I opened a cake business from home in October 2013 and I've been wondering how to get more customers and how to get my cakes out there. I don't decorate my cakes, I don't use fondant or anything like that because I don't have the patience (yet) and wanted to focus on just homemade cakes. I have a few customers through Facebook which has been amazing for my business.
I was searching around the net on how to get more customers for this business and out of the corner of my eye, I saw an article somewhere that suggested a cake tasting party and that led me onto here. So I've written a few ideas and things down but I wanted to ask you girls a couple of questions or throw my thoughts out there to see what you think.
- I don't want to charge to attend this cake tasting party. I want it to be free where I can offer my cakes as well as refreshments, a nice environment (depending on the weather, of course) and just let everyone have a good time.
- How many cakes do you suggest I do? I was thinking of doing the favourites which include carrot cake with cream cheese topping, chocolate fudge cake, lemon drizzle and hot chocolate cupcakes as well as adding a few new things. I don't want to do too much and I don't want to do too less. My idea was to do two of each so if anything ran out, I would have a back up.
- If it's outside in the community garden I run, what do you suggest for good cover? Clingfilm? A proper cake cover lid thing?
- Refreshments: I saw most people offered soft drinks as well as tea and coffee since most would be driving. Would you also offer alcohol?
And is there anything else you can suggest?
P.S the party will be in May, providing the UK has some good weather then.
Sounds like you're just having a regular garden party. I would stay away from alcohol, you'd have people coming for the booze and getting drunk. Not to mention alcohol gets expensive very quickly. I would also suggest you make it a sign-up only event so you can better judge how much of everything you'll need. Charging would be a good idea, even if it's a few dollars to help cover the costs. I've had to pay $5 to go to a scrap-booking party (to cover costs of food/drinks), so I see no reason not to charge for a 'cake-party.'
I've read on here that some people charge for their tastings, then put it towards their order when they actually book a cake. Just look up "Cake Tastings" on here, there are lots of threads.
FREE? People love free so you'll be real busy giving out your products. To avoid those people who only want to eat and drink without paying, I would at least have a cover charge. Will you get repeat customers from this kind of event? Highly unlikely. I've been in the baking business for many, many years and have only heard a couple of successes when having a free tasting (that is not wedding-related).
The home bakery market is now so saturated, it's a struggle to survive. How to get business is a common topic on CC so I suggest using the search bar to read previous threads. Good luck!
If you want to do it, do it for fun or for charity, you probably won't get any customers from it. Be prepared for not so kind people to come along if you're advertising this as a free 'event'. If you're looking to just to homemade cakes, why not approach local coffee shops and cafe's?
I don't know where you read this, but it's a very strange idea.