My website is my best friend (except for Chad!) because it is like a salesman, an information desk, a photo album, direction giver, price estimator, policy police, availability calendar, etc. "Webby" (let's call her) does so many things that it frees me up to bake and decorate. Since the beginning, I have tried to give my customers all the information I could. I don't feel like hiding my prices, or designs, or the fact the I have a legal commercial kitchen built onto my home (I have posted pictures as well as health department scores in the past).
If a competitor uses my design or knows my prices, so what? We have worked hard to make our prices and policies fair. I don't feel like I am competing with anyone in my area. We all have different styles, personalities, prices and not to mention cakes. I've looked at my biggest three competitor's websites today and am surprised that the are giving customers very little useful information. They show some pictures, some cake flavors, and maybe some 'partners'. No pricing or consultation information.
Our first presence on the web didn't have pricing. I spent half of my day answering phone calls about how much a certain pictured cake was or where my prices started. The minute we posted prices my "how much is it" phone calls stopped and I had more time to make cakes. I am a frugal person,. I know that my prices are a lot higher than the local "Super" center. I started with party cakes about $1/serving and delivered everything for free! I am now at $3/serving for round cakes because I am staying booked up. That didn't happen in a year though; it's taken us six years. I don't want to be the biggest place in town, I want to be the best! I am 110% alright with doing two weddings on a weekend and that's all. I want to continue to enjoy what I do.
I am soooo off subject here....
We had over 600 pictures on Webby, we narrowed those down to about 275. There were just some on there that I was NOT proud of anymore. I had about 150 pictures from the past year that we haven't put on the site because we have been so busy. We focus on making wedding cakes now, so we narrowed our categories down from things like "animals, first birthday, girly, sports" to "traditional, contemporary, celebration".
When we changed to Go Daddy for web hosting it opened some new ways of doing our site (so I am told :)...) We now have a formula that computes the price of the cake for us, where before every time I had a price increase/change I had to re figure each cake and Chad has to change it on the site. Now if I want to go up .25 on a square cake and .25 on fondant the code will do it all for us. Oh how I love Webby!
My point to this rambling is:
- I am proud of my husband and the improved website and want you all to know it! He only gets paid in cupcakes, so your kind words will be welcomed!
- Ask someone "If you are looking for a baker, what would you like to see on their website? What kind of information do you need to help you make a decision?"
- Many of us are very small businesses. Use your website as a tool to take some of the everyday questions off of you.
- Know that your website is the first and sometimes the only impression people will get of you. If it's not good, they won't even pick up the phone.
Now I have to go ice some cakes because Webby hasn't learned to do that yet!