For all of my cake career, I thought my cakes were ridiculously overpriced, and I couldn’t afford to order one from myself. Nor would I want to. I even think there are some supermarket cakes which are pretty delicious and I’m glad they are inexpensive. I don’t like cake that much.
My clients regularly paid in the several hundreds of dollars for birthday cakes. For five-year olds who apparently don’t really eat cake anyway.
My Mom will buy a pair of shoes for $500 and not bat an eyelash.
I think the most expensive shoes I’ve EVER bought were about $150 (and those were tennis shoes.)
Why is that?
Money is a funny thing isn’t it? We love it, hate it, blame it for our failures, do desperate things in pursuit of it…and we attribute all of this emotion to piles of paper (or in Australia, plastic.) Love it or hate it, money makes our world go around and if we’re going to be in (or stay in) business, we’ve got no choice but to learn to deal with it. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years learning about money blocks – which are the feelings we have towards money that have an impact on the way we do business. For example, if we think, “All rich people are greedy,” that might make us less inclined to price our work highly, because we think to make more than we “need” makes us into greedy people. Or if we think, “I wouldn’t know what to do with all that money!” we might keep out business small, even if we can see ways to make it grow and prosper. The way we think about money has a direct impact on the way we do business.
The interesting thing here is, we make assumptions that OUR issues with money are the exact SAME ones our clients might have, when truthfully they have their own! Because we wouldn’t pay what we charge, we assume they won’t want to either. Let me show to you how ridiculous this way of thinking is.
Every time we walk into a shopping mall or store, we look at things on shelves and think, “There’s no way I’d pay that!” …and yet, the stores still seem to have enough people happily buying. Every time we try on a shirt and think, “I like it, but I don’t like it for $80,” and we leave it in the dressing room, there’s someone else who buys it. For every person who thinks a price is ridiculous, there’s someone else who thinks it’s just right or it’s a bargain.
Just because you or your friends think, “There’s no way I’d pay that for a cake,” this does not mean your customers think like that. You don’t know their story. You don’t know how much the cake means to them, the reasons why they are ordering instead of baking it themselves, where else they have gotten quotes from, what their total event budget is or what they might be willing to pay you (or anyone). It’s a mistake to make up a story in your head about how much they are willing or able to pay BEFORE knowing anything about them.
Too often we are afraid to give proper quotes because we think, “Surely nobody would pay THAT MUCH for a cake!” Or we think they will reject us based only on the price we give.
And yet haven’t you thought that same thing about shoes, clothes, make-up, concert tickets? And aren’t those things still being sold?
Stop assuming that NOBODY would pay that for a cake. Someone does, and someone will.
Your job is to make sure they want to pay that to you.