Cake business was the concept for the first Let's talk meeting. The purpose of this meeting was;
To enlighten you about cake inspiration and design
To broaden your knowledge on how to brand your cake business
To give you expert advice on starting and handling a niche business
Cake Inspiration and Design
Lydia - Owner of LYNAconcepts
There are three ways to get inspired so you can come with a unique beautiful cake and they are;
Your everyday life, nature, works by other people and pictures on the internet
We experience so many things by interacting with nature in our day to day lives and some of these things can indeed inspire us. Checking up on other people's works on the internet can also inspire us to create our own unique design though one should avoid copy and paste since this deems your mind from creativity.
Events happening in the world
Some people are inspired by what is happening around them and the perfect example for this is the Gorilla Cake (Link to watch the YouTube video) LYNAconcepts made for Wild Life Day either in 2017/18. The Gorilla inspiration was derived from the event which was going to happen and that was wild life day. It is wise to relate with your surroundings and know what is happening since some good inspirations can be derived from that.
Another form of inspiration is the client. For one to get inspiration from the client you must patiently listen and understand what the client is try to communicate. You must also take the personality of the client into consideration since what they are saying might not be enough for you to know what they really want. For example the three cakes illustrated in the picture below are for the 40th birthdays for different women, they all have the same theme but they are so beautifully different. And the reason why they are different is because the personality of the different clients was considered in the making of each cake.
After you are inspired, the second part of it is to turn the inspiration into a real cake or something tangible. Here are some of the images of a castle cake that was by LYNAconcepts made in 2018. These illustrations are to help you see the clear picture of how you can turn an inspiration into a real cake. Link to the YouTube Video of the Castle Cake
After you have looked through the above illustrations, these are some of the ways to turn inspiration into a design;
Define the project your going to work on
It is good to do something when you clearly know what your dealing with this us why she highly advised that you define and understand the cake project you are going to make.
Collect all the necessary information about the project you are going to work on
For example go to the internet check out the images which tally with what your client has requested, get to know the materials you will need for the cake and consider the reception of occasion if it will be out door or in door so you decide the appropriate materials to use and lastly also consider the transportation of the cake while collecting information so you avoid future mishaps.
Developing the design
This is where the work gets real, you come up with different sketches and you send them to the Client for the approval and this can only end when the client approves and signs on the sketch they have liked, then the cake making begins.
Branding Your Cake Business
Chantal - Owner of Creme De La Creme
Even if growing a brand is a bit of challenge it can eventually work out when you do the following;
Emphasise your brand values and make them known
Once you know your brand values build on them until you get where you want. She pointed out credibility, consistency, trustworthiness, quality of product and service plus dealing with the customer before and after the cake. These values will make your clients trust you and feel treasured.
The presentation and projection of the brand to clients
This presentation is mainly visual and so one should know what they are talking about while talking to a client, they location should be accessible to clients and only communicate with your clients when it is necessary for example at creme de la creme they always remember their clients' anniversaries and so they always send them messages on such days only.
Be different or be in your own lane
For one to achieve this you must know your target, why your targeting that particular target and always know what you can do and how you can do it.
Know your strength/ Cash Cow
It is very good to know that particular product that brings in money on a daily basis and once you know it, work on it spend more time on it, market it more since it is basically the back bone of the business. Above all make your cash cow grow more and more.
The way you handle your clients' feedback
This is a sensitive area and the way you handle it determines the number of clients. Always be the loser and be ready to refund sometimes either a full or half refund and sometimes you might have to send in a replace cake.
Protect your clients' confidentiality if they ask for it because ignoring it makes you untrustworthy.
Building A Niche Business
Jean - Jollity Healthy Treats
Building a Niche business in the market
A niche business is the type of business which targets special or specific clients. It is more of a specified business it only deals with the specific target clients for whom it produces for. For example vegan cakes for the case of Cakes where by one only produces vegan cakes and sells them to clients who want them. Building a niche business is challenging from the start since you are targeting a specific clientele meaning you are already limited in competition but with perseverance, you can enjoy the benefits of a niche business. This is because when you get one client they will refer their friends and above all the feedback is quickly got since they are few clients plus the relationship with such customers is really good.
Here are some tips on how to build a niche business;
- Be your own inspiration
Find out how many people need the product
- Get to know people in niche business
Look out for other people doing the same business and try to partner with them
- Approach clients personally
- Do a lot of research and do not copy and paste
- Always follow up and get feedback from your clients
- Always look out for opportunities
- Remain relevant and diversify so people always remember you.
These are some of the advantages of a niche cake business;
- It is healthy and nutritious to clients since it is special for that type of clients
- You have specific and special clients and they are flexible as well as understanding since they are a minority kind of clients.
- There is limited competition since you are targeting a small and particular audience which really needs your services.
- You become an expert in your business and other businesses can recommend customers to you.
The Q&A Section
1. What do I do when I don't feel inspired, where and how can I feel inspired? Asked by Catherine
Lydia: Three resolutions on how to be inspired regardless of where you work are; rest and do not force it, recharge yourself and renew yourself by doing something you love and also sort your relationship in case you have any misunderstandings.
2. What advice do give to someone interested in cake supplies and accessory rental and sale? Asked by Angel Asiimwe
Chantal: it depends on what you have, the market research, the competition, the location and what supplies you are going to supply.
Jean: Your target matters, research about what people want.
3. At the start of this year I revised my work and changed pricing but I already have clients who are supporting me. How do I tell these clients about the price changes without them feeling offended and stay with them still?
Jean: Show them you have added value to the cakes either in size, flavour or in any other way.
Chantal: You can revise the sizing if you are not comfortable with the revising the pricing.
Lydia: Package your message and sell the value of the cake instead of the price of the cake.
4. What can we do to help the baking community during this time? Asked by Uganda Trimmings
Chantal: Maintain consistency
Jean: Have an option for delivery
5. L Cake Equipment supplies of cake accessories, machine and ingredients would like to start importing to Uganda. Any advice to them?
Jean: Find out what is already on the market, the prices and the if there is market and the pricing.
6. Doreen from Gulu wanted to know if there is anyone who can teach her the business?
Chantal: Enroll in cake schools and she told her to try @ cake shop Uganda and facebook to see the available schools.
7. How to start marketing when your shy? Asked by Mercy Gorgeous
Lydia: You have to teach yourself how to speak to people confidently about your business. Learn to be confident. Ms. Jean: You can not be shy and be in business. Stop caring about what people say.
Host: Nabuyanga Lydia from LYNAconcepts, Guest speakers: Chantal Abwooli Ochola from Creme de la creme & Jean Nyangoma from Jollity Healthy Treats