Business Is Slow… now what?

ConfusedInCakeland

Confused in Cakeland is the series that answers your personal questions – got a question? Email it to me and have it featured in the next installment!

Hi Michelle,

I have a home based custom cake design company. I bake, decorate and clean all by myself. In the beginning everything was a lil slow. Then I started marketing my work on Facebook and Instagram and the orders started pouring in. But now about 1 year later, my business has gone down by a considerable amount. So much that I’m sitting idle at home for more than a week in between a single order. And that really doesn’t feel great. I’m really worried that my business won’t work out. Considering the amount of bakers coming up literally every minute ? Help!

Thanks,

Home Based Betty

 

Hey there HBB,

It’s kinda heartbreaking when business is slow, isn’t it? We start to feel like a failure, like this business was a bad idea, like the competition is sucking all the clients away from us. I’m sending you a hug of understanding but in the meantime…

The good news is that since you’ve had plenty of orders in the past, your work (unless it’s changed significantly for the worse) is good enough that people want to buy it! The bad news is, it sounds like you have not done much in the way of marketing your business other than those two social media channels. While I’m a fan of using social media, they can’t be your only marketing channels. What worked so well a year ago won’t work as well now because: 1) there are more people out there doing what we do on those same platforms, and 2) those crazy algorithms make it harder to reach potential customers, and 3) you haven’t changed anything about what you’re doing, even though the industry and the platforms have changed significantly.

I think it’s time for a good hard look at your business, and you’ve got to ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What am I doing to stand out from the competition? (What makes your business stand out from the others? Product? Service? Other stuff?)
  2. To get new clients: How do I communicate that to people who might like to buy from me? (How would someone who wants what you can offer even know you exist in the first place? How do people find you?)
  3. To keep existing ones: I reminding my clients that I’m here for other occasions, or do they order from me and then forget about it because they never hear from me?

Once you’ve answered those – time to get it out there and market, market, MARKET that lil’ biz of yours. As your business grows and changes, your marketing should be growing and changing too – marketing is both constant and constantly evolving.  I think many of us don’t realise what a sales-based job we’ve got. We love to make cake but forget that we need to sell it in order to be able to make it, and while marketing can make you feel kinda gross, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Think of marketing as the means by which you get to do more of what you love.

Betty, you might also want to have a look at my Confident Marketing class – it’s super fun, easy to do, and will give you a boost forward as you get your business back on track.

Sell it, sister!

Love and sprinkles,

Michelle

2 comments on “Business Is Slow… now what?

  1. I have a question about starting a home cake business. Is there a way to find out what is necessary in your space – without putting up a red flag that I do this from home. I am going to be legal, it will take time. As I’m typing this I feel stupid, however I’m going to keep going. Can I register my business (I live in Ontario, Canada) so I have my business number and it will help around tax time. Or do I have to wait until my space is all just right. It could take me another year to 1.5 yrs to get to this point. I would like to have a website and not just my facebook page – however I don’t have a business license. Any information would be greatly appreciated. yours in cake Pam

    1. Pam,

      First step is to check with your local municipality on what the rules are for your area. Once you know what is needed you can make decisions about what steps to take. 🙂 If you haven’t already done so, I’d also reach out to someone who is already in business locally and see if they can give you some friendly guidance as to the process. 🙂

      Michelle

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