Starting a cake business from home is already a tough decision. The next step is to get out, advertise and market your cake business. Finding customers can sometimes be difficult and finding the right customers can be even harder. Here are some simple, easy ways you can use to let people know how to find your business.
Have you been doing cakes for a while? if you have then you probably been thru some of this yourself. A cake business from home has a lot of advantage but it can be daunting in many ways especially if you are alone and a one-man business doing it all. Most of us who are home bakers are often alone. Juggling it all from cake consultations to cake delivery with a little help from family sometimes but in general - our cake business is our baby.
I don't know about you but it is this way for me. My husband helps a lot but bottom-line? This is my business. I am responsible for it? When I started it was really hard and I used a few methods that worked well. Some that were a complete waste of time and some that looked promising but expensive.
Here are just a few simple methods that don't need any explanation (pin)
- Print vouchers and distribute to local, shops libraries, schools, ask people you know to help distribute.
- Advertise in local newsletters sent out by city halls, schools, daycares, and libraries.
- Make free mini cakes, cake pops, cupcakes give them off to locals after Sunday church, after PTA meetings.
- Attend local get together and network meetings - introduce your self and let them know where you are located and what you offer.
- Give incentives to locals shops and business such as event managers - a referrers fees - 5 or 10% commission.
- Set up a stall at the local fair. Sell cupcakes at a discounted price to encourage people to try something.
- Get your business listed at the local city hall as well as in the yellow pages so people can find you.
- Advertise on local websites such as supermarkets, business sites.
A website is second to none
I know many cake decorators who do not have a website. Or if they do it's not updated. But your website can be a great way for anyone to come order a cake. As long as you are on the net, people can type ' cake in XX' and find you. It's as simple as that.
A website can be an intimidating thought. I agree. But you don't have to do it yourself. You can hire someone to create a website for you. And if you don't have the finance to hire someone you can create your own website with as little as 5 dollars a month. There are tons of resources (including my tutorial) that teach you how to make your own cake blog.
When you are new and have limited portfolio customers are reluctant to take a chance on someone who they do not know, don't have much experience. At this time, cake consultation may work as a great way to get people to meet you, perhaps even taste your cake and see the customer service efficiency of your business.
I have on many occasions done business with people just because they were so nice. As time goes by, your work, your reputation, and your positive customer reviews will lead your business.
This is a great place to be. Not only do you get to meet prospective customers but you also get to meet other cake decorators, vendors, and suppliers. Introduce your self to as many people you can. Give customers a taste of your cakes. Make some dummy wedding cakes that showcase your talent.
Social media networks
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love meeting people and getting to know my fans but I am always afraid when sharing my work. What if people don't like my cake. What if no one comments or likes my cake pictures? Well, despite all that we still need to be out there. Sharing our work, attracting people that appreciate our talent and even staying in the newsfeed. So our previous customers can see our work and new customers can find us. When previous customers see our work they feel proud that they used our services but when they need a cake again they will remember seeing us in their newsfeed.
Create a newsletter so previous and new customers can stay in touch. Send them a greeting during holidays and festive occasions. If you are having a stall or a sale, send them an invitation. Give a coupon in the email so they can get a discount.
Offer your products at local bakeries
Sometimes, local bakeries don't mind outsourcing some items as long as they come from a reputed source. Offer to make cupcakes for the local bakery - give them an incentive they cannot resist. This is a great way to maintain a steady income.
Still not getting orders?
Price your cakes appropriately
Now, we've touched on this topic in many business posts but also extensively on the post - How to price your cakes and are you underpricing your cake.
On the flip side, you also need to look at the fact that you could be overpricing your cakes. I know we often say, you must check what the market value of your product is and then price accordingly, But that market value is based on a certain standard of acceptable quality.
Let's you just starting out. Your cakes are delicious but you still have a lot to work on in terms of appearance and finesse when it comes to the finished product of your cake. So would it be fair to price your product at market value? Ask your self, if there were two cake decorators with the same level of experience offering the same cake at 50 dollars but one gives a standard quality while the other lacks in comparison. Which one would you choose?
This does require you to take a step back and evaluate yourself from the outside. Often we are the biggest critics of ourselves but there are always exceptions.
As I always say, there is enough business for us all in the market. Once we find our rightful place in terms of quality, pricing and credibility we will have work to do.
- How to start a cake business from home
- Cake Pricing - How much do I charge for my cakes?
- Cake servings charts and guides and popular cake tier combinations
- How find my own cake decorating style
- Effective communications and customer service in the business.
- How many cake orders can I take?