Does anyone really need a three-layered topsy turvy chocolate and lemon cake? YESSSS!
That’s what you have to make us believe to be successful in a designer cake business. Your customers are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime feeling every birthday and on special occasions, you can give them that.
This is part of my Show Up Show Off series as I want to help you take your business from good to great. Here are a few ways to build this business whether you work from home or have a retail outlet.
Find out what the process is to become a certified food handler. It will be important to show your clients that you can be trusted to prepare foods that won’t make them sick. It also establishes that you take your business seriously and want to operate at a standard that is recognized.
Find a Niche
You don’t need to do it all. Know what your sweet spot is and become the expert in that. Wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes, low-sugar, or gluten-free. It is a challenge in small markets to want to serve everyone but you really can’t. Assess the market and position your business accordingly.
Make it Over the Top
Practice makes perfect. Even when you don’t have a cake order, work on your craft. Invest in the business and your own skill. Whether you are self-taught or have the certificate on the wall to prove it, create a cake that shows off your imagination and ability. It is easy to take a picture from the web and copy that, but let’s see what you can create when you go way outside the box.
Stay Connected to Your Customers
The birthday or an anniversary of a customer should not take you by surprise. Keep an electronic calendar of special dates and set alarms to go off at least one month before their big day. You will use this day to send them a brief reminder that their birthday is coming and you are looking forward to making their specialty cake. You can offer suggestions and show off some of the newer designs you’ve been working on. You can also invite them to come in to sample new flavor combinations you have may have added since their last visit. Do the same for parents of little children, businesses who are celebrating an anniversary.
Fear of Missing Out is what you are playing into for your customers. You have to make us believe that we absolutely don’t want to be the only one not getting your business to create our birthday treats. Your visuals are key to creating this. We don’t just want to see the cake but the faces of the people when they open that box or walk into your shop to collect it.
It’s Staff Appreciation Day somewhere. Don’t wait for a day on the calendar to tell people about what you are doing. You need customers daily. Create product offers which you can share on your social media, in a newspaper ad, or eNewsletter. Keep track of official holidays worthy of a cake such as St. Patrick’s Day or Chocolate Lovers Day, or make one up.
Manage Your Books
How many cakes do you need to make a month to cover your expenses, how many more to turn a profit? You need to know your numbers. If you are not good with the books, hire an accountant who can help you set up a simple daily record keeping system that you can turn over to them to manage your monthly and annual reports.
Daily you need to be telling people about your business. Your social media should be filled with your beautiful creations. We eat with our eyes. Your images should be visually appealing and make our mouths water. You can do that with photos and with short videos/boomerangs which show someone slicing into a cake, licking the icing. Make us want to inbox you and order right away.
There is a lot of competition for our money and our time. Your aim is to stay top in your customer’s mind when it comes to making their cakes. Send reminders, post daily what you are working on. Make us thirsty for cake.
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The 2020 Flourish Planner for Growth-Oriented Female Entrepreneurs is still available for free download. Click here to get it and map your growth strategy.
I love telling stories. I help my clients from the private and public sector to leverage traditional and digital media to increase their visibility and make more money. I am a mentor, business strategist, a certified Business Continuity Specialist and the author of seven books, including the In Plain Sight and the Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more great tips and ideas to help you grow.