TIPS FOR CREATING STAND-OUT BUSINESS CARDS

 Chances are, one of the first bits of marketing  you will get yourself once you start up your baking business, is a business card.  They are easy to carry around with you wherever you go, you can hand them out to friends and family, pin them on notice boards, leave them in local shops or even use them in your packaging by attaching them to your cake boxes.  They also have the benefit of being affordable and there are many sites out there that make it easy to design your own or use a template.

 With business card production being totally accessible to all, it can sometimes mean that good design of is forgotten.  I don’t want that to happen to you, so if you are planning on using a ‘design your own service’ for your cards….read on!

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DESIGN - BEHIND THE SCENES: KERIZCAKES

A few weeks ago I handed over my most recent design project to Kerry of Kerizcakes, and I’m absolutely delighted with the way her new logo and branding turned out.  Kerry was looking to create a new look for her home-based cake and cupcake business so she could start to build up a more recognisable image and more professional look.

As always the first step for clients is to answer a short questionnaire to give me a better understanding of their business before I get started, and I also ask that they start collecting images into a Pinterest board to help with my initial ‘Inspiration Board’ layout.  Some of the words Kerry used to descibe her business were modern, stylish and classy and she had also been Pinning a lot of purples, golds and florals, all of which I took through into the final board.

Following some further discussion I then went on to create three black and white logo options based upon the questionnaire and inspiration images.

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HOW TO BRAND YOUR BAKING BUSINESS

The key to success for any cake or baking business is making the most delicious and beautiful products around.  That is definitely true.  However, it can make things a lot easier if your business ‘brand’ makes the task of selling your cakes, a whole lot easier.

Great products will sell themselves, but only once people know about them, and in the noisy, advertising-filled world we live it, standing out from the crowd can be tricky.  That’s why having a recognisable brand is really important to making sure you become people’s go-to seller.  See, branding doesn’t just apply to big chains and nationwide bakers, it’s important for small and home-based businesses too.

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9 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BAKING BUSINESS ORGANISED

Keeping on top of all aspects of your business can be tricky, especially when the orders are rolling in.  That’s why having systems in place to maintain order and to allow you to work as quickly as possible are key.  Today I’m going to look at three tips in three different areas of your business - customers, money and your kitchen.  Hopefully these will help reduce your stress and making running your awesome baking business a total breeze!

CUSTOMERS

Keep all communication in one place.  
If people are getting in touch with you by all manner of methods, with some enquiries coming through your Facebook page, a few being made by text message, the odd phone call and some face to face, you are bound to get confused and lose track of something.  
When customers are placing orders, or even making an enquiry, encourage them to use just one form of communication.  My preference is e-mail, as you can organise your e-mails into folders to allow each different order to stay separate and easy to access. Even if they make that initial contact by message, ask them to put all of the details down in an email, this will allow you to keep a record of everything they ask for.
To help with this, you can direct all of your enquiries coming from your website straight to your business email account and you can add a big blue button to your Facebook business page that will direct people straight to an email enquiry, rather than being tempted by the FB messaging feature.

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DESIGN - CAKES AT NO. 9

Before Christmas I wrapped up a design project for a local cake business, Cakes at No. 9, based in Cromarty in the north of Scotland.  The client was looking for a full revamp of her business image, which meant new logo and branding, along with a website, business cards and social media designs.  

The business was moving away from taking general orders to focus on high end bespoke orders, particularly wedding cakes, and the branding had to reflect that shift. 

The first step when working with clients is to send them through a questionnaire about their business and how they see their branding.  I also ask them to start collating images that they like, which are either directly or indirectly related to their business, on Pinterest or through a Google Drive folder - this helps me to build up a picture of what they are looking for in their new brand design and what will best suit their business.

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MARKETING - GROWING YOUR BAKING BUSINESS

To successfully grow your baking business takes work, of course, all the best things do.  However it is important to ensure the work you are putting into your business is in the right areas so you can be as efficient with you time as possible.

Unfortunately, to grow a profitable baking business it’s not enough to bake the best cakes in your area - you need everyone to know they are the best and be desperate to buy them.  This takes some time and effort spent on marketing your business.  Now, I completely understand how unnatural it can feel to promote your own own, I used to hate it, but I did understand that it had to be done because if I’m not going to shout about how wonderful I am...who is?  Next week on the blog there will be a full post with the best ways to feel good about promoting yourself - so keep an eye out for that.

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MARKETING: HOW CUSTOMERS SEE YOUR BAKING BUSINESS

Today I’m asking you to consider how you are presenting your business to your customers.  This covers many different aspects of your business, but is basically anywhere that your customers get an impression of you and your bakery.  We are going to specifically focus on the following four areas, but this can apply anywhere in your business:

  • Online - website & social media

  • Correspondance

  • Face to face meeting

  • Packaging

The above list forms a general order of how people will come into contact with your business, go on to interact with you, place an order and, finally, receive the goods.  Often, when business owners are busy with the actual ‘thing’ they are supplying to their customers, the public face of your business can be forgotten.  It is important to remember that wherever your name is printed (or your company name) you are being judged by potential customers.

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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN WORKING WITH A DESIGNER

Most people get a little anxious when doing something for the first time.  The fear of the unknown can stop you from taking steps forward, even if you know they will benefit you in the long run.

Working with a web/brand/logo designer is one of these mysterious unknowns that you might have some reservations about.  So here I’m going to run through what you can expect when you hire a designer to work with you to redesign your business branding and online spaces.  

I promise, it’s not scary and daunting and it will launch your baking business to new heights!

 

RESEARCH

Before you start working with a designer you’ll want to make sure you chose someone to work with who will completely understand your vision and who will be easy to work with.  So it’s time to do a little online stalking and the first port of call will be their website and portfolio.  Are there designs here that stand out to you or do they convey the same feeling that you want from your new brand?  If you like what you see here, do a little more digging and check out the designers blog, if they have one, and their social media accounts.  Here you will start to understand their personality a bit more and if you find yourself warming to the designer then it’s time to reach out and make an enquiry about working together.

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