Delivering cakes

How To Find The Right Customers For Your Cake Business

Another week is upon us albeit a rainy one in my part of the world.

It was the first day of school for my kids and they were so excited to be starting a new class.

They woke up early, ready to wear their new school uniforms and couldn’t wait  to head to school with their new bags. Their excitement was certainly infectious.

Looking at them, I wonder why we adults get apprehensive or scared when we encounter a new thing. We get scared to start a business, to leave a job, to chase that customer or contact, to make that phone call or to take that course. So why can’t we be like little children and go with excitement for any new venture.

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Kids all ready for the new school year

 

 

 

 

 

So in today’s blogpost, I want to tackle a topic which is very dear to us Bakers and that is getting customers.

So how do we get customers? Well first we need to find the right customers.

Attracting the ‘right kinds of customers,’ does not happen by accident nor does it happen by just creating great looking and tasteful cakes and thinking that they will just come.

The way to get the kind of customers you want can be done by going through 3 steps:

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Step 1: figure out who these people are. 

You need to know in great detail the profile of your ideal clients.

 Your ideal clients are the people you want to order from you or to come to your shop.

So think about this.

Are these people  going to be women, mothers. professionals, people around your neighbourhood? How old are they? What kind of event are they usually planning? What type of cakes can they afford? What type and flavour of cake do they order? Where do they shop for their groceries? Do they throw parties often? You need to have a profile in your head of your customer.

And while you are doing this, you have be realistic with your expectations. Just because there is a ready market out there for a particular type of cake, does not mean that you should do those type of cakes.

If you hate doing wedding cakes, then your ideal client is not a bride. Similarly, if you’re a beginner and you’re building your skills up, your ideal client may not be a person who wants like complicated cake designs

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Step 2: Figure out how they might find you.

Think like your ideal customer. Think about where would they go to find out about your cake business?

What might they expect to find when they come across your website or shop? What do you think they would  be looking for on your website – would it be pricing information, your cake pictures or your contact info to make an order

Do some research on brands that are in a similar to yours (or where you want your business to be like in the future.) If the kind of people who buy from LV or cake shops like Cakes by Tosan are the clients you want to buy from you, go and look at how they attract clients. Where and how are they advertising,, what extra service do those companies offer?

Search and check out the website of the most expensive bakery you know  even if it’s not in Nigeria. What’s the overall look of their website? What does their packaging look like? A place like Shoprite advertises and prices entirely differently to Cakes by Tosan just like a gourmet cupcake shop would advertise differently to a chain bakery.

All of them manage to be in business so please do not think that your only choice is to be for rich people. 

 

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Step 3: Be that kind of business your customer wants  

Sometimes you may be asking yourself why , “Why do people think I make cheap cakes? I am not Shoprite. If this is so, then look at your business especially pictures of your cakes. If your cakes (while you thinking it looks nice) are photographed not very well or on a messy table, or the pictures are dark or, you don’t have a website.

I’m pretty sure successful cake companies do not do that. Suppose your ideal client is a bride with a lot of money to spend. She’s going to be looking at your business based on what your website looks like. She will be looking at your cakes photos , your reviews, and what customers you have worked with.

Still on brides, when she was coming for a consultation, did you give her samples of your cakes wrapped in plastic, or did you serve them to her on a lovely plate with some nice cutlery?

 If you gave her a sample box to take home, was it in those cheap plastic transparent containers or maybe you just put it in a nylon bag, or did you put it in a white box with a nice ribbon tied around it.

Another example is that if you make children’ cakes and your target market are mothers, did you have a box of books and toys for her kids to play with while you consulted with her? Do you provide free birthday candles with every cake?  Do you offer free delivery to save her the wahala of coming to pick it up? 

Your ideal customers do not just fall from the sky – they know to come there because you’ve told them to come to you, and they stay with you because you give them exactly what they want.

If you want to stop attracting cheap customers, stop acting like a cheap cake business.

So here is wishing you a lovely week. Make it a goal today to do something you have been avoiding so you can attract the right customers.


 

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me16Rotimicakelady is your personal cake fairy. She is a cake business consultant and Coach.

