Monday, April 4, 2011

Another "Don't Wait Too Long To Book" Lecture.

If you want to hire someone, the only way to hire them is to hire them.

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

3 comments:

Veronica said...

I have the "you must put down your deposit to hold you date" listed on my webpage, my blog, my Facebook page and just in case they don't read all that (shocking) when they contact me through email or by phone, I make sure it's told to them one more time: "I cannot hold your date unless you pay the deposit. It will go to the first person who does" and, yes, it's happened here too. It's sad but true.

SweetThingsTO said...

This is always a tough one, I try to tell them that the cake is not booked until I receive a deposit. However, sometimes they still assume if they have talked on the phone or met me, it is reserved. I also feel like if I re-inforce this, that they think its a pressure tactic to book right away. So, sometimes it comes to reading people and saying it the correct way as not to offend.

Kara said...

I just mention it at the end of the appointment when I give them the contract. I say that the date isn't booked until I have a signed contract and a deposit, and to remember to send everything in together or I'll be sending the contract back for them to sign! I'm not too worried about people being offended, because I've learned that people will be offended by anything. I had one bride recently who was all mad at me that she had forgotten the directions to my office at her house and got lost. That was apparently my fault, so you just can't win.