melodyscakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 3:56pm
post #1 of

what do you think about making decorated sugar cookies shaped like pumkins or ghost, and bagging them individually and having my kids go door to door in sub. divison down the street and give each house a free cookie.....along with a flyer that says something like "call me for your holidays, or i do birthday cakes" i have recently been zoned, and will be licsenced soon...so not worried about that. just wanted your thoughts on giving out free stuff, do you think i will get response for the effort and the money???? i have a few customers so far, but not alot...i am wanting to get the word out that i do cakes.
your thoughts appreciated!
melody

23 replies
scoobam Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:05pm
post #2 of

Congrats on getting zoned!!

I personally wouldn't do it... but it depends on how well you know your neighbors and neighborhood. It might just be me but I find it annoying when someone comes to the door or calls to drum up business for anything. Kids fundraisers or something like that is different... but for a business... I actually tell them that they have lost my business for coming to the door or calling... like I said, maybe just me.. but it's something to think about. You don't want to offend anyone and lose business off the bat. and you may also get mixed reactions from having kids to the distributing. You just don't know how someone will react and that's the problem... not to mention how many will be home or open the door... or if they leave it there if it will be found. Some people don't look out their front doors too often.

Don't put anything in mailboxes either... there was a lady around here doing that.. stuffing mail boxes about her candle business and the neighbors told us she got reported to the post office.

Like I said if you know yor neighborhood well, than go for it... if you don't then I would be leary.

Are you allowed to put a little sign outside of your house with the business name? That would get people talking and asking questions in the area.

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

melxcloud Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:17pm
post #3 of

If your local post office, grocery store, or town hall has a bulletin board you could probably put a flyer up there. Also do you have a chamber of commerce. If you do, you might be able to be listed with them.

GinaJuarez Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:21pm
post #4 of

What about, instead of knocking and handing them out, just putting them on the door. Get some of the little bags with a handle, and hang them on the door. That way, you are not disturbing anyone. Just a thought.

momlovestocook Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:24pm
post #5 of

I don't see anything wrong with flyers in the mailbox-we get flyers from new businesses all the time. Check with the local post office. I live in rural Ontario, Canada and it's about 25 dollars to have the flyers sent out in the mail-not a bad price. Also, I would be leary of having a cookie delivered to the door. Why not print a coupon on the flyer for one free cookie-if you want to have a halloween theme say it's good until Oct 31st or do thanksgiving type cookies good until whatever date thanksgiving is.

Sandra

Misdawn Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:25pm
post #6 of

I agree Gina. Leave them on the doorknobs in hanging bags with a business card, so you avoid all the "annoying/ disturbing them" issues.

MrsMissey Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:28pm
post #7 of

How about just attaching something to the treats that you hand out at "your" door? The parents usually go thru everything before the kids eat it anyway!

HeatherMari Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:30pm
post #8 of

It might be more expensive, but maybe make up a small brochure or something explaining what you do and maybe have a coupon on it for something free or a percentage off a holiday order. Then you could either mail them out or take them to banquet halls, flower shops, etc and ask them if they wouldn't mind putting them out or giving them to customers looking for a cake.
Just an idea,
Heather

GinaJuarez Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 4:33pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMissey

How about just attaching something to the treats that you hand out at "your" door? The parents usually go thru everything before the kids eat it anyway!




OOOh, I like that!

melodyscakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:05pm

i really like handing them out to trick or treaters....but i live on a street where the houses are kinda far between and we dont get much trick or treaters. also i take my little ones out for a while.
although we do get alot of traffic that drives by....maybe i could put out a huge sign that says "stop here" and have my teens standing at the gate....have to think about that for a bit.
thanks!!
melody

flayvurdfun Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyscakes

what do you think about making decorated sugar cookies shaped like pumkins or ghost, and bagging them individually and having my kids go door to door in sub. divison down the street and give each house a free cookie.....along with a flyer that says something like "call me for your holidays, or i do birthday cakes" i have recently been zoned, and will be licsenced soon...so not worried about that. just wanted your thoughts on giving out free stuff, do you think i will get response for the effort and the money???? i have a few customers so far, but not alot...i am wanting to get the word out that i do cakes.
your thoughts appreciated!
melody





I have had people do this before: they sold MaryKay Pampered Chef and something else and when my kids hit their door, they had cookies or a small bag of candy with the "card" attached. That way you arent puttingyour kids in harms way, or risking them getting embarrassed or whatever.... it would be pretty quick to do it that way....

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:11pm

Melody,

I like your idea for giving out a free sample but like others have mentioned some people don't like advertising that way!! I would hand out flyers with a coupon attached redeemable when an order is placed.Also the thought of people "throwing out" your cookies without even looking at them first is a big possibilty! I find myself doing that with some samples I don't use and something edible might be a turn-off to some (not to say your cookies aren't good).I wouldn't waste your time and money if it may be tossed out!! Try the flyer thing first or a big sign in front of your house and see what happens!!

