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Officially feeling low...sorry, it's a long post. - Page 2

post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom View Post

Also, show the venue the cake they provided and point out the errors...some people have no idea what a beautifully done, well-executed cake looks like...they really don't...

Interesting thought. I'd love to do that but I'd be afraid of coming across as **tchy or snarky.

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post

My point, why isn't it a legal requirement?

The legal requirement for a business run out of a commercial kitchen is successfully passing a health inspection. If the business provides internal food safety training for employees (e.g. no official cert) and that's enough to pass inspection that's really all the health dept cares about. If there's no training at all and they continually mess up, they get shut down.

Of course you can argue that food inspections are not as frequent or comprehensive as they should be, but that's more of a government funding issue.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post

Interesting thought. I'd love to do that but I'd be afraid of coming across as **tchy or snarky.

 

 

i actually think that pointing out the problems with their current cake preferred vendors would be a misstep. You never know that nepotism that is going on on the preferred list...you could burn a major bridge if you trash talked someone's best friend's cakes!  And there might also be some other angle of the business deal that is more complicated than 'our venue thinks these bakers are the best!'  It may be "our venue thinks this baker is the best...because we funnel all our business to them and they give us a free birthday cake for each of our seven kids every year!" 

 

You cal always present yourself and your work and talk about what you can bring to the table without talking anyone else down in the process.  

post #19 of 35

I certainly agree with a lot of what the others have said and suggested.  If it hasn't already been put out there.......get in with a catering business, wedding photographer, event planner, etc.  They can recommend your business and if you choose to you could give them an incentive plan. For each referral they get a free dozen cupcakes (flavor of your choice that way you can add on to a recipe for a paid order). In return maybe you could recommend thier businesses. If you have a great quality product, it will sell itself!

 

Don't get hung up on flighty brides and no shows. Some of these women are young, they don't know the importance of keeping an appointment nor the respect nor courtesy of canceling if they can't make it. We had 6 appointments this past Saturday a.m. to show our rental unit. 4 no shows, 1 called to cancel her 11a.m. appt at ummmm 11:05 (thanks for nothing) & 1 showed up! All of the appointments were set by females, all sounded nice, responsible and interested. Most neglected to answer their phones or had their cell off when I called at 15 min late marker so I could resume what I was doing and no longer wait for them.  Only 1 actually answered and it was the boyfriend making excuses as to why she forgot her appt. I just say thank you and move on, my time is valuable so I really don't care why you're not here.

 

Develop a way to make consultations more convenient for you. Do all the back and forth you can via email (date, # of servings, venue, color pallate, etc.), save the actual consultation for reviewing their design only.  For tastings pack it up to go and they can pick it up.  You can charge for tastings if you choose.  Remember your time is valuable! If you feel the desire, charge for consultations $50 for 1 hour, with a clause in their contract they will receive a $50 credit on their deposit when they book with you. This will weed out the I only want to pick your brain and not really pay for your service junkies! This will also put a value on your time, so the $50 is paid 2 wks prior to the consultation, it is non-refundable.  Appointments can only be rescheduled with a minimum of 72 hours notice......you can make any rules you want! This is your business!

 

Remember what they say great cake isn't cheap and cheap cake isn't great!!!

Today you are as old as you have ever been & yet you will never be this young again.....live each day to the fullest!

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Today you are as old as you have ever been & yet you will never be this young again.....live each day to the fullest!

Reply
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann View Post

 

 

i actually think that pointing out the problems with their current cake preferred vendors would be a misstep. .  

I agree for all the reasons you stated and more including that that kind of "helpfulness" always does come across as snarky. It sure is fun to think about doing it though icon_wink.gif.

post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycakes View Post

 

Don't get hung up on flighty brides and no shows. Some of these women are young, they don't know the importance of keeping an appointment nor the respect nor courtesy of canceling if they can't make it. We had 6 appointments this past Saturday a.m. to show our rental unit. 4 no shows, 1 called to cancel her 11a.m. appt at ummmm 11:05 (thanks for nothing) & 1 showed up! All of the appointments were set by females, all sounded nice, responsible and interested. Most neglected to answer their phones or had their cell off when I called at 15 min late marker so I could resume what I was doing and no longer wait for them.  Only 1 actually answered and it was the boyfriend making excuses as to why she forgot her appt. I just say thank you and move on, my time is valuable so I really don't care why you're not here.

 

 

Thank you for sharing this. It makes me not feel so badly about all the no shows and cancellations. My consult for tomorrow responded to my text (sent at 12:30) at 7:30 to say she can't make it and will call me to reschedule. I guess I should be grateful that she finally responded.

 

Thanks for all of your other advice too. Much of what you suggest, I'm already doing. For instance, networking and forming relationships with other wedding professionals. I really like your idea of an incentive for vendor referrals, I hadn't thought of that. I'm going to a networking event next month, maybe I'll make up little cards to that effect. A dozen free cupcakes in the flavors "their" bride selected, delivered to them on the wedding day.

