How to get customers... and price your cakes right!

I know this may sound silly, but how do you get a cake business started from home? In Florida, they just passed the Cottage Food law, which allows bakers to create and sell cakes from home (with some restrictions). Other than word of mouth, or handing out business cards, is there another proven method? If anybody knows of a good (and reasonably priced) webmaster who can create a nice, user friendly website, that may be an option.

I’m also having a bit of difficulty pricing my cakes. I’m finding that many people don’t want to pay for all the time and labor that goes into making these FAB cakes… anything over $25 dollars and you immediately get the dreaded “look” – LOL – any suggestions?

Thanks!!!

DJ - Fun Fiesta Cakes

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30 Replies

metria ...

That’s great to hear that Florida passed their law! Do you have a Facebook account? Lots of home/small businesses create a specific Facebook account that they can use for getting the word out. Are you allowed to make sales over the internet? Texas just passed our Cottage Food Law but we can’t sell over the internet. If you’re not allowed, maybe you can just start either a WordPress or Blogger blog and post your information and photos there.

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

In Florida, you can’t ship orders received through the internet – I’m pretty sure you can have a website, but the client must be local since he/she must either pick up the cake, or you need to deliver it. Thansk for the tip on WordPress or starting a blog. I appreciate it.

Corrie ...

I started out with my personal FB page…I friended every single person I could in my small town. And then I took pictures of every cake,cookie and anything else and posted regularly. Also, my first few orders were for some businesses having open houses and it was good word-of-mouth (make friends with every hairdresser in town for the best word-of-mouth advertizing,lol) As far as pricing goes- visit some local bakeries and see what they charge, do NOT try to compete with grocery store prices- people who are looking for a ‘deal’ should go to the grocery store-they are not your customers-forget them….your customers will be people who are looking for custom designs, fresh baked items, quality ingredients and they will know that this costs money. And again, I cannot emphasize how important it is to be-friend the hair salons in your area….this is where your customers will be (females with expendle incomes) Best of luck to you! :)

Loren Ebert ...

I find the best way to get the word out is through my Mom groups…. I have a 5 year old so through our soccer team, basketball team, playdates, PTA, birthday parties all are great ways to spread the word. It’s easy to start a conversation about cake! Donate a cake or some cookies to your local school bake sale and watch the word spread like wildfire! It might take some freebies at first, but it works!

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

Thank you for the advice – I have donated cakes for fundraisers and will continue to do so – it’s a win-win for both sides… My children are all grown so I’m now relaying on them to spread the word – once I have an official website, I think that may help… I have so many ideas for great cakes – now I just need clients – my poor husband and Mom (she’s 91) can’t eat any more cake – they’ve both gained weight since I made them my official cake testers… LOL…

Karen ...

i would suggest contacting www.savoirfairemedia.com. they are really good at branding you and promoting. They make the best logos and websites, especially in this industry. Def create a FB page. it’s the best for your local business and you can have your friends share the site with their friends. Don’t worry soon they will come. Best of luck!

Karen ...

as far as pricing goes. You price your cakes at what it’s worth. Don’t worry about the people that want an elaborate cake for nothing. People will love what you do and word will get around. Just be firm and confident on your pricing and I would suggest you keep your orders at a minimum cost. I have mine set at orders starting at $125.

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

Thank you Karen – I appreciate the feedback – I have to work on my prices – right now I’m charging $2.50/serving for buttercream and $3.25/ps for fondant. It’s probably on the low side so I really have to figure out my actual cost including ingredients, materials & time. :)))

LadyTangerine ...

A Facebook page is a definite must-have! Share it with your friends and tell them to share it with the rest of their friends! It’ll slowly grow :)

In terms of a website, I created mine through a website called wix.com with which you can make your own fully customizable professional website – and it’s SO easy! I’m not sure if it’s your thing but it’s easy to get very creative with it. The only thing however is that you will have to pay for the web hosting (which you would for any website).

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

I have a facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/FunFetti-Cakes/271035662917797
My son is working on getting me a web page – can’t wait!!!

Karen ...

my website was created through wix.com as well. Good Luck DJ. :)

Lizzie ...

Lots of good advice ^
Pricing is also one of my biggest challenges. After years of giving cakes as my gift for baby parties, graduations, birthdays, etc. I am trying to make a small legit business. I too have a hard time charging what cake art is worth, & yes, seems most folks have no idea how much goes into a finished cake. I have compared my work to others I admire & felt are similar to my skill level & used that to help me price my cake art. Also do not compare yourself to the grocery store. it’s like apples & oranges, 2 different things. Remember it is edible art! I have settled for now on $100 minimum, $4/BC, $5/Fondant;per serv. min 25 serv. Hand- sculpted, custom sugar pieces start @$2 for dessert toppers and $15 for cake toppers. I usually try to work with someones’ budget and in this economy have also made a few really good trades!! (Ijoy massage chair, yard service, & work on my truck!!) Happy Caking!

Tracy ...

To help you price your cakes, I can’t say enough good things about this software:

http://www.cakeboss.com/Default.aspx

I didn’t realize how much I was undercharging till I started using it.

Delectable Dezzerts by Amina ...

It’s soo good to hear all the different opinions and experiences. I’m in the same boat. I started my business about 3 years ago and have done alot of marketing (FREE ofcourse) to get the word out. I created a facebook page and a twitter login. I have come across clients who value what I do and the time I put into doing it and I’ve also come across clients who want everything for a very minimal cost. Initially I was very flexible with everyone and then i realized that I was putting alot of money and time into this and not making any profit at all. I also have a fulltime job so I do alot of advertising at work as well..(mostly by making baked goods and taking it in..yes i know..another Free marketing source) but I guess starting out you will be putting in more money than making out of it. Good Luck to all :)

LaWanda ...

I understand exactly what you are going through. I started doing custom cakes in June of this year, and I feel that I am not selling my cakes at the right price. What everyone does not realize that it takes time, and money to make a custom cake. So clients try to get me to sell a 3d cakr for $50.00, and I think that is way under budget to sell a custom cake.