Business By icesk8ermom Updated 1 Sep 2010 , 4:43pm by icesk8ermom

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icesk8ermom Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 10:15pm
post #1 of 18

I am seriously thinking about making up samples cakes and cupcakes and take them to local businesses for feedback.

I would like to create a simple survey/feedback form in hopes that the samplers will fill out for me in exchange for the yummy treat!

I have a few thoughts as to what I want to ask but am open for other suggestions as well. What are your thoughts? Here is some of what I was thinking:

First I would start with a simple introduction explaining that I am trying to move forward with opening shop and would like some feedback on my products to help me make decisions on whether I should consider pursuing this or not...(haven't put much thought into what I would actually say yet)

How was the quality of the item you sampled?
How was the flavor?
What did you sample and what flavor was it?
Would you purchase this item?
How far would you be willing to drive to make a purchase?

If interested please provide your connect information so I can contact you when and when I am officially opened:

This is a few things that come up off the top of my head. Again I am open to any suggestions whether to add or remove questions or rephrase them etc..I was thinking about asking a pricing question but not sure how to phrase it. Thinking it would be best NOT to say how much would you pay? Or would you pay X amount?

Thanks a bunch!

17 replies
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scp1127 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:19am
post #2 of 18

Just do the same for friends and family. They will help you. You don't want to serve the public until you have a great product, not an experiment.

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indydebi Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:30am
post #3 of 18

As a former secretary (for 15 years), who was the "front door guardian", I can tell you that if I had to fill out a survey on something like this, I'd politely decline to participate, or I'd just check off some boxes without really reading the questions, or I'd just give generic answers.

My problem with survey questions is they are usually too generic to really tell me anything. Like "how was the quality" .... what do you measure quality by? Was it dry? Moist? crumbly? Sticky? If I say it's too sticky, is that a reflection on your cake, or do I just like drier cakes? And vice-versa?

Unless you're doing a focus group .... 5 to15 people who will spend a couple of hours going thru questions that are designed to weed out and scientifically evaluate the "real" questions ..... then the best feedback would be the orders you get from your drop-offs.

Maybe drop off some samples with a 10% discount off of the first order or something.

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KHalstead Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 2:11pm
post #4 of 18

I made up a survey on survey monkey and when a customer places an order (a PAID order) I send them a link to the survey and then offer a 10% discount on their next order for filling it really well, I get a LOT of feedback from this!!!

edited to say: Here is the link to the survey

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Elcee Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:41pm
post #5 of 18

Sorry icon_sad.gif , I know you have visions of businesses happily snacking on your delicious treats (and I'm sure they ARE wonderful!) and cheerfully filling out your survey but...

I am far too busy at work to spend time on something like this and so are my coworkers. Into the trash it would go.

Also, we may be out of the norm on this one but at my workplace we would NEVER eat anything just dropped off by a random stranger who does not already have an established business.

I agree with the poster who suggested doing this with friends and family.

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All4Show Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 6:05pm
post #6 of 18

This is what I use my husband's co-workers for.

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cathyscakes Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 6:23pm
post #7 of 18

I think some people would really enjoy doing this. If its a busy business, probably not. I would really ask for truthful feedback, because some people wouldn't want to hurt your feeling, and give truthful answers. I don't know if I could get truthful answers from my friends, since they seem to love everything I do, and I know thats not right. icon_lol.gif

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sweetheart6710 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 6:41pm
post #8 of 18

I use my husbands co workers as well. If I'm feeling bored with my flavors, I'll even brib them with treats. If they can give me a reasonable, yet inventive ingredient, I'll bake them something just to test it out. And they tell their friends about me, so it generates a little business as well.

I'm too self conscience to hear what strangers honestly say. hahaha. So I had friends and family come over for a tasting party. I made different types of cupcakes, cut them in half (handier consumption sizes) left them dry, then left out bowls of icing of different flavors with a whole bunch of popsicles sticks. Then my family could mix and match and fill out a survey card about flavor/price/quality etc. I got some great feedback, and some tasty ideas.

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TracyLH Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 6:45pm
post #9 of 18

Ditto on family and friends. This is who I use when I am testing new recipes and want a variety of palates. I would not put something out to a business, coming across that you feel that your product could be improved upon. You want to come in appearing to have full and complete confidence in your product.

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DefyGravity Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 8:36pm
post #10 of 18

Another vote for family and friends. I had a cake tasting party last Christmas that worked out really well. I had about 10 people come over, we ate some new recipes, and everyone gave their honest (there was one that was a complete flop, and you bet they let me know about it!) opinions.

Good luck icon_smile.gif

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The_Caketress Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 8:59pm
post #11 of 18

I think if you were to do a cake tasting event you should make sure it hits your market. One idea would be to hold a cake tasting at a local bridal salon (of the same market of bride as your cakes) when the have a trunk show. Offering a tasting even directly to future buyers would be a great way to get your name out.
Best of Luck
- The Caketress

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WAdora66 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:28pm
post #12 of 18

After volunteering at my sons' middle school at least once a week for half the school year, I got to know the teachers very well. I asked them if they would be willing to sample some of my homemade desserts and give me feedback. They were more than willing! So I made up a sheet where they could mark yes or no to each question and then had room at the bottom for additional feedback. I brought in a dessert and the questionnaire sheets when they would have their weekly team meetings. As teachers, they were very honest with their feedback and so appreciative of a special treat each week. This really helped me and gave me a boost of confidence. Good luck!

