I’ve recently seen a huge increase in the number of people who hire me without ever doing a tasting. Thank online credit card services for that, but clients can now call me, get my paypal information, and have their date booked without playing the “will she be available for my date” guessing game. In the last month I’ve probably booked five or six brides this way.
This is just another example of the early bride gets the cake.
I think that a lot of clients think that coming to a tasting (or a planning meeting, if it’s a different category of wedding business) guarantees them the date that they want. That usually isn’t how it works.
We, as wedding businesses, have a strange business calendar. There are months when we’re going to be run ragged, and other months when we think that everyone has forgotten about us.
We need to book business as it comes in order to assure ourselves of having a steady income. When we book clients, it’s generally first-come-first-served. I once tried to keep track of who had “priority” based on who had done tastings first, but there’s no good way to do that. I now have a policy of whoever puts the deposit down first, gets the date.
If you come for a tasting and I have two openings left on my calendar for your date, that doesn’t mean that you can sit back and take a month to make your decision. Two people might email me the next day and say that they’re from out of town and want to hire me without doing a tasting. When they send me their deposits, your date is gone. And yes, that did happen a couple of times recently.
I don't like having to tell brides that their date has been stolen out from under them, but I have to book dates as the deposits are received.
If you go to a meeting with someone and you love them and love their work, hire them.
Don’t assume that you can take your time and still book the business you want…You might find yourself having to settle for your second choice. But then again, if you wait too long they might be booked too.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com