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Is there an article bashing home bakeries or something?????? - Page 3  

post #31 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

I own a storefront. When we meet with brides who announce they are going to " shop around" or some such phrase, we ABSOLUTELY do remind them that -.



Not trying to bash storefront owners, or get into a home versus store front wars lol , just replying to her post:

Just out of curiousity, how do you know that you are the only
baker in your area with an A rating from the health inspector and BBB?

As far as people working while they are sick......I have a back up plan and would never, ever, ever cancel on someone at the last minute.Store fronts could very well do the same thing. Lets say you book enough cakes for the amount of employees that you have. 2 are sick that week. Do you have a backup plan to fulfill their orders?? Also, if my kids are sick, they are NOT allowed into my seperate bakery room. You also have sick people coming in and out of your bakery.

Not to be rude, but I don't think that I need to work on my sales pitch. I don't feel it's necesary to waste my time telling people why they need to book with a home bakery versus a store front. The one thing I do tell them is that I only do 2-3 cakes a week, so that I can focus on their cake and make it the best quality they deserve. I don't even mention storefront bakery in that sentence. I simply show them my portfolio, tell them about my experience, draw up some ideas for them, let them try samples, and give them the price. I don't push them into purchasing from me, and let them think about it. It sounds to me that you are focusing on keeping brides away from home bakers versus yourself.I really can't believe you have printed things off of CC to help yourself get a sale. If your work is good, you'll get the cake. I guess everyone has their own method though. If that is what works for you....go for it.



I know because my husband is an MBA, and we spend a decent amount of time doing market research. I know who does what, what they charge, and send out little bride spies about twice a year to make sure we still have the right information. When I sent out my bride spies last year, I found out that one VERY well respected local baker was offering brides a discount if they would bring back their sugar flowers so she could reuse them. Pretty disgusting, eh ??

In our state, most bakers don't bother to go the extra expense and requirements imposed by the health department, they choose to operate under Department of Agriculture rules, which offer no license and only one inspection. If anyone bothers to call the Department of Agriculture, they will tell you that technically, home bakers are subject to annual inspections, but that the department doesn't have the manpower to do any follow up inspections.

We spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to comply with Health department regulations, and are inspected quarterly. I walk brides through our kitchen regularly to show them how clean and professional we are.

I have 5 pasty chefs. We book cakes to allow for one person to be off every weekend. If someone gets sick, I can call back the pastry chef who is off that weekend, or at worst, pay some overtime. That IS a benefit to a bride.


And what I'm saying is NOT to bash home bakers, it is to point out that a proper sales presentation REQUIRES you differentiating yourself from other choices your customers have. We also point out that we use local and organic ingredients where possible, that everyone in our kitchen has either a culinary degree or an art degree, and that we are the only bakery in our area to sweep ALL of local "Best of" awards in both cakes and desserts.

It's not saying bad things about other people, it's saying good things about your company, and sometimes that requires explaining why you are better.

Due respect, but most home business, and by that I mean well over 90%, fail within three years, and it is sad to say, but those run by women tend to fail at an even higher rate. I would suspect that it has more to do with a lack of marketing skills than a lack of skills in their primary area of expertise.


If I were trying to make a living out of my home selling against a respected storefront I would say,

One of the nice things about buying from an independent cake artist is the personal attention you receive. You have the comfort of knowing that I made every cake in this book. At a large bakery, you never know who is going to make your cake.

Another nice service we provide is....... and then compare the buying experience to a bakery that they are familiar with. You can say that you can offer more/different flavors than a standard bakery. You can say that because you don't have a storefront, your prices include free delivery...etc. etc.

Part of making your SERVICES shine is comparing them to the ordinary. Please notice I didn't say " So and SO only has a B minus rating from the Better Business Bureau." I say " We are the only bakery to have an A"
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
post #32 of 220
Snarky, I agree with you on how home bakers can market themselves as being different than a larger bakery. There are benefits and drawbacks when hiring either one (and I'm a home-based business, as I've said before). I point out the benefits that hiring me can give the customer (more personalized service, I have more time to devote to their cake because I limit the number of orders I take, I'm guaranteed to be the one to decorate and deliver the cake, etc.)

Brides shop around before they make a decision, and you have to market yourself to show the benefit that you can offer them.