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myslady Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 10:01pm
post #13 of 18

I agree with the other posters that this should be a more organized event.

Unless you hold them hostage for a little while, you are not going to get any surveys back if you leave them and that is double the work to leave the surveys and have to wait or go back to pick them up.

As far as the money question, just ask what is the maximum price you would pay for ............
You could also include some cake tidbits like how much those cakes on tv actually cost. icon_wink.gif

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indydebi Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 10:08pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by myslady

As far as the money question, just ask what is the maximum price you would pay for ............

Again .... too generic. The maximum price my husband would pay for a wedding cake was $30 .... until he met me and was educated on what they cost.

Unless you have a paragraph explaining wedding cake pricing; unless there is an explanation of what the normal range of per-slice prices are in your area; unless you explain how the add-ons work in the pricing matrix of cakes; unless you do ALL of that, a simple question of "how much would you pay" isn't going to give you a TRUE idea of the 'acceptable' pricing.

Besides, consumers ALWAYS want the lowest price. No one is EVER going to say "Oh I'd pay any price you put on this bcause it is SO good!"

Nope. To them, it's just cake. Good cake, yes. But just cake. And you can get one of those at the grocery for ..... what? ..... Fifteen, twenty bucks? icon_confused.gif

Marketing surveying is pretty much a science. Just throwing some questions together in the hopes of getting constructive info back doesn't work 99% of th time.

My "surveys" were my hubby's co-workers who just let me know "yep this is a winner" or "No, don't EVER do this one again!" That's all I needed to know.

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icesk8ermom Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 6:48pm
post #15 of 18

Thanks everyone for your replies; I truly appreciate it! I have actually done the family and friends thing as well as my co-workers and the hubby co-workers. I take a cake anywhere I have an opportunity to have people try. For example my daughter just went to cheer camp, the last day is parent day where they show off everything they learned. Guess whatyep I took cake! Got great reviews and many comments of I would defiantly buy a cake from you. These were many people I did not know; all the new parents, their family etc.

I was just hoping to find a way to branch out a little more to get other opinionsHowever, I can see the point about be too busy to do a survey. I was actually thinking of making them check boxes with too dry, too sticky, just right, needs improvement etcI was actually thinking about contacting a local coffee shop to see if I could go in and have a day or weekend etc that I could go in and give out samples. This is a local coffee shop here that supports local artists and lets them come in and display their works; I was hoping she be opened to something like this.

I like the teacher idea; I actually thought about that too but was thinking teacher appreciate week would be a good time. I didnt think about just because.or at a staff meeting. I also thought about the survey monkey thing but wasnt sure how to do it without having their e-mail addresses up front. I like the idea that was presentation; however, that will have to wait until I am official.

I guess my goal ultimately was to get my product out there and to basically let people know about it as well as build a client base so when I can become official I will have a good base of customers who already like and want my product.

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cownsj Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 7:27pm
post #16 of 18

We do cupcake tasting parties for our family and friends. We make mini's and do about 8 - 10 different flavor combinations. We put each combination on a paper and ask for a rating of 1 - 10, plus we leave room for other comments. We ask what combination they liked together, what combinations they didn't like and what flavors and combinations they would like to see in the future.

the first time we did it we had other food as well, figuring they'd want to keep from too much sugar, etc. Forget that, all anyone wanted were the cupcake and coffee. We did not want names on the papers, totally annonymous so everyone was free to say what they really believed.

We couldn't believe how much fun it was for everyone. Just discussing the different cupcake flavors, and going back to try more after someone else would say something., and even the filling out of the paper was fun for everyone.

It was a good time for all, and we got lots of wonderful, honest feedback. In fact, I think we'll plan another going into the holidays, just because it's so much fun, and it's a good excuse to try new flavors of everything.

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uniquecreations Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 2:59pm
post #17 of 18

I started by taking free samples not for a survey but just to get my product out to my bank that I deal with and then when other customers came in they would get them to taste it and that's how I built my business with a beauty salon workers and clients I get orders just about every week and from that salon they gave me the name of another salon and they called them to validate that my cakes are good so will be delivering to them and hopefully from them they will tell someone as well, so that is how my business has been building

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icesk8ermom Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 4:43pm
post #18 of 18

Thanks uniquecreatons....I actually did that too! My hubby went to get his hair cut this weekend, a little hair salon that we go too. I sent a tray of cupcakes (my Bundts) with him. When he walked in with it everyone got excited. The owner told him I was welcome to bring them in anytime that they would tell their customers about them. Bummer part is

A. It is a hair salon and not the most sanitary place for food. (but great exposure...a doubled edged sword!)
B. I am in CA and can only give them away and promote my product until I can get into a place!

However, I am sure that they would without a doubt collect contact info for me and or even handout a survey and ask them to complete it there. Captive audience...

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