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Cake Business not doing well - Page 3

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

I had a very busy shop in central NY, then we moved south. I opened a smaller shop in TN. Before we signed the lease the landlord said "twenty-thousand cars drive by here a day." During the holidays we were packed, but otherwise we had very few customers. I agree with an above poster, look for wholesale accounts. This can bring in additional revenue and widen your customer base. This helped my overall income but one day we had no customers. No one! I decided to move to a downtown location with a lot of foot traffic. It was a hard decision, I sure didn't feel like packing up an entire business. But it was a wise decision - our average customer count went from 2 to 300.

For now: Do you sell individual items in addition to cakes? For shops with small amount of foot traffic, I suggest filling the case with long shelf-life items such as biscotti, butter cookies, and pre-packaged granola. Customers like to see a full case - the more products you have, the more you will sell. Good luck.



We often have days where no one comes in, most people who do are trying to sell us something instead of the other way around. I think we may have the same problem as you did, foot traffic. Although there are a lot of cars we are on the quieter part f the street and so people don't come as far I think. We have been looking into a store for rent closer up the street where more of the people are. The only other items we sell are cupcake cases and cake boards/drums, sugarflair colours and modelling tools icon_smile.gif
post #32 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani1081

I'm with you Carmijok - I will be very surprised if the OP resurfaces. I've seen several similar posts recently - all by OPs that claim to be long time CC members making their first posts - but their profile info shows they joined that day. No other info, pics, website. Nothing. Hmmmm. . . .I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, and I may be wrong, but it seems a little bit suspicious to me. Especially when the OPs don't respond again to anything in the thread. It ALMOST looks like someone makes an effort to start threads needing "emergency help" when things are a little slow around here. Surely not. icon_wink.gif



I've never been a member of this site until now icon_smile.gif I've only browsed a lot, I usually don't post on forums xx
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakelover11111

We try to make cakes for any budget, we do have several deals which I know are cheaper than our competitors.


It will be very difficult to be profitable if your focus is making cakes for any budget. If you are not advertising where the high-end customers you won't reach them, and on the low end side you won't be able to beat high volume players like Walmart.

Quote:
Quote:

I haven't paid out for any more advertising lately as the past times it didn't seem to do much. We have done some networking with other shop owners on the street, the bakery not far from us doesn't do big celebration cakes so always hands out our business cards when people ask and other shop owners who have had cakes from us recommend us.


If your ideal target market (people who are willing to spend more for quality) doesn't shop at the other stores on your street, this isn't helping you. You need to steer your brand awareness towards "quality" instead of "cheap".

A Facebook page is not a substitute for a professionally designed web site, that's probably also an issue.

IMO your first priority should be to identify a target market that can support your shop going forward, then set up your pricing accordingly and start advertising to that market.
post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakelover11111

We try to make cakes for any budget, we do have several deals which I know are cheaper than our competitors.


It will be very difficult to be profitable if your focus is making cakes for any budget. If you are not advertising where the high-end customers you won't reach them, and on the low end side you won't be able to beat high volume players like Walmart.

Quote:
Quote:

I haven't paid out for any more advertising lately as the past times it didn't seem to do much. We have done some networking with other shop owners on the street, the bakery not far from us doesn't do big celebration cakes so always hands out our business cards when people ask and other shop owners who have had cakes from us recommend us.


If your ideal target market (people who are willing to spend more for quality) doesn't shop at the other stores on your street, this isn't helping you. You need to steer your brand awareness towards "quality" instead of "cheap".

A Facebook page is not a substitute for a professionally designed web site, that's probably also an issue.

IMO your first priority should be to identify a target market that can support your shop going forward, then set up your pricing accordingly and start advertising to that market.



Thank you for the advice, I agree with your points about target market. We use the fb page mostly because I don't have the password for the website and although we do have a website and it's on our business cards it needs updating. I'm trying to get the password for it because it does have a lot of old work on.

Thanks x


Edited by Cakelover11111 - 10/31/12 at 4:29pm
post #35 of 36
I just realised how long this post has become, please take any of what I say as is intended kind advice to hopefully help you succeed.

Call your local council about selling from a card table. The worst that will happen is they say no or impose restrictions you are not happy with and you dont do it but at least you will know.

Does the pub across the road sell food or would there be a possibility of selling cakes wholesale to them?

I cant access Facebook from work but had a quick look at your website.
Do you do cakes and cupcakes or just cupcakes, bread pudding and carrot cake? It is a bit confusing.
Include a postcode on your address its what most people use on satnavs/Google maps to find places.

I know you have said you need to update it but you may have some of the same photos on your facebook site so my suggestions:
The outside of your shop looks really nice but the shots of the inside look a bit empty. There are no people and to me it looks like if I was to go in Id be the only person there, which would put me off. Get a nice colourful apron (if you dont have a uniform) and stand behind the counter smiling welcomingly! Put some cake slices/cupcakes on plates with forks and cups of tea on the table in the foreground set up like someone is about to tuck in. To be honest I cant remember what is normal in restaurant photographs but have a look at some of the US cake sites who have seating areas and imitate those. People on here might be able to make suggestions.
Again you might have changed it since those photos were taken, but the window display, although the cakes look lovely, are very plain could you put a few decorations between the cake stands? If you have a wedding cake try to set it up like a table with cutlery and candles a few bits of table confetti, for a childrens birthday cake colourful cloth/paper underneath and some streamers. You are selling the dream of an ideal event not just the cake (I realise its not a very British idea!) Most of those things you could get in the 99p/£1 shop so it wont cost much.

Try and tap into the commuters market since you are close to the station, maybe give out some little samples (if you cant sell full sized things to them) with leaflets/cards to people outside the station at rush hour. Maybe offer a discount/special to season ticket holders for a limited time. It doesnt have to be a big discount but something to get them in.
Similarly how are the brownies going with the school children? They wont have the money to spend on a proper cake but their parents might (depending on the school) and they have birthdays Would they buy mini cupcakes do you think, then they would get the taste for full sized cupcakes? Could you do a deal like two mini cupcakes and a mini brownie for a special price?

Do you still do Gluten Free cakes? That could be a huge market and you need to target that specially. Go on Gluten Free discussion boards, websites for celiacs, etc learn about the market. Try to get in GF newsletters, if there are support groups in your area get to know them. Provide samples at one of their meetings. If you make decent gluten free cakes there is a market! Could you post/get delivered cakes to GF customers too far from you to come in person? I really think the GF could be key.
post #36 of 36
To me it sounds like a location issue. Have you looked at a new location in town?
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