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Having trouble getting orders - Page 4

Poll Results: What do you charge for a PLAIN white 8" two layer cake (vanilla and buttercream with fondant)

Poll expired: Jul 31, 2013  
  • 3% (2)
    $0-$19
  • 3% (2)
    $20-$24
  • 16% (9)
    $25-$35
  • 75% (40)
    Over $35
53 Total Votes  
post #46 of 83
Thread Starter 

I need to figure another way of advertising - however I don't have any orders, so the money for advertising is not there either. I made physical advertisements; magnets, flyers, business cards, etc but it doesn't seem to be enough 

post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSuojhayer View Post

I need to figure another way of advertising - however I don't have any orders, so the money for advertising is not there either.

Your customers will end up paying for your advertising costs in the form of overhead allocated to each product you sell, but as a new business you will need to pay for advertising up front out of your business startup fund.
post #48 of 83
Thread Starter 

What do you use for advertising?

post #49 of 83
We had a strong competitive advantage in a specific niche (people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions) so I started out with Google AdWords for keywords like "nut-free cake", "gluten-free cake", etc. targeted within 30 miles of our business, while participating in local food allergy support groups (both online and in person). After a couple months reviews started hitting Yelp so I discontinued Google Adwords as we were already getting more business than we could handle.

Before our daughter was born I was working on a few other strategic expansion strategies that involved partnering with specialty grocery stores and manufacturers of complementary products in the same niche, but we ended up moving out of the area and selling the business to an employee.
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSuojhayer View Post

Oh goodness, I wish. I just sometimes feel I may not be able to execute a nice enough cake to slap on a big price tag!


Trust me when I say that a big price tag is never just slapped on!

 

It's consulted, designed, quoted, agreed upon, bought, ordered, mixed, baked, cooled, filled, crumb coated, iced and decorated (and sometimes delivered) on!

 

icon_lol.gif

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
Reply
post #51 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeesKnees578 View Post


Trust me when I say that a big price tag is never just slapped on!

It's consulted, designed, quoted, agreed upon, bought, ordered, mixed, baked, cooled, filled, crumb coated, iced and decorated (and sometimes delivered) on!

icon_lol.gif
I wish there was a "like" button for this!
post #52 of 83
Thread Starter 

I didn't mean it like that icon_redface.gif

post #53 of 83
When your ready you can do bridal shows in your area, donations to auctions for charities, rent a booth at a local fair/market, etc. In my area, there are several people that sell Thirty-One, Avon, Bath and Body stuff...(I live in a smaller town with larger cities about 30min in every direction) so someone is always hosting some sort of event and the tables range from $ 0-25. I met a salon owner who has private spa parties so I'll make margarita cupcakes and sell them just to get my name out there. I always have a little box for drawings, just little things like a $5 discount or a free smash cake with a 6"&8", I get email addresses to send thank you messages or sometimes I'll have a special during slower times. I have received many orders that way. I have taken samples to receptionists at my daughters DR's office and made cakes for the teachers lounge at her school, that sounds terrible doesn't it icon_wink.gif

I'm trying to expand my business and I'm working on updating my webpage. For me that's the most difficult part, so don't get discouraged, you are not alone.
post #54 of 83
Thread Starter 

Those are wonderful ideas.

 

I really would like to do a bridal show, however the limited spots are tough to get. There are currently two reining bakeries here in London who are ALWAYS at the London Bridal Expo. Seems like they've got a contract for the next bazillion years. I think I could put on a nice presentation. Have any of you done bridal shows? Any tips? There is one coming up in January, maybe I could attempt to get into that one. Do you have to have a storefront open? My kitchen is inspected & certified already but I can't open my store for another few months, worried I may not yet be open by January. I need to decorate and buy furniture I'm a little bit of a control freak. Spent all of my savings on my kitchen, and I figured that I would get a few orders here and there that would help pay for decorating my place. (BTW, I don't pay rent - my dad owns the building).

post #55 of 83
Check out the flyer for the previous years Bridal Show and contact the person who hosted it, the ones I've looked into/done were first come first served. I don't know the actual laws where your located, but oddly enough they didn't ask me for any pertinet business info. I just had to fill out a form saying what size booth I wanted, if I needed tablecloths, chairs, if I needed an outlet, etc. they wanted my business name, address, website, email, and phone number but that was for the handouts and newspaper add and my payment. I guess they just assume no one would invest the money if they weren't a legitimate business. I had my certification and everything but I hadn't completely finished my separate kitchen yet so I was still using my main kitchen at the time, which my inspector said was fine. I have a room attached to my garage, an extension to my house where I've setup now, so no I don't have a storefront but I do abide by regulations.
So far I've just done the one. I had a banner, phamplets, business cards, and a personal raffle at my two tables. I had several decorated cake dummy's and two flavors of cake, all presliced in Togo ramekins with tiny forks so I didn't have to stand there slicing cake, I was able to interact more. I had to donate a couple gift certificates (as did every vendor) and a day later the host of the show gave me a list of every couples name, address, phone number, email, and wedding date. I sent out thank you emails, I think there were about 150-200 people attending and I made the money back that I had paid just for my booth with 2 cakes. They are a lot of work, but it was well worth it for me! I highly recommend getting at least one friend/family member to help for the day.

Check out CupADeeCakes.blogspot.com, she has a few posts about Bridal Shows she's done with tips and suggestions.
I plan on doing another one soon in a neighboring town.
post #56 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSuojhayer View Post

I honestly don't give myself an hourly wage just yet. All I do is calculate my costs, and multiply by two. I figured that a 50% profit would suffice.

 

My dream target market is brides. I'd love to craft beautiful wedding cakes - but the only orders I've gotten are for birthdays and showers, etc.

 

As for marketing, I've just been utilizing Kijiji and facebook, plus my website and word of mouth advertising. I've gotten in touch with a local wedding planner in hopes that she could introduce my business to some of the brides that she works with.

 

I really would like my business to succeed, and I need more practice with my cakes, I've been practicing making cakes and donating them so that I can have extra photos of my work, but I can only do so many free cakes ..........

I know exactly what you mean! I utilize kijiji as a means of advertising as well and it's filled with nothing but people looking for last minute elaborate cakes for $50 or less! I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. I am located in Scarborough, Ontario...there's got to be another way!!

If you don't have any good advice, then just shut up and eat cake!
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If you don't have any good advice, then just shut up and eat cake!
Reply
post #57 of 83

"I honestly don't give myself an hourly wage just yet. All I do is calculate my costs, and multiply by two. I figured that a 50% profit would suffice."

 

And when you do finally start charging for your time, it's going to be a BIG shock to your customers! Why wouldn't you pay yourself yet? What are you waiting for?

 

Just for an example, let's say my ingredients for a little two tier come out to $20. By your way of doing things, I'd be charging the customer, what, $40? For REAL!?!? That is NOT profit.

*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #58 of 83

What does this mean? 

 

We provide party and wedding cakes for as low as $2 per serving. Our cakes are compared to $6-10 per serving.

*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

What does this mean? 

 

We provide party and wedding cakes for as low as $2 per serving. Our cakes are compared to $6-10 per serving.


We undercut our competitors by charging three to five times less?

post #60 of 83
Thread Starter 

For customers who didn't know the real value of my cakes and thought my cheap prices were expensive

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