Oh No, I Didn't...or...was That Outloud? Or...is There An Unsend Button Somewhere? *sigh*

Business By howsweet Updated 2 Jul 2013 , 1:06am by SystemMod2

Stitches Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 8:38pm
post #61 of 87

"Given all of the discussion of common assumptions held by the general public (it's just flour and water) and the impact of cake shows, it is poor business practice to assume that potential clients are knowledgeable about the industry generally and what sets you apart from other non-low cost specialty bakers.  If you are not educating the client as a way of building value (and along with it trust) you are facilitating conditions where customers will make decisions solely on price.  

 

Finally, the O.P. should have discussed her brand and not engaged in a sweeping generalized smear campaign (this is why there was little educational value to the email and why it thus unprofessional).  Now maybe this was done at the initial meeting, if so, it was not effective as the O.P. states she felt the client assumed she was being gouged.  But the "information" provided is not based on the particularities of the unknown competitors and seems to be predicated on the idea that the only legitimate business is one where which enables the owner to make a living.  Not much educational value here.  Rather than besmirching the competition with generalizations and assumptions that may not account for the low-cost competitor, the O.P. should have been focused on developing trust with the client by emphasizing what sets her apart and how she generates provides value to her clients.

 

Would this have made a difference?  In this case it seems not as it seems the client's financial situation influenced her decision.  Then again she make have been more willing to make other sacrifices.  Point is it is poor business practice to act as if the specialty cake business should be immune to the pressures of low-cost alternatives.    And if you only become interested in educating clients after they have opted for low-cost alternatives, you will continue to lose clients to low-cost alternatives."

So the take away point for me in this quote and the entire thread; is to educate my potential customers when giving a quote. To be pro-active instead of reacting after the fact. That's where a lot of us (definitely me) go wrong!. Almost all the time someone is sending me a quickie email or a quickie phone call looking for a quick quote/estimate of some sort. I/we need to slow this down and not let the excitement of a prospective order impede our responses.

 

So often the prospective client comes to me with absolutely NO knowledge at all. They don't know what they want the cake to say, how many servings they want, what time of day they need it, etc... Yet alone Anything about the average pricing (of a non-grocery store cake). It takes me multiple emails just to get all their details out of them. Too often I let them lead the conversation. I think I'm being polite by doing so. There's times when I can tell the client is over whelmed on the phone with all my questions and they can't wait to correspond threw email. They want a quick answer with-out even giving us all the details (how much?).

 

I don't think anyone here is interested in price fixing! That's silly, every market around the country and world is different we could never work that out. BUT when we talk here in threads we do educate ourselves and others (who don't post) which does make our industry better! I remember when I first registered here, no one was baking anything from scratch. I didn't see any threads where I fit in or topics I was interested in talking about. The average level of conversation was totally at a beginner level. Today, the average skill level I see around here is more intermediate. So we really are learning and making things better for ourselves.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 9:40pm
post #62 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


I brought this up in my blog article on pricing and economic damage. IMO the best way to approach this is indirectly by working with a third party to engage the businesses serving your market with a free course (covering pricing and marketing in general) on how to make more money selling cakes.

Businesses do not have to price in lockstep, but they do need to price appropriately to their market (which includes earning a decent wage and margin), otherwise the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving said market are grim.

But they don't really NEED to do anything, there's no reason for some people to price appropriately if their motivations fall somewhere else. I've seen situations like MimiFix has, where someone just wants to be famous or "known" and that's their motiation. In a capitalist society you can't make someone price things the right way, and it does affect the rest of it negatively, but having someone offer a seminar won't help squat if someone has a weird business model.

 

The movie was pretty good, and apparently Volvo wagons are good for protection from zombies, which is good because I have one. A wagon, not a zombie.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 9:52pm
post #63 of 87

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

But they don't really NEED to do anything, there's no reason for some people to price appropriately if their motivations fall somewhere else.

Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.

costumeczar Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 1:08am
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.

Hahaha! I can think of some talk radio personalities who would still go for this, comrade.

Godot Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:30am
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.

Oh heck - ten years ago and you would have been able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being terrorists and have them sent to Guantanamo for torture and execution.

Godot Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:30am
post #66 of 87
edited: double post
brendajarmusz Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 9:59am
post #67 of 87

AVery well said Carmijok!!! Alot of you have made very good points and arguments like Jason and costumeczar. What i would like to add is while yes she probably should not have sent that letter while upset, she did so now she has to live with whatever the consequences are if any. It also teaches us all a lesson that we shouldn't be so quick to reply when upset or angry. Lol but again alot of good points were made. I agree with what was said about not doing the design until you have in writing that you are doing that cake or at least not give the client the sketch. Also i have found that most people rather they are on a budget or not or are educated in the time and cost of doing a beautiful cake, will ultimately be seeking what everyone wants and that is a beautiful cake that they feel was worth whatever they paid for it. So while some look for A good pricethey still expect a great product and if that doesn't happen well then hopefully it will be a lesson learned for them that cheap is not always best cuz you get what you pay for. Hope everyone has a great week. Blessings to all.

HannahsMomi Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 12:14pm
post #68 of 87

I can totally understand why you would send that email.  But, I must say, I got slightly offended by it.  The "husband subsidized" part is what is bothering me.  I assume that this is referring to those who are undercutting the competition and not making money because of it.  And I don't agree with that.  I just have a hard time with that statement.  I would not have been able to start my business without my husband's investment.  And I am starting out of my home, with a second legal kitchen.  My prices are similar to those of my competition, I am not undercutting.  I keep reading posts of some on here putting down "husband subsidized home businesses" and I can't help but feel a little pang when I read that.  Just thought I would share.

kikiandkyle Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:33pm
post #69 of 87

AWhile the phrase is certainly offensive for several reasons, I don't believe anyone has ever used it with situations like yours in mind. They are talking about people who are churning out cakes at such low prices that their husbands/spouses are actually subsidizing the cakes, and going by how many people are on here saying they charge $20 for a $150 cake, there are plenty of them.