On another note, I can think of three cake businesses that have closed near here over the past four years, and two were storefronts and one was home-based. Home-based or storefront isn't a guarantee that your business will succeed, but you do have to approach it like a business and market yourself correctly.

Edited to add: I want to make it clear that the bold lettering isn't aimed at Snarky, I happen to agree with her on the marketing thing. I just think that people tend to go into cake businesses as a "fun" thing to do, but if you don't approach it like any other business it won't be fun for long, and it will fail.
post #33 of 220
I agree that aggressive marketing and selling your business' strengths is mandatory and makes a huge difference as to whether or not you will be successful.

I also agree that there is a huge difference between pointing out our strengths and achievements as compared to "bashing" our competitors.


I'm still trying to figure out why a storefront business would show potential clients pages from CC's forums with conversations about home bakers having to cancel because of illness. That's just weird IMHO.
post #34 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

I agree that aggressive marketing and selling your business' strengths is mandatory and makes a huge difference as to whether or not you will be successful.

I also agree that there is a huge difference between pointing out our strengths and achievements as compared to "bashing" our competitors.


I'm still trying to figure out why a storefront business would show potential clients pages from CC's forums with conversations about home bakers having to cancel because of illness. That's just weird IMHO.



I printed out one thread in particular because the decorator in question had a relative go in the hospital on Friday. She had a cake due on the Monday, and didn't even call the potential customer until Sunday to cancel, and then was pretty prickly about the fact that the customer was P.Oed. The surprising part to me was nearly every post on the forum ( not the business forum BTW) was supportive of the " just take care of your relative, you did nothing wrong".

To me, that was egregiously unprofessional. I printed it out to show the difference in attitude of "professional" bakers and many, but of course not all home bakers, or hobby bakers . And then or course say that because of this it is important to ask. " What happens if you have an emergency and can't make my cake?"
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
post #35 of 220
When my mother was in the hospital dying from breast cancer, I flew back home to make the cakes that I had been contracted to make, then flew back when I was done. Maybe someone would say that I was unfeeling to do that, but she would have smacked me if I blew off an obligation.

You do have to have a backup plan if you're a one-person operation, or be willing to make tough choices. I take my contracted obligations seriously, so if I have a contract that cake is going to be made one way or another, whether I'm working out of my home or out of a shop.

(You can feel free to print that out and show people, snarky, lol icon_smile.gif )

I do think that cancelling on someone without notice is unprofessional, by the way. But what would a shop owner have to do if there was a fire or a flood or something else that prevented production? Things happen, regardless of where the business is located.
post #36 of 220
And I'll add that I do agree that the question of "what happens if there's an emergency and you can't make the cake" is important to ask, regardless of who you're talking to. So I'm still with snarky on that one. It isn't a question that's related to a home-based or a shop-based business, though, it's just a question of what's their backup plan.
post #37 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker


2- ( I them show them the print out we have of the CC pages pointing out that bakers and their kids get sick all the time, and they cancel cakes on short notice when they do, or worse yet, they actually make the cake when they are contageous)



Snark, I was only commenting on your above post where you said "we have of the PAGES"....now you say it was 1. icon_confused.gif

Whatever the story....sh!t happens storefront or home based and a plan needs to be in place no matter the size or location of your business.

In my years of wedding cakes and such I had to cancel one consultation that was scheduled for the morning that my Dad passed away unexpectedly. The bride was NOT understanding, even though I just wanted to postpone the appt so I could go to the funeral home to make my Dad's arrangements.

I decided this was NOT a bride that I wanted or NEEDED to have any business from. She was clearly too self centered to have any compassion for anyone else and would have been a PITA to work with.

I don't want or need every order from every PITA and fortunately I've built up a great clientele base at my Salon and cake business....all repeat, nice clients. icon_smile.gif
post #38 of 220
I agree that is an issue of professionalism not home based or store front. Making statements like that does cast doubt in a potential clients mind toward the home baker whether intended or not.

If you get into this biz you have to make up your mind that you fill the obligations and make those tough choices as someone else stated.

