Hello I am based in the Uk, have registered my new cake business and had my kitchen inspected. I am now working on my website and Facebook page.
My question is, to all you experienced cake businesses, at what stage did you launch your website?
At the moment I only have about 15 cake pictures to use. I have a sketch book full of lots more ideas and designs I want to create but should I wait until I have made more before going "live"? I have been looking at other cake websites and they all have so many cakes it would take me a year or more to complete that amount.
I do have years of cake decorating experience, I have also completed lots of decorating courses in the past 6 months but just don't have professional looking pictures of work I have done until recently.
should I just start without launching the website until it is more full of pictures or just start with a website that doesn't have many pictures? I'd really appreciate your opinions & experience on this?
You need to have a website to look professional. If I see a business that uses their facebook page as their website I assume it's someone who isn't taking their business seriously. It's better to have a minimalist site than no site at all.
AWhen you are ready to launch your business, you should also have a marketing strategy in place and ready to go live on your launch date. Depending on your business and your target market this strategy will typically include a professional-looking web site, SEO, social media, and paid advertising.
I wouldn't worry about not having enough pictures, all you really need is a few high quality photos to show off your work.
Ayes website is key! Get it looking great asap and dont bother promoting yourself until thats done. Theres not point in wasting time and money getting people to your website just to lose their business with a bad website.
ok thanks for the advice - I am going to create cakes and picture them until the end of this month, then launch my website once it is complete and looking as fabulous as I can get it!
It won't be as many cakes as most people have though which still worries me. I understand what you are saying about face book costumeczar - but do you think fb could be a good starting point for me to begin receiving orders earlier - especially if I put on the face book page that I am currently working on my website so people know my intentions are serious?
Jason, what is a SEO?
AA FB page is better than nothing, but do yourself a favor and require all orders to be sent via email or by phone (or the order form on your web site once it is ready) and work out a consistent order process that keeps everything in writing so customers know what to expect.
SEO = search engine optimization, which is a strategy for helping your web site appear higher in organic search results (as opposed to paid options like Google AdWords). When you talk to a professional about your web site they should be able to help put together a SEO strategy as well.
Ok thats good advice thanks Jason.
If you use a facebook page and someone sends you a message, get their email address and flip the conversation over to that right away. It's too easy to lose messages and get things mixed up on facebook.
yes I have heard there seems to be numerous problems with Facebook at the moment - so yes, I will definitely do that. I really just want to use it to promote my business and get myself known whilst I'm still working on the website.
Your website is very important. It doesn't matter if others have more pictures than you. You can keep updating it. The best part of the website is that if it looks professional, clients will know you are serious about your business and it's yours. Facebook can close your account at any moment for any reason they wish without having to explain. They can never do that to your site.
Nevertheless, Facebook is a great additional tool to get new clients and get your work out there. Make sure you are using a Facebook Fan Page not promoting through a regular profile where you will be limited with the amount of audience you can get.
I will suggest that you make use of the Facebook Ads. You can target them to your area and set your budget if it's limited. You can run a campaign for 2 days with as little as $10, paying $5 per day, while you are able to increase your budget. Facebook will only charge you a few cents for every time someone clicks on your ad.
I hope this helps.