I wasn't trying to be hard on you
everyone on this link has good intentions, please don't be offended by anyone's comments. I was just telling you what I do, and no one wants you to get taken advantage of. We've all learned from experience/others experience.
Starting out I would go out of my way, do whatever I had to just because I wanted an order booked. I had a woman who wanted me to make her wedding cake with the gelatin butterflies, I ordered two molds and made several because she wanted to see what they would look like in person, this is after I gave her and the groom several free samples. We worked together and she said she wanted me to make her cake, so I happily did these things. Then once we had finalized everything and I had jumped through hoops I told her it was time to pay a deposit and sign a contract, she signed and kept saying shed bring the money...
She ended up having a family member make her cupcakes. I did all that work for nothing, but it was my own fault for going about it backwards (not that I'm implying this is what you're doing!)
Working with a customer to make her a wonderful cake/cupcakes that fits inside her budget is great, that's what we do. You just need to make sure it's also something you can make a profit from, otherwise you'll be doing extra work and feeling bitter.