If you ask any cake decorator, most will tell you that they started their career as a hobby making cakes for friends and family. Over the weeks, months, or even years their passion grew until they made the decision to become professional cake decorators.
Given these initial cakes were made as a gift or favour, it can be tricky to then start charging.
Before we dive into this, let me just say one thing: A true friend wouldn’t ask for a discount (nor do they expect one). This is your livelihood and they should respect the time, effort and investment you’ve made. However, in their defense, most people just don’t understand how long a cake takes to decorate, not to mention the hours practise it took to get ‘simple’ things such as flawlessly covering a cake mastered.
Because it’s just a cake….
The thing is, you and I both know, there’s no such thing as just a cake.
Here are 5 suggestions for overcoming this tricky situation
1. Be Straight:
Explain that this is now your job and you have many hidden overheads that they’re unaware of, such as insurance, power, light, heating, etc. You would love to be in a position to offer a discount, but your margins are tiny and it’s just not possible.
2. Have a fixed discount:
Have a fixed, small discount, that you offer Friends and Family. Everyone gets the same discount. The actual discount will depend on your margins, but you might want to think about 10% or 15%.
3. Give your time:
If you are making a cake for a family celebration, why not offer your time free of charge, but ask for your costs to be covered. This then becomes your gift (depending on your relationship with the person you might want to drop into the conversation just how many hours you’ve given).
4. Make something for your portfolio:
If you are going to give the cake as a gift, then ensure you are the person deciding on the design. Create something you’ve always wanted to try and are dying to add to your portfolio. Ensure you get lots of photos and a testimonial.
5. If all else fails, Lie!:
“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. I would love to make your cake but I’m fully booked. It would be wrong of me to take another order as I just wouldn’t be able to give your cake the time and attention it deserves… let me recommend another baker, though….”
Have your say!
Have you been asked for a discount? Did you give a discount? What happened? Please join the conversation below 🙂