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The Secrets to Taking Orders in Your Home Baking Business

Taking orders at the beginning of your home baking business is exciting but scary! So many bakers get nervous, wondering if they are getting all the information that they need. They are even more scared that the client will say the dreaded words… NO! Taking orders in your business does not need to be scary. Here are some tips to help make the order-taking process as smooth as possible. 


The Secrets to Taking Orders in Your Home Baking Business

 

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What to do when taking orders: 


Stick to your instincts:


Reminder: 


This is your business, not theirs. The customer is not always right. 


We have all heard the saying the customer is always right. Of course, we all agree; when we are the customers! But when you are on the other end you know that customers are not always right.



For example: 


A customer might send a photo of a cake that has a design that will only work with fondant but they insist that they don’t like fondant.


The customer wants a large wedding cake with whipped cream frosting. In the summer. For an outdoor wedding. A recipe for disaster. 


As a professional, you have to find the best way to complete or adjust their vision to give them the best possible outcome. In the end, they will be much happier with a cake that is standing than one with melted whipped cream. 


You have to trust your instincts for what will be best for the order and stick to it. 



But at the same time: 


Be open-minded to suggestions: 


I said to trust your instincts but you also have to be able to provide a good customer experience. A good experience is a key part of whether people will reorder from you or not.



Be open to suggestions whether that’s flavor combinations or decor. Showing your client that you want to make their order special for them is so valuable. 


No bargaining:


Bargaining is not allowed. If you are a people pleaser this will be hard. I have to admit I am too nice and always want to help people out. But at the end of the day, it is a business. 9 times out of 10 when I accepted that lower pay I did not enjoy making the cake, I felt underpaid, undervalued, and over-annoyed! So now I stick to my pricing! 



But at the same time: 


Downsell:


Instead of bargaining, down-sell. We are not discounting our work. We are offering more affordable options that will work within their budget. 


For example, if a wedding cake quote is higher than they expected you can down-sell in a few ways. 


Let them know that:

- real flowers will be more affordable than edible flowers 

- fake cake tiers are more affordable than real 

- cupcakes are the cheapest option 


By down-selling you can still obtain the order but be paid fairly. This way you both win. Your client can stay within their budget, and you can create an order that won’t make you cry about how little you are being paid. 




Take a non-refundable deposit:


Always take a non-refundable deposit. ALWAYS. Never I repeat never start on a cake until you have been paid. Never buy any supplies for a cake until you have been paid. 


A non-refundable deposit is so important because things happen, people change their minds, plans change, or they say yes to the cake and the price just to ghost you right after. (Yes I made a last-minute cake for Thanksgiving, didn’t take payment and they never came to get it) 


With baking you can only do so much. So by taking on an order that means you are possibly saying no to others. If they end up not paying you then you are not only missing out on the pay from that order but from potential orders as well. That is not fair to you. When you explain this to customers they always are very understanding.




Be courteous and professional: 


Of course, be courteous and professional. Don’t assume that the clients know a lot about your business. With social media, it is easy to think that everyone sees our posts, sees what kind of items we make, sees our highlights that say how to order, and our disclaimers. The truth is they probably didn’t see it. 


Remember that creating a great customer experience is what makes customers come back. It is so much easier to have a business with repeat clients. 


Be organized 


It is very important to be organized. When it is time to make the order you do not want to be searching everywhere for the details. The best way to do this is with an order form. (Like the one I have for free here



As you talking to a client get as many details as possible and follow along with your order form to make sure you are not forgetting anything. 


My favorite way to be organized is by using both my order forms and Honeybook. I put all of my order forms in a binder in order of their due date but I also have everything saved electronically. 



Invoices: 


Honeybook has the ability to create invoices. For every order, make sure to include all of the details of the order on the invoice. This is important because if anything is miscommunicated they will most likely catch the error on the invoice. It can also take payments automatically making sure you don’t have to reach out and ask for your payments every time. 




Calendar: 


Honeybook automatically connects to my calendar as well. As soon as I create a project it will show up on my phone's calendar app. I also love that it sends reminders for a week before the order is due. That way you can make sure you have all the supplies you need in time. 



Policies:


When taking orders it is a great time to point your clients to your policies and disclaimers. You can do this by asking them to look at a story highlights or sending them a photo that has all the details. If you have no idea what to add to your policies and disclaimers make sure to read this next where I tell you all the most important policies to implement in your business. 






Now you know how to take orders for your home baking business with ease. Stay organized and be confident! Don’t forget to check out my free order forms here. Let me know if you have any questions on how to grow your home baking business!

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