The start of a cake’s journey is contact from a potential customer. This can either come by phone, email or via friends on Facebook. These initial communications are usually of the ‘can you make me a cake on such and such a date’ variety, some customers send photos of cakes they’ve found online or outline the design of cake they want. Sometimes the customer only has a vague idea what they are looking for so that leads to the next step in the process – drawing designs.
One skill that would be beneficial for me to learn is the art of designing cakes using a drawing programme on the computer. At the moment my designs are hand-drawn and I admit I find it hard to get the designs to reflect what the finished cake will look like.
For example this is a drawing I did for a birthday cake (with icing sample)
and the finished cake.
I need to improve my sketching skills!
This design process can go on for some time and involve repeat drawings until the customer is happy.
After another order was cancelled this week, after the design had been agreed but before a deposit had been paid, I am wondering whether I should start taking a deposit before any design work is done. Drawing designs and communication with the customer is time spent working, time that I do not get paid for if the order doesn’t go ahead. There is always the chance that a customer could take my design drawings (simple as they are) and go to another cake maker to get the cake made. As far as I’m aware this hasn’t happened yet but it is a possibility.
I’d be interested to hear what you think about that, either from a customer point of view or from a business point of view.