Hi, iam starting an at home bakery. I plan to start with cookies. I have no idea how to sell cookies. Please help.
thanks in advance
Shaped and decorated or chocolate chip and snickerdoodles? Makes a difference in pricing and marketing.
My answer is based on how to sell them, as in how to 'market' them. If you mean how to sell them, as in how to price them, I will leave that to others, as I have been out of that part of it for some time.
I had a car dealership that ordered 300 cookies a day (1500 a week). Their invoice paid my shop rent every month and it was simple choc chip, snickerdoodles and other simple cookies. Car dealerships set out snacks (cookies, doughnuts, popcorn, etc) for their customers in the lounge area, while they wait on their cars (either getting the paperwork done for a new purchase or getting an oil change).
A lawyer's office was a regular cookie customer (cakes, too). Also small colleges ordered from me for their ceremonies and events. Chambers of Commerce need cookies for meetings and grand openings. (C of C's like to order from their members, so don't be surprised when they push you for membership. For me, it was well worth it. I belonged to a couple.)
How did I get in? By taking a box of free cookies, my card and a flyer into the offices. I did this marketing every week (during the non-wedding season).
As always, indydebi, your answers are helpful and SO invaluable!
If I can ask, how much were you pricing your cookies at for the dealership, lawyer's office, chamber, etc? (each, dozen, etc). I am just starting out but get inquiries about cookies all the time, and have a difficult time trying to find a good price point. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!!!
I looked up some old invoices from 2008. So please keep in mind this pricing was 7 years ago! The car dealership who ordered over 6000 cookies a month paid $3 a dozen. The attorney's office (who ordered 6-8 doz at a time) paid $6/dozen. Volume really does make a difference in your cost. These were strictly the drop cookies .... choc chip, snickerdoodles, etc.
@indydebi you are truly an angel - thank you so much! Would it be ok if I asked you one more quick question - how did you convince them to go with your cookies vs. the cheaper walmart/sam's club type? Did you simply drop off the cookies with the flyer, or did you talk to them about the pros of going with "real" homemade cookies? Would you be willing to share an old copy of the flyer you dropped off?
I'm sorry for so many "asks", I am usually rather forge-ahead when it comes to things but I am SO passionate about baking and want SO badly to make it work that I think I "overthink" everything and am almost afraid to go ahead for fear of having everyone say NO, and I have zero idea where to start. :) I am so truly grateful for your help so far, your advice is invaluable and it gives me help in having a "starting" point that I can take and run with (i.e. make it applicable for my baking, area, demographics, etc) rather than just staring blankly at a computer screen having NO idea where to start!
It was the drop-off method. My husband worked at this particular dealership and he frequently took cookies in to work to share with co-workers. This was before I was doing cookies as a business .... was strictly cakes and catering at the time. They had been buying the cookies from Kroger. For some reason, Kroger ticked them off and the woman in charge of buying cookies came over to hubby and asked "Your wife makes cookies with her catering business, right? Would she be interested in quoting us?" Hubby told her "Absolutely!" then called me and said, "Honey guess what? You're now in the cookie business!" I quoted her (and it was more than they were paying at Kroger) and she took it.
Some side stories: GM dealerships have comment cards that go to GM in Detroit. This woman would share some of the comments with hubby before she sent them on to Detroit. Comments included "I would buy a new Cadillac every year if they came with your cookies" ....... "You need to provide milk. Cookies that good need milk!" One salesman DID start giving away a box of my cookies with every new Cadillac purchase.