How to Keep Your Calendar Full – Five Tips for Getting Orders All Year Long
Home-bakers and cake businesses alike often ask how they can keep their calendars full all year round. Bakers struggle with keeping the momentum going in their businesses with a steady stream of orders. They also talk about the ebb and flow of their clients–feast or famine–and want to know how to keep the calendar full with cake orders. One important element to remember is that anything you do to market your cake business, or implement today, generally won’t show up until 1-3 months into the future. What that means is that clients are not instant. Potential clients have to first learn about your company, compare you to other businesses, decide they want to work with you, and be confident in your product before they will pay you and become a new client.
There are exceptions to this rule, such as running a sale or promotion, but generally you will not see a return on your efforts until sometime in the future. If it is a wedding client, that timeframe can often extend to six months or longer. So what exactly does this mean? It means that you need to constantly market and promote your custom cakes, cookies, and desserts all year round, even during the slow periods. Here are five tips to help you keep your calendar full.
- Be consistent in your efforts. You cannot expect a promotion to be successful by only announcing it one time. Schedule promotions and announce them on your website/blog, social media, and in your newsletter. (What? You don’t have a newsletter? Add that to your to do list!)
- Be proactive in seeking out new business. Don’t wait for clients to come to you, go out and find them. Networking, marketing, advertising, and promoting your business is how you will find new clients.This leads into the next key point.
- Ask for referrals. The best way to find new clients is to ask your former clients. They know, like, and trust your business and may know someone else that is looking for you. Don’t forget to ask your vendor network for repeat business as well. Everyone has a birthday, or knows someone celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. Again, It’s important to be consistent.
- Use Facebook to your advantage. One of the great things about Facebook is that many of the core features, such as Facebook Pages, are designed to help the small business owner. You can find brand new clients in your area for free. If you pay for advertising, you are still reaching clients in your local, geographic area for very little expense. Facebook used in conjunction with your website could transform your business.
- Network with other vendors. Do you know at least one florist, photographer, musician, party planner, or venue owner? If you don’t, it’s time to put yourself out there and start introducing yourself. Creating relationships with other vendor can help you gain referrals for your business. By getting to know others, you can help each other out and form partnerships that benefit both parties. This does take time, so don’t expect anything to happen immediately.
Keeping your calendar full all year round ensures that your business will grow and last for many years to come. With the tips and strategies we outlined, you can expect to see a transformation in your business as long as you stay consistent in your efforts. Start today and track your progress every 3-6 months and you will start to see the changes over time. Eventually you will notice the gaps in your calendar that once bothered you, are now filled with clients.
Did you experience this is your business? What are other ways you keep your baking calendar full? Comment below and share with other bakers your key to sweet success.
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