I follow lots of bakery pages and young decorators on Facebook. Lately, I’ve started to notice something that bothers me. When I am coordinating with a friend for dinner, we often text back and forth. That is how many of you do business. You may never actually speak to your client in person until they pick up the cake. Only then do you realize that there was a miscommunication and that you have done the order wrong or that they did not understand what you told them.
When I had my bakery, I absolutely refused to take orders by email. I cannot even comprehend taking orders by text. We made customers come in or call so that we could be sure that we both understood the order. I understand that many of you work from home and don’t want people coming there to order. Fine. Establish posted business hours. Stick to them and speak with your customers over the phone.
If you are going to text or email your customers, for God’s sake, please write in proper English and not text speak. I see many decorators post screen shots of conversations that look completely unprofessional. You are not a teenage girl making a date to go to the mall…you are running a BUSINESS. If people have not been treating you with respect in this profession, you might look to see if it is because of your own actions.
Home bakeries will get more prevalent with the influx of Cottage Food Laws being adopted across the US. To compete with store front bakeries, you need to act as they do. Get a good order form. Establish ordering procedures. Communicate in a businesslike manner.
I know that the world today is different than when I first opened my shop, but some things will not change. If you want to be successful, look and see what the successful people are doing. The best bakeries are NOT sending text messages back and forth with their customers. Please, please, please start doing business like a business person!