Building your Business, Smarter Display Cakes is the best business-related class that I've seen on Craftsy so far. The reason is that Chrissie Boone, who teaches the class and is the owner of Too Nice To Slice, seems to have a firm grasp on the concept that there's a customer involved in the buying process, not just a decorator.
This is one of my pet peeves as far as business goes...People who allow their egos to run their business plan. If you have a business you need to reach a consumer if you want to make a profit. If you're only thinking of what YOU want to do, or if you basically tell the customer that you won't do what they want but you'll do what YOU want, you're not going to get very far.
I'm always surprised at how often this happens with cake decorating, so this class was good for people who are starting out, but it would also be good as a kick in the pants for people who are so ego-driven they can't see that they're chasing customers away.
Now, this is not to say that you shouldn't find your niche. But the difference is that finding a niche doesn't mean that you're right all the time. Flexibility is the key to success, and thinking about what the customer wants is a huge part of that.
This class covers the ideas of different customers having different needs and different budgets, which would seem obvious, but apparently isn't. She shows you how to address multiple budgets by creating a variety of display cakes that represent different price points, thereby giving clients a better visual of their options. She also shows how to make the cakes that she's describing, so there are some decorating tips included.
This class would be most beneficial for someone who's starting out because it covers things like getting a portfolio together, how to network with other professionals, and how to price your cakes. But as I said, it would be worth it to watch just for the refresher course on customer service.
My final review:
Skill Level: Appropriate for someone who's starting out, but it's also a good refresher to keep you on track if you've been in business for a while and are trying to refine things a little.
Equipment you'll need:Cake dummies, fondant, the basics.
Sleep-Inducing level: Not very, I found this one interesting because of the business advice scattered throughout.
What it assumes you
already know: It assumes that you have a business that you want to improve.
Of Difficulty For Techniques Shown: nothing...
Annoying Host Habits: Not a lot, but I really wish Craftsy would figure out their microphone situation so that we don't get so much inhaling from the hosts. It's in all the videos.
Level Of Helpful Hints Learned: Very useful for someone who's just starting out, but as I said, it's also good for someone who doesn't realize that there's a customer involved. Good tips for an attitude adjustment.
Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com