Any Suggestions?

My alter-ego spends her time in the kitchen.

She bakes, she makes decorations for cakes and cupcakes, she tastes, she tests.

She loves it.

She also spends a fair amount of time answering email inquiries about cakes and cupcakes, and sending out quotes and invoices. She answers questions about costs and makes suggestions and comes up with ideas.

She mostly loves it.

Sometimes she wishes she could afford to pay someone to handle this side of things…

Something she’s battling with a bit is when people ask for an example of a decoration before they order it formally. If its something she’s never made before, she’ll want to make one just to see if she can, but the first attempt at something is usually at least a couple of hours’ work. The amount of work is mostly what determines the cost of a decoration. Asking a potential customer to pay for that one decoration will most likely cost both parties more in bank charges than anything else… but she doesn’t want to work for free. See, doing the example anyway means she runs the risk of the client not liking the result or the price, and then she won’t get paid…

What should she do?

What would you do?

8 thoughts on “Any Suggestions?

  1. I’ve never had my own business before, and wouldn’t have a clue. But I would love to flood you with questions on cupcake making tips. I’m not a very good baker all the way around, but I’m sure my boys would love it if I tried a little harder. I do wish we lived closer… I’d be your free helper!!

  2. The girls above have the price stuff advice, but coming from an industry where people don’t take on any worth without “experience samples” of what they can expect, I feel a customer is entitled to asking the same of you.

    I would recommend doing the sample and upping the cost of that particular order.

    SheBee recently posted…Southern Sun is giving away tickets to Riverdance!My Profile

  3. Rebecca said it best ๐Ÿ™‚ We also do alot of “free samples” – you need to build it in to your price somehow and once you have done the new thing you have it to add to your “portfolio” – which is a good thing as it increases what you can show people ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I agree with the girls above, but what I would do is not increase all my cupcake prices (so you stay as competitive as possible), but to increase for specials – so say put categories to standard decorated and special decorated.
    cat@juggling act recently posted…Silly billysMy Profile

  5. I was going to recommend what The Jackson Files already said. Factor it back into the cost of their total order. And I guess if you find you are doing a lot of these but the people don’t actually end up ordering from you after that, then work it into your overall cost for every order as a buffer.
    phillygirl recently posted…Byleveld by Hanlie RetiefMy Profile

  6. You have to cost it into the price of your cupcakes, whether they ask for a sample or not. We give masses of samples away for free for displays etc – but we work it into our margins.
    Maybe time for a little price increase?
    the jackson files recently posted…FauxhawkMy Profile

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