Small Town Pricing

Business By MajesticCupcakes Updated 6 Nov 2013 , 5:02pm by uptownbaker

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 3:38pm
post #31 of 65

AI am as small town as they come, with one or two projects a weekend during slow time, and 3 max during busy times. The issue isn't small versus big, the issue is the ignorance or blatant disregard for good pricing practices that generally occur with new home bakers. No one hates home bakers, technically I'm one.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 3:38pm
post #32 of 65

AGenerally, please note that I didn't blanket everyone with.that statement.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 3:39pm
post #33 of 65

A

Original message sent by newbe86

Are part-time/hobby bakers really viewed as under-cutting and looked down upon by full-time bakers? That is kind of the feeling I get, even though I am going through everything to make sure I run a legit business and am fairly pricing (by doing research with regards to what other local bakers are charging), getting the proper permits and licensing, etc.  Do full-time bakers really see small home/hobby bakers as people trying to cut into their business?

It's not really about whether competitors are part-time or full-time (or home-based or not), the issue is setting a pricing structure that makes sense and allows businesses to continue paying reasonable wages with reasonable margins. A part-time baker that sets appropriate prices is far more preferable to a full-time baker that pays herself $1/hour with a 0% margin, since the former reinforces the true value of the product in the minds of customers.

As for hobby bakers, they are not really an issue since by definition they don't sell to the general public.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 4:39pm
post #34 of 65

On the subject of whether bakers dislike undercutters etc, here's one for you:  http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/04/no-theres-not-enough-work-for-everyone.html

 

You can't force people to charge market prices, but it definitely affects the market when they do.

 

As far as the OP's problem, small town politics are a totally different ballgame and the people who play them haven't read the book about how to price your cakes. You might be better off trying to see if there's a segment of the market that the "cake ladies" don't serve, like weddings or 3-D specialty cakes, and leave the smaller birthday cakes to them. That would involve getting to know the wedding venues in town and getting them to refer you, and putting yourself out there as the baker who can do the types of designs that aren't traditional. That might get a backlash too, but it's probably your best bet. The fact that you're not "from here" isn't going to help you, either, no matter what people say. Depending on how small the town is, it can be like a secret society runs the place, and unless your great-grandparents settled the town you'll never be considered to really be someone who lives there. I live in Richmond VA and even though it's a large-ish city it's still like that... and I've lived in TN, GA, AL and FL, so I'm no stranger to southern towns...the culture is totally different.

newbe86 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 5:46pm
post #35 of 65

Oh, I understand why anyone would hate under-cutters, my question is more that if I'm conducting a small business and pricing is comparable to the bakeries around me, why does it seem as if home bakers or part time bakers are all getting a bad rep? 

 

Locally, there is only one baker in my town and while there is a couple hotels that hold weddings and parties, they have an in house baker who supplies the cakes, or a lot of people go to walmart for their wedding cakes (shudder).  I feel like I would be offering something different while not under-cutting the bakery. I have also done research with the larger cities near me (St. Louis) and found their prices to be not much more than the one town bakery we have, 45 minutes south.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:19pm
post #36 of 65

A

Original message sent by newbe86

Oh, I understand why anyone would hate under-cutters, my question is more that if I'm conducting a small business and pricing is comparable to the bakeries around me, why does it seem as if home bakers or part time bakers are all getting a bad rep? 

Who is giving home or p/t bakers a bad rep, and how are they doing so?

costumeczar Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:36pm
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Who is giving home or p/t bakers a bad rep, and how are they doing so?

I think that there's a perception that home-based bakers are working unlicensed, and that's always been true. I make sure to tell people that the health inspector comes to my house, and they always seem surprised by that.

 

The fact that so many people are saturating the market with low priced cakes that are less than excellent after taking one Wilton course is what gives home-based bakers a bad reputation. We have to work harder to show that we're professional than someone with a storefront does...Having said that, most of the comments about home-based bakers that I hear come from other bakers, so take that for what it's worth. The brides I deal with don't care that someone is home-based or not because a lot of wedding professionals are self-employed and work from home.

newbe86 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 7:24pm
post #38 of 65

I've just seen a lot of posts regarding hobby bakers and part-time bakers and they are being put down. I understand that some are illegally run and are unlicensed, but I would like to think that when I get my business up and running, that the local bakery would send someone my way if they could not fill an order and I would do the same thing.

howsweet Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 7:58pm
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbe86 

I've just seen a lot of posts regarding hobby bakers and part-time bakers and they are being put down. I understand that some are illegally run and are unlicensed, but I would like to think that when I get my business up and running, that the local bakery would send someone my way if they could not fill an order and I would do the same thing.


