Pricing cakes isn’t just about numbers. That may sound strange but when you’re pricing a product that you personally make, so much more comes into play than just the cold hard figures. Creating a cake is an emotional experience. Normally one of love, joy and excitement, yet we all know that resentment, anger and tears can go into one or two of them as well (shhh, I won’t tell the clients if you don’t!). So when it comes to pricing we often inflict our feelings/ inner thoughts, into how much we charge. Let’s look at the four most common reasons why us women find it hard to price our cakes.
1. The confidence thing::
Confidence. Would you say you’re confident? Do you believe in yourself? Do you value your work? Do you believe people will pay for your work? A confident person would say yes, and no it’s not being arrogant, it’s simply believing in yourself and believing that you are a business woman who is creating a successful cake business.
When it comes to pricing your cakes, as well as looking confident you have to actually feel it too. This can be hard to master when you’re first starting out but it is something that you can naturally build as time goes on. Though to get there faster I recommend faking it until you make it
• Give yourself a feel good boost
Constantly tell yourself that you are a successful cake business owner and that your customers are extremely happy to pay your prices. Shout about your prices out loud so that you feel happy saying them. Say these types of sayings to yourself over and over again until you whole heartly believe them.
• Remove the hesitation from your voice when quoting a customer.
Decide how you would like to offer quotes to your customers then put a step system in place. I recommend emailing the customers, that way both parties will have the quote in writing. It will help remove the fear or hesitation from your voice when you say something like “I would love to quote you, if you could give me your name and email address I will send you over a couple of options by tomorrow”. You can then spend time creating a quote that you’re confident in charging and has profit in it, instead of plucking a figure out of the air while on the phone. This also works with in person consultations as well.
To help your confidence further you could always create a script to use on the phone or during in person consultations until the wording/phrases becomes second nature to you.
2. The Dreaded Guilt::
Guilt is interlinked with confidence and unfortunately it’s a plague that many women succumb to. We are guilty of self sabotaging our confidence, guilty of self sabotaging are worth, basically guilty of self sabotaging everything about us! (What a horrid thought!). But thankfully this can be changed.
Banishing the guilt of charging for your cakes may take a while to conquer. As often the feelings of guilt are deep down inside of us and can feel so natural that you’re not really aware of it. But once it is removed, gosh it is so much easier to charge a client for a cake, especially when you start pushing your cake prices higher and higher.
One of the ways I tackle the nagging guilt feeling is by using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I was introduced to it by my business coach, initially I thought it was all airy fairy and a load of tosh, but I have completely changed in my beliefs. It is an amazing short process that you can do anywhere and at any time. It helps you clear your mind, remove self sabotaging thoughts and feelings of guilt.
Now I am not an expert on EFT so I have found a great blog which explains about it in more detail:http://www.theenergytherapycentre.co.uk/eft-explained.htm
Once you banish the guilt I just know you will instantly become more confident in yourself when it comes to pricing your beautiful bespoke cakes.
3. The Skill Set Reason::
It’s ok not to have or know all the cake decorating skills in the world. Skills can be learnt as an when they are needed. However, not having the skill to create a certain type of cake shouldn’t stop you from quoting or evening accepting an order providing you know that it possible for you to learn in time for when the customer wants their cake.
I am a strong believer of learning on the job and often take on cakes that challenge and stretch my current skill set. Once the order is in the diary, I then get on with discovering the ‘how’ and most of the time I discover it by utilitising the power of mighty internet (mainly YouTube and Craftty.com courses).
Saying you don’t have the skills is often a block that you set yourself and it will certainly limit your growth. If you feel nervous about taking on new challenging orders that stretch your skill set, you could always:
• Advertise to your clients that you have a 6 week, 3 month, 6 month or longer lead time. This way your clients will learn that they need to book their cakes in early. Which will give you time to practise any new skills that the cake might ask for. You can do this when you first start out too, and don’t forget you can always say something like “I actually have a 3 month lead time but I am just looking through the diary now and I do have a last minute space available for your date next week” – (Only say that is you can do it and want to take the order on!)
• Be honest with the client and tell them it is a skill you have never used. You will be surprised at how many people still want to go ahead with the order.
• You have been honest with the customer about your skill set and you’re still not feeling too confident about creating the cake using a skill you have never tried. Then price the cake at the maximum you would charge and if the cake is quicker for you to make than anticipated, give them the price difference back in cash. I promise you, you will have a client for life if you do that.
4. Not Understanding Where Your Business Is Heading::
A lot of women are not really sure where there business is heading. They have a vague ambition. But it often never really seems achievable. Remember you are a businesswoman and with the correct steps in place you can accomplish your goals no matter how big or small. The important thing is:
• Know what your end/ultimate goal is
• Price your cakes to help you get there
The bigger your goal the more crucially it is to add a pure profit percentage, otherwise how will your goal be realised? Where will the money come to build this goal? This pure profit is essentially the building blocks for growing your business.
It can be nerve racking sharing your ultimate goal but if it is something you truly want, then start telling people about it. The more people you tell, the more of a reality it will become. After all you never know who might be able to help you in some way or another.
I hope this little mini series has helped you with your pricing dilemmas. The important thing to remember is you are not on your own when it comes to finding pricing difficult. At some stage all of us cake makers have faced these issues. Just be mindful that when you are pricing your cakes, you are pricing for you and your cake business only.