Pricing: What do you do when it comes to pricing your bespoke handmade cakes for friends and family?
I started thinking about this question the other day when I had to do exactly that. I know pricing in the cake community is a big challenge and when these requests come in it can be even harder!
I had two orders from two different friends who were both celebrating on the same day, both big parties and both wanted a Vanilla Pod Bakery cake. Firstly, I was very excited that they came to me and asked for a cake but then a little panic crept in, I always find creating cakes for friends and family quite daunting as I tend to put way to much pressure on myself! Crazy I know! Are you the same?
Anyway, it is easy to get carried away and over excited when someone close to you requests a cake and often a default response is “Don’t be silly I wouldn’t charge you/ Of course I’ll make little Harry’s cake for free/ You’re my best friend I wouldn’t expect you to pay” (delete your go to answer here!). You’re so caught up in the design work and what you could create for that friend/family member that you completely overlook the money side!
But the truth is you are now running a business and a cake order, no matter where it comes from, is still an order.
Think of it this way, would you give the price of your cake as a cash gift or spend the equivalent money on a present for the family remember or friend who asked for it?
I am guessing you said no.
So you see you have to charge.
Although, if you did say yes, then fantastic make them the cake and give it to them as a loving gift. If it feels good to create it and give it as a present, I am totally for that. I do realise there are some exceptions to the rule but you have to be strict. As if you continue to give away every single cake you make for free, you are not going to have a business.
So how do you go about charging?
Ultimately that is for you to decide but the first thing I like to do after someone close requests a cake, is to obviously say thank you and check that you have space in your diary, but then I like to tell myself repeatedly that this person is a customer and they are happy to spend money on a bespoke cake for the their celebration.
My mantra: “So and so is a customer, and they are more than happy to spend their money on a beautiful bespoke handmade cake from my business for their celebration”
I say this in my mind until i truly believe it – sometimes it takes a few days.
Personally I have to really get into the mindset of my professional persona and out of believing that I am just their friend/daughter/mother/niece/aunt. Mindset training for me is so important, it helps me put my thoughts in order and this mantra helps me to understand that the person ordering is a genuine customer and therefore I will be treat them as a valued client.
This does take practise but the more you say the above mantra in your head the easier it will become and when you are faced with these situations you won’t devalue yourself or business.
To discount or not to discount…
After you have costed absolutely everything included for their requested cake and come up with a quote or two. You have decide if you want to charge them the full price or give them a discount.
I took the decision 3 years ago to create a unique discount for my close friends and family. I give them all a flat rate of 25% off. You could take it a step further and have a tiered discount scheme. For example, Friends get 10% off, Close Friends 20% off and Family 30% Off. That is just an idea but remember to do what feels comfortable for you.
So what did I do with my friends cake orders, well I said my mantra repeatedly and then offered them my 25% off flat rate discount. And you know what, they were so chuffed to have the discount and so excited about having a their own bespoke cake made that everyone was a winner. Woohoo.
Next time a friend or family member requests a cake from your business what are you going to charge?
Let me know how you get on.