Last week I asked my Facebook community to post a picture of their first ever cakes. I was honestly expecting to see an entire catalogue of cakes that were made from Women's Weekly cookbooks or displayed on foil-covered trays and covered with candies and plastic toys. You know, the kinds of things our Mums made for us back in the day.
Holy mazoly was I wrong about that!
Every single one of them was made with love - but a whole LOT of them had plenty of skill, too! Some people even posted "then and now" pictures with their first cake and their more recent ones...and my jaw just about hit the floor with those. First, I want to acknowledge that you are one heck of a talented bunch of people and you should all be SO proud of what you have achieved, even with that very first cake.
Second - I was reminded in seeing those pictures that this industry has changed A LOT in recent time. With the rise and rise of online schools like Craftsy and Pretty Witty Cakes, and with a whole lot more amazing cake books out there than there used to be, people are getting ever more skilled and ever more talented. The end result is that consumers are getting a WHOLE LOT MORE but paying a WHOLE LOT LESS. We all like to think that the cheap cake lady is making cake wrecks. She's isn't.
I don't think there is anyone to blame for this, not really. Those who charge less than they should do so for a whole lot of reasons - maybe they don't know how to cost things, maybe they don't consider it a business, maybe they are truly in it for the love and are thrilled to get a bit of cash in hand, maybe they simply don't know what they are worth, or maybe they think people won't pay "proper" prices because they are home based. The truth of it is, we don't know (and will never know) why people charge so little for things. I'm working on changing that - but it's going to take a while, and as each day goes past I've got a whole bunch of new people to teach. :)
|An early (and terrible) cake wreck of my own. :)|
You know the cheap cake lady? She's not necessarily the BAD cake lady. Actually, she probably doesn't even know she's cheap - or if she does, she thinks it's because she's not good enough, professional enough, or legitimate enough to charge more. As for her cakes? Yes, sure there are some cheap cake ladies who also produce crappy quality work...but there are plenty of them producing stuff which easily out-skills many of us.
Today I want to give you a bit of homework.
One, I want you to decide to stop hating on the cheap cake lady - because you know, that was all of us at some point! Teach her. Send her to this blog, or politely offer to explain pricing, or nicely answer her "what should I charge for this?" questions on social media. If YOU are the cheap cake lady (and you know it, you really do) then you can consider coming to my business class.
Second, I want you to reconsider your own business. If you cannot compete on price, and you can no longer compete on skill...what are you going to compete on?
It's the "X Factor" that ONLY YOU bring to the market which is going to keep you in business.
Being the best or being the cheapest just isn't going to cut it anymore.