Now… don’t get me wrong. I love love love cupcakes. I love them in their mini, single-bite deliciousness all the way to their “say goodbye to my skinny jeans” jumbo sizes and everything in between.
For me, being able to get them in at least 10 different shops (not including grocery stores) near my house is amazing. But for the owners of those bakeries, competing with 9 other shops in a small-ish town like mine is a nightmare.
They struggle with the delicate balance of keeping fresh treats stocked, and having too many left over that go to the trash because they didn’t sell.
So… how do you really get those cupcakes off the shelves and into the homes of your customers?
I know… there’s only so many ways you can make a cupcake. But your recipes aren’t the only thing that makes you different, there’s a lot more to you than that.
- The most obvious… you’re you, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through
- Don’t be afraid to change it up… you need to stock some regular flavors, but don’t be afraid to try some really unique tastes that change every day or week. Even if they aren’t everyone’s favorite flavor, they will get people talking.
- Step outside the cupcake box. Make some pies, cakes, homemade breads, jellies… whatever you are passionate about baking.
- Do seasonal with flair. St. Patrick’s day is coming up, and EVERYONE will be doing green cupcakes. Set yourself apart and do something different that stands out.
- Make your own holidays… it’s fun, it gets people talking, and it’s a great way to get sales flowing during slow times… http://www.fastcompany.com/3040120/most-creative-people/forget-christmas-or-hanakah-betabrand-has-its-own-holidays
Make It Easy To Know & Love You
We’re in the internet age… and yet soooo many of the local shops still aren’t getting themselves online. If I want to know what they have that day, I’m forced to go down and stop in. While I know and love talking to my local shop owners, that can be discouraging for first-time shoppers.
Faced with the unknown, they will often go the easy route and hit up their local grocery store for their sweet tooth fix.
Being online can be a simple way to set yourself apart from the other shops around you. Just keep a few things in mind.
If budget is a concern, then use a cheap site builder to get a website up quickly. You can use something like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.com If you have more of a budget, then you can get a local website firm to help you out and you can get a more customized design.
Whichever route you go, make sure your site has a few key things:
- Your Hours Of Operation
- A list of your regular products
- A place for you to list specials or make other announcements (like, “Final call to get your orders in before Valentine’s day”)
- Your phone number
- Your address (and any special instructions if you have odd parking, or your storefront isn’t visible from the road)
- Some Frequent Questions & Answers (FAQs), such as “Do you make special orders?” “How far ahead do I need to order?”
- If you have a contact form, test and make sure you get the emails from it, and make sure to check those regularly and reply within 24 hours
Get on Facebook…
This is a great way for people to connect with you, find out about daily specials, see photos of your desserts, and share you with their friends and family
- Just make sure you set up your cover photo and profile photo so they stand out. You don’t have to be a designer, you can use Canva to help: http://www.impactbnd.com/blog/how-to-use-canva-to-create-an-original-facebook-cover-photo
Don’t be afraid to learn, to grow, and to thrive. You are making cupcakes because you’re passionate about them, so don’t loose sight of that as your business has the ups, downs, and growing pains that all small business owners face.