A(my phone wouldnt let me see what i was writing) but Im not racist, i dint ask because I'm not going to let them make my cake if theyre white, just because Im curious and they look like me, or they are gorgeous or have an amazing accent.
I never thought of it as rude.
AOh, and shouldn't the money you get to make cakes with come from your customers? Maybe she asked where you get your money to make cakes with because she knows you're not hardly charging her anything, and she thinks you're a lovely color, so she is curious of your nationality. Also, i dont have a problem with a potential client of a large cake getting a smaller one first to test my skills.
I know I know I under price BIG TIME . I just feel like I will get zero business if I try to charge 120 for a birthday cake.. I guess me not having a store front, my age, possibly race really makes people not trust me and it hurts I am the most trust worthy person i know... I do have a contract from cake boss, order forms, getting a web site, renting a churches kitchen licenses ect.. trust me I have tried charging 2.75 per serving.. I got cussed out and all types of horrible remarks on how my prices are wayyyy to high and they will go to Walmart... I have my first vendor event coming up.. any tips on how to trigger more people who can afford these prices no problem? I mean seriously my cakes taste amazing!! I've been told by many many people... ill order a chef coat to wear to my meetings any other ideas on how to look or act the par? I am confident that. "Sound " professional... but then again I've had bad remarks on the way I type ect ect.. MN is so harsh I swear!!!!
I'm the same age as you, no store front and I'm black, who cares? No way would I take what you take for a cake. Understand that the people who are going to judge you because of your race/age/religion/blah blah, you don't want them as your customers.
Make a facebook PAGE, not account. Are you Annie or Desiray? Make it strictly business. Pay a logo designer, you can get one done for less than you might expect, doesn't need to be groundbreaking but it needs to look professional. Take photos of you cakes near a window, on a white bedsheet or on a tablecloth with no distractions. Get a good quality point and shoot camera if you don't have one already. Keep practicing on the finish of your cakes, if you want to make money then market to people who have money. Not friends, not even friends of friends, not trying to say they don't have money, but you get me.
Make quality stuff and charge quality prices, don't let people turn you into a victim.
(my phone wouldnt let me see what i was writing) but Im not racist, i dint ask because I'm not going to let them make my cake if theyre white, just because Im curious and they look like me, or they are gorgeous or have an amazing accent.
I never thought of it as rude.
People ask me all the time, and I ask people as well. Like "Oh, so where are you from?"
The OP didn't explain the context, but there is a way that a person can be asked that makes it clear that the questioner has issues.
It's one thing to ask where someone is from and say that you like their accent, or whatever, and another to ask what race they are and how do they make their money. Just sounds like there was a harassing kind of tone to the questions the client was asking.
I'll use my fave Dr. Phil phrase: "You teach people how to treat you."
Not only should you not tolerate what she did to you, you gave an example of being cussed out over the phone because of your prices. This would be when you hang up.
Advice: Start out each customer relationship via email. Send them the same info every time you get an inquiry. If it is for a wedding tasting, you should be sending the SAME info EVERY time, including your tasting fee. It is YOUR fault if they don't know your tasting policies, not theirs. You CANNOT keep that money if it was a deposit towards another cake and she didn't know there was a tasting fee.
Have an agenda for each meeting. When someone brings up a Batman cake, you say "I'm sorry, I don't do tastings for celebration cakes. Tell me about your wedding." I have actually had to do this. What this person did to you was get a face to face tasting for a $55 cake. She got you.
Cut your losses with this lady and chalk it up to a VERY cheap lesson and send her the money back.
Get cake in the RIGHT people's hands. I believe you when you say your cake is amazing, but at $2/serving, no one else will, because you can't get good cake for $2/serving in the better areas of Minneapolis. I'm sure someone will debate that, but my point is your price will NOT attract the right people!
And yes, you need a website with all the policies laid out. These days you won't get much respect from anyone unless you have a professional online presence.
AShe very well may have been being rude, and she just may have been being tactless... I have sure been tactless a few times, lol. I'm a bit backward since i am just around kids all day, and I've always said what i meant, and meant what i said. Reminds me of an episode of the Office (US ) where Kelly says that Daryl is the most complicated man she ever met because he says what he means and doesn't play games... Lol. I try to give people.the benefit of the doubt.
I wonder if there may be some insecurities involved as well, that may be projecting. But maybe she's just a hateful thing. There is no way to be sure, unless.you ask her directly. I do it all the time, people.sure find it unsettling and it works.wonders for.clearing the air.
It's horrible that this woman treated you that way. You've gotten some really good advice that has focused on how you deal with the lady and the situation. I would just like to add a few things focused on you. You may be projecting a persona or front that makes people feel like it's okay to speak disrespectfully to you (your pricing even at $2.00 does not help either).
RE: Asking you to change your cake.
First, you have chosen to do this as a business so whether you like it or not, you are to assume the stance of a professional. One thing that helps is knowing your product and being willing to back that product. I bake from scratch and developed quite a few of my recipes. I know my cakes inside and out and have worked hard on them. With that underlying knowledge, the image I project is of someone who knows her stuff. So when I present a cake and say this is the texture it will have, I'm not asking questions or laying out options, I'm informing the client that this is my product. If it is or is not what they want, they have the knowledge to make an informed decision. That's the point of a tasting in the first place: This is my product, do you want it? Yes? We're good. No? We're good. Either way, mission accomplished.
