While I felt I had solid experience in the service industry and was used to talking to customers (difficult, drunk ones at times while I managed a nightclub) when it came to taking cake orders in my own business I had a bit of a learning curve. So here are some of the things I have learnt along the way on this undeniably important process.
Be prepared and take control
The best way to do this is ask lots of questions. You will also be sure to get some vital information. Things like:
How many people are you looking to serve? What is the occasion? Make a list of questions or even an ordering sheet so you have something to refer to and can avoid getting flustered or forgetting anything.
Know your prices
Even if you are taking an order for an entirely bespoke cake, work out prices for some standard cake sizes so you have something to work from. We do 7", 9" and 12". And if you’re not sure go away and work it out. Never make up a number on the spot!
Make the most of the sale
A great way to do this is create a few choices according to the customer’s specifications. A standard option, then something a bit more sophisticated and a super-duper luxury version. This approach helps you get the best sale without being pushy. Don’t agree to something you’re not comfortable with. - This is difficult at the beginning when your sales are mainly through word of mouth and can be friends and family. If it’s not profitable or beneficial to your business don’t do it. Know your limits.
Get your customers details and build up a database. Any way you can stay in contact and create a continuing relationship should bring your more sales. Send out a newsletter, pictures of your recent creations or new products. Smile & listen - Ordering a cake for a special occasion should be fun! Make sure you make it a pleasurable process for your customer.
Happy baking and business making!
About Emily Johnson
CakeBlogger Emily Johnson runs Upsy Daisy Bakery in Hammersmith and was winner of the National Cupcake Championships 2012.