In the next two years I would like to get away from the "happy bday Joe" cakes to more unique designs, larger orders, 3D cakes etc. I am looking to make the minimum $100 for cakes and raise decorated cookie prices to $2-$4 each (still thinking on the cookie prices). And decorated cupcakes to $3. I'm thinking more "custom designer" end of things.
I am trying to figure out how to do this without alienating clients. I realize not everyone will want or be able to pay the higher price but I'm thinking there may be a way to introduce them to the changes instead of all of the sudden one day it's $100 to get a cake from me.
My current minimum is $40 cakes/$1.50 decorated cookies/$2 decorated cupcakes and some folks don't want to pay that. This may mean cultivating a whole new set of clients...
I think part of it is letting people know what can be done in cake. They just don't know in most cases, we're the ones who breathe cake all day and night. LOL! So, it's the old dilemma of doing things at a lower price to get it out there. But I feel it may be setting a bad precedent especially for folks who already know the quality of my cakes.
I feel myself starting to ramble but I hope ya'll know what I am getting at. If you have any ideas of suggestions toward making this kind of shift I appreciate it.
Geez, and here I am trying to grab more of the everyday, Happy B-day cakes to fill in the gaps between the big, expensive, and ornate orders...LOL! Those can be the bread and butter that pays the bills with the less frequent high end cakes being well...the icing on the cake...LOL! Do you have the more ornate designs in your portfolio? I market to two very different clients, the low budget clients for the kit cakes and run of the mill cakes, and the high end clients that want the extravagant. Where I live there is a great mix of that dynamic. It kind of depends on where you live if you can pull it off. If you live in an area that is primarily lower to middle class, you probably won't get many to order the high end fun & challenging cakes, but if you live in an area that is close to affluent potential clients then start marketing that aspect of your business. Make it a separate collection. That's what I do. I have collections of cakes, some low end some high end, then have guidelines for each collection. That way you aren't alienating any clients!
$1.50 per cookie!?!?!?!?! Girl, check out what I'm charging...you need to charge what it costs you to make them. I'd like to think that maybe you're just really super fast, but I know it takes a LOT of time to do those darn things, lol Anyways, you're probably going to have to move on to a different clientel. The people that want cheap art need to get it from someone else. Your time and ability is MUCH too valuable! Maybe you could raise your prices gradually and state "cost of goods increase"?
Like cakesdivine said, does your markey want the larger, more extravegent cakes...3D etc? YOU may want to do that but if THEY don't want to pay that sort of money, then you may have to stick with what you have been doing. It all really depends on what your area can support.
My prices are LOW but that is what my area can afford.
Way back in the olden days, before the internet and easy access to info, I .... like many of us .... started out making the wilton shaped pans (you know .... the ones you're not SUPPOSE to sell? Had no idea, back then!)
Anyway, there got to be a day when I refused to make those anymore. I was doing really well on the wedding business side and I had already figured out that those piddly little birthday cakes that took me hours to make were just not worth the piddly little payment I was getting.
When I started refusing to make those and people asked why, I just said, "Because I don't HAVE to make those anymore." Arrogant? Yeah, it was, but I didn't care. Before I knew what "minimum order" meant, I had implemented one.
As you progress in your business, you become more and more aware of the value of your time and the cost of your overhead. It's not uncommon to tell people, "It just doesn't pay me to turn my oven on for that price anymore so I can't do it." Then throw in some off-handed comment about the current economy and you just can't spend your money and time NOT making money.
You need to get known for making something other than regular old birthday cake. Donate a giant 3D cupcake to a fundraiser at the most expensive private school in town. Offer to teach an adult ed class at the community college in " Ace of Cake" style cake carving and decorating ( just make sure you have an easily executable design to teach) . In otherwords , you need find ways to get known for what you want to do.