Mistakes bakers make in marketing

Want A Successful Cake Business? Do Not Make These Mistakes!

During my years as a cake business coach, I observed some common mistakes made by cake business owners. It’s one thing to be a skilled Baker, but it’s something quite different to be the owner of a successful Cake business.

 
Yes, making mistakes is part of life and it’s only by learning from those mistakes that we become better business owners, but knowing the common mistakes to avoid will make you more successful in the long run.
I remember when I first started and i baked a lovely 12 inch cake covered with buttercream roses. it took days to make and because i didn’t know how to price  properly, the customer only paid a very small amount and i was so angry with yourself.
Here are a few of the most common mistakes you should try to avoid as a Cake Business owner:
 

 #1: Not Knowing You Are A Legal Business Owner

Most of us started like this- you make a cake for a few friends and they like it, and tell you to go into business. So you give it a try, make a cake for someone and suddenly you’re in business. 
 
You have conducted your first business transaction. So you are no longer a hobby baker. The thing you have to realize is that the moment you charge for a cake, you’ve moved from hobby to professional. 
 
In most cases, selling your cakes means you’re already a legally registered business. Once you start collecting money for your cakes. The rules become different, and you need to think about things in a different way  – even if your cakes are not perfect or you only charged a few Naira for your cakes.
You have to conduct yourself more professionally, you need to have invoices, a dedicated bank account, email address, invoices and receipts, etc.
 

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#2: Working For Free

You need to charge adequately for your time and effort. Even if you are new in the cake business, my advice is to always know what your cakes are worth, and refuse to negotiate below a certain price.

Stop making cakes for free( I know it is usually family and friends that are guilty of this). You are a skilled professional so you should be paid a such. Not only should your costs be covered but also you should be making profit for every cake you sell.
If someone says you should bake a cake for free on the promise of future orders, Don’t do it. If it is for charity, you can decide to do it (maybe twice a year) but for anyone else, they should pay. Will they go to a doctor and tell them to treat them for free? You are providing a service, so you should be paid for the service you are rendering.
 

#3: Waiting For Customers To Just Appear

Customers do not just fall from the sky. You need to market and get on social media to advertise your cake business. Word of mouth is good and helps bring in customers, but you can’t always rely on that.
The only way you can get business is to market, market, market. Get your business cards and flyers out and go and distribute it to where your customers are. Do Facebook Ads, be active on social media, go to events and tell people about your business. 
If you are just home waiting, you will not get customers. You need to go out there and market.
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#4: Not Keeping Track Of Your Expenses

Now that you are in business, you should know the cost of being in business. Not only the cost of ingredients, but other things like your stationary, fuel and even phone credit. All these things should be accounted for so you can add them to the cost of your cake.
You are not working for free or using your own money to stay in business.
Every expense should be accounted for and you have to keep track of such monies so at the end of the day you will know if you are making a profit or loss. So having a separate business account and bookkeeping books are essential for your business.

#5: Living In A Cake Fantasy

Running a professional cake business, is not so easy. Many feel you will become a millionaire overnight just by baking cakes.
That is far from the truth.
 
The reality is that the cake baking and decorating plays a small part.
Not only will you be baking, but you will be doing marketing, social media, customer service, selling, ordering supplies, negotiating with customers and so on. Those business-related tasks are required in running your business so don’t ignore them. 

#6: Worrying About The Competition

As a cake business owner, you need to know your competition, like what they charge and what type of cakes they sell. Knowing this is information is vital because it helps you make decisions on how you can improve so that you can stand out from the crowd.
 
However, if you’re spending the time comparing yourself to the competition and complaining about other bakers is a complete waste of your time.
Spend that time improving your customer service, marketing your business, developing new products, and getting feedback from  new and existing customers. 

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#7: Not Knowing How To Set Prices

You should not just pull prices from the air. It is a calculated process.

It’s important to cost properly. The main reasons why costing properly is very important,

  1. is because if you do it well, you will make a profit in your business;
  2. You will be able to know where to reduce your costs and expenses;
  3. You will know how to give discounts and offers without making a loss.

When pricing your cakes, you should note the cost of ingredients, your profit, your labour, utility and sundry costs.

 
To know more about pricing register for the Pricing your cakes right to build a money making cake business.
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#8: Failing To Have A Business Plan

I know! I know! this can be a hassle, but it is worth doing. When you’ve started your new cake business try to take a break and write a business plan.  Know this can be quite boring especially when you not only have to bake, but market, sell and so on.
However, without a plan, you are unlikely to achieve long-term success. A business plan helps you plan your goals and tracks your progress. It provides a continuous frame of reference for your cake business, defining your goals, and making you accountable. So it is worth having one.
 
