Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't Fake It If You Can't Make It

I joined SeededBuzz.com yesterday, and while going through the various blogs I read a very interesting post about the "fake it 'til you make it" philosophy, and why it isn't the best business decision. I had to agree with the author that while being optimistic and confident about your business is a good thing, it tends to be bad when you "fake it" to the point of promising things to the customer that you're not prepared to deliver.

The wedding industry is notorious for having a lot of weekend warrior-type businesses appear and disappear, and the bride is often the victim. I've had a lot of brides call me in a panic because vendors either disappeared or just decided that they couldn't make the cake. I've also seen subpar work from vendors who assured the bride that yes, they could replicate that complicated cake for $100.

It's not just the client who suffers, though. The reputation of your business can suffer if you end up delivering work that's less than what you promised, and that comes directly from faking it.

And there's a third victim here... The other vendors who might think that the faker is actually more experienced than they are. If you refer a client to a faker that will reflect poorly on you. If you take the advice of a faker and actually think that they do know what they're talking about, your business will suffer if the advice backfires on you. Buyer beware...

The original article is here, on Jerry Kennedy's blog. There was also another comment on it on BizChickBlogs.com and that post had a lot of other resources that might be useful to someone who's honestly trying to learn so that they don't have to fake it!

I think that presenting yourself in a professional way is one thing, but padding the resume is something that just isn't honest business. So what do you think about the "fake it 'til you make it" philosophy?
 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com


Wendy said...

Good post. I hope you don't mind if I shared.

Kara said...

Not at all! I encourage sharing! :)

Ruth H. said...

We've all heard stories about cake decorators who took on more than they could deliver and created a crisis for both the bride and themselves. Whether they do it out of stupidity, carelessness or arrogance, a customer's special event is no time to test your skills. You do that on your own time.

Jerry Kennedy, Blog Whisperer said...

Great post, Kara! I'd love to have you write a guest post on my new community blog. If you'd be interested in writing a post about being a better blogger, check it out at http://myblogwhisperer.com/guest-posts-welcome/ and register as a guest blogger.

Thanks for sharing my blog post...and it's nice to meet you!


Jennifer Prinz said...

This summer I turned down a cake that someone was looking for, I was very hesitant as I thought that it might hurt me in the end - saying you can't do soemthing is very humbling. The customer sent a picture from The Caketress, a very talented professional. I know that I could not replicate the techniques I saw in that cake. So I turned it down, I know that she contacted my competitors. There is hardly a person at the level of the Caketress and there are none where I live. I really hope that the decorators here are honest about their skill or this bride will be sadly disappointed.
http://thecaketressblog.com/ - her blog of cakes

Kara said...

Nice to meet you too, Jerry, thanks for the inspiration post! I'll be in touch!

Jennifer, I don't think that you'll ever do yourself harm by admitting your limitations. You'll do yourself more harm professionally if you say that you can do something that you can't, and then fail to deliver. You did the right thing, and I hope that the other decorators who the girl took the picture to were honest also.