Customizing flavors for a client is one thing (minor tweaks), changing the texture is quite another (major changes/whole new recipe-- not sure how this works for box cakes though). If it's a dense cake, light and fluffy is not an option for that particular cake UNLESS the client is willing to pay the cost of R&D for a new product. The next time someone asks you to change your cake let them know what their options are.
There are certain things that you present to a client as questions/options (flavors, quantities etc.). Your price and product are not on that list so you will not present them as such.
RE: Your excuses.
Being young and [whatever your race is] should not be looked upon as demerits. I applaud you for taking this step toward financial independence at your age. The fact that you've started your business sets you apart from so many. The experiences you gain in this endeavor will set you way ahead of your peers. You have a dream and you're pursuing it. That is commendable. From now on, that is how I will ask you to view your situation. You are a pacesetter, a wise woman, and an entrepreneur so act like one, value yourself like one and teach people how to see you as one. Don't let anyone try to talk down at you, ever! And the next time some jerk curses at you, HANG UP!
RE: Increasing your prices for old customers.
How you transitions is up to you. What I did was to change the info on my website. For old-timers who ordered after the price increase, I attached a short note explaining my rationale for the increase (I made a major switch from American BC to SMBC and ganache). They were fine with it. For those who you know the transition might be a bit of a burden, you could offer a small one-time discount and let them know the new prices will not be discounted for future orders.
Will you lose some sales? Absolutely. But the way I see it, they were never your target market to begin with.
Original message sent by CuteCakes1234
As for pricing thanks for the advice, I changed it to 2.00 for butter cream per serving and2.50fondant,is that still low?
As far as changing prices, just go ahead and change them for all orders going forward, no explanation is necessary. We increased our prices every year to keep pace with inflation, if you don't do this then you are effectively giving customers increasingly large discounts as time goes on.
Original message sent by SugaredSaffron
I'm the same age as you, no store front and I'm black, who cares? [B]No way[/B] would I take what you take for a cake. Understand that the people who are going to judge you because of your race/age/religion/blah blah, you don't want them as your customers.
Make a facebook PAGE, not account. Are you Annie or Desiray? Make it strictly business. Pay a logo designer, you can get one done for less than you might expect, doesn't need to be groundbreaking but it needs to look professional. Take photos of you cakes near a window, on a white bedsheet or on a tablecloth with no distractions. Get a good quality point and shoot camera if you don't have one already. Keep practicing on the finish of your cakes, if you want to make money then market to people who have money. Not friends, not even friends of friends, not trying to say they don't have money, but you get me. [
Make quality stuff and charge quality prices, don't let people turn you into a victim.
Thank you very much for the tips I've been having such a hard time with photo's lately, if you have a chance can you take a look at my recent photo's I will try to add a link here, please let me know if the photo's look better then the older ones, I took some fabric, opened all windows, set up by a windo and took the photo's, I have to get a camera, I'm currently using my cell phone for photo's witch I'm sure is a big no no! Desiray is my daughters name, mine is Annie.. i am changing my name to Unique Delights so there is not as much confusion.. As for my cakes, can I get some advice on rather there worthy of being 2.50 per serving... clearly I have low confidence with my work, as I've had so much negativity with clients.. oddly enough the clients that did pay 160.00 for a birthday cake and 550.00 for a wedding cake where total sweet hearts not a problem with them what so ever!! Hmmmmm lol!!!
Go to ebay and type in "nikon coolpix" They have all been extremely reliable cameras for sometimes a very good price. Look for good feedback from someplace that operates a brick and mortar camera store, because they have been checked out by the camera manufacturers.
And when my ebay good deal broke down, Nikon fixed it for FREE.
And get a good price but remember that this camera belongs to your business and therefore is a business expense...
What Costumeczar and Irene said.
What you will learn is people who can afford your cakes or who aren't trying to screw you over are a lot easier to deal with. You will never find your target customer with these low prices. Your target customer wants your beautiful cakes and has brains enough to know she has to pay a fair price for them. These cakes are are a luxury item and the public tends to be confused about that. When Ace of Cakes was on, if people had checked their website, they would have seen that they had a minimum price of $1500 at the time. I can't get away with that, but my cakes tend to range from $6.50-$10 per serving.
You sound like a really nice person. Therefore, I'm going to point out to you that when you're the cheap cake lady, you are undercutting other bakers and that's not very nice at all. And if you eventually want to have this as your full time business, driving prices down is a terrible idea.
Don't feel bad, you're young and we all mistakes. Now go forth and conquer!
Just checked out your page and your work is neat! Please don't have low confidence about your work!! Your fondant work on cakes is very good. You should charge at least $3/serving for simple fondant cakes.
That Hollywood themed Sweet 16 cake is amazing! I hope you didn't give it away for cheap!! The customer even commented on it about how good it was right?
