Cake design was agreed!
Now customer wants changes.
There is a common question/debate among cake decorators. The question of my cake design was agreed. Now customer wants changes.
Help! And what to do about the time it takes to create custom cake designs. Should I charge extra?
This is a very good question which does not readily have just one answer.
This is mainly because the real issue at stake is not the money, but time management.
30 Minute free consultation maybe?
A practice could be to include a 30 minute consultation for custom designs in your final price.
During this time, the cake decorator and the customer can discuss various matters.
Like the special occasion, theme, colors, and even the specific design of the cake.
This is a vital part of the process. Because it ensures customer satisfaction and final delight.
And begins to cut last minute changes which cause the decorator undue stress.
For this standard consultation and design creation, there is usually no charge.
The more effective your initial free consultation the less likely you are to get requests for changes.
At least the more thorough your initial free consultation is the less likely you are to mutter. ‘Cake Design was agreed, now the customer wants changes.’
Yet, this initial ‘free’ consultation in no way guarantees you are free of changes. There are the customers who change their minds from time to time.
They think they know better than the designer. These customers are quite usual. The time taken to give them this extra service must be accounted for.
There is a standard practice for ‘design alterations’.
That is to charge for the extra time required for changes.
And as well to limit the time frame in which changes are allowed. This includes the time discussing required changes and as well the time to actually do them too.
For example, you know if takes an average of x days after consultation for a cake to be ready for delivery. You will need to inform customers (in writing) that they cannot make changes to their design after y days. What ever this length of time is – is up to you.
But this strategy prevents them from calling you the morning of day z.
Normally when you’ve got their cake ready and waiting for the final touches to say they need a 4 tier instead of a 3 tier.
Or can you add this motif or this model.
Put in place charges at a standard hourly rate for any changes to the original agreed design. This will give you boundaries. This strategy will also limit out of control customers. Those who keep calling with changes every few hours!
You know the customer. They start the sentence with ‘Can you just…’
I had one who wanted the English Rose Rugby ball emblem added to a ball shaped cake. Not so bad, until she mentioned the rest. It should be royal iced in run out, onto the curved surface of a complete cake rugby ball. Ever tried doing a run out onto a curved surface?
Managing your time is a very important aspect to running any business. As a cake decorator, you want to get paid for your creations, not give them away for peanuts.
So put some practices in place which puts boundaries in place.
Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for very long hours at less than minimum wage.
No one wants that!
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