cake business

Finding your Niche for your Cake Business

What is a niche? A Niche denotes or relates to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.

So why is finding a niche so important for your cake business?

Everyone loves cakes and that helps make it a growing market, which is good, but when you are just starting out in this business, this can be a problem.

So in order to make your cake business known in a rather crowded market, you need to find your niche.

Discovering your niche will help you set yourself apart from the competition.  This enables you have a clear area to focus on, to set a target customer base, plus it will help your customers know what you sell, which will help maximise your profits.

You might think that your customers are everyone. But if you think everyone is your customer, you are wrong. Because if you are selling to everyone, you are actually not selling to anyone.

But what niche should you choose, well that is up to you and what is your passion.

To help you I have listed different Cake Niches and then sub divided it further to more specialist areas:

 Image result for Fondant/Sugarpaste Modelling

  • Fondant/Sugarpaste Modelling
    • Wedding cake toppers
    • Toppers for birthday cakes
    • Character toppers
    • Fondant Flowers
    • Fondant Figurines

 

Green Yellow White and Purple Floral 2 Layered Cake

 

  • Wedding Cakes
    • Buttercream tiered wedding cakes
    • Naked wedding cakes
    • Square wedding cakes
    • Weddings with sugar roses or real flowers
    • Trendy wedding cakes

 

Happy Birthday Cake

 

  • Birthday Cakes
    • Baby birthday cakes
    • Baby Shower cakes
    • Cartoon birthday cakes
    • Glamorous birthday cakes
    • Novelty birthday cakes
    • Birthday cakes for men/women/boys/girls

 

Free stock photo of chocolate, sweets, cupcakes

 

  • Cupcakes
    • Full sized cupcakes
    • Mini cupcakes
    • Printed cupcakes
    • Corporate cupcakes

And the list goes on and on.

Once you have discovered your niche you will find life becomes a little easier. Instead of catering for everyone you can target one particular segment. This will instantly help you market your business more effectively speak your customer’s language, you know the particular product you are selling, and you know a defined target customer.

Let me give you instances of two bakers’, and try and spot the difference. And see which one appeals to you more?

Clara’s Cakes For All – This baker creates cakes for everyone, for all types of occasions, birthdays, christenings, baby showers, weddings, retirements, charity events and much more. She does it, Clars wants to attract every type of person, but there is only one of her. She works all hours, takes last minute orders, hardly makes a profit, has no business style and is so stressed.

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Sweetie’s Cakes for Big Birthdays – This baker creates novelty cakes exclusively for big birthday celebrations.  Sweetie is focused; she understands the type of cakes she likes to make, so she can charge a premium sum.

 If you want a wedding cake, she will turn you down and recommend you to another cake maker.

Sweetie books cakes into her diary months and even years in advance. She turns a healthy profit and her future’s looking bright.

In short finding your niche will help your business have focus, you will be able to charge a premium and ultimately it will help you climb the ladder of success.  So get out there and find your niche!

So what’s your niche? Have you found it yet? Comment below. Will love to hear from you.

Happy Caking.

RotimiCakeLady (your personal cake fairy)

No customers this New Year? Don’t worry – we’re going to get you some more!

 

When you are just starting your cake business, you may struggle to find customers to buy your cakes.

Taking on orders from family and friends is a great start to get the word out that you are in the cake business , but after that, then what? How do you find more, especially when there seem to be many bakers in this Nigeria.

 
The Solution.

You have to start to advertise your cakes, but don’t fret, these options don’t require you to spend any money at all (unless of course you want to!).

The first step is to head to the one social media platform you probably know so well –

Facebook! 

If you haven’t already, make a Facebook business page where you post great pictures of your Cakes.

 Encourage people who’ve had your cakes to leave good testimonials and reviews and share photographs for social proof other potential customers will trust, and of course share plenty of your cakes yourself.

Try and tell your friends to share your posts. This way you will be reaching a lot more people because Facebook favour posts that get a lot of engagement (likes, comments and shares. So you will be on top of peoples news feeds.
Then follow this link for steps on how to sell your cakes using Facebook and you are good to go. So get ready for more customers.
It really can be as simple as that, the right marketing strategy will go a long way for your cake business.

