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I'm giving up! What to tell my customers?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I won't go into why I no longer wish to do cake decorating since we all know the issues that come along with it being in the business. I've been debating this for about a year now and this weekend was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I have spoken to another local cake decorating companie about honoring my prices if my customers choose to go with them... but I don't know what to tell my customers (those who have already placed order but have not yet paid or put down a deposit) to keep them from being angry or asking too many questions.

I don't want to have a heart to heart again and again, telling them about the all nighters, the stress, the price vs worth... so on and so forth. I was debating telling them that I had devolopped an allergy...but I also think that would promt alot of questions... any ideas?
post #2 of 9
If I were you I would honor any orders I have already on my books and make the cakes. Stop taking any new orders and when you get calls just tell them that you are no longer in the business and refer them to someone else you know that is reputable
Be Kind Anyway
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Be Kind Anyway
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post #3 of 9
You don't need to honor existing orders if they haven't paid a deposit, since they have not yet reserved a date.

For any customers who have already paid a deposit, the right thing to do is either complete their order or refund their money and find them another reputable baker with availability for the customer's event date. I definitely wouldn't lie about having an allergy.

Have you looked into selling your business instead of just shutting it down? When we moved last year we ended up selling our business, and the new owner simply took over all existing orders. It was a bit of pain transferring ownership of the LLC, changing addresses of record, publishing a new d/b/a notice, etc. but from the customers' perspective there was zero downtime.
post #4 of 9
If they haven't paid or put down a deposit, there really is no contract. That's just the way it is. I would just sent them an email or call to say, "Sorry. I am no longer available to do your cake."

As far as the questions, just because they ask there is no reason to answer. Come up with an "answer" you feel comfortable with and repeat EXACTLY the same answer as many times as they ask.

Anyone who paid or deposited, I would really try to finish off on....
Good luck to you!
post #5 of 9
Just tell them you're retiring... you can retire from your own business at any age! It's the right time for you.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus


As far as the questions, just because they ask there is no reason to answer. Come up with an "answer" you feel comfortable with and repeat EXACTLY the same answer as many times as they ask.



This is the best advice you will ever receive, not only for this particular situation, but many future situations.

Years ago I learned this technique from a college instructor and it has stood the test of time.

I wish you well with your "new" future!
post #7 of 9
If you have already accepted a deposit or any kind of payment you should try to compete those orders. Unless you've been able to find another bakery to take those orders on at the same price and the clients have already agreed to having the new bakery make their cakes or are willing to accept a full refund.

Anyone who has not put down a deposit is not technically your client. If they do finally contact you simply tell them that you are no longer able to make their cake. Refer them to someplace else if possible.

Finally, why you are quitting is nobody's business. Agree with a PP. Pick a standard response (I'm retiring from the cake business, I've decided to try another adventure, etc.) and just repeat it (and only that response) as many times as it takes. And if you have to say it to the same person more than twice then just walk away thumbs_up.gif

Good luck!
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #8 of 9
I agree that if you've accepted a contract, you really need to make the cake. That's what I've done while shutting down my business. www.LouisvilleWeddingCake.com

But stop doing consultations, stop taking orders. I now find that the occasional wedding cake isn't a big deal. It was cranking out 3-5 a weekend that killed me. The $ were very good, but I'm happier now.

I have 2 more wedding cakes on the books - both postponed weddings from last year. I suspect one will actually happen and the other probably won't.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by amsegu

I was debating telling them that I had devolopped an allergy...but I also think
that would promt alot of questions... any ideas?



Don't lie. Like others have said, it's enough to say "personal reasons" and leave it at that.
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