What is a good timeline to give my customers to pay the 50% deposit?
Most of my customers only order within 2 weeks notice, and sometimes I have to get started right away. I do tell them that their slot is not set in stone until I get a deposit but what is a reasonable time frame they should be giving me a deposit?
AI require payment in full at least three weeks prior to the event, so "most of your customers" would be paying me the entire balance when they ordered.
ASo let's say they are ordering with more time before their event...then a retainer would be due when they order, otherwise they aren't guaranteed that cake.
AAs long as they feel comfortable waiting, knowing that I'm not booking their date until it's paid, basically.
AThat usually makes them decide right then. I don't give people deadlines for retainers, because I just don't do anything with their order until I'm paid. I don't mark them down, I don't start any work, I don't consider it an order period.
AI got retainers. Months in advance. Because otherwise they're not even on the baking schedule. Full payment 3 weeks in advance.
Pretty much the same as leah ...... the deposit put them on my calendar. The final payment is what turned on the oven. I would have deposits up to a year in advance to reserve their date. If I had no deposit, then any other bride could take that date out from under them.
If you deal with short term clients, part of your consultation with them should include a subtle education on how to plan ahead and 2 weeks is not "planning ahead" in cake world. SHort term clients (those who order perhaps under 30 days and definitely 2 weeks or less in advance) should expect to pay in full at time of order. Just something simple like "next year, give me a call a couple of months earlier to make sure I'm not fully booked." can get the message across.