So don’t delay. Follow these steps now. 

I love to hear your success stories, so let me know your results.

Let’s start the New Year with more customers, more money in our pocket and make your cake businesses a success.

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In the meantime I have created a video on how I was able to get new customers for my cake business and I want to show you how you can do the same.

In this free Video you will learn:

  • Strategies you can put in place to get new Customers for your cake business;
  • Ways for your customers to recommend your cakes
  • How to get repeat orders;
  • The No.1 mistake you are making in your cake business

This Video shall only be available for a limited time. So don’t delay in watching it.

                                               You can live your cake business dream

Here are the links to the Video. Just Click on the link below.

You will need a password to watch the Videos:
Password: bbs1

My dream for us all is that our cake businesses shall all be successful so we can impact lives and make a great difference in this Country.

Comment below. I would love to hear if you have had success in using using Facebook to grow your Cake business or if you want to ask me any questions. I am here to help.

Happy Caking.

RotimiCakeLady (your personal cake fairy)

 

 

 

Is it about the Love or the Money?

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I’m going to tell you the truth 

IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY.

Passion does not pay the bills. Last time I checked the supermarket or the Market does not take passion as payment, nor does it pay the rent or the children school fees.

There is a perception in this industry that it’s not okay to actually want to make a real living out of creating cakes. That somehow if you’re not doing it for the love, that’s not okay. Maybe it’s because we are all expected to be “starving artists,” but honestly I’d much rather be a well-fed artist who can continue to create cakes than a broke one who needs to take an extra job in order to stay alive.

Your business needs to have a much big purpose than just creating gorgeous cakes. You need, to be fully committed to making money from your cake business, otherwise there is no reason for you to be in the business. You might as well keep it as a hobby.

Some bakers may tell themselves, that I’m not actually in business, that we only make cake for family and friends and we only charge people for their ingredients and they only do it because they really love it.

There’s no problem with that…except of course when that person has a Facebook business page, has business cards, or is telling people to pay them more than the cost of ingredients. As an example, are you really going to your sister and say, “Okay, so I’ve added up my receipts, and for ingredients I paid N8,000,” and then expecting her to really only give you N8,000? Oh, and if it’s for the love, why do you even use the words “charge them” for ingredients? A charge implies a fee for the purchase of goods, doesn’t it? So you need to ask yourself, Are you in business or not in business?

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From others I hear, “I’m in business, but I’m not doing this for the money.” Answer me this: if you were not in it for the money…why are you building your website, baking cakes, making fondant, teaching, working out your prices, writing tutorials, creating and selling cakes? Why on earth would you bother with the craziness of being IN BUSINESS if you were not in it for the money? Are you telling me you work 9-15 hour days, have a bad back from standing all the time, answering emails at 1 am and haven’t slept late on a Saturday morning in  years because IT’S JUST FUN?

My dear, that is not fun, its being in Business

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It would be very, very nice to have a sugar Daddy, win the lottery or have a money tree in your compound which would allow you to just give everyone free cake, teach everyone for free, and invent and give away cakes for free. That’s not going to happen, so instead build a business that makes MONEY.

I’m not taking about tens of millions (although that would be nice) but enough money to pay yourself a decent salary so you can afford the groceries and the school fees and the cake equipment.

You can define your level of success in many different ways but one of those has to be MONEY.

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Let me explain that in more detail. I’m sure you want the best in life and if you have kids, you want that for them too. You know good schools are expensive and if you want them to school abroad (taking in mind of our erratic exchange rate), you will need a whole lot more money (and let’s not forget the books, the uniforms and the field trips too).

Perhaps your definition of success is just to be able to make enough money to buy instead of rent my house, afford a vacation in Dubai once a year…or just buy groceries without having to price compare.

 It doesn’t really matter where you would spend that money or how much of it you want to make, what matters is that you are honest and real about needing to earn that money in the first place.

You are probably in this for MANY reasons – perhaps lifestyle, artistic expression, love of cake, passion.

 But if one of those is not money then you have no business being IN business.

Are you ready to finally start making serious money in your cake business, so that you can get more orders!

