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Oh no, I didn't...or...Was that outloud? Or...is there an unsend button somewhere? *sigh* - Page 5  

post #61 of 79

"Given all of the discussion of common assumptions held by the general public (it's just flour and water) and the impact of cake shows, it is poor business practice to assume that potential clients are knowledgeable about the industry generally and what sets you apart from other non-low cost specialty bakers.  If you are not educating the client as a way of building value (and along with it trust) you are facilitating conditions where customers will make decisions solely on price.  

 

Finally, the O.P. should have discussed her brand and not engaged in a sweeping generalized smear campaign (this is why there was little educational value to the email and why it thus unprofessional).  Now maybe this was done at the initial meeting, if so, it was not effective as the O.P. states she felt the client assumed she was being gouged.  But the "information" provided is not based on the particularities of the unknown competitors and seems to be predicated on the idea that the only legitimate business is one where which enables the owner to make a living.  Not much educational value here.  Rather than besmirching the competition with generalizations and assumptions that may not account for the low-cost competitor, the O.P. should have been focused on developing trust with the client by emphasizing what sets her apart and how she generates provides value to her clients.

 

Would this have made a difference?  In this case it seems not as it seems the client's financial situation influenced her decision.  Then again she make have been more willing to make other sacrifices.  Point is it is poor business practice to act as if the specialty cake business should be immune to the pressures of low-cost alternatives.    And if you only become interested in educating clients after they have opted for low-cost alternatives, you will continue to lose clients to low-cost alternatives."

So the take away point for me in this quote and the entire thread; is to educate my potential customers when giving a quote. To be pro-active instead of reacting after the fact. That's where a lot of us (definitely me) go wrong!. Almost all the time someone is sending me a quickie email or a quickie phone call looking for a quick quote/estimate of some sort. I/we need to slow this down and not let the excitement of a prospective order impede our responses.

 

So often the prospective client comes to me with absolutely NO knowledge at all. They don't know what they want the cake to say, how many servings they want, what time of day they need it, etc... Yet alone Anything about the average pricing (of a non-grocery store cake). It takes me multiple emails just to get all their details out of them. Too often I let them lead the conversation. I think I'm being polite by doing so. There's times when I can tell the client is over whelmed on the phone with all my questions and they can't wait to correspond threw email. They want a quick answer with-out even giving us all the details (how much?).

 

I don't think anyone here is interested in price fixing! That's silly, every market around the country and world is different we could never work that out. BUT when we talk here in threads we do educate ourselves and others (who don't post) which does make our industry better! I remember when I first registered here, no one was baking anything from scratch. I didn't see any threads where I fit in or topics I was interested in talking about. The average level of conversation was totally at a beginner level. Today, the average skill level I see around here is more intermediate. So we really are learning and making things better for ourselves.

post #62 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


I brought this up in my blog article on pricing and economic damage. IMO the best way to approach this is indirectly by working with a third party to engage the businesses serving your market with a free course (covering pricing and marketing in general) on how to make more money selling cakes.

Businesses do not have to price in lockstep, but they do need to price appropriately to their market (which includes earning a decent wage and margin), otherwise the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving said market are grim.

But they don't really NEED to do anything, there's no reason for some people to price appropriately if their motivations fall somewhere else. I've seen situations like MimiFix has, where someone just wants to be famous or "known" and that's their motiation. In a capitalist society you can't make someone price things the right way, and it does affect the rest of it negatively, but having someone offer a seminar won't help squat if someone has a weird business model.

 

The movie was pretty good, and apparently Volvo wagons are good for protection from zombies, which is good because I have one. A wagon, not a zombie.

post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

But they don't really NEED to do anything, there's no reason for some people to price appropriately if their motivations fall somewhere else.

Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.
post #64 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.

Hahaha! I can think of some talk radio personalities who would still go for this, comrade.

post #65 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Correct. My point was that if they don't price appropriately, the long-term prospects of viable businesses serving that specific market are grim.

Sixty years ago you would be able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being communists and have them taken away, but now it's not so easy.

Oh heck - ten years ago and you would have been able to accuse undercutters/underchargers of being terrorists and have them sent to Guantanamo for torture and execution.

post #66 of 79
Very well said Carmijok!!! Alot of you have made very good points and arguments like Jason and costumeczar. What i would like to add is while yes she probably should not have sent that letter while upset, she did so now she has to live with whatever the consequences are if any. It also teaches us all a lesson that we shouldn't be so quick to reply when upset or angry. Lol but again alot of good points were made. I agree with what was said about not doing the design until you have in writing that you are doing that cake or at least not give the client the sketch. Also i have found that most people rather they are on a budget or not or are educated in the time and cost of doing a beautiful cake, will ultimately be seeking what everyone wants and that is a beautiful cake that they feel was worth whatever they paid for it. So while some look for A good pricethey still expect a great product and if that doesn't happen well then hopefully it will be a lesson learned for them that cheap is not always best cuz you get what you pay for. Hope everyone has a great week. Blessings to all.
post #67 of 79

I can totally understand why you would send that email.  But, I must say, I got slightly offended by it.  The "husband subsidized" part is what is bothering me.  I assume that this is referring to those who are undercutting the competition and not making money because of it.  And I don't agree with that.  I just have a hard time with that statement.  I would not have been able to start my business without my husband's investment.  And I am starting out of my home, with a second legal kitchen.  My prices are similar to those of my competition, I am not undercutting.  I keep reading posts of some on here putting down "husband subsidized home businesses" and I can't help but feel a little pang when I read that.  Just thought I would share.

post #68 of 79
While the phrase is certainly offensive for several reasons, I don't believe anyone has ever used it with situations like yours in mind. They are talking about people who are churning out cakes at such low prices that their husbands/spouses are actually subsidizing the cakes, and going by how many people are on here saying they charge $20 for a $150 cake, there are plenty of them.

Using your household income/savings to make initial investments and even to live off for a while is how most businesses start up. It's when you are past that initial start up stage and your business model involves you never actually covering the costs of your business that you are then running a spouse subsidized business, or rather a very expensive and time consuming hobby.
elsewhere.
elsewhere.
post #69 of 79
People just don't want to take the time to price things out either. And why should they? It's a gimme now business, from tutorials to pricing, and it's SAD.




(edited by Systemmod2)
post #70 of 79
And of course I'm not saying don't be helpful, but I don't think spoon feeding people is helpful. I didn't learn anything that way.
post #71 of 79
/ so agree!

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
post #72 of 79
I mean do people expect us to price every single cake they sell? At what point will they start doing it for themselves if they never have to?
elsewhere.
elsewhere.
post #73 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

And of course I'm not saying don't be helpful, but I don't think spoon feeding people is helpful. I didn't learn anything that way.


thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif

There. Their. They're not the same.

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

There. Their. They're not the same.

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

post #74 of 79
I'm not sure how name-calling is supposed to help the situation. If you don't like people commenting about how a question has been asked before, just ignore those comments, or alert the mods if you think it crosses a line.
Edited by jason_kraft - 7/1/13 at 11:08am
post #75 of 79

I'm fully aware  that Jason's post was meant for me, but I stand by my post, if I ever become a cake snob I will stop making cakes. You   talk badly about rude customers, but most of you are perfectly fine knocking others in the same business, which makes you just as bad.    Sometimes a bit of reality hurts.

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Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Oh no, I didn't...or...Was that outloud? Or...is there an unsend button somewhere? *sigh*