My Cake Business Is Stuck In A Rut Help

Business By cakesbyjulie2 Updated 31 Dec 2008 , 5:41am by ElectricCook

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cakesbyjulie2 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:37pm
post #1 of 16

Hello Everyone

I have had my business for about a year and it is not going well. I just can't seem to get my name out there in the local area. I have tried postcard mailing, mass emails, donations for friends who have school aged kids . ( mine is 17 ) I do have a few loyal fans or customers I should say who I make there special events cakes. I want to take my business further this year ! My Main goal is to have a cake shop someday but I am getting discouraged. can anyone help me?!?!?!?!?!

I teach the Wilton method as well for all those who might not think my cake decorating is up to par. I did nto make that statement ot be rude, I too might have questioned the quality of a persons cakes.


15 replies
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meancat Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:54pm
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Well to be honest w/ you since you do not have any pics posted, there is no way to give you an honest opinion on the quality of your cakes. I'm sure they look nice, but when I think of New York and Cakes, the Wilton style is not what would pop into my head. icon_razz.gif

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cakesdivine Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:14pm
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First & foremost, get a website! Put the address on every biz card, postcard or any advertising that you do. Make sure you metatag it to drive traffic to your site. get it registered with Yahoo, Google, and other search engines.

It is always harder for someone without a shop to get their name out there. When you don't even have the most basic of business necessities in this day & age you won't come off as professional and people won't contact you. How can they? They don't know where to find you, nor can they see photos.

People love to shop the internet. They gather as much info as they can about a potential business they are looking to spend money at many times months in advance of their need. If they can't find you online, they probably won't consider using you.

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indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:18pm
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Originally Posted by cakesdivine

If they can't find you online, they probably won't consider using you.

I tend to not do business with a company that doesn't have a website.

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cakesdivine Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 16

I'm the same way indydebi!

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IcedTea4Me2 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:42pm
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Me, three. It makes me wonder if they're still in the dark ages when they don't have a web site. Maybe I shouldn't think that way, but I do. I'm talking strictly about businesses when I say that.


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kakeladi Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 12:38am
post #7 of 16

Well I don't totally agree about not using someone who does not have a website icon_smile.gif You are 'flying under the radar' (or did I misunderstand about you being a 'home decorator'?) so you want to be a bit shy about going all out with one.
Have you tried putting up posters/business cards at hairdressers; community bulletin boards; in laundries? Any place you go take a small cake.....I went to my local bank & offered a free bday cake to each employee. (They got an 8" single layer cake) Take a TY cake into the dentist, doc; where ever you do business. Have you offered a real estate office a deal of a cake for the buyer of each home they sell?
I went door to door at several business complexes & to every bank in town showing Valentine cookies w/a hand made poster and asked if they would post the flyer in the employee lounge. }I made 10" heart cookies which I sold for $10 ea. I could make 3 from one cake mix w/just a bit of b'cream decorating; put in a pie box & out the door. Easy moneyicon_smile.gif{
Hope some of these suggestions help you.
I did fleetingly have one other thought.......are you sure what you make really tastes super good? Are you using quality ingredients? Making the best, moist cake possible?

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cakesbyjulie2 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 1:02am
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thank you so much kakeladi you were a lot of help !!!!

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cakesdivine Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 1:26am
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Although some people won't care if a business has a website or not the MAJORITY of today's consumers feel it is a key part of a business' presence to have a website.

Let's look at things before we had computers...Okay what would have been a businesses life line for customer contact? A telephone. If a business didn't have a phone they might as well have not been in business, just having a storefront would not be enough for Susi Consumer to take that business seriously.

Now jump to today...Susi Consumer is a smart, consumer, she wants to know that she is getting the most value, and quality product for her buck. Did you know that the first place 75% of consumers look when shopping for a product is the internet? Not the yellowpages, but the internet!

There are still many free ways for people to place ads online. Gathering Guide, Weddingwire, Wedalert, partypop, even (don't beat me debi) Craigslist...the list goes on. But even with those avenues a website is still the best way for potential customers to scope you out before making that call or sending that email.

If I remember correctly however, NY is one of the States that you can have an inhome bakery. If someone can have an inhome bakery and they are trying to be under the radar then personally I don't feel they should get any business. I can understand it if your state laws are stupid and don't allow home bakeries one flying temporarily under the radar, but dang if you can do it out of your home then get legal before you try to build a clientel base!

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sugarcheryl Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 2:06am
post #10 of 16

I agree with cakesdivine. When I met potential clients the first thing they ask do you have a wedsite? not what is your phone number any more. And come from NY depending who you are targeting as your client they want quality work. I believe if you get a website that looks professional that will draw clients to you. It is a look that New Yorkers look for again who are you targeting and what is your style.

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marmalade1687 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 8:29pm
post #11 of 16

90% of my new business is from my website - then most of them contact me through my email that is listed on my website. If you are going to get a website, make sure you have an email to go with it - it doesn't have to be an expensive one to start out with (Yahoo and Gmail are free for example)! Good luck!

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cakesbyjulie2 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 8:32pm
post #12 of 16

thanks for everyones input ! I appreciate it all . Is there anyone who has a cake business in upstate New York ?

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Bonnie151 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 8:39pm
post #13 of 16

Another big ditto to having a website. I get most of my new orders from my website, and the rest come from leaflets (but even those go straight to my website after seeing the leaflet!). Another advantage to having a website is that it quickly expands your potential geographical customer base. I get quite a lot of orders from London from companies who want a corporate order for one of their branches up here, parents who have children at uni here, brides who have moved down south but are getting married back in Scotland, and so on. Recently, I've even had orders from New Zealand, Australia and India - for local deliveries, obviously, not to these countries! Without a website I would be missing out on a ton of business.

Once you have a website, there are all sorts of ways to make sure you're one of the top for your key search terms - come back and ask again once you're at that point. icon_smile.gif

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indydebi Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 12:04am
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by Bonnie151

Without a website I would be missing out on a ton of business.

I often express wonderment at how in the WORLD did we survive in this business before the internet? (Yes, Virginia, there WAS a time before the internet! icon_lol.gif )

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Kitagrl Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 12:16am
post #15 of 16

I'm slow right now, and the ones who do call or email do not want to pay my prices. Yikes. We need the new year to come and hopefully people will forget about the economy for awhile!

Anyway my website has been invaluable. People want to see pictures of your work before they order from you. They want to see testimonials and other proof that you are who you say you are. Most of my business comes from my website!

That is when I HAD business. Sheesh. The other night I was sitting online (yes thank goodness for the internet!) emailing caterers....need to find some more to email.

(I'm licensed/insured from home)

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ElectricCook Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 5:41am
post #16 of 16

You need to contact your local county health dept to see if you can have a home bakery. I live in Rockland County, NY and it is not legal. I want to open my own bakery some day, but just not in my town. The people in my town don't eat much food, much less sweets.

One of the moms I am friendly with asked me one day when I offered her a piece of sugarless gum "how many calories were in it". icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gificon_confused.gif I just can't make this stuff up. icon_lol.gif I thought she was kidding, she wasn't. We are both skinny people but I actually eat food on a regular basis. icon_biggrin.gif I have been around her and eating is not her first choice for things to do. When efer we have to be together longer than 2 hours I always eat first. I had to go hungry a couple of time to figure that one out. ( icon_lol.gif DUH)

I still have to laugh at the "How many calories in a stick of sugarless gum" question.

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