                                              THEN REGISTER HERE

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 (Just fill in your details below and  we shall contact you when  the E-Course is launched)

HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE BEFORE I MAKE SERIOUS MONEY IN MY CAKE BUSINESS

We’ve all heard that 9 out of 10 businesses fail. So you may be thinking why should I even bother about starting or being in the cake business.

For the brave ones who still go into this business, you might be wondering when can you expect to finally be making some money out of it?

Before I answer that, let me point out that your first thing is to work out what “some money” actually means. Financially speaking we all have different goals – for some, enough money to pay for family extras like schools fees and holidays in Dubai.

For others, enough money to support an entire family. You’ve got to work out HOW MUCH money you need and want to earn as a first step.  If not, NO amount of money will ever be “enough” because there is no definition for what “enough” is.

So let me give you an idea of how a 5 year plan to money making looks like for a home based cake business:

  • Year One: 

You hardly will make any money in the first year as you will be plowing every Naira you make back into the business to grow it. This is the year you’ll invest in your business (such as websites, training, marketing etc) so the year is about putting in and not taking out. Your pricing is probably also not the best but it covers the cost of ingredients.

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  • Year Two: 

You will make some money, but you will still need to plow back very money you make back into the business to grow it. This is the year you start to get more serious about things. Your skill has improved, your pricing is more structured, which will probably cover your goods, overheads and your labour costs. 

 

  • Year Three: 

You may be getting frustrated at the point and may feel like quitting, because you feel you are not making enough money. You may be asking yourself, ‘Why am I working so hard for so little?”.

So you start to bring some strategy on how you do business. Your cake decorating skills have improved, you’ve learned to speed up you orders, and you’ve started to feel the pain of working for no money – so you start to take some money out of the business and pay yourself a salary. HOORAY!

By this time, you would have determined your niche (or are working on it) and you’re starting to feel like you control your business as opposed to the other way round and you’re  starting to think about scaling up or out.

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  • Year Four: 

You’ve been getting paid for a while, you’ve started investing a bit heavier into your business (business coach, business classes, , more heavy-duty equipment or maybe getting a small cake shop) and you’re starting to see how you can make this thing work.

You’ve started to build profit into your prices, you’ve got a niche (or several), you may have an employee or helpers of some kind who are also paid and profits are starting to appear in your balance sheets. 

 

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  • Year Five: 

This is when things start to feel like you can breathe a bit because you’re getting paid, your employees get paid, you’re seeing profit, this whole thing is starting to feel worthwhile. 

Those cycles of business might take you a shorter or a l longer to meet, it really depends on how much time and investment you put in but invariably those things will happen.

 Business is a process. How long it will take you to be successful depends entirely on your definition of success, how much time/effort/money/marketing you’ve got to invest, and your ability to keep on keeping on each time you feel you want to give up.

Are you ready to finally start making serious money in your cake business, so that you can get more orders!

                                              THEN REGISTER HERE

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 (Just fill in your details below and  we shall contact you when  the E-Course is launched)

How to Know what type of cakes to sell so you are always making money

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So, you want to start a cake business?

Fantastic – but unfortunately so does almost every other baker who loves to bake. How are you going to stand out? How will you succeed even when there are other already established bakers to compete with? How will you get your own customer base and following?

Well the answer to that is:

Find your baking niche

Just as with every other business whether product or service based, you need your unique selling point. In other words –– you need to find your niche. The thing that makes you exclusively you and your cakes exclusively yours.

For some people, finding a niche is simple. They already have one key strength, one driving passion and they go with it, whether that’s for edible art, fondant cakes or custom birthday cakes or desserts.

But what if it’s not that easy for you? You’ve done a few cake decorating classes, made a mixture of buttercream and fondant, cake and cupcakes – how should you know what you should focus on? And even then, how should you know whether people will want to buy it anyway?

These worries are completely normal, so today I’ve put together a few things to consider when finding your baking niche to help you follow your heart and have the baking business of your dreams.

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1. Where do your strengths lie?

It’s usually a good idea to play to your strengths. If you make amazing piped buttercream cupcakes, then why not start off selling cupcakes at events? If you’re great with fondant, why not offer more traditional celebration cakes to start with? If you start out strong, you’ll set yourself up well and can branch out into other baking styles as and when you or your customers wish.

