Business – Spreading the word.
When you decide to go into business you spend a lot of time choosing a name, getting the official boxes ticked and practicing your recipes. What comes next often seems like a mountain to climb. Spreading the word that you are in business and building a client base.
Hopefully some of my hints and tips will be of use. Let me know how you get on.
The first thing to do is look close to home. Where does your family work? Do they have companies making deliveries for things such as books and occasional stationery from home workers? If so there is a good chance they would be interested in a cupcake or cake sale. I have been into companies at a lunch time before and sold a small selection of my range. It was like a “taster” of my work and they all went home with a postcard flyer which detailed what I could do and how to reach me if they wanted more. The sales were always a success and I would gain between 6-7 orders following the sale for things like birthday cakes and cupcakes.
The postcards I used were from Vistaprint. They are great for reasonably priced business cards and postcards. They are a great size for adding all the info of what you can do, how to reach you and possibly a photo too. Think of them as a large business card. You find lots of people will keep these for future needs as they aren’t too big to be a nuisance and they are big enough to catch their eye when stuck to the fridge or are placed on the notice board at work.
Next you could try thinking of all the places you go to on a regular basis. Many of these will hold potential customers. Look out for notice boards or a few business cards left on the side. It’s a good indicator that they are happy to help promote local businesses. In places which have staff try taking in some samples of cake to show them what you do. Then if they hold your cards they may be likely to tell anyone who picks up a card how fabulous you are.
Some places to try are: Schools; Hairdressers; Supermarket notice boards; florists; bridal shops; greeting card shops; and newsagents.
Speak to your friends. Have a tasting evening. Get each of your friends to bring someone along that you don’t know and hand out samples to them all. Use it as a chance to network and get to know everyone. Take an interest in each of your guests, you never know if they have an event they are planning or it they may work somewhere that is looking for a corporate cake for a special event.
You could have some sample designs on display and have your photo album to hand so you can show that you are able to provide something to suit every occasion.
Contact your local press. They are always looking for public interest features and in the current economic climate they are pleased to support new growth and more so when it is local. I was featured in my local press in October. They came out and talked to me about the business and what it was I did that was different. Don’t panic about being different. They will find the story angle for you, it’s their job. Make sure you have some samples of your work to show off in the photo. I decided to have both wedding cakes and cupcakes to show I could do a variety.
Just because you have been in the paper once doesn’t mean this idea isn’t useful for future marketing. Not only was I in the paper towards the end of October but I was then in again just a few weeks later when I won a bronze award at Cake International. My cake this time was a huge novelty roast dinner cake so again it showed another style of work I was able to do.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. They are things I have tried and tested and which have worked for me. I really hope they can help you boost your business and get you started. I will later share some more long term marketing ideas which will be more useful for when you need to expand. Until then these will get you started locally. Please let me know how you get on or what you think.
Until next time