Costume Czar hit the nail on the head in the post just above yours. The last time I sent business to another home baker, she went ahead and charged the same price the customer had agreed on but then proceeded to give her a cake that was twice as nice as my design

howsweet Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 8:01pm
post #40 of 65

In answer to Jason's question, I'd say they are giving themselves a bad name.

Smckinney07 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 8:53pm
post #41 of 65

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Anyways, this blog post I wrote awhile back sums it up pretty well. And yes, I got some hate mail. :D :twisted:

[URL=http://www.yumacouturecakes.org/2012/06/how-to-not-get-taken-seriously-everi-am.html]http://www.yumacouturecakes.org/2012/06/how-to-not-get-taken-seriously-everi-am.html[/URL]

When I started reading this thread I immediately thought of your post lol, it was great and oh so true! I love your blog and your work- very helpful!

I am working on getting licensed in a small town in Illinois. Thanks to help from others such as AZ, Jason Kraft, and many others I have learned a lot about pricing and marketing, but I'm still a ways away. There are many 'decorators' in my town that practically give their cakes away, arent liscensed, and obviously havent put the time & energy into learning and practicing-I understand your frustration!

I am surrounded by several larger towns that are 30-60miles away in several directions. They have many Bridal Shows, Vendor Fairs, and other events you can look for in your area (if your willing to widen your net). CupADeeCakes is an excellent website, she has many tips on Bridal Shows (setting up, etc). Now that your liscenced you can hand your cards out to other people in the wedding business (venues, planners, etc.), donate cakes for charity events leave business cards (free promotion), other small business owners in my area (think Mary Kay, Scentsy, Thirty-One) they have cash and carry events you can attend.

Don't give up!

costumeczar Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 9:03pm
post #42 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbe86 

I've just seen a lot of posts regarding hobby bakers and part-time bakers and they are being put down. I understand that some are illegally run and are unlicensed, but I would like to think that when I get my business up and running, that the local bakery would send someone my way if they could not fill an order and I would do the same thing.

I've noticed more of that recently, and I think it's because the cake market is totally oversaturated at this point. It's a combination of cottage food laws, people watching tv and thinking it looks like fun to sell cakes, and loads of information online that lets anyone with an internet connection learn enough about decorating to be dangerous. I think it's frustration on the part of people who have worked to build their businesses and are seeing new home-based businesses on facebook all the time. In my area there are at least two or three that are showing up each week. Most of them are gone within 6 months, but while they're around they're a PITA for us to deal with if they're promising customers low prices and things that they can't deliver. I have at least two brides per month call me in a  panic to see if I can do their cake because their baker backed out for whatever reason. It's usually someone who isn't a real business but is presenting themselves like one, and customers don't know any better if there's a website and a facebook page and someone is willing to take their money. Then the customers beg us to clean up the mess the other baker created, and it makes the rest of us look bad by association.

 

Introducing yourself to the local bakery could be good if you suggest that you can refer people to them if it's something that you don't do. Do you know them yet, though? If someone came up to me and said "hi, I'm new in business and I want you to refer to me and I'll refer to you" I'd assume that they're trying to get me to send clients to them but that since they're new they wouldn't be sending me much. If you can emphasize the things that you do that they don't, and point out that you can refer to them for the things that you don't do, it might not be as threatening, know what I mean? I refer to people who do cupcakes and cake pops all the time because I don't make those, but when people come to me and suggest that I refer wedding business to them my inclination is to tell them to take a hike.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:32pm
post #43 of 65

AI don't think so, the issue is when other bakers charge less than their work is worth, whether they are at home bakers, hobby bakers or fully fledged businesses.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:40pm
post #44 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

I don't think so, the issue is when other bakers charge less than their work is worth, whether they are at home bakers, hobby bakers or fully fledged businesses.

That's part of it, but who's to decide what their work is worth? I might think it's worth more or less than they're charging, but they can charge anything they want. It definitely screws up the idea that people have of what they should be paying for something, so it's part of it, but I think that people are just sick of seeing so many cake businesses around these days too, and so many people starting them with little to no experience from home.

 

The number of posts on here that say things like "I'm doing my first wedding cake in a couple of months, does anyone have a good recipe for one?" is evidence of this, IMO. That kind of thing just makes me cringe.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:47pm
post #45 of 65

I'm sure there are some blatantly rude/spiteful things said here and there, but for the most part people are truly wanting to help. When it comes to running a business, there's not much room for hugs and kisses. Better learn now than later, I say.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 11:07pm
post #46 of 65

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

I'm sure there are some blatantly rude/spiteful things said here and there, but for the most part people are truly wanting to help. When it comes to running a business, there's not much room for hugs and kisses. Better learn now than later, I say.