2. What are your competitors doing?

This question works in 2 ways. Firstly, knowing what your competitors are selling a lot of tells you a bit about the demand in your local area. Are people buying tons of Christmas and seasonal cakes? What about the new trend for naked cakes? Or are you getting more cupcake orders? This is what good market research is for

Secondly, although you know where some demand now lies, you need to find a way to set yourself apart. Don’t necessarily offer what your competitors do just because you know it’s selling. There might not be enough demand to sustain several similar cake businesses and you need to set yourself apart from the other crowd of bakers, so use the information to work out your own specific style and cake baking niche. 

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3. What is the demographic of your local or delivery area?

Where do you live? Knowing who your ideal customer or target market are is essential when designing your cake products and pricing them. If you’re catering to a community of young business men and women, the types of cakes they’ll want might differ to a smaller area with families.

Likewise, the occupation, disposable income, age and interests of your ideal customer can all influence what type of cakes they will want to buy. Make sure the cakes you want to sell meet the needs of your ideal customer.

4. What do you love to do?

As well as playing to your strengths, I believe it’s important to do what you are passionate about. If your passion is in your cakes, people will know and appreciate the effort, attention to detail and love that you put into each order. It makes a difference.

So if you’re good at sugarcraft but find it tedious and prefer naked or fruit or dessert cakes consider including them in your cake portfolio. You need passion, skills and demand to be successful, so make sure you love what you do.

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5. Is there anything people comment on that you do differently?

When you’re baking regularly, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of thinking what you do is normal or typical or average. It’s easy to be overly modest and undervalue your skills, experience and expertise. Friends and family who see and taste your cakes can be really helpful at this point because they can help you see the things that make your cakes uniquely yours. Do they notice a certain flair for decorating? Some extra amazing and unusual flavours? No design is too intricate? Other people can help you realise what it is that makes your cakes special, an important selling point for your cake business that can guide your choice of niche.

Take some time out to work through these five points with examples from your own experience, then comment below with what your baking niche will be! Still not sure? That’s okay too, comment below and let me help you out!

Are you ready to finally start making serious money in your cake business, so that you can get more orders!

                                              THEN REGISTER HERE

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   (Just fill in your details below           and  we shall contact you when        the E-Course is launched)

How to price your Cakes for profit

Part guesswork, part experience, part number crunching – how ever you look at it, determining your cake price can be quite a difficult task.

Cake pricing or how much to charge for your cakes can be the most challenging and intimidating question to most beginners in the cake decorating world today.

Unfortunately there are many factors to consider.

But I am going to break it down to just 7 factors that will help you price your cakes in a way that will make you and your customers happy.

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  1. LOCATION…LOCATION…LOCATION…

Where you live and where you bake will be the most important factor to consider when looking at pricing. If you live in Lekki, your pricing will be very different than if you live in Gbadagry.

Researching your local market is the best starting point to figure out pricing. Call other custom bakers and find out what they are charging. If they are successful and are charging a lot more than you were planning to charge, you need to raise your prices.

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  1. DO NOT UNDERCUT YOUR COMPETITORS

When you are starting a company, you are telling friends, family and clients that you believe you are good enough to open a business.

You may not feel like you are good enough, but pricing your cakes low hurts yourself because you will be working a lot of hours, and not make any money, and you can become known as the CHEAP cake lady.

Undercutting your competitors also hurts them and the cake industry in your area. Bringing prices down in your area can take business away from other companies and cause them to loose income, which can have many unwanted consequences.

Lower prices at the beginning can also make it very hard to raise prices once you have a strong customer base.

They will not want to pay the higher prices and will find the next new decorator to take your place. You want to attract loyal customers that see the quality of work you do and are willing to pay for it.

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  1. KNOW YOUR COSTS

This is a big one! You have to figure out your costs. You will need to calculate what you actually spent or will spend on making a cake.