Calejo Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:41pm

I wouldn't send my kids out with flyers. I don't like being disturbed in my sanctuary.. er.... home, either. I get enough of that from telemarketers or spam, actually coming to my house probably wouldn't make a good impression on me. I say go with the sign once you're lic. and advertise a sale or something. That will definately get peoples interest.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:47pm

Well, some areas are so rigid about advertising before you actually have your license, I would probably wait to get it in my hot little hands first. Regarding signs, some communties are absolutely rigid about signs, even temporary ones, you can be fined big-time for posting them. Even when you are licensed a lot of areas have a "No-sign" policy or a very restrictive one, as far as the size and location of the sign, so you might want to look into that.
I think sending the kids out with the cookies, might be viewed by some people as taking chances with the safety of your children and that might lose you some business, sad isn't it!
I guess I am a worry wart, but in the U.S. there are so many lawsuits, I would be extremely nervous about anything edible and the risk of tampering or someone looking for an easy way to sue and make some money.
I think I would wait for the license, then make up flyers, find out first if that is legal in your area or work through the post office or other mail delivery systems. Perhaps offering an introductory coupon for so much off certain items, will generate some business for you.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

melodyscakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 5:47pm

i should've mentioned before, but for the past two years i have made valintines cookies and halloween cookies and sold them in the sub. division down the street. my kids love doing it, they are young teens. and the nighbors usually are waiting for us...money in hand. we have some that look for us all day before the holidays, some that dont leave that day so they wont miss us, others that say no thank you. we've had great response....but i was thinking this year i would make a smaller cookie and easier to decorate and give them away with something that reminded them that they should call me for their cakes. also i used to have an apple tree (before the tornado blew it away) and i sold apple pies...had a huge sign in yard that said homeade apple pies ( i know now that i shouldnt have done that, not having a liscence...i was new to the business then) any way, people still say, "oh, your the lady that makes homeade apple pies down the road"
so, i have a good response from nieghbors, but they forget to call me for birthday cakes. my question is, should i give out free cookies with a reminder that i do cakes, or cont. to sell my cookies to them? we dont make alot of money doing that, but enough to cover cost and pay the kids. so i thought this year i would do free with something attached.
okay, thanks all
melody

bubblezmom Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 6:09pm

subdivisions and apartments here are very strict about no soliciting. I would check you local regulations before hanging things on peoples door knobs.

The cookies might get tossed uneaten. I would just attach a little flyer or card to your normal treatbag that you hand out.

Nana2three Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 6:22pm

Well if you're going to sell the cookies as usual, how about including a coupon for some % off the purchase of a specialty cake? Be sure to include an expiration date or something so people will feel the urge to use it before it expires...otherwise it might get tossed aside and forgotten.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 7:00pm

Oh, well since you already know your neighbourhood, then that is a good idea. Hhmn, what about a birthday cake cookie, with your flyer attached? Hhmn, you could have a temporary coupon for so much off cakes, to get people interested.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

Lemondrop Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 7:10pm

If you know your neighbours that well, and you've sold cookies to them before, then I would say, go for it. If it's not too expensive, I'll try to put it in a small card with some magnet on the back, so that they can put it on the fridge, and it would be right there when they want it. Just my opinion.

gdixoncakes Posted 25 Oct 2005 , 7:25pm

Melodyscakes,

Here is an idea --

If you've gone to the trouble of getting licensed, instead of putting a sign in your yard and risking getting your neighbors in an uproar, why don't you get some signage for your car? There are lots of places that can do like the magnet ones for the door or you can get nice window ones made. That way, everywhere you go, you get your name out and you don't bother anybody. People always have pens in their cars so they can write down your info or they plug it directly into their phones. If I ever get licensed, that's what I am going to do, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Like I said, just a thought.

momsandraven Posted 26 Oct 2005 , 2:07am

Melody!
First, congratulations on your 'almost license'!

Second, if your neighbors are already in love with your cookies, I say give them a coupon to redeem on their next order. icon_smile.gif I agree with Lemondrop, get some of the magnets made for the back of business cards (you can find them at Office Max, etc), laminate your cards and put the magnetic backing on. That way, your customers always have your name and number handy, in the room where they most often think about food! (The kitchen of course. LOL)

Good luck!!
Beth

melodyscakes Posted 26 Oct 2005 , 3:31pm

thank you guys for all your input!!!!
now, i've got to go make some cookies!
melody

cande Posted 28 Oct 2005 , 1:46pm

thumbs_up.gif Good luck and congratulations on your almost licensing!
Let us know what you decide to do.

gilson6 Posted 28 Oct 2005 , 4:33pm

Something that I have done and it really helps -- give a free cake to your bank. Most banks nowadays have coffee set up in their welcome area. It's just a way to get your name out to the bank for their occasions and also to their customers. BTW -- the bank loved it!!!

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