So i had a baby, he's 2 months old i own my own home based business which i do because i love making cakes, not to make money as i am privileged to have a hubby who works and lets me stay home. Im taking on 1 cake a week and im finding it hard. Im booked up for the whole summer (one cake a week, camping trips and 2 vacations)
Basically im taking a half assed maternity leave (in canada we get 1 yr) Working kinda to keep the business up. So im not technically taking one. But i booked the camping trips and 2 vacations to just relax and spend time with my new baby. DO you think customers care that im struggling doing cakes with a baby? NOpe not at all.. they get pissed off at me that i have to turn them away because im not willing to make their childs birthday cake because i want to spend time with MY child.
They dont care that im actually on maternity leave, they think i should be making their cakes. Its taking EVERYTHING i got to not be extremely rude to these ppl!!!!!! Ive had to delete many emails with peoples comments like "well that sucks" or "fine, ill find someone else to do our cakes then"
Now i remember why i quit working with the public in my previous job!!!! LOL
Am i just being a whiny first time mom? Or should i try to be a super mom and take on lots of things and loose time with my baby and husband?
Please ignore those horrible customers. There are always people out there who are going to want cakes and these pushy people won't be missed. You shouldn't even let them bother you!
Now is a time that you should spend with your little one and husband to bond, they are only young once. I had to work when mine were little and missed so very much. My oldest is going to be 30 this year and I wonder where the time has gone/ and the grandsons will be 11
You are also very lucky that you have that much family leave time available to you. Here in the states if your lucky you get maybe 6 weeks depending where you work. And you live with guilt for no time with them and leaving them.
Take lots of pictures and do everything. They just grow fast, so hug your little one and enjoy every minute.
Forget the customers.
if you know your time is completely booked, have you put up a message stating that, e.g. We are not taking any orders until ...... date or we are completely booked for the summer, we are only taking orders after ....... date.
You also have to decide which one you are doing, taking maternity leave spending time with your baby or trying to run a business. From your post it seems like you are going back and forth, which is probably confusing to your customers.
Congratulations on your beautiful new baby! I agree with labmom. Family takes Number 1 priority. You have this opportunity to spend time with your family. Enjoy your child while you can; you won't regret it.
Perhaps their reactions have more to do with HOW you tell them you can't take on their order rather than the fact you can't take the order? For instance I would be fine with someone saying "Sorry, I can't do it - I'm fully booked." ...but Id be a bit miffed if someone told me "Oh....I'd love to, but I've just had a baby and I'm on maternity leave and want to spend time with my baby...I'm doing some cakes but I don't want to take any more orders because I've already got one cake to do that week and if I take more orders I won't be spending enough time with my baby etc etc blah blah blah..."
Don't get me wrong - your baby is a great reason for cutting back on cake orders, I do completely agree with your reasoning - I just wonder if explaining it too much to customers is what annoys them?
Totally agree with Coral3 - i also work from home and have a young child, i don't think it's fair on him for me to do more than 1 or 2 cakes a week - sometimes i don't take on any to give him my full attention for a week. But i don't tell clients this, i simply say i'm already fully booked, they may be disappointed but i think it's the most professional way to deal with it rather than " sorry i want to spend the week playing snakes and ladders and going to the park"! Btw enjoy your baby, they grow up sooooo fast!!
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here, but honestly, I'd be miffed too!
Firstly, do let me say, even as someone who doesn't have children, I feel that being a Mum is the most important thing you can do - and you should spend as much time as possible with your little one while he's so small
But, and here's the big but, why should your customers care? If you're telling them that you can't do their cake because you want to spend time with your family, and that you're "struggling doing cakes with a baby" then that's your problem, not theirs.
Telling them you're fully booked for their date is ample for them. I don't want to go and order a high end anything to be told about the business owner's personal life and troubles - I am coming with my money for your goods. If you can't accept the order, that's fine, I should have booked earlier!
I'm afraid, as far as the customer is concerned, either your on maternity leave, or your not. As a cake business, then yes, they would think you should be making their cakes!
If you act professionally, then you'll get treated as such by your customers....if you just send them an email when they enquire along the lines of, whilst I wish I could fufil your order, I'm afraid that we are already fully booked for your date, we wish you the best of luck for your event....you'll probably find that you'll get politer responces. (probably along the lines of, darn, knew I should have emailed you earlier!)
I don't like to be 'mean', and truely that's not how this is meant, I just wanted to offer another side and some advice...I hope it's helped.
I agree with laurajayne, when I had my son last year, that is pretty much the email I sent, and trust me I got emails from some of the same clients this year , as they wanted to make sure I was available well in time.
I update my website every Sunday evening with the dates I am booked and I STILL get people that want cakes during that time. That is just the way people are. You have to ignore them. Next time they will book you earlier and if not, their loss!
We also have a new 2-month-old, and my wife (who does all the baking and decorating) has solicited the help of a friend to fill orders. When we were temporarily closed between Feb and April I mentioned maternity leave on the web site, but now that we are accepting orders on a limited basis I just say which days we are booked.
laurajayne is right, the reasons why you are booked are irrelevant to the customer, all you need to tell them is that you are booked. Having this information up-front on your web site helps too.
Thank you for all the replies and advice!!
You are right about being professional and not dragging people into why i cant take any orders.
For my regular customers i have been mentioning to them that i cant take on many orders due to baby, and yes they have turned on me.... which i now realize i should just tell time im booked and sorry i cant take your order.
With me being me i feel like those regulars are my friends and i always try to bend over backwards for them,but i have to remember they are just clients who yes are giving me money to make a beautiful cake and arnt really concerned about me personally! Which makes me sad, but business is business is business lol.
I did think people would understand better, but clearly they arnt concerned about me and i have to get over that!!
I like the ideas of posting a on my website weather i have an available date or not for the next few weeks, that way i can pick and choose weather im up for a cake that week or not.
Thanks again guys for letting me see both side of it!!!
I agree that less is more. When I can't take a cake, regardless of the reason, my simple response is that I'm booked full. They always understand - especially if they've procrastinated until the last minute - because it also gives them the message that when I'm baking for them, I'm also not going to overbook. For those procrastinators, it helps them remember to plan earlier the next time.