Here is a list to consider as you calculate your costs

  • Overhead: rent, utilities, business cards, posters, office supplies, computer
  • Bakery equipment and supplies: mixer, oven, tables, cooling racks, pans, bowls, food coloring, luster dusts, fondant, tools, boxes, cake stands, cake boards, dowels
  • Ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, chocolate, vanilla and other specialty ingredients
  • Delivery: petrol, wear and tear on your car, your time
  • Time: You need to make sure you get compensated for your time. Set an hourly rate for yourself and charge accordingly.

 

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  1. DO NOT COMPETE WITH SUPERMARKET &FAST FOOD STORE PRICES

When pricing a cake, never try to compete with them. Those cakes were flash-frozen months ago and decorated as fast as possible with buckets of premade icing.

You need to target the customers that are loyal and will come back for great tasting, quality cakes. If you want to know if your prices are too low, compare your prices with the supermarket. If you are close, raise your prices.

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  1. IT’S JUST A CAKE…NO IT’S NOT!

This is something you may hear from customers, or you may have even said it yourself. When a couple gets married/ there is always a picture of the bride and groom cutting the wedding cake. When people go to a wedding, what do they talk about? The dress and the wedding cake!

A wedding cake or a birthday cake is the centerpiece of that event.

Custom cakes are not just cakes. They are works of art that are central to the celebration.

Also, from the business aspect, your cakes are not just a cake you throw in the oven and hope it comes out right. Your cakes are tried and true recipes, icing, cake boards, dowels, fondant, decorating tools, days of work preparing decorations, planning, sketching, designing, and working with the client, then you deliver the cake and make sure it is perfect before walking away.

 

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  1. DO I PRICE BY THE SERVING (by the number of people the cake can serve) OR BY THE CAKE?

Once you have run your numbers and you know the costs involved, this is usually the next question.

They want to be able to compare prices and feel that they have a basic idea of what they can expect as far as pricing is concerned.

Here are 2 things to consider when setting your prices:

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Have a Minimum Price Point

Make it very apparent that your cakes start at a certain price point, such as, “Fondant cakes start at N100.00 per serving” or at N4,000 or “Wedding cakes start at N65,000,” then add that the prices go up depending on the design and size.

This can save you and your customer time. They will walk away if they know the minimum price is too high. You don’t want to spend time emailing and meeting with a customer only to find out they were expecting a three-tier wedding cake for N20,000.

You may have customers that tell you your prices are just too high, but do not lower your prices! You wouldn’t go to a supermarket and tell them their prices are just too high and ask them to give you a discount.

You should not try to make every person that contacts you happy. Stick to your pricing and if they choose to go somewhere else, they may not be the right kind of customer for you.

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Pricing specialty cakes

Specialty cakes and carved cakes require a lot more time for designing, structuring and decorating. This is a great time to price by the design.

Be realistic about the time required and price it accordingly. Just because a customer only wants to serve 10 people does not mean it will take you less time than a cake to serve 30 people.

Be honest with your customers, tell them these cakes take much longer than other cakes, and are priced based on the design not on the number of servings.

 

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  1. YOUR TIME IS WORTH MONEY

Make sure you give yourself credit and include the hours you worked on your cakes. Your prices may seem high to you, but if your research shows that your market will sustain your prices, go for it.

Your time is valuable, so set an hourly rate and stick with it. You have a great talent and should not be making less than minimum wage because you are building your portfolio or because you are just starting out.

Before i go let me introduce you to this awesome E-Course.

                           n5

Are you ready to finally start making serious money in your cake business, so that you can get more orders

                                         THEN REGISTER HERE

                                                   (Just fill in your details below)

How to Sell your Cakes using Facebook

I will take a wide guess and assume that you know how to use Facebook, or at least you have heard of Facebook.

Even if you don’t have a business page, the chances are you’re already have a Facebook personal page.

Facebook is a great social media platform to take advantage of for your cake business.

The multiple functions available on Facebook – your personal profile, groups, pages to name a few – there are many channels you can engage with to market your cake business. 

Just make sure you keep up to date with Facebook’s rules for business use to make sure you don’t run foul.

These are 3 great tips on how to sell your cakes using Facebook which are easy and don’t take a lot of time to set up. For more tips on how to market your cakes Click Here.

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Create a Facebook Business page

Creating your own Facebook page for your cake business is a great way to give your cake business an online presence beyond having a blog or website.

