers providing a free cake for your class.
wow, I'm so glad that you guys were able to give me so much input.
I failed to mention that the class I was in was actually for a Communication requirement class. Sangria, I was hoping this class involved more public speaking because that is a MAJOR issue with me.
If I had to decide to make one cake either for my dh company or the class I would go with the class. The people at his office are more than familiar with the fact that I sell these cakes. The class is a whole new group that may be interested in buying a cake. If I bring in a cake I will definitly print out some flyers with pics of cake and prices of basic things.
Momofthree...my dh has already dropped hints to the person that buys cakes for the company parties. She contacted me about a cake a few months ago but when I mentioned that I charge about $1.50-$2.00 a slice she was shocked. She needed a cake for 80-100 people and a quoted her $120...I didn't get the order.
I really feel for you because your generousity has obviously been taken for granted. I wouldn't give in to them though. It's one thing to give it out to people that have never seen your work just for the sake of gaining new clients but it's a completely different story when you're constantly giving them out to the same people. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to make a cake and a lot of people are ignorant to that. Stand your ground and tell people that if they want cakes they'll have to start paying for them.
Sorry I just forgot to mention that you did really well by not lowering your price for the lady that wanted the cake for 80-100 people. Sounds like it wasn't worth your time anyways!!!!!!!! And to top it off, in my opinion, you were even UNDER charging her!!
I had intentionally underpriced my cake for her. I figured with 80-100 people seeing and tasting my work it would generate more business but I wanted to make at least a couple of bucks....
Don't worry Jenn, it was her loss anyways!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can make your professor a cake with your price list printed on it as decoration!
( oh man, I'm surelly suffering from lack of sleep!)