ShaunaNicole Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 6:04am
post #1 of

Hi All!  

 

I have been in business a year, and have really been rethinking my pricing structure lately (pricing is likely too low).  Where I get caught though, is where I fall design wise, and if I should be asking a similar amount for creations that look 10 star to me (made by you guys  :)  ) whereas I think most of my cakes are 7 star (design wise).  In other words, I think most of you have cakes that look flawless, and I can appreciate your pricing structures.  Mine are not flawless!   Maybe I am being too critical of my own work (I have been told that a time or two), or maybe I just don't see the flaws in others' work... This is where I am STUCK.   

 

BTW, for taste, my cakes and cookies are 10 (I'm 100% confident about that).  

 

I'm wondering if any of you would be willing to take a look at my gallery, pricing structure, and let me know what you think.  I'd so appreciate it!  I've been on here all night (and every night this week) and I feel like my head is going to spin off.  :)  

 

www.cakes-denver.com 

 

~Shauna

38 replies
Snowflakebunny23 Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 7:35am
post #2 of

AI'd say that you are being a bit harsh on yourself...I love your designs (the '7' cake in shaded of purple is suh a cool concept!) but perhaps you could work on your execution a little? Make sure you get straight and even edges with equal amounts of frosting all the way around. I have never done a completely frosted cake (in the uk, cakes tend to be covered in fondant) but I can imagine its very difficult and you could spend hours and hour 'perfecting' it by scraping and scraping bits off. Still, maybe a bit of practice would make you feel more confident about increasing your prices...your cakes and designs are definately worth it!! God luck! :-)

kikiandkyle Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 1:08pm
post #3 of

AYour cakes look great but they'd look even better if you put them on decorated boards and photographed them on a plain white background instead of on your dining table. You can make a mini studio out of a big cardboard box and some white paper, it will make such a huge difference.

Also, lose the character cakes/cookies - I know you only have a couple, and used toys for the others, but those two will still get you into trouble (unless you got permission of course).

ShaunaNicole Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 4:50pm
post #4 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

Your cakes look great but they'd look even better if you put them on decorated boards and photographed them on a plain white background instead of on your dining table. You can make a mini studio out of a big cardboard box and some white paper, it will make such a huge difference.

Also, lose the character cakes/cookies - I know you only have a couple, and used toys for the others, but those two will still get you into trouble (unless you got permission of course).

 

Such a good idea-the "mini studio".... Lately I've tried to zoom in, but I haven't been able to get rid of all the background.  What do you do to decorate a board-put fondant on it?  

 

And about the character cakes, do most people just not do those?  Are we supposed to get permission from DISNEY?  Ugh, that sounds like a hassle.  But getting sued would definitely be worse!!  

 

Thanks for your advice!!!

ShaunaNicole Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 4:52pm
post #5 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 

I'd say that you are being a bit harsh on yourself...I love your designs (the '7' cake in shaded of purple is suh a cool concept!) but perhaps you could work on your execution a little? Make sure you get straight and even edges with equal amounts of frosting all the way around. I have never done a completely frosted cake (in the uk, cakes tend to be covered in fondant) but I can imagine its very difficult and you could spend hours and hour 'perfecting' it by scraping and scraping bits off. Still, maybe a bit of practice would make you feel more confident about increasing your prices...your cakes and designs are definately worth it!! God luck! icon_smile.gif

 

Thanks so much for the thoughts!!

jason_kraft Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 5:06pm
post #6 of

AFrom a web design perspective, I would make the header much shorter, especially on pages other than the home page. On my laptop the navigation buttons are at the very bottom of the screen since the header takes up so much space, so when i click the buttons nothing seems to happen since all the content is below the fold (requires scrolling down).

Your phone number, email address, and Yelp link should also be featured closer to the top. Also include your location and service area. The home page itself could use screen space more efficiently, most of it is taken up by a huge picture of cupcakes that opens a smaller version of the same picture when clicked. For example, a condensed version of the content on your "Our Philosophy" page could be included on the home page in place of the cupcake image.