She runs the Cake Business Owners Club where she helps bakers through Online courses have super profitable and successful cake businesses.

She has a passion for helping women who have a passion for baking, transition from hobby cake makers to successful and profitable cake business owners.

She also help cake business owners who have struggling in their cake business with strategies to enable them get more customers, so you make more money. Rotimicakelady is passionate about Cakes, business and making money.

9 Essential tips on How to Transport and Deliver your Cakes

And you thought decorating a cake was hard .Transporting cakes can be a real challenge whether in the commercial industry, or as a one-person job.Once you’ve finished decorating, placed all the fondant flowers that took days to make, it’s time to deliver it to the venue.

This is one aspect I don’t enjoy at all. My heart used to be in my mouth while driving delivering cakes especially if you also had to do school runs too. I have never had any major disaster but I know transporting cakes can be quite a hassle for bakers.

Usually, as a cake baker and decorators, you should have a clause in your terms and conditions ( I have included a sample of a standard terms and conditions for your use) that once the cake has exchanged hands to the customer, the customer is then held responsible for what happens to the cake from there on out. Such information will educate the customer, especially if the cake needs to travel a long distance, or has to be kept cool.

However, here I have listed a few tips you should bear in mind when transporting your cakes so that you avoid any cake disaster:

 Tip #1: Have someone hold the Cake

If you have an extra hand, try and get the help of someone else in the car to hold / support your cake box to ensure the cake does not slide off the seat or on the floor.

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Tip #2: Avoid exposing the cake to direct sunlight

Cakes should never be in direct sunlight, be sure to position the cake somewhere that won’t have sunlight directly over the cake which will cause it to melt.

 

113Tip #3: keep Cake on a flat surface

If no one is available to hold the cake for you, it’s best to transport the cake in the flattest area possible of your car. For example, the passenger side floor in front of the seat. This way you can keep an eye on your cake if it’s an open box also.

TIP #4; Drive super careful

I think this is a no brainer. You have spent a lot of time on this cake, so even if drivers are abusing you for being too slow on the road. Ignore them.

TIP #5: Look Well Well

Before you remove the cake from the car, walk the path you will have to travel to the set-up site. Be alert for any bumps along the way and note any tight spaces you will have to maneuver around, always look around on what the ground is like while walking with your cake. You don’t want to trip do you?

TIP #6: The Car should have an AC

It’s always preferable to have an air conditioned car and turn it to full blast. Our climate is always hot or humid, so it always best to transport your precious cake in an air conditioned car. 

114TIP #7: Use Non-slip mats

Use Non-slip mats for the trunk or floor of your car or under each tier in the box. Most cakes are placed on a slippery cardboard base. However, when transporting a cake to the venue, this surface makes it more likely to slide around in the car.

The best way to transport the wedding cake is to place a non-slip mat under each tier, preventing the cake from moving around during transport. You can purchase one of those sticky shelf liners at most big box stores with a kitchen section. 

115TIP #8: Place cake in sturdy cardboard boxes

Place the cakes in clean, covered, sturdy boxes that are sized to the base board of each cake. This will prevent the cake from moving within the box and possibly crushing the sides of the cake.

If the box is too big, roll pieces of masking tape sticky side out and attach to the inside bottom of the box. Position the cake base on top of the tape. The tape will hold the base in place within the box. For boxes which must hold taller decorations, prop up top and sides and secure with masking tape.

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TIP #9: Using a center dowel

Where you have separate multiple layer cakes, it is helpful to place a center dowel through the center of a multitier cake. A common practice in creating tiered cakes is the placement of a dowel in the center of a cake, to provide stability for the cake, as well as avoiding sliding during transport. You can get dowels at most cake shops.

 

Looking at the above, you might be getting a little overwhelmed with how much information I threw at you for transporting a cake short distance. Don’t be… it’s mostly common sense. And having common sense can save your cake’s life.

How do you package and transport such  delicate cakes without bruising it? Check out this informative video to show you how.

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Happy Caking.

Till next week.

rotimi cartoonRotimiCakeLady