 

There is no way I could get away with charging for consultations. NO ONE here does that so I wouldn't be able to even get them in the door. If I know the person (even indirectly, such as the friend of a co-worker or my neighbor's cousin) then I have the consultation at my home and lay everything out prettily like a tea party. Stranger meetings are in Panera or Starbucks or Keva Juice and they get a "Tasting-to-go box" and the consultation. My current policy for consultations is this: "Consultations for events of 100 or more guests include a complimentary tasting. For events of fewer than 100, a 'Tasting-to-go box' may be for purchased for $25. Tastings include three flavors of cake and three flavors of buttercream all my choice, depending on what's fresh that week." I've never had anyone buy a box but I've always brought them a little something to try, even if it's not a full box for free, regardless of their event size. I usually have something in the freezer I can pull out. Of course they don't know I'm going to do that until the meeting. 

 

Thanks again! icon_smile.gif

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Oh hey, I have something to make you laugh. I have come to the conclusion that the human race is slowly but surely getting accustomed to, AND being impressed with mediocrity. I set this up last Friday at the art center for a fundraising event. I do it every year, it's fun. Now take a look at my cake. You wanna talk about false modesty, well shoot, this cake was BANGING and was the most awesome looking thing in that joint, ok?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuma_couture_cakes/8683068485/

There, I said it. Now. I had to share the table with platters of desserts that looked like they had been dumped out of boxes. Plain cookies, some sort of rolled cookie balls, and things that looked like this, but not nearly as pretty as this example:

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/tybmNrMTrpCc-hyujBoUQXmHHN0omcwb/promo107483353

I'll be danged if I didn't hear "wow, these are amazing looking, wow these are the most creative things I've ever seen, OMG who made THESE?!?" And of course most people thought I made them, so I had to repeat this phrase allllll night long. "I have no idea what those are, I didn't make them", with a pleasant smile of course.

icon_confused.gif  Srsly? Really? I'm 2 feet from those, cutting slices out of the back (so the front was still pretty), and you're going gaga over some stupid sloppy looking tarts?!?!

Yeah. Mediocrity. It's an epidemic.

I just realised that you are The Yuma couture! Love your work! Beautiful cake as ever.
Sorry had to express my little excitement icon_smile.gif
post #23 of 35
To the OP I'm really sorry that your going through this, people are so inconsiderate, which is why I think that charging them for tastings will definitely weed them out, they wouldn't want to waste their money but they have no problem wasting your time. Although I understand your reasoning in not doing so. Keep your head up high, if they are so inconsiderate they are probably doing you a favour and saving you from their hassle. I hope you find others that appreciate your work to replace these orders.
I'm just a hobby baker so I have no idea on business strategies as such, just wanted to try and make you feel a bit better icon_smile.gif
post #24 of 35
I feel for you I gave up but after a month I said no go back for the love it and things a looking up
Don't give up . Oh if u think that's bad I went to a wedding were the cake was fake and the bride and groom pretends to cut the cake I was discusted but same people think its ok because it saves money
post #25 of 35
I feel for you I gave up but after a month I said no go back for the love it and things a looking up
Don't give up . Oh if u think that's bad I went to a wedding were the cake was fake and the bride and groom pretends to cut the cake I was discusted but same people think its ok because it saves money
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by meriem View Post


I just realised that you are The Yuma couture! Love your work! Beautiful cake as ever.
Sorry had to express my little excitement icon_smile.gif

icon_lol.gif Thanks!

"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #27 of 35

I'm going to borrow from an old friend...when I would feel like giving up, she'd say, "Then be walking dynamite...walk in there, face them eye to eye, and let them know what they're missing." :)

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post

I agree for all the reasons you stated and more including that that kind of "helpfulness" always does come across as snarky. It sure is fun to think about doing it though icon_wink.gif.

Instead of pointing out faults of others' cakes (for among many, the reasons discussed previously) you can point out the positives of your cakes the others don't/may not have using phtographs of your own cakes - eg, "Look at the lovely smooth buttercream", "Look how the sides of the cake are even and smooth with no bumps or bulges", the "... the vibriant colours", "...the realistic flowers" etc

post #29 of 35

Officially feeling low: me too............this is the first time for me, just minutes ago...........I blew off 'a want to be' customer. I have such guilt because I need work, but 19 emails later with the same women I realized I'm making more money making cupcakes with no decorations then what she wants for a hand painted, fondant covered with gum paste flowers cake. It took her almost a month from when she first contacted me (asking for something special) to now to commit..............so I'm sure she shopped this cake out with everyone!

 

I couldn't be happier for the decorator who she's going to have to pay a realistic price to if she wants that cake. I'm trying to think positive, at least I helped the next guy who might get a decent price for that cake or the lady learns a lesson.........

post #30 of 35

No-shows happen all the time and they suck, but they're not a reflection on you so don't take it personally.

 

Check to see if some of the "preferred vendor lsits" from those venues are actually advertisers. If they put out a brochure for the venue they might be referring only to their advertisers.

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