If you're known for your fabulous cakes and you've been selling cakes to friends and family, it may be time for you to work on growing your business. Building up a small business from nothing can be very rewarding, both emotionally and financially. You don't need to hire someone to do marketing for you or invest a lot of money to see your business thrive. Here are some easy tips for growing the business you started.
You make beautiful cakes, and your friends and family have become your customers, and a few others have heard of you and ordered also. Now you're ready to grow your business. You've made a great start, now here are some tips for going to the next level.
- Encourage your buyers to become repeat customers by offering a discount on their second order. Repeat customers are loyal customers. And everybody loves to get a discount.
- Encourage your buyers to be your spokespeople. Giver them a discount for every new customer they bring you.
- Use social media. It lets you keep in touch with buyers so they remember you when they need a cake for an occasion. You can also offer special deals on social media. Most importantly, use social media to show off pictures of your fabulous cakes. Take pictures of all your cakes before you deliver them, so you can show them off later. Create social media buzz by getting customers excited about seeing your latest creations.
- Use your cake pictures to create an idea book for buys to look through. You can use clear plastic sheets with pockets to hold pictures in a binder.
- You want to look professional when you're getting customers that aren't friends and family. Business cards are the easiest way to hand out your contact information, and give you a polished appearance.
- Use food packaging to your advantage. Cake boxes with clear windows show off your creates while keeping them safe. Make sure to keep an adequate supply of food packaging supplies on hand at all times. You don't want to deliver a gorgeous cake in a used cardboard box.
- Consider every time you meet with a buyer, even if it's just dropping their order off, as a business meeting, and look the part. It shows you respect and value them as a customer. And you never know if you'll meet a potential new customer when you're out.
- Keep good records. Track all of your expenses and income, preferably in a separate business bank account. Make a habit of keeping meticulous records now, nad you'll be glad you did later.
- Change the voice mail on the phone you use for business to a professional greeting that mentions your cake business.
- Consider using a service that will allow you to accept payment by credit card. Multiple options are available. Or have the option for them to transfer money into your PayPal account. People love having the option to pay with a credit card if they want to.
- Use labels with your contact information and logo on them to seal all food packaging. This shows you're every bit as good as any professional bakery. You can buy supplies to print your own labels at office supply stores, or order them. Always keep an adequate stock on-hand.
- And most of all: be patient and tenacious. You can't grow a small business overnight. It take consistent hard work for your to build your business up.