AHi all, I m new here n so far loving this site..so helpful n informative. I love baking n recently started my smal at-home bakery. Also I've made a page on Facebook n got couple of orders from there but not more :( now it's a big question mark for me how to get orders?? Can u ppl plz guide me how to increase sale? That ll be a huge help for me, Thanx.
AIf you don't have a business plan, write one. The business plan will help you figure out what to sell, who to sell it to, how to price it, how to reach your target market, and why customers should buy from you instead of the competition. Usually this will involve a professional web site (not just a FB page) and a strategy for search-engine optimization and online advertising.
More info on business plans: http://www.bplans.com/
Just keep in mind that the WA cottage food law limits you to $15K in gross sales per year, which is a very low cap. Once you hit this number you need to be ready to transition to a commercial kitchen.
AThanx Jason.. I've written a business plan n my website is in process right now ( might take some long ) but point is my main advertisement tools are my few customers n friends..n FB. I don't know how to convince people to buy from me? n how to spread word abt my bakery stuff? When ppl eat (mostly friends) they love my food but don't order it :(
AYour business plan should identify your target market...who are they, and what competitive advantages do you offer over competing businesses serving that same market?
If your friends are not placing orders then it sounds like they are not your target market, in which case FB will not help you much.
AYup that's a good point.. What do u suggest will it help if i give some sample cake to my neighbors n advertise about my work? Sorry, I know I'm bothering u but me feeling very down right now..
If your neighbors are your target market, yes. If they can't afford your cake or don't buy cake, then no.
My next door neighbor is a vegan health nut. She wouldn't dare eat cake. I could take her a sample of the most Delicious dessert and she still wouldn't pay. Same can be said for someone who can't afford my cake. They can love it, but if they can't afford it they won't be purchasing.
The key is to figure out a strategy to attract your target. Do you specialize in birthday cakes? If so, try sponsoring an event for a mothers group or advertise in a local parenting newspaper. Are you looking specifically for brides? "Go where they go." Think like your potential client. Where do they go? What kind of advertising appeals to them?
AThanx a Lott for all ur help.. I think I need a more clear business plan for me, I'll work on these line now n ll let u guys know abt my progress. Thanx a lot once again. Btw my FB page is "Next Door Bakery Treats" If u like it or hv any suggestions for me, do tell me.
AYou may want to double-check to make sure you are following the cottage food law in your state, for example cream cheese may not be allowed without an inspected commercial kitchen.
I checked out your FB page.
Your treats look a little all over the place. And by that, I mean you have cakes, cake balls, pizza, pretzel rolls, dessert cakes, and a variety of other things, which look quite delicious.
If you are doing this from home, I (personally) would focus on one thing or another - something that you will become known for, maybe some things that others don't offer. That will help you focus on what it is you want to sell. And don't try to sell to friends and family....very rarely will they expect to pay the same as your target market.
If I didn't bake and needed a certain kind of cake, I would go to the grocery store first for two reasons. One, the immediate convenience...they have what I want, when I'm in the mood for it, without having to special order it. And two, the price is a lot cheaper. An atrocity, I know...but the majority of people out there wouldn't know good baking if it slapped them in the face! BUT if I were PLANNING for a party, I would be putting more thought into the event and would considering your services.
If you are looking to do custom cakes, like ones seen here on cakecentral, I would take some decorating classes to improve your skills. Your Lightning McQueen cake is cute, but I wouldn't consider it professional quality. I am not saying that to be mean, but you asked for help.
So I would focus on a few things. Maybe cake pops, those pretty, colorful macaroons that I'm seeing a lot of these days, cupcakes (but use more icing on those!). Go on a baking spree and create some pretty table-scapes with your lovely items on them, make them festive, color-coorinated or themed. Take some quality pictures. And post it as an event option. When done with your pictures, package the goods up and donate them to local business that would potentially drive business your way (flower shop, bridal shop, party planners, etc.)
You could offer people dessert bars with lots of different options, if you enjoy baking many different kinds of treats. Have categorized lists of what you offer at different price points (you can get X amount of Y for $Z.00). Allow them to pick and choose what they'd like for their buffet.
But if you are doing this, I would steer clear of custom takes which take tons of time. Maybe in the meantime you can hone those skills and make a switch to custom cakes in the future.
Good Luck and keep us updated!
AI'll surely check it Jason , thanx. Thanx beesknees for ur detailed reply..really helpfull. And u r right, I know abt my lightening mcQueen :( but that's my first cake n fondant from scratch that's why it's in my gallery but I think I should delete it :) I've a question, how come I know abt baking sprees going around near me and if I need some reservation or some other thing to place my stuff there ??
I'll surely check it Jason , thanx.
Thanx beesknees for ur detailed reply..really helpfull. And u r right, I know abt my lightening mcQueen but that's my first cake n fondant from scratch that's why it's in my gallery but I think I should delete it
I've a question, how come I know abt baking sprees going around near me and if I need some reservation or some other thing to place my stuff there ??
By baking spree, I just meant to bake a ton of stuff at home and create the tablescapes out of your baked treats. Arrange it all pretty on platters and cake stands, maybe some biscotti in glass containers, and get some great pics that you can put on your facebook page. You could offer the dessert buffet as a complete service for special events.
Very helpful tips, BeesKnees! Thank you!!
AThanx for ur wonderful tips BeesKnees. ll surely so that soon.