Just after some advice/other experiences from people in a similar situation. I'm a home based baker/decorator based in the UK. I'm all registered etc with Environmental Health/Trading Standards etc and have been running for a few months doing mainly birthday cakes so far, contacting customers over email mainly or by phone.
I am hoping to get some wedding cake orders soon though, and have attended one wedding fair so far and have another next month.
My concern at the moment though is how to handle consultations. My home insurance doesn't approve of having customers into the house unless I pay loads more, and to be honest as it's our home I'd rather not have people here as I don't have a separate area I can use for this purpose. I have my health rating certificate to reassure customers my kitchen is approved and clean etc (5 star rating which is the the highest you can get here), but I'm not sure how I should actually phrase that I don't have people to the house without raising any concerns. My idea so far has been to arrange to meet at a customers house, or local cafe, but I would love to hear how anyone else deals with this?
Thanks! Mel X
ACoffee shops and cafes, some kind of neutral ground.
Coffee shops and cafes, some kind of neutral ground.
I think what she's asking is should it come up, how does she explain to customers that she doesn't meet at her home without them being suspicious and worried about the state of her home and kitchen (which she will be using to make their cake).
AIts hard to judge how hypothetical people will react, I haven't had a problem, I think its becoming normal for certainly wedding planning to deal with home businesses and to expect to meet somewhere 'off site' I ask where is best for them cos I drive and if they don't then its no problem for me to get where they are (and where I live really isn't huge!)
If I had to explain why it would probably be that I live with people and don't have spare (quiet) space to use and that I think its more comfortable for both parties if its a neutral location that way there is no added pressure on either party. Them coming to me for consultations is covered by my insurance but I wouldn't want to do it.
I would tell them your insurance does not allow for customers to be in your house and then just show them the paperwork that says you've been inspected or licensed or whatever it is the procedure for the UK
APinchofsweet yes that's what I meant lol :)
Good to know most people don't seem to mind though, I just thought customers would assume they would come to the house and have no idea how to say I don't do that.
My instinct was to just be honest and say insurance won't cover it, as you said CakesbyCathy, but I was nervous that wouldn't sound right or put people off!
I suppose I'll just have to see what happens when I get to that stage! I've done so many birthday cakes, and a couple of family wedding cakes (plus oodles of practise ones) but I just want to make sure customers feel confident with how I present myself.
I'm hoping to ask a local spa hotel if I can use their lounge for meetings if customers don't want me to come to their homes, not sure Id be happy in our local Costa!
APS Natt I like the idea of saying there's no 'quiet space' at home too, so they feel it's because you want to concentrate on them. Thanks :)
If it helps, when I got married, I had a "day of coordinator" and we never met at her house (even though she was based out of her home). I never thought anything of it. In fact I was pleasantly surprised that she would meet at our house or a coffee shop type place (which made me a bit more comfortable since I was already nervous as heck about the whole thing).