Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The January Wedding Cake Panic

I had a friend tell me that I should write about the annual wedding cake freakout that happens about now, when you think that you won't get any bookings for the upcoming year, nobody will ever hire you again, and you won't make any money and will end up in the poorhouse. You start to think that you should lower your prices, do giveaways, hand out samples to strangers in the street... but DON'T PANIC!!

Calm down, my darlings, this is totally normal. It happens every year because there's a lull during the holidays when people are thinking about things other than custom cakes, especially wedding cakes.

I've written about lulls in business before, but of course I can't find the post, so I'll go over it again.

In the US, it's about March through October that's the "high season" of making and delivering wedding cakes. November through December is when everything booking-related comes to a screeching halt, because of Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the grooms who are waiting to propose to their fiances over the holidays. January through February is booking season. All of the brides who are being proposed to during those two months are going to start planning like crazy now.

First they have to choose a date, book a venue, get an officiant, go to some wedding shows in January, THEN they'll start shopping for cakes. So if your bookings have slowed down a lot don't worry. They'll pick up again toward the end of January.

This is, of course, not 100% universal, because people do get engaged on dates other than holidays, but it's fairly common. And if you've still been slammed for wedding cake orders in December and January you might want to look at raising your prices, honestly. If you don't see an ebb and flow in your business cycles I'd guess that you're pricing lower than everyone in your area, and you're getting "cheap" traffic. Get your pricing guide and study it: Price Your Custom Cakes For Profit. Sometimes having a steady flow of cheap traffic isn't a good thing.

If you live in the Southern hemisphere, where summer is during the months that the Northern hemisphere has winter, your patterns will be different, but I'd be willing to bet that you'll still see an influx of requests for bookings after the holidays. Any insight from the Australians? Leave your comments below.


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at  www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

1 comment:

Eva Farragher said...

Yes! Getting loads of new enquiries 'down under' as well - as is typical in January after the Christmas/New Year festivities have died down. Some very panicky ones trying to book March (one of the busier wedding months!) I think you make a very good point re: ebb and flow and appropriate pricing.