Hello Cake Peeps,
If you are new to the cake world, I want to touch on the topic of your #competitors. Remember, we all start somewhere, so first, I'd like to say, don't get discouraged. Finding your footing in this business will take time.
When I began, there was no #internet. I relied on the person who taught me the basics of #cake #decorating for when I had any questions. Your cake #friends will not give out their "secrets to their #success for #free, or maybe at all," but they will always be there for you if you need a bit of general advice and can not find the answer anyplace else. People know when you are genuinely in need and not just using them for free information. And lastly, on this subject, don't become a pest.
THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE
In the beginning, my skills, in no way, made me a threat to my mentors' #company, and I was very aware of that. Later, when my skills got better, we made a point never to undercut each other. If I saw a bride that first went to her, I'd always say, "if you decide to go with (insert name here), you can't go wrong, but I'd also be delighted if you selected me." If I got the business, I could sleep at night, knowing I didn't try to steal work away from her. Knowing your limits and specialty will tell you who your competitors are. Take your ego out of the equation, and you can see things clearly and without emotion.
I needed the help of a fellow caker was when I fell and hurt my back. I asked them to do my #baking for me, and that I would return a favor when they needed one. I decorated my cakes, but the baking part was a huge help. I, in turn, delivered one of her cakes while she was leaving for vacation. Keep on friendly terms; you will need each other at some point in time.
When gathering your #pricing information, do not use what you have learned against your local competitors. If you undercut their pricing, you will make enemies fast, and this is no way to start a business. But instead, use this information as a guide for you to know what your local economy will stand for as far as pricing goes. I am currently working on a Blog that will be titled pricing, so stay tuned for that.
If you are going to make #custom cakes, Supermarkets may or may not be your competitors; this depends on the type of work for which you want to be known. They can do quality work at a meager price. In the beginning, I lost a lot of 'call-in' business to these superstores. But they were not the customers I was striving for, so, therefore, these stores were not my competitors. I had a higher-end & repeat customer foundation. Know who your actual competitors are!
Do not steal another cake persons' design and call it your own. Always try and contact the original designer for permission. If unable to do so, always give credit where credit is due. Word will spread very fast in the social media arena about who is posting who's #photos as their own, and your company may not be able to come back from that, so always do the right thing.
Encourage two-way #referrals. You can not make every cake that comes your way, or there may be a cake that is to complex for you. There may be times when you need to refer an #order over to a competitor. They also will do this for you, hopefully. Keep a mental track of who does and who doesn't return a favor and adjust your referrals accordingly.
You will find some of the #kindest and #friendliest people in the cake decorating world, and you may develop long-lasting friendships, as I have. Yes, your fellow bakers are your competitors, but they can also become your friends, and one day you may need them. You will also run into each other at cake events or maybe even in classes, so always stay on friendly terms. Look for other bakers in your regional cake clubs. Join them and go to the meetings and form sweet friendships!
Keep on, caking on!