I like the color scheme, but black text should never be placed directly on a dark red checkered background. Use a solid light pink background or a white/pink glow to improve readability.

kikiandkyle Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 5:06pm
post #7 of

AThere was a thread about boards recently that will be useful

http://cakecentral.com/t/762716/cake-boards-opinions-discuss

Yes you have to get permission from the copyright holder any time you make a character cake. There are some companies and organizations that are happy to do it, but others that just say no. Some people choose to do them anyway and take the risk but there are members here who have been contacted by attorneys about their cakes. Some people find their own way to try and get around it by using bought licensed toys etc, but I don't know if there's a clear answer about whether that is really legal or not.

amethystjcm Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 9:00pm
post #8 of

Just a tip about the unwanted backgrounds for the cake pics ...

 

You can use clipping magic (http://clippingmagic.com/) to remove the background from your photos (so easy to use) to make the images look cleaner and professional.

Stitches Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 1:59am
post #9 of

When I click on your link it doesn't go through for me. What's wrong?

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 2:04am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stitches 
 

When I click on your link it doesn't go through for me. What's wrong?

I think there is just something off with the linking, but if you copy & paste it into another tab it works.

Stitches Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 2:48am

I understand that you don't have great photographs yet (it's a struggle for all of us)..............work on shooting them better and with no back grounds. But the one thing you can do now, is work on your editing. There are some photos that could be cropped better and or straightened, lighting fixed, etc... You also can work on the way they display on the site. On your gallery page the top several rows only have white space between the rows and not between on the sides. Yet further down on that page they have more border. Can you adjust the white space between your photos to be more even? The way it is now, is distracting and makes your photos look worse.

 

I don't have any problem with the placement of your contact info. being on the bottom of your page, but it would be nice if when I click on them they link to yelp, link to email, etc...

 

The pricing on some of your cakes don't make sense to me. $30. for a 6" cake is good pricing, but someone can still get a 9" cake for that same $30.00. Your quarter sheet for $35.00 is way too low. Any filled cupcake should start above your highest priced non-filled cupcake.

 

Check your costs on cookie cakes. My cookies cost more than a cake ingredient wise.

 

Your also too low for a 3 tiered cake. When you price out those cakes individually on your chart they cost more than when you buy all 3 sizes together as you offer it? It should be the same price if not MORE for a tiered cake.

 

So here's the thing, I understand that your trying to price according to your skill level, that's o.k.. But looking at your price structure I'd bet you haven't priced out your costs.

 

I do want to add, that I like how you designed and laid out your pricing page. Your on the right path (I know it takes time) you just need to start tweaking/perfecting your details.

ShaunaNicole Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 3:23am

Thanks so much to EVERYONE thus far!!  I am taking everything in a thinking about what I can do!  I so appreciate your help.

 

A couple of you brought up my webpage layout, and believe me, they are points well taken.  I'm going to see what I can do to correct some things.  One of my problems is that I am not at all competent with this stuff.  Sometimes when I try to make changes I end up ruining things and then don't know how to restore it!  That's actually the case with the picture spacing....  :)  

 

Stiches, it's interesting that your cakes cost less than your cookie cakes.  With me it's the opposite.  An 8" round cake costs about $8, and a cookie cake about $4 (mine aren't huge though).  What do you guys think about getting rid of the ranges in pricing?  Like maybe just stating cake A "starts at...."  The reason I have the pricing overlap is because by far the TIME is what I what to be compensated for.  So a small cake with tons of fondant detail could indeed cost more than a large cake with a very simple (quick) design.  Does that make sense?  I think maybe it would be best to get rid of the ranges though, to avoid it being confusing, as Stitches brought up. Just have to figure out how to rework my webpage without completely screwing it up.  

 

I'm off to see what I can do!   

ladyhawke917 Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 3:52am

I am not a professional, so I don't know how good my advice is, but I would think pricing per serving would be easier for a customer to understand, rather than saying 10x8x6 for example. The average layman would probably have no idea what that even means in cake terms, but they know they want a cake for 50 people. I would say either set a price per serving like you have for the wedding cakes or put the number of servings next to the cake size. Just my thoughts. Very nice cakes and yummy sounding flavors. Don't sell yourself short.

rmanuel73 Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 3:53am

Quote:

Originally Posted by amethystjcm 
 

Just a tip about the unwanted backgrounds for the cake pics ...