Having a dedicated Facebook page for your cake business means that people can search for your business and find it easily.

Word of mouth referrals go a long way for many cake businesses, especially when you’re just starting out and building a client base. If a potential customer has heard of you from a friend, searching for your business on Facebook will likely be one of the ways they will try to find you apart from a Google search.

You then have the opportunity to seal the deal when they reach your Facebook page.

How do you do this?

You could share testimonials from happy customers, have pics of your cakes and cupcakes and/or photos of your bakery or photos of you at work baking or decorating a cake.

So that any visitor on your page will see that you have a thriving business, know what you’re doing, and – most importantly likely to order from you having seen your cake portfolio and social proof from other happy customers.

It also keeps the people who have liked your page up to date with your fantastic cakes keeping you in their minds the next time they need to order a cake for an occasion.

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It is very easy to create a Facebook page for your cake business, just follow these steps:

  • Login to Facebook;
  • From your personal page, at the top right hand corner is a downward arrow and select “Create a Page” on the left-hand side;
  • Options are provided for what type of business you have. Select the options that best apply to you. The local business option would suit a cake business fan page;
  • Choose type of business and business name (make sure your business name is obvious that you sell cakes);
  • Tick the box, ‘I agree to Facebook terms and conditions’;
  • Upload an image as your profile picture;
  • Add your website address if you have one. Fill in the ‘about’ section;
  • Make sure you include your opening hours if applicable and your contact details so any visitors know how and when to place an order;
  • Include a Call to Action in your description box so that anyone visiting your page can order a cake.

 

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Local Facebook Groups

Local Facebook groups are another great place to sell your cakes using Facebook.

In the search bar, type in your location to find Facebook groups dedicated to your local area, then ask to join them.

Once you have been added to the group, you can see what other people in your local area are posting about. If they ask for recommendations for a cake supplier, jump in there and offer your services, linking to your Facebook business page to show them more about your cake business.

This can be more effective than linking directly to your website as it doesn’t ask the reader to leave Facebook, the platform they are currently on, just to visit an alternative page.

You can also use Facebook groups to promote your business page.

Check the group’s information section or pinned post for any rules on promotional posts as these are sometimes limited to certain days of the week. Some groups do not like advertising or soliciting for customers. Abiding by the group rules, share your Facebook page for your cake business to spread the word locally to other potential customers.

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Facebook Adverts

Although this option isn’t free like the other two, Facebook adverts are still a way that you can sell your cakes using Facebook.

To create an advert, visit your business page and choose whether you want to promote your page, website, or boost a specific post.

When you click one of these options, you’ll have the option to add some text to your promoted post. This is the place to advertise your services, availability, and contact details. You can also include a testimonial from a happy customer followed by these details for social proof that you are the cake business to go with.

Include a call to action at the end of the advert to encourage people to take action, get in touch, and order their cake with you.

Whilst Facebook Ads are a paid for service, they are relatively reasonable in price in comparison to traditional forms of advertising.

However, note that Facebook Ads are charged in dollars. A few months ago, you could use your naira card to pay for Ads, but now you will need a Dollar card, so that means you will need to have a domiciliary account.

With just a $5 promotion you can reach a wider audience of people. Thereby leading to more and new page likes which could lead to more sales.

It’s important to target your advert when setting it up to only appear for people in your area so that your audience are all people who it would be practical to sell your cakes to.

The more people who like your page, the more people who can engage with and view your posts, and the more people who can share your posts and cake pics with others.

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So what have you learnt?

  • Create a Facebook business page to make your cake business visible online and give you an avenue to promote and market your cakes
  • Participate in local Facebook groups to spread the word about your cake business
  • Use targeted Facebook Adverts to increase the reach of your cake business and find more customers

Find this post useful? You’ll love this sample of a Marketing Plan for your cake business. Click Here to get your FREE Marketing Plan

Till next week.

Happy Caking.

Cake Regards,

Getting more sales in your Cake Business

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When you’re first starting out in business it can be a little disheartening to get a lot of enquiries but not get any orders. In the sales marketing world we call this your ‘conversion rate’ – meaning the amount of people you manage to convert from prospects into paying clients.