I know a woman who's DH died on a Friday and the wedding cake she had booked was still in place on time as ordered. Now THAT is professional and she was very much home based! thumbs_up.gif
The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
post #39 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker


2- ( I them show them the print out we have of the CC pages pointing out that bakers and their kids get sick all the time, and they cancel cakes on short notice when they do, or worse yet, they actually make the cake when they are contageous)



Snark, I was only commenting on your above post where you said "we have of the PAGES"....now you say it was 1. icon_confused.gif

Whatever the story....sh!t happens storefront or home based and a plan needs to be in place no matter the size or location of your business.

In my years of wedding cakes and such I had to cancel one consultation that was scheduled for the morning that my Dad passed away unexpectedly. The bride was NOT understanding, even though I just wanted to postpone the appt so I could go to the funeral home to make my Dad's arrangements.

I decided this was NOT a bride that I wanted or NEEDED to have any business from. She was clearly too self centered to have any compassion for anyone else and would have been a PITA to work with.

I don't want or need every order from every PITA and fortunately I've built up a great clientele base at my Salon and cake business....all repeat, nice clients. icon_smile.gif



The reason I used this thread was that it was particularly shocking because virtually every response was something along the lines of " you did what you needed to do, don't feel bad..." . I thought ot myself WHOA!! really,
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
post #40 of 220
I've had quite a few brides bring up the "we're going to look around" comment before booking with me - my return comment is "good for you, you should always get more information before committing"! It ALWAYS surprises them that I would encourage them to shop around and not try to entice them to sign by lowering my price quote.

I do work from home by myself. I have had situations where I didn't think the cake was going to get done, but because of professionalism, it did (ie. I burned my hand last year, spent the evening in emerg, and came home to finish the cake).

My grandmother is not doing very well at the moment, so I have an agreement with my mother that if I need to fly down for any reason, she will give me enough time to finish off my paid commitments for the week - it's the life of a small business owner!

Consultations are one thing to cancel/postpone (they are not my clients at that point in time, and if they can't understand an emergency, then frankly, I don't want to work with them), but a paid wedding cake is another thing...it gets done unless I'm the one in the body cast!
What we learn with pleasure we never forget.
What we learn with pleasure we never forget.
post #41 of 220
Hello,

I don't know if it makes sense - but would it be an idea to make an appointment with the bride in their place? As a service from you, with a tiny little cake in a box or something else?

Maybe it is a NO GO - I am from Germany so I don't know how you handle it normally over there.
post #42 of 220
When my sister died a couple of years ago, and we were trying to figure out when to have the funeral, I said, "This is so tacky, but I have a wedding to cater on Saturday, so if we could do it Friday, that would REALLY help me out!"

We scheduled my sister's funeral around my wedding schedule. icon_redface.gif

But ...... had we not been able to do it on Friday, I had my crew on standby to handle the Saturday event for me.
post #43 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

The reason I used this thread was that it was particularly shocking because virtually every response was something along the lines of " you did what you needed to do, don't feel bad..." . I thought ot myself WHOA!! really,



Yeah, that doesn't surprise me really....remember that even though there are a lot of serious business owners on this site for every 1 of us there are 100 or more hobbiest "playing" business owner.

Sooner or later they'll realize that in order to be successful you have to stop "playing" and actually become a real business.


Right now I'm faced with a situation in my family. One of my SIL's father just passed away yesterday unexpectedly. The funeral is Wednesday morning the busiest day of the year for me at my Salon. I have 18 appointments booked that day and there is no way I can cancel any of them. These people are counting on me to get their hair done for the holiday. I feel terrible that I can't attend this funeral, but my SIL understands that I am in the service business and if I could be there I would.

I did tell my DH though that he absolutely has to be there to represent me.

People think it's easy to be a business owner...ughhh if they only knew huh?
post #44 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

The reason I used this thread was that it was particularly shocking because virtually every response was something along the lines of " you did what you needed to do, don't feel bad..." . I thought ot myself WHOA!! really,



Yeah, that doesn't surprise me really....remember that even though there are a lot of serious business owners on this site for every 1 of us there are 100 or more hobbiest "playing" business owner.




You are 100% correct!
post #45 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

The reason I used this thread was that it was particularly shocking because virtually every response was something along the lines of " you did what you needed to do, don't feel bad..." . I thought ot myself WHOA!! really,



Yeah, that doesn't surprise me really....remember that even though there are a lot of serious business owners on this site for every 1 of us there are 100 or more hobbiest "playing" business owner.




You are 100% correct!



But to moi it's still brilliant marketing.
one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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