Snark, you're right, they don't always spend money. Since I know you were just waiting for my approval (
), it makes me feel better knowing that you would pay for a consult too!
I didn't notice that your state is a free-for-all when it comes to legal kitchens. That does make market research a bit more difficult.
I research my competition too. While this may be my ego, one of my competitors has made some pretty big changes to their website and business name since I came on the scene. It may be totally coincidence, but they are my closest competition (geographically).
I will visit my competitors shops every few months and make a few quick phone calls. I also make it a point to attend bridal shows (even if I'm not a participant) and see how they set up their booths, how they present their samples and how their samples taste. I usually take a few moments to introduce myself, unless they are busy.