Feb 21, 2010

Business of Baking

As small business owner of less than one year I am questioing how different aspects of business apply to my own. The first issue is that of Networking. The biggest concern I face is how the dollars from referrals will match up to the dollars spent. My husband is a concrete contractor so for his business one referral will cover most if not all of his fees. I can see how that might be true for many types of business. In the baking business where one is not selling from a store front, offering items which have high price tags or selling wholesale then it begs the question to where and when it is worth becoming  part of a group that may not be able to provide enough leads to help turn a profit. Time constraints  prevent meetings here and there but the financial issue is constantly looming. Sure we have to spend money to make money but the optimal word here is "profit" and if one is not being made then it hardly seems worth the time and energy spent in the meetings.
Next is the issue of Donations. How many are a good number and how much should be given? Of course there are donations made for the sole reason of helping an organization that I support on a personal level but what about all the other requests? People constantly imply that it is a good way to advertise the business hence a good reason to donate. I do not want to think that donations should always be given with a future dollar amount in mind. However, the only way I can measure the new discoveries to Rich Delights is through my bank account. If my donations are more than my profits then it surely is not working on any business level.
Finally there is the issue of being a Vendor. In any given arena there  is usually a price tag associated with setting up a booth. This seems fair because everything is about money and business. But how many events do we attend when it actually costs us money to be there? I have been a vendor in places where there was no fee and still lost money. Rich Delights is perishable so if you see our treats on a table somewhere you know they are fresh. We always try to bring a variety so there is a nice selection. People do not want to come and see photos without something they can actually eat. If we do not sell everything we bring we are at a loss. Unlike the person selling clothing,accessories or other items they can pack up and sell later, we are left with merchandise that must be thrown away or given away. I have no problem giving away the leftovers but there again one hopes that the person receiving the goodies might be kind enough to return the favor and either send a referral or place an order for themselves. Are the items given away just so there will be future business? Of course not! However, it seems like reciprocating the favor is a nice idea that most do not follow. It is wonderful to receive compliment after compliment from these people but at the end of the day without sales it means nothing fort he business.
I am determined to make this work so I will figure out the next step while taking advice from other bakers who have been in the same position. While the questions are being answered and new ideas are being created just be sure that Rich Delights will continue......baking4you!

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