Effective converting and selling is a skill all on its own. Some people are just born salespeople who are naturally persuasive and can sell ice to Eskimos while the rest of us (like me) really need to work at it.  

If you find ‘selling yourself’” uncomfortable, and me telling you that you’ve got to learn sales skills probably makes you feel like ‘Why nah!’. Selling or marketing is not dishonest or desperate, both of which are things nobody wants to be. But you have got to learn those skills if you want to earn the type of money you want to change your life.

Here are a few things to help your conversion rate (that is, make more sales) that don’t make you feel like you’re begging or desperate for the order.

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MAKE IT simple and EASY FOR PEOPLE TO ORDER FROM YOU

Don’t make ordering a cake from you a 10 step process that tires people before they have even begun. If you have a website and people can order online from you, make sure the entire process, from selecting the item to checking out of your shopping cart is uncomplicated and easy to use and follow.  

The “buy now” button, “shop here” and “online ordering” buttons and pages should be visible and easy to find. Don’t make it hard for people to buy from you.

The same is true if they are ordering directly from you, whether by phone or email. Make it VERY clear how they can pay their deposits, what the process is (and make it a short process.) Don’t wait for them to as how to do it, tell them!

This is an opportunity for you to start thinking of putting in place clear, simple and defined business procedures that will help you in your customer ordering process so that you will be prepared for any question your customer needs to know on how to proceed with an order.

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TAKE CONTROL OF THE COMMUNICATION

When you’ve reached the point in the email discussion where they clearly are interested and wanting to order from you, actually pick up the phone and call them. “Hi Amaka, I thought it would be faster if I just called you to confirm the details we spoke about in email and get the deposit organized.”  

The longer you keep dragging out that email conversation, the more of your time you are wasting, and the less likely you are to get the sale done and over with.  It’s also a lot harder to say no over the phone to someone – so you’re effectively closing the deal just by calling them.  

If this sounds scary to you, remember that you’ve already established their interest in you via email

(How to get their phone number: Make it a required field on your website “contact us” form so that they have to give it to you to submit their order question. If they didn’t come through your website, ask for it at the very beginning – “What’s the best number to reach you on in case I need to get in touch about your order?”).

A question you may ask is if you should chase up on quotes after they’ve sent them out. Well it depends on you, if you’ve got the time and you really want to do that order from a creative point of view, following up is not a bad idea.

If however it’s not really an order you need or are interested in (or it’s a small one that won’t make much difference to you), just leave it.

Following up is good, mainly because if your competitors won’t bother – but nor do I want you wasting hours and hours on chasing up people who aren’t the kind of client you want that is, a client that calls back.

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ACT AS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE ORDER

Believe me, this works unbelievably well. Positive assertive action thinking goes a long way.

So for your next order, do it like this. When someone contacts you the first time act as if  the order is already confirmed. This means the language you use in emails or over the phone has an assumption that you will be doing the order.

You’re not ASKING them to pay the deposit; you’re telling them they’re going to do it. Not in an aggressive or threatening kind of way, but in a gentle, natural way as though the deal has already been sealed and you’re just helping them get there.

So at the end of the email instead of saying, “The price is N25,000,” your email should end by saying, “To create this cake for you is N25,000. To secure the date, I ask for a 50% deposit which needs to be paid by bank transfer (include your account details) by 19h November. I’m really looking forward to making this cake for you, you’ve picked a gorgeous design – the party is going to be amazing!”

Nobody reading that would say it sounds desperate.

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For one, it’s friendly, it makes the sales process very easy for them by stating the steps and gives them the chance to take the next steps, and it openly assumes that you’re going to get the order.  

If you act as if the deal is done, and confident that you’re going to be the only person who can make this thing for them, they are going to feel that confidence and just go with it. Plus you’re saving them a ton of time and effort here – you’re making the process easy, simple and most of all you are meeting their needs right NOW, not 5 emails from now.

We live in an age where people are immensely time poor, reluctant to commit, and bombarded by sales requests all day long. If you can help them save time, help them commit to making a choice – you’re already halfway to getting the order.

You’re flat out saying that you’re going to make it happen for them. Don’t we ALL just want that certainty, that confidence, that knowledge that a job is going to get done, get done right, and not require a bunch of wasting time to make it happen?