Dream crusher!

IAmPamCakes Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 11:08pm
post #47 of 65

AAgreed, AZ. My cakes may be sugar coated, but business is not.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 12:35am
post #48 of 65

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

I'm sure there are some blatantly rude/spiteful things said here and there, but for the most part people are truly wanting to help.

Sadly sometimes good advice falls on deaf or very sensitive ears.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 12:39am
post #49 of 65

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

The number of posts on here that say things like "I'm doing my first wedding cake in a couple of months, does anyone have a good recipe for one?" is evidence of this, IMO. That kind of thing just makes me cringe.

Me too!

Sure, we all challenge ourselves. I haven't yet done a pig head. I committed to doing one in September because I felt it is in my skill set. You can bet I did a great deal of thinking & sketching & research before quoting.

That's far from not having a recipe or never having frosted a cake.

sixinarow Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 12:42am
post #50 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 


Me too!

Sure, we all challenge ourselves. I haven't yet done a pig head. I committed to doing one in September 

Oh man, we have to wait until September to see it?? icon_cry.gif

DeliciousDesserts Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 12:54am
post #51 of 65

AAww sixinarow, you made my day!

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 2:05am
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

That's part of it, but who's to decide what their work is worth? I might think it's worth more or less than they're charging, but they can charge anything they want. It definitely screws up the idea that people have of what they should be paying for something, so it's part of it, but I think that people are just sick of seeing so many cake businesses around these days too, and so many people starting them with little to no experience from home.

 

The number of posts on here that say things like "I'm doing my first wedding cake in a couple of months, does anyone have a good recipe for one?" is evidence of this, IMO. That kind of thing just makes me cringe.

If your cake is at a standard that it can be sold, surely it's worth whatever it cost you to make it, including at the least minimum wage for your time, and then whatever the local market markup is on top of that. If it's not good enough to be sold, you shouldn't be selling it! 

 

Those posts make me cringe too, along with I'm sure many other cakers who hope to one day open a business but have committed to doing all the research before jumping in. 

Yuzhiyejin Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 8:11am
post #53 of 65

Two vampire bats wake up in the middle of the night, thirsty for blood. One says, "Let's fly out of the cave and get some blood."

"We're new here," says the second one. "It's dark out, and we don't know where to look. We'd better wait until the other bats go with us."

The first bat replies, "Who needs them? I can find some blood somewhere." He flies out of the cave.

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

www.vipfutcoins.com
www.arm2fifa.com
 

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 8:35am
post #54 of 65

AI must check for Facebook buy sell trade! It sounds like a train wreck, with those comments on there! I can it getting very bad!

costumeczar Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 11:29am
post #55 of 65

A

Original message sent by Yuzhiyejin

[SIZE=12pt]Two vampire bats wake up in the middle of the night, thirsty for blood. One says, "Let's fly out of the cave and get some blood."[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]"We're new here," says the second one. "It's dark out, and we don't know where to look. We'd better wait until the other bats go with us."[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]The first bat replies, "Who needs them? I can find some blood somewhere." He flies out of the cave.[/SIZE]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  [URL=http://www.vipfutcoins.com]www.vipfutcoins.com[/URL] [URL=http://www.arm2fifa.com]www.arm2fifa.com[/URL]

 

A spammer walks into a cake forum and decides to drop links to his site to increase hie SEO rankings. That's the whole joke.

BatterUpCake Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 1:48pm
post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 


A spammer walks into a cake forum and decides to drop links to his site to increase hie SEO rankings. That's the whole joke.

This is the second one of these I have seen today. BTW...ifyou haveany tips on increasing my SEO rankings that would be great!!

costumeczar Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 3:10pm
post #57 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

This is the second one of these I have seen today. BTW...ifyou haveany tips on increasing my SEO rankings that would be great!!

well, dropping links randomly into sites like this don't increase it anymore, google reworked their formulas. So people who do that are not only spammers, they're ignorant spammers.

Pyro Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 3:12pm
post #58 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

spammers, they're ignorant

 

^     Your other post should go just so the links vanish thought.

eatcakes13 Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 9:28pm
post #59 of 65

A[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3134392/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

6" top 8" bottom. 2 layers each with buttercream filling and the fondant work... $110 expensive for small town at home bakery prices

IAmPamCakes Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 9:34pm
post #60 of 65

AMy base price for a basic fondant 6&8 is $144. I live in a small town, and there are people who will pay for good work. Not as many as I'd like, but there are.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%