For all those bakers out there I sure hope you are icing your wrists and putting your feet up. I have now gone through three Easter cookie seasons. So I wanted to chat about maintaining your sanity and what I did wrong.
First off here are my past holiday baskets…not too shabby if I say so myself
Here are the mistakes I made my first year…
We used to live in a small town outside of Memphis, TN. I could sometimes feel the hesitation from people when they found out they were going to have to drive 20min to get their order, so that first year I delivered all the orders for FREE…what was I thinking? I had a 1.5 year old and a 2 month old. DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE. With that being said I do meet people now at my nearest Walgreens (4 min away). We just recently moved into an apartment in the city after selling our home, and it’s super small and hard to get into because its gated (an added plus is clients don’t see my post cookie war zone).
I didn’t take payment ahead of time. DON’T EVEN START THE COOKIES TILL YOU HAVE THE $$$. I have been super lucky in my career, I have only had two people flake out on picking up their cookies. Now I take full payment, you have to pay before I even write your name on my calendar, yep, that does mean that their date can be taken even after we have worked out the details. I use PayPal for all my invoicing.
I under priced myself and still do. I think most of us under price. But what it comes down to is that you want a business and that means you need clients so you have to price what your area will pay. My southern region will pay about up to $4 from a bakery…but let’s just be honest I am in a freaking APARTMENT so no, I am not going to get $4 for a cookie. I don’t have the chipper girl taking your money nor the pizzazz of a brick and mortar. I charge $2 for my cookies while some of the “homier” bakeries charge $2.75 so I am okay with my price, not great, but okay and I think that comes from a lack of confidence. I would like to see $2.50 in the near future. On a side note I charge the same for all my cookies. When I am giving someone a quote I don’t have time to go find the cutter, measure it, figure out how many colors, along with how much effort, and then decide how much per cookie. In my opinion this takes too long and too much effort so $2 a cookie it is.
Simplify! Oh my word, my second Easter I thought I was hot stuff, now that I had a little more skills in my tool belt. I did 5 different set. It was NUTS. This year I did 4 options but one option was for three minis, which I was including in a gift set anyway. Try to pick things from your large gift sets that will also make great smaller gift sets
Keep your cookie vessels simple. Oh the Target One Spot (the most deceiving place on earth). Did you know all the cute items are $3-$5…so unfair. Start at the dollar tree to look for cute packaging THEN go to Target. You have to keep in mind that your upfront cost does matter, especially if you do not sell all that you purchased, which brings me to another tip…
Buy your vessels ahead of time. Don’t go and buy one cute basket at Target and then the night before they are due send your husband to ALL the Targets in your area looking for that particular item. It’s the same with the ribbon that you use. My Michaels sells out of all their holiday ribbons at least two to three weeks before the actual big day.
I hope my mistakes will help you. Holidays are wonderful cookie days, its great to give clients an alternative to the same old candy and chachkies. The best part is that you can gain new clients from your cookies being given as gifts and if packaged smart, you get a nice upcharge for a smaller amount of cookies.
Tomorrow I will be sharing my sets from this year and organization tips for large orders.