So in summary, the key to closing the deal, get the order and make more sales is that do not make the whole process all about you, make it all about them.

Hope you found this post useful? If you did, please comment.

Till next week.

Happy Caking.

Cake Regards,

Educating Customers About Your Cake Price

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When you get lots of phone calls or enquiries about your prices, or lots of rejections based on price alone, it can seem as though that’s all people care about. 

To be fair, for most people, price plays a major role. However, I find most people are willing to get more than one quote, and willing to consider why those quotes differ. 

The thing about cakes is (especially custom ones) is that your potential customers are actually not in this business, so they don’t really have any idea of how much effort and time goes into creating our cake creations. 

TV shows like ‘Cake Boss’ or ‘The Great British Bake off’ have done a LOT to educate the general public about the amount of effort and artistry which goes into cakes, but not everyone watches those shows. 

Plus, there are a lot of perfectly reasonably decorated, mass produced baked goods out there which will do the job just as well.  If all your client wants or needs is a cake that a 5 year old will be happy to take to school to feed just 10 kids. You’re going to have a hard time justifying why they should spend N25,000 with you when a N4,000 cake from the supermarket can meet that need.

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The challenge for us as business owners is working on the people who see a cake (no matter where it’s from) as “just flour, butter and eggs,” and get them to see why our custom cakes are so much more than that.

The general public doesn’t just “get it.” They really don’t. They think Cake is just cake, but we know that’s not it.

Part of our job as cake business owners is to educate and convince our customers to buy our cakes, and that means taking the time to explain why it’s worth why it’s worth. 

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You don’t need to look any further than KFC to find a great example of this – they market their specialty by telling us about using the best chicken, seasoning and so on. Why? Because those special things are more expensive and they want to convince you to spend that little bit more. They do not assume that consumers just “get” that the fancier stuff is worth the money, they explain why it is worth it.

Cakes are no different. You’ve got to market your products and your business precisely because not everyone understands what makes your cakes special. 

Yes, there will be some people who will not care that the quality of your cakes are better? If they say “no” based on price, that’s okay…but there are plenty of people who, with a bit of education, will be willing to spend a bit more to get something a bit better.

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Instead of just getting angry that “all anyone seems to care about is price,” and “I keep losing orders even though I’ve made my prices reasonable,” – why not try educating your potential customers?

One way is by re-examine your marketing. Re-examine how you answer their enquiry about the price of your cake.

If you get an email enquiry about baking a 2 tier Mickey Mouse cake. Do you say, “A Mickey mouse cake for 30 people costs N32,000,” or do you say,

“Thanks for your email! We’d love to make you a Mickey Mouse cake for your son’s upcoming 1st birthday. Our cakes are all baked from scratch, and we’ve got an array of kid-friendly flavours to choose from – I’ve attached a list for you to pick from. We’re also happy to customise the birthday message, and if you need delivery we offer that service too. To feed 30 people, you’re looking at a cost of N32,000. Please give me a call on 080-123-4567 so we can discuss further. I look forward to helping make your celebration fantastic.”

Tell me. Does that 2nd email require a little more thinking, a little more effort and engagement? Sure it does – but the investment in service and education are worth it if it means you’ve converted them into buying from you rather than just settling for a cake from ‘ Cakes and Cream’. 

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Every company, everywhere in the world, selling anything at all is going to come up against people who seem to only care about price.  In every market (clothing, cars, food…) there will be companies who service the very low end, companies that service the very high end, and a whole lot of companies’ right in the middle of that. 

Even the companies selling things for cheap have to market themselves and their products – because they are not the only ones in town claiming to be the cheapest. The companies at the top are no different – because they too are not the only one in town that sells a premium product.

You would aim to be the cake business that educates and then converts cake enquiries to sales.

However, accept that some people just won’t be won over …but be clever enough to at least try.

Not everyone gets it, and not everyone needs to … but you would be silly not to even try because you have decided ahead of time that they can’t be taught.

Hope you found this post useful? If you did, please comment.

Till next week.

Happy Caking.

Cake Regards,

How to deal with Your Customers if they Complain about your Cakes