So really the Baking is the easy part and it becomes more difficult when you have to deal with the business part. But when you avoid the mistakes we discussed above, you will be on your way to having a successful business.
 
          ‘Remember you’re A Cake Business Owner, not just a Baker
 
What mistakes have you made while being a business owner and have you learnt what went wrong. Will love to hear about your experiences.

 


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About Me:

Hello, my name is Rotimicakelady and I am a cake business coach that teaches cake business owners how to grow and have a profitable cake business so that they have a constant stream of customers buying their delicious treats.

I have been running my own successful home based cake business for some years now. I have also been teaching bakers through my online courses who are struggling with low sales, with strategies on how to market, and price their cakes for profit.

In addition I am also run a Facebook Group where I coach, offer support and help bakers in their businesses.

I have helped over 50 bakers through my online course A comprehensive guide to starting your cake business in 30 days’ with much needed information on how to start a cake business in Nigeria. I also teach close to 4000 cake enthusiasts through my Facebook Group how to run a money making cake business.

I have been featured in ‘Naija Top Baker’ magazine, one of Nigeria’s foremost cake magazines and also been a Guest Speaker at the Bakery World Convention.

If you are struggling with getting customers for their cakes, I can help you solve this problem by showing you how to market, sell, price, plan, structure and brand your business so you are constantly selling to the right people who want your cakes.

5 Mistakes Made by Bakers In Marketing Their Business

 

So here goes:

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Mistake 1- Not following up with customers and potential clients

Following up with customers after they have ordered from you will guarantee you repeat orders and perhaps recommendations. Remember, getting repeat business from customers is important to growing and staying in business.

Try and always keep in touch with your customers and try and contact them at least once a month or more if you want. You could do this through monthly email newsletters or by SMS. This way, they are more likely to remember you and tell their friends about you.

So to do this, you need to maintain a data base of your customers such as their email address, birthdays, the type of cake they ordered,  phone number, etc. With this information, you will know how to communicate effectively with your customers.

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Mistake 2- Ignoring customers around you

Prospective customers are all around you; in your compound, your kids school, the salon you go to. So get involved and familarise yourself with your local area and network your cake business to them.

To succeed in your cake business, you need to expose yourself and network. People need to know about you so that they can remember you when they need to order a cake.

Many bakers are introverts and would rather be in the background decorating their cakes while someone else sells their cakes. That will be great if you are a big company and can hire staff to do your marketing for you. But most likely you are a one woman business, so you need to expose yourself enough to generate a sustained flow of customers and cake orders.

Don’t be shy, make sure you get out there and tell everybody you meet about your business.

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Mistake 3- Failing to monitor the success or failure of your marketing strategy

Whatever marketing strategy you do, you must monitor it from time to time. If you are not seeing any results, that is, you are not getting any additional orders then you must try another strategy. 

Your marketing efforts should bring you a reasonable return on your investment. You cannot be spending money on marketing s strategy if it doesn’t lead to sales.

So every few months, reflect on your marketing strategies and find out what works and what doesn’t and think of new ways to attract new customers to your business.

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Mistake 4- Misuse of your Social Media 

Social media marketing is a must-have for your cake business. However, starting a Facebook page and posting a few posts are not enough.

Social media is a marketing tool and should be used with a strategy in mind, if not it can actually harm your business.

First, understand how to use social media effectively, and then, create a social media marketing plan. Use your market research to know where your customers are online and create a presence there and communicate relevant, helpful information to them.

Another big mistake that Bakers make is join all the Facebook Bakery groups and be gisting with other bakers. 

Yes this may be all well and good, but being in those groups will not attract any customers.

So instead of joining various cake groups, join groups whose members are your target customers such as groups where mothers are gathered, wedding planners groups etc and build relationships with the admins in the groups so they can give positive recommendations, answer their questions, tell them about your cakes which could lead to more customers.

Mistake 5- Not having a Website 

A website is an absolute must for your cake business. I cannot stress it enough. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated. A website will enable people to view your cakes and also get the information needed to make an order or to contact you. 

Finally, I hope the knowledge of these common mistakes will help you to review your marketing strategy for your cake business and help you make the necessary changes to guarantee your success and more cake orders.

Please leave a comment below if you found this article useful or have any questions. I am here to help.

Till next week.


 

Need help in avoiding these marketing mistakes or do you have a challenge in marketing your business.

Need a step to step guide and helping hand on how you should market your business?

You might then want to have a look at this awesome Course calledThe Ultimate Guide to Marketing your Cake Business’ – This Course is ideal and will give you a boost forward to get your business back on track if you have been having low sales.

So 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 email you with details of the Course or just click on this Link)


me 6Rotimicakelady 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.