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cupcakes for office meetings??......

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have been baking cakes for few years now. some times I got paid sometimes I did few wedding cakes or Birthday cakes for friends and families hoping to get some business from their guests (I offered to make the cakes). Everyone always love the taste and look of my cakes. I have never seen any leftover cake at any party. Everybody knows that I am open for business but Ironically I hardly get any orders. Every year we go to tons of graduation parties and weddings......but...sigh... I don't wanna do any more free cakes for my family or friends..   Last year i thought i should start making cupcakes since it's such an "in thing" these days. I tried donating  about a 100 cupcakes to a community fair. they were all gone. people who ate them took my cards and said they have never tasted anything like that beforeicon_smile.gif. I was happy to hear all the nice comments. But, no orders after that...again I donated 100 cupcakes to some other public gathering, left my cards there. only heard one thank you message from the manager stating that it was a big hit.Still no ordersicon_sad.gif. Now I am thinking i should supply cupcakes to the businesses where they order snacks for their office meetings... I read a lot about getting cupcake orders from offices and schools. but don't know where to start or who to contact?. What kind of marketing materials do I need? price list?... what not?/.. By the way I am in Michigan and we have a cottage industry law that allows me to make and sell cakes from my home if it's under 15,000 dollars a years...  so I have gotten a DBA name  from the food and Health Department I believe.... any suggestions please..... sorry If I have made you all bored with my pathetic story.  

post #2 of 24

My recommendation is to figure out who you want your customer to be,and then seek out the people that take care of those customers.  If you want brides as clients, then take some free samples to the catering manager at some of the venues.  But don't just pop in, call and introduce yourself and make an appointment.  Bring cards, brochures, or any other marketing materials you might have. And then followup with contacts occasionally to see if they have nay upcoming events where they might need your services.

 

If you want to cater to children, see out the manager at any local kids "party places" you might have.

 

And don't hesitate to ask for referrals from your family / friends / past customers, even if it's just on Facebook.  Starting a new business can be hard - your customers are out there, you just have to find them!
 

post #3 of 24
You don't say where you are located in your post so I'm just wondering if you are legal and licensed to sell baked goods from your home. If you live in the US most states and I'm saying most not sure if they All do require you to be licensed to bake from home. You can get into trouble by selling your baked goods.
post #4 of 24

She covers this in her post...."By the way I am in Michigan and we have a cottage industry law that allows me to make and sell cakes from my home if it's under 15,000 dollars a years...  so I have gotten a DBA name  from the food and Health Department I believe"

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb View Post

She covers this in her post...."By the way I am in Michigan and we have a cottage industry law that allows me to make and sell cakes from my home if it's under 15,000 dollars a years...  so I have gotten a DBA name  from the food and Health Department I believe"

Oh ok had to reread her post.
post #6 of 24

Do your cards look professional? Do you have a web page or Facebook page on there? 

elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #7 of 24
Unless you have a storefront, a farmer's market booth with a consistent following, or wholesale accounts, selling exclusively cupcakes will be very limiting. Most custom orders will include cakes.

Before you spend more money on samples and marketing materials I would advise going back to your business plan and figuring out what your competitive advantages are and who you should be targeting (based on competition in your area, profit margins, and market sizes).

If you decide to focus on offices, there is usually an office manager who focuses on things like buying food for meetings. In most businesses, budgets will be tight so your cupcakes will probably be priced out of reach, and generally healthier snacks are preferred. Many businesses will also already have contracts with caterers to handle this sort of thing.
post #8 of 24
Yes a Facebook page with your baked goods on it might be just the advertising you need. I know where you are coming from ( kinda) I'm a hobby baker so I don't sell sell my cakes however it would be nice to have my ingredients at least covered. I usually just gift my cakes and be done with it.

The one cake that you do have a picture of in your profile is beautiful
Edited by kazita - 4/1/13 at 7:43pm
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

yeah,.... I do have a facebook page. And I got my business cards printed from vista print.

mybusiness name is Chiffon Cakes. I am currently building a website....

 

Facebook.com/chiffoncakes

 

I see all these Cupcake tv showsand  most of the cupcake business owner say that they have an online business. how do the do it. how do you market online business. I don't want a huge business but at least 1500-2000 dollars per month.....all I want is a small steady income.  

 

KIds party places??? would you consider Chucky cheeses that place?

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sameera View Post

I don't want a huge business but at least 1500-2000 dollars per month.....all I want is a small steady income.
If you want to clear $2K/month (including your wage and markup) you will probably need to gross double that. If you sell at $4/cupcake on average you will need to sell at least 20 dozen per week. At $3 it's 25 dozen per week. We can't tell you if that is doable or not, since we don't know your local market.
Quote:
KIds party places??? would you consider Chucky cheeses that place?
Chuck E Cheese already sells cakes and cupcakes, so they probably wouldn't be too receptive to your offer. Most independent party places will have thought of this and already have deals in place with existing vendors, so you'll really need to offer a big competitive advantage to get them to switch. Based on your posts it sounds like you're not sure what your competitive advantage is...you need to figure this out before you do anything else.

A professional web site is also a high priority. If I were running a venue I wouldn't buy from a vendor who only had a FB page.
post #11 of 24
Isn't $2, 000 a month more than you are aloud to make? Maybe I'm misunderstanding how much you can make.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita View Post

Isn't $2, 000 a month more than you are aloud to make? Maybe I'm misunderstanding how much you can make.

I think every state has different allowed monthly income. I read $15,000 for some states, and I read $25,000 for California. 

post #13 of 24
The MI cottage food limit was increased from $15K to $20K last year, and it will increase to $25K starting in 2018. This limit is for gross annual sales so OP is looking at a max annual net income in the $10K range.

So if she consistently made $2K/month she would have to shut down for 2 months out of the year.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

The MI cottage food limit was increased from $15K to $20K last year, and it will increase to $25K starting in 2018. This limit is for gross annual sales so OP is looking at a max annual net income in the $10K range.

So if she consistently made $2K/month she would have to shut down for 2 months out of the year.

Ok got it.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post



So if she consistently made $2K/month she would have to shut down for 2 months out of the year.

Ohhhh wow, that's crazy! Some argue that keeping a front is more expensive than baking from home. But if you have the means (man power and resources) to go beyond the allotted income as stated on your state's cottage food law, you will be shut down. A least having a store front, you can dream bigger. But then, that's just me. 

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