Question for the experienced bakers (I'm new to the baking business and still trying to figure out the ins and outs of customers and ordering)
So, I have two customers that have ordered a cake from me next month (the 9th to be exact). Both were originally for the same day but customer A decided yesterday evening that she wants to change the date for the following weekend, no biggie but customer B still hasn't given me any details as to size, design, flavors of what she wants for her cake. So far the only info I have for this customer is that it's for a little girls 3rd birthday. What is your standard procedure for collecting info from the customer and do you jave a cut off date for when they have to have the necessary info to you and a cut off of when changes are no longer allowed?
Customer A ordered a cake for 60 with a ton of detail but since her original email to me to make the cake (in June) she has now changed her mind on design due to the price of cake 3 times. She tried to change it again last night and I told her this is her final change because I need to start buying the supplies. Because all my cakes have been for family and friends only I haven't required a deposit but looks like it's going to be necessary because of this customer, but even with a deposit when do you finally say NO I cannot change or give you a new quote for different sizes to accommodate your new budget?
I'm going crazy over here...lol
Firstly, definately take deposits. I advise when providing qutoes that nothing is booked in and no dates are saved until a deposit is paid.
Once a deposit is paid and the cake booked in you should outline the details of the cake and any further details that are required and when you need to know these details by. Cut off time is personal to you and depends on when you think you need those details, I would say 1-2 weeks prior should suffice. I personally have a 1 week cut off to have final details.
I've always paid deposits at the time of ordering because I only deal with professional people if I'm ordering a custom article. Someone who didn't take a deposit for a bespoke anything would raise a red flag to me I'm afraid.
Deposits turn a mere enquiry into a mutual contract.
AFor weddings I have a 30 day cut off. For smaller orders I have a 2 week cut off time frame. If I have to buy something online I am not going to pay rush shipping just because someone can't make up their mind.
Weddings are paid in full 30 days before the event. Smaller orders require a deposit with final payment 2 weeks before due date. There are a couple customers I have that place a couple small orders with me every year. Those customers pay me when they pick up their order. I bend the rules for them because they are consistant, repeat customers that I know won't screw me.