 

You can use clipping magic (http://clippingmagic.com/) to remove the background from your photos (so easy to use) to make the images look cleaner and professional.

 

Just tried this out! Absolutely awesome and it really is easy! :) Thanks!

ShaunaNicole Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 4:10am

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladyhawke917 
 

I am not a professional, so I don't know how good my advice is, but I would think pricing per serving would be easier for a customer to understand, rather than saying 10x8x6 for example. The average layman would probably have no idea what that even means in cake terms, but they know they want a cake for 50 people. I would say either set a price per serving like you have for the wedding cakes or put the number of servings next to the cake size. Just my thoughts. Very nice cakes and yummy sounding flavors. Don't sell yourself short.

 

Wow, that is such a good idea, and you are absolutely right about the awareness of what "X" tiered cake feeds...  I am seriously going to have to think about this!!  And thanks so much for the compliments.  :)  

ShaunaNicole Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 4:13am

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmanuel73 
 

 

Just tried this out! Absolutely awesome and it really is easy! :) Thanks!

 

Unfortunately it doesn't work with Safari.  I may try sometime on another's computer though. Sounds like a great help!

Stitches Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 1:24pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladyhawke917 
 

The average layman would probably have no idea what that even means in cake terms, but they know they want a cake for 50 people. I would say either set a price per serving like you have for the wedding cakes or put the number of servings next to the cake size.

This is good advise. I find it really helps to study what others have done. Look at how others have simplified their pricing and borrow it. I do a per serving pricing.....but no matter what you do, you still have to explain things over and over to new clients.

 

I totally understand how frustrating it is to set up a website and learn their software. Just keep tweaking and don't give up........before you know it you'll be an expert at that software. If you don't put the time in, it will show. Remember it's the impression people will get about your whole business.

rockymtnbaker Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 4:43pm

Hey! Another Colorado baker! Hello from the Springs. :)

 

I agree with the above posters; your cakes look good for the most part, but the lighting/photography needs work. Love the idea of a "photo studio" with a box and white paper; definitely going to try that myself. Also agree with pricing structure; I find that a per slice cost for all cakes makes things simpler for me and easier for the customer to understand. I personally don't do cookies or cupcakes, so I can't respond on pricing those. The only other thing that I found on the website itself was that the text on your pricing page is a little hard to read; my 44 year old eyes got a little crossed by the end of the page. 

 

A word about your icing; it looks as though you are using a crusting buttercream and maybe smoothing with the paper towel method? I could be wrong. In any case, take particular care with the edges; you've got a lot of wrinkles there. I like the composition of your designs, though. Overall, great work! ;-D

BatterUpCake Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 7:57pm

I recently bought cheap fabric in pink, silver and black. 1 1/2 yards each. I set the cake on it, and pin it up on the wall behind it take the pic like that and then crop it closely. Not the perfect but a huge improvementt

sixinarow Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 8:26pm

AI started with the white cardboard floor & sides. But, I have recently found that I like my pictures more if I can tell the difference between the floor & the background so it doesn't look like a "floating" cake. :) If I use the same color flooring as my background, I pick one to have texture, so there's just a little difference. Look at some of the favorited pictures in the galleries to get ideas..dark wood floor, neutral background. Little changes make a huge difference in how your product is perceived at first glance!!

AZCouture Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 8:38pm

ASeriously Jason, I want to give you the password to my admin panel so you can fix those problems you told me about with mine. Can't figure it out. Argh!

BatterUpCake Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 8:52pm

Michaels also sells trifold presentation boards for $5. Makes a great background and comes in many colors.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 8:57pm

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Seriously Jason, I want to give you the password to my admin panel so you can fix those problems you told me about with mine. Can't figure it out. Argh!

Unfortunately the flexibility of web design platforms is typically inversely proportional to how easy they are to use, so it's often the case that the only way to fix certain usability issues is a complete rewrite of the web site from scratch in HTML code.

BatterUpCake Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:34pm

What would you charge to make me a cake stand site? lol

jason_kraft Posted 13 Sep 2013 , 9:41pm

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

What would you charge to make me a cake stand site? lol

It depends on the requirements, but for a relatively basic static site the ballpark is $100/page plus hosting costs ($60/year and up depending on volume).

