BLOGS BY JANE TAYLOR | BUSINESS ADVICE | LEARN HOW TO
This was something that took me sometime to streamline and perfect!
Sounds crazy as you’d think ‘well just write it in your diary?’ Yes it is as simple as that if you are at home and you have your diary to hand!
There were many occasions when I would get an order enquiry come through via a phone call! If you’re out and busy with errands, it’s very easy to forget the fact you have an order to pop in the diary when you get home! Especially if you have ankle biters, sorry, children, or are going through menopause where you forget you even have children or what your own name is!!!
So, to stop someone knocking at your door saying they’ve come to collect their order and your heart sinks through floor, all colour draining from your face as you realise straight away you’ve ballsed up!! As the phone call is happening, put the phone on speaker and use the NOTES app on your phone and have a folder for ‘orders’! Write it straight in as they order. This changed my fear everyday of my door bell ringing and pooping myself because I didn’t have a customer due to collect! Phew 😥
So that’s one scenario dealt with!
As well as having a diary to put all of my orders in, I also put it in my phone as well.. just as a back up and again to stop anxiety.
The diary I use is an A4 diary with a page for each day! Having a diary with multiple dates on one page becomes complicated and you can end up getting in a right old tizzy. When you look at your diary it makes you panic because it looks like you have millions of orders to do and your blood pressure immediately hikes. By having one page for each date makes it clearer to see what your week ahead is looking like.
When writing orders in my diary I ALWAYS put the customers order in my diary for the day before they want to collect! The cakes are still super fresh and it means you are not piping under pressure, or clock watching because you know any minute the customer is due to collect and you’ve only piped 2 flowers. This is not nice for anyone, you don’t want that pressure and nor do you want your customer getting annoyed because their cakes aren’t ready! It’s also very unprofessional! Remember you are your brand!
Lateness is a massive ‘No, No’ for me personally whether it’s in a business capacity or social life! DO NOT BE LATE.. it’s darn rude and disrespectful. The end….
By piping all of your orders the day before, you have all day to complete your orders with no pressure! If the customer has given you free reign on a cupcake bouquet use that time to experiment with new flowers and new designs! Win, win 🥇
Note * remember when photographing your work to take photo of each stage! Flat lay on a tray! Different angles and then once constructed into a cupcake bouquet 💐 again photograph different angles. Gives you a huge library of images you can use at different times for content on your social media platforms! Also video each stage, perfect for reels on Instagram.
REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS AND YOU ARE IN CHARGE
If a customer asks you for something you know you can’t do, say so! Offer an alternative! Or if the colour scheme they are asking for does not work! If they insist then fine just don’t take any photos 🤣
If they are asking for a date that you cannot do, don’t cave! All it will do is make the customer be quicker next time. Don’t miss out on time with your family because someone has forgotten their child’s birthday! Even though they’ve known for an ENTIRE YEAR it’s their child’s birthday.
Be firm with your collection times. Don’t leave it open ended, for example, I’m in from 9-1?? You will be constantly watching the door and be on edge. And I can guarantee you they will turn up at 1.05.
I always drop my customers a text that morning or the evening before to say
‘Just to confirm your appointment at 9am prompt to collect your cupcake bouquet’
If they don’t turn up on time I allow my customers a 15 minute window. Then I go out! Don’t wait around, send another text saying ‘please contact me to arrange a collection time that is suitable for me’ not them.
Or leave their order in a plastic box with a lid at your front door!
I cannot stress this enough, take FULL payment upon ordering. No deposits!! Why? It’s more admin for you chasing payments and checking your bank to see if they’ve paid the deposit and then paid the balance! What if they don’t pay the balance and they are due to collect that morning? What do you do!
I state to my customers, I will confirm your order once full payment has been received! Then I pop the customers order in my diary. Simples….
NO PAYMENT! NO PIPING!!
DEALING WITH BIG EVENTS
Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Father’s Day, thanks giving, Eid the list goes on…
These are your most profitable dates for your diary! So get ahead of yourself and on the 1st January write them all down in your diary in CAPITALS. So you know not to take on other orders.
Remember to allow yourself the week before big events to prep! Baking your cupcakes, making your 3 billion Kgs of buttercream,assembling the bows, cups, tissue paper, cellophane and cards.
There’s a reason for this:
If you say have 50 orders for Mother’s Day and 2 or 3 other random orders it’s an absolute nightmare!
For any big event I offer two designs that is it. The reason I do this is so you can pipe multiples of the same flower and same colour! You use less piping bags and you can get a real conveyor belt system going. Keep it simple! Don’t include wrist killers in your two designs, don’t include time consuming flowers. Not profitable and you will damage your wrists.
You WILL have customers say ‘I love the design but I wanted it in yellow! NO! These are the two designs I am offering for Mother’s Day! They will always say yes so don’t cave. You gotta love a trier!!
I do the same for all other events,
Offer two designs! I also only offer 7 and 12 cupcake bouquets 💐
I have also added some (hopefully) helpful PDF downloads for you here –
I prepare everything the week before so I am ready for those two days. Then stick your music on and pipe away.
Remember to stay hydrated, remember to eat! And if by chance you become overwhelmed put your piping bag down and go and have a cup of tea, or wine! Ground yourself and say ‘ I can do this!’
If you have freezer space you could get ahead of yourself pipe and freeze your decorated cupcakes either into a cupcake box or straight into a bouquet!
Just remember to take them out a few hours before your customers collect. This does not affect the texture or the taste of your cupcakes. It’s a game changer!
The beauty of successfully completing your first big event is any orders or busy days you have after seem a breeze!
Remember to take notes from your first big event!
Could you of taken on more orders?
Did you take on too many orders?
Where the collections time right?
Where the flowers I chose too fiddly?
That way you know what to change for your next big event that will benefit you and the customer.
I hope this has helped you? Let me know in the comments.