Standing out from the crowd is vital when you work in a competitive industry. Here, Jocelyn Wade explains what she did to rise above the rest.
Telling your friends and family you are leaving your teaching job to open a cake making business incurs one of two reactions. The first is laughter and the second is complete denial. But I had made my choice and I was determined.
Weddings are the biggest money-makers for cake makers today. Long gone are the days of plain and simple traditional tiered wedding cake. Brides and grooms are increasingly inventive (and demanding) in their requests and it was this uniqueness that I wanted to tap into.
To attract clients, I knew I would have to attend wedding fairs across the country. If you have never been to a wedding fair, be afraid – be very afraid. They are dangerous places where prospective brides have been known to fist fight over free food samples. Frightening. I knew I would not be the only baker exhibiting and therefore I had to find a way to get ahead of my competitors. And I did.
My first tactic was investing in a number of outside displays. These were designed to plant the idea of my business in people’s heads before they even entered the exhibition hall. Normally, visitors to wedding fairs are programmed to merely meander around stalls, moving aimlessly without much purpose but hoping to stumble upon a gem. Yet my outside banners meant that people were seeking me out straightaway and leaving my competitors with little to do.
All things bright and beautiful
Those few who had missed the outside banners were unable to miss the stall itself. Brightened up by stylish and slick banner stands my stall screamed professionalism. When people are considering trusting you with such an important component of their special day, professionalism is a key attribute to promote, so you need to advertise that you possess that quality in whatever way you can.
Stuck on you
My third tactic was all about repeat business (after the wedding comes the christening, then the birthdays, anniversaries and so on) from current clients. At the fair, each interested party received a goody bag, which included a window sticker bearing my company’s name. It serves as a constant reminder of where that stunning cake came from and a canny bit of free advertising on the side.
These choices have allowed me to make an immediate impact in an increasingly competitive industry. So, whether you are a butcher, baker or candlestick maker, applying similar tactics could make a difference to you too.
[author ]Jocelyn Wade writes on behalf of colourgraphics.com[/author]