ShaunaNicole Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 5:32am

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnbaker 
 

Hey! Another Colorado baker! Hello from the Springs. :)

 

I agree with the above posters; your cakes look good for the most part, but the lighting/photography needs work. Love the idea of a "photo studio" with a box and white paper; definitely going to try that myself. Also agree with pricing structure; I find that a per slice cost for all cakes makes things simpler for me and easier for the customer to understand. I personally don't do cookies or cupcakes, so I can't respond on pricing those. The only other thing that I found on the website itself was that the text on your pricing page is a little hard to read; my 44 year old eyes got a little crossed by the end of the page. 

 

A word about your icing; it looks as though you are using a crusting buttercream and maybe smoothing with the paper towel method? I could be wrong. In any case, take particular care with the edges; you've got a lot of wrinkles there. I like the composition of your designs, though. Overall, great work! ;-D

 

Thanks again to everyone!!

 

And hello from northeast Denver!  Nice to see a neighbor.  :)  You are exactly right about the crusting buttercream and Viva paper towel method.  The whole situation drives me insane!  Once I "fix" one area, another suffers!  Usually the edges...  How you do you do yours?  Something is telling me I had an easier time with this before I switched to "mystery shortening" from the Baker's kitchen.  Before that I bought Sweetex (for way too much) from a local cake supply place.  And I think I used to find that process easier then...

 

Thank you for all the other thoughts as well.  While I revamp that whole pricing page I'll see what I can do about the font!  And someone else mentioned the reddish checkered background...

 

Hope you are doing well and surviving the rain!!  :)

AZCouture Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 6:31am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Unfortunately the flexibility of web design platforms is typically inversely proportional to how easy they are to use, so it's often the case that the only way to fix certain usability issues is a complete rewrite of the web site from scratch in HTML code.

No, it's just something I need to sit down with.more than 5 minutes and just get it done. It wasn't always like that, so I need to backtrack and figure out what I did.

rockymtnbaker Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 6:29pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShaunaNicole 
 

 

Thanks again to everyone!!

 

And hello from northeast Denver!  Nice to see a neighbor.  :)  You are exactly right about the crusting buttercream and Viva paper towel method.  The whole situation drives me insane!  Once I "fix" one area, another suffers!  Usually the edges...  How you do you do yours?  Something is telling me I had an easier time with this before I switched to "mystery shortening" from the Baker's kitchen.  Before that I bought Sweetex (for way too much) from a local cake supply place.  And I think I used to find that process easier then...

 

Thank you for all the other thoughts as well.  While I revamp that whole pricing page I'll see what I can do about the font!  And someone else mentioned the reddish checkered background...

 

Hope you are doing well and surviving the rain!!  :)

 

At least you actually have a real live cake shop you can walk into to buy supplies...the only thing down here is hobby stores, so I have to order everything. I need to make a trip to Denver! 

As far as icing goes, I usually use SMBC, which doesn't crust, so I don't have that problem. But back in the days before dinosaurs roamed the earth, when I first started doing cakes, I used crusting buttercream and smoothed it with a hot knife. The Viva method wasn't around back then and that's how I learned. I always got a nice smooth finish without the wrinkling problem.

Hope you are all surviving the rain as well! 

Elcee Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 10:19pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnbaker 
 

 

At least you actually have a real live cake shop you can walk into to buy supplies...the only thing down here is hobby stores, so I have to order everything. I need to make a trip to Denver!

 

I know, right? You'd think a city as big as Colorado Springs would have a decent cake decorating supply store. Although, I'm pretty sure that if I lived closer to Cake Crafts I'd be broke :wink:.

ShaunaNicole Posted 15 Sep 2013 , 12:57am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elcee 
 

I know, right? You'd think a city as big as Colorado Springs would have a decent cake decorating supply store. Although, I'm pretty sure that if I lived closer to Cake Crafts I'd be broke :wink:

Cake Crafts is nice for a speciality item, but as one of you shared, it is REALLY expensive.  That's where I used to buy the Sweetex-for $8/lb.  Yikes!  And even though I'm in Denver, it's a 45 minute drive... You guys might want to look into BakeMark.  

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%