CupcakesTaketheCake

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Frozen: How Is The Weather Affecting Your Cupcake Business?

In addition to blogging about cupcakes, I am also a bookkeeper and small business consultant. Unlike Hurricane Sandy, the current cold weather has put a chill on half of the United States. January can already be a slow month for bakeries as people resolve to give up desserts and go to the gym, but this weather has been a disaster for some small businesses. Some bakeries can't get ingredients and supplied delivered. Some bakeries are closed because of loss of electricity or frozen pipes. Weather happens.

Cash Flow Management
One of the best thing to do is to manage your cash flow. If the holiday season was profitable, then use the windfall to pay off any outstanding utility bills and outstanding invoices from vendors. Also, collect on your accounts receivables. Most bakeries are point-of-sale transactions, but with weddings and corporate accounts, there may be some receivables outstanding. Don't be afraid to follow up with a reminder email with the invoice or balance due.

Customer Relationship Management
If it is slow at the bakery,  take the time to develop your email lists. This is important customer relationship management If you are like me, you have collected business cards or have handwritten emails that need to be organized into a database. It can be tedious to input those emails. I used Shoeboxed after a conference because I have over a 100 business cards and it was the most efficient way. You can also used Shoeboxed for receipts which is great for taxes.

Offline Engagement
It is just not posting to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  It is also offline. Do you check in with the other storefronts in your area?  Do you know all the small business owners on your street? It is good to introduce and offer them a cupcake.  Know your fellow business owners to get the scoop on trash collection, prospective employees, chamber of commerce news and the like.

Have a sense of humor
Prohibition Bakery in New York uses humor in their sandwich board to draw customers in.  The Robicellis are famous for their hilarious tweets.

January Moves By Quickly
Remember that February is a great month for bakeries. Valentine's Day themed cupcake are super popular and people are having more Valentine's Day parties. Cupcakes are for lovers.

Let Cupcakes Take The Cake Know What's Working
Tell us how you're doing. Share tips in the comments or tweet us at @cupcakeblog.

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