If people don't want to pay you a lot of money for your cakes, good riddance! Why do you want to work so hard for nothing? People who want good stuff will pay you accordingly.
I suggest looking into purchasing Cake Boss software. The program is easy to use, the customer service is great and it will really help you learn the "true" cost of a cake. Once you know the true cost of a cake then you can charge a true price. It also is great for reminding you when payments from clients are due and what orders you have coming up.
Do you know what other bakers around you are charging? A quick google search will come up with bakers in your area and some should have pricing on their website. You can use this a reference when pricing your own work.
I bumped my pricing up an extra $1/serving this past October. I wasn't sure how this would affect my orders because I am now in the top price range for my area. Plus, I bake/decorate from home (licensed) so this can sometimes make people think I will be cheaper because it "isn't a real business". I also look younger than I am so I have had a couple people ask, good naturely, how old I am. I just respond with a smile "I am older than you think, but I sure do hope to keep my youthful look another 10 years!". The price increase has been great for my business. The number of bookings I had in 2011 at this time with my old pricing compared to Dec. of 2012 with my more expensive pricing is pretty much the same. I have 3 less orders on the books, but the increased price means I am still ahead with less orders. I love getting more money for less work! The biggest bonus for me is I no longer have 90% of my orders being plain cake with ribbon wrapped around it and fresh flowers. I was so sick of all my cakes looking the same. The brides that now book me have a higher budget for their cakes and let me use my creativity.
You mentioned that you told the bride if she booked with you the tasting was free, otherwise she owed you $25. Personally, I would word this differently. I would say "tastings are $25 but if you book with me (and it shouldn't matter if they book with you at the tasting or a couple weeks later) then the $25 will be applied to your order". Otherwise there is too much pressure to book right then.
I would send the deposit back and say from the concern expressed by the bride at the tasting (don't say about my age and race, just a general concern) you don't think you are the right baker for them. The headache from this person is not worth $20. Just send the money back and be done with her. If you keep any of her money she will be a royal pain in the neck, probably claiming she paid you and you never made the cake she "ordered".
Then, grow a back bone. It takes tough skin to be in business for yourself.
Another thing, my cake is my cake. Take it or leave it. I won't change my recipes for someone. If she wants someone with a different texture of cake, then she can book with someone else. If you agree to change your recipes then she will want another tasting trying the new cake. And what if she still wants something different? Where does it end?
AGreat advice cai0311!!!
Original message sent by CuteCakes1234
This is why I LOVE cake central!! I just went from seriously thinking of giving up, to realizing I need to be a tid bit more firm with some of my customers that treat me this way.. thank you! As for pricing I seriously am known as the "cheap cake lady" and nothing I do is cheap, I spend hours like we all do and TLC into all of my work, plus the BEST ingredients. I feel over whelmed when I see that I made no profit at all and half the time feel taken advantage of, but I'm learning I am the one letting others take advantage of my kindness.
Don't let a Few bad experiences discourage you from doing what you like doing. never give up it Just comes with Any business!!!They will always be people who will be nasty or not take you serious enough. Luckily, I have a great mom who encourages me when I have to deal with crazy people. agree with most, walk these type of people to the door and close it.
Thank you very much for the tips I've been having such a hard time with photo's lately, if you have a chance can you take a look at my recent photo's I will try to add a link here, please let me know if the photo's look better then the older ones, I took some fabric, opened all windows, set up by a windo and took the photo's, I have to get a camera, I'm currently using my cell phone for photo's witch I'm sure is a big no no!
Desiray is my daughters name, mine is Annie.. i am changing my name to Unique Delights so there is not as much confusion.. As for my cakes, can I get some advice on rather there worthy of being 2.50 per serving... clearly I have low confidence with my work, as I've had so much negativity with clients.. oddly enough the clients that did pay 160.00 for a birthday cake and 550.00 for a wedding cake where total sweet hearts not a problem with them what so ever!! Hmmmmm lol!!!
See, those prices are much better! The people who push you to lower the price are usualyl the rudest and most ungrateful
I just read this whole thread. Wondering what, if any, response that you have gotten from the bride?
You know, there's demanding and then there's just plain *****y. Maybe she was rude because you're young and maybe she's just rude all the time. Chalk it up to lesson learned and move on.
MY most demanding customer, in my bakery biz and my daycare biz, is my sister. She wants exactly what she wants, and if she's paying for it, I can understand her point of view (Sometimes I want to get all butthurt about it and then I complain to my dad about her). But I deal with her by being honest about what I can provide, charging the right price and following through with what I've promised.
Once I've decided what I'm offering, and I'm sure that it's the right price and the best quality around, I just stand firm. Of course, there will always be some accommodations you can make to please a particular customer, but those accommodations shouldn't change the essential offering.
Deciding who you are is, naturally, a dynamic process, and we can all improve as we grow, but where ever you are in that process, you have to believe in what you're doing or no one else will. It can be scary!! And you might find out that you're not the right vendor for every customer. You might even find out that this business isn't for you (I hope you won't). But I've found that if you try to change who you are for every customer or because you're afraid you won't be accepted (by charging too much or offering something different), you'll be unhappy and ultimately your customers will too.