Using your household income/savings to make initial investments and even to live off for a while is how most businesses start up. It's when you are past that initial start up stage and your business model involves you never actually covering the costs of your business that you are then running a spouse subsidized business, or rather a very expensive and time consuming hobby.

AZCouture Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:41pm
post #70 of 87

APeople just don't want to take the time to price things out either. And why should they? It's a gimme now business, from tutorials to pricing, and it's SAD.

(edited by Systemmod2)

AZCouture Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:48pm
post #71 of 87

AAnd of course I'm not saying don't be helpful, but I don't think spoon feeding people is helpful. I didn't learn anything that way.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:37pm
post #72 of 87

A/ so agree!

kikiandkyle Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:17pm
post #73 of 87

AI mean do people expect us to price every single cake they sell? At what point will they start doing it for themselves if they never have to?

shanter Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:22pm
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

And of course I'm not saying don't be helpful, but I don't think spoon feeding people is helpful. I didn't learn anything that way.


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Godot Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:47pm
post #75 of 87

AI think y'all pretty much know how I feel about it!!!! $19.99.

Bettyboo64 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 5:56pm
post #76 of 87

I used to love coming to the forums to see how creative people could be and the great little ideas, but lately it’s just full of  Cake Snobs talking  about someone that is just starting out asking the same question for the millionth time. Who cares how many times a question is asked? If you have read it and replied to it a million times then just by pass the question there is no need in being snide or nasty about  it.

 

 Being a cake snob is truly unbecoming, what amazes me most is how so many cake makers talk about rude customers, yet they feel its ok to put down a fellow cake maker because of a quetion?  like they never had the same question when they started out..    (yeah ok)

Get over yourselves! icon_sad.gif 

 

 

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 5:59pm
post #77 of 87

AI'm not sure how name-calling is supposed to help the situation. If you don't like people commenting about how a question has been asked before, just ignore those comments, or alert the mods if you think it crosses a line.

MimiFix Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:35pm
post #78 of 87

Jason, you should have quoted the post. I don't think she understands who you're referring to.

Bettyboo64 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:44pm
post #79 of 87

I'm fully aware  that Jason's post was meant for me, but I stand by my post, if I ever become a cake snob I will stop making cakes. You   talk badly about rude customers, but most of you are perfectly fine knocking others in the same business, which makes you just as bad.    Sometimes a bit of reality hurts.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:45pm
post #80 of 87

A

Original message sent by Bettyboo64

I'm fully aware  that Jason's post was meant for me, but I stand by my post, if I ever become a cake snob I will stop making cakes. You   talk badly about rude customers, but most of you are perfectly fine knocking others in the same business, which makes you just as bad.  

You should consider taking your own advice and stop "knocking" other cake decorators here.

Bettyboo64 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:55pm
post #81 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


You should consider taking your own advice and stop "knocking" other cake decorators here.

  

Amazing its not ok for me to call others in my profession a CAKE SNOB but its ok for my co-bakers to put someone down for a question, they ask.  

 

 icon_biggrin.gif  Thats ok Jason and fellow cake makers of the world from now on when I find someone is being over critial to a person asking  a quetion I will simply  report it to the moderators.  This forum wasn't set up for just those in the "Group".  

 

Have a Happy Cake Making Day :)

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:58pm
post #82 of 87

A

Original message sent by Bettyboo64

   Amazing its not ok for me to call others in my profession a CAKE SNOB but its ok for my co-bakers to put someone down for a question, they ask.  

If you read the post from the mods earlier in the thread, you will see that putting someone down for asking a question is not OK, just as calling other people names is not OK.

Godot Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 7:07pm
post #83 of 87

AOh good grief, stop feeling so sorry for yourself.

KarenK55 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 7:30pm
post #84 of 87

REALLY PEOPLE!  ENOUGH ALREADY!!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 7:47pm
post #85 of 87

AI honestly don't think less of someone for asking the same ? For the millionth time. Maybe they don't know about the search function. I get it. Sometimes, it gets exhaustive. When it does, I ignore the post.

What does bother me is ignoring the advice. I especially don't like when someone asks opinions but really only wants to hear the ones that support the OP.

kikiandkyle Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 7:55pm
post #86 of 87

AIgnoring the $10 cake people isn't going to change the way they price their cakes though, and nobody benefits in the end from that. If you can think of a nicer way to say 'there's no way we can give you an accurate number, here's several links that will give you methods to work it out for yourself' then I'd love to hear it.

Just because it isn't the answer you want to hear, doesn't make it rude or unhelpful.

SystemMod2 Posted 2 Jul 2013 , 1:06am
post #87 of 87

Thank you to the members who have recently alerted the mods to this thread.

 

You are all correct. Name calling will not be tolerated. Not even the term "cake snob" to describe some of the longest serving, and continually helpful members on this forum.

 

I will remind the longtimers that newbies should be warmly welcomed and directed to appropriate information for the most common questions, eg pricing, especially as an individual answer can involve writing a paragraph or two to be comprehensive. Familiarize yourselves again with the "stickies" so you know where to direct newbies and you will be keeping the forums running smoothly without flame wars. Alert the mods to duplicate posts, where the OP has ignored your information previously offered regarding stickies etc and we will get in contact with the OP to help them.

 

I am locking this thread and deleting the offending posts. The information/advice/commiseration offered to the OP will still be here for those who want to search/read this thread.

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