Today our Louise is sharing news of an exciting challenge she set 280 Bakes this month. Let's see how we got on!
This month I set a sales target.
Now, in the past I’ve been sceptical about using targets in personal and business life, mostly to avoid stressing myself out trying to hit, and possibly failing to hit, said target, and not really seeing myself as a salesperson. It’s good to dream big, but was there much point in pushing so hard when I already work so much to gain customer leads? And is there too much at stake for my personal confidence and wellbeing in working so hard and potentially failing?
Encouraged by a business coach I’m seeing, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to hit a sales target just once and see how it went…
So, one month ago, I set myself a target of generating 50% more cake orders than in the four weeks previous. Maybe that sounds a bit ‘finger in the air’, but the previous four weeks (May 13th – June 14th) was a good month for us in terms of order generation, and 50% extra would push our orders to 28 orders in 28 days. It had a nice sound to it, and I liked that.
What did I do to help generate extra orders this month?
Well, most of our orders come from Facebook – hail Facebook! However, our email newsletter list is growing, as is our Twitter and Instagram following, so these were all useful to help show potential customers the delicious cakes we are baking, and in turn, encourage new and existing customers to order our products. Added to this, we had Father’s Day orders to promote and we got a fair bit of attention online from replicating the lemon and elderflower recipe from the royal wedding. Tying in with national events sure can help!
Interestingly, a large portion of our orders during this period were made by phone this month. Normally the contact comes in via email or Facebook in the main, so I wonder if the new attitude to marketing influenced this…
What was the result?
Today is the final day of the challenge.
Yesterday we hit the target of 28 of cake orders in 28 days – with a day spare!
Needless to say, I am over the moon. I may even enjoy a slice of cake tonight to celebrate. And all this happened in a month featuring a week of torturous hayfever, and three weekends away. Who knows what I could have achieved without a social life! (Kidding)
Celebrations aside, well done us, what did this mean for 280 Bakes?
All of this will hopefully lead to more business growth, more baking, and more happy customers!
Has having a target helped?
Undoubtedly, yes. As expected, pressure built a little on myself to work harder, smarter, and to be more creative with thinking of things which people would like to see pop up in their busy lives. However, achieving that goal of 28 orders in 28 days – and a day ahead of our deadline – has given me more confidence and a real sense of achievement.
Honestly, if we’d been a few orders off hitting the mark, it still would have been an amazing achievement to increase orders by almost 50%. Setting a goal, I have realised, is not only about achieving specified things; it’s also about having a way to measure how successful your tactics are and how effective your communications planning is. Even if you ignore the detail in the numbers, knowing there’s been an X amount of extra custom over a defined period of time due to some hard work is a real boost.
I may even set another target for later in the year.
Sod it. Let’s nail that down. I am going to try to hit 28 orders in 28 days again during the month of September.
You think I’m putting it off? No apologies there. July is going to be a bit crazy in my personal life so I may need some space, and August is generally a slower month in the business. The kids are off, people are on holiday, and I figure (totally anecdotally!) that some parents take the time to bake with their kids. Plus, September is statistically the month with the highest number of birthdays – go figure – so birthday cakes may be in high demand.
Our bakers didn’t attend any local events this month, but potentially, when I run this challenge again, this could boost sales further when people try our cakes at a festival or market and decide to order more in the days or weeks.
Of course, now, I realise I am in fact a bit of a salesperson and it’s always been that way. It’s essential the good of the company. I’m not pushy, but I’m driven, I know our target market and I want to make my company a success. If that makes me a salesperson, so be it!
I want to say some ‘thanks’ before I sign off. Thank you, of course, to my bakers – you’re fab! Hard-working, creative and passionate, couldn’t have developed 280 Bakes to this level without you. Secondly, thank you to my husband for his patience / ability to ignore me and get on with it when I am working on the laptop or elbow-deep in flour. Lastly, thanks to Robin, who made me try this whole target thing out – inspired!
Do any of you have small businesses? Do you ever set goals like this? I’d love to hear about your experiences – just comment in the box below.
Enjoy your weekend,
Owner, 280 Bakes
We celebrated our second birthday today, and this is how it went down!
First, we announced an expansion in our business!
From today, we have bakers based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, who are delivering our cakes in the town. Find out more here, including how to join our team of bakers.
Then, we actually WENT to Stroud!
Given the main part of our birthday celebrations was the above announcement, we decided to surprise a business in Stroud with a cake. This is where Spacehoppers Co-working came in - we delivered a 280 Bakes branded cake (see the logo and BRIGHT PINK nature of said cake in the picture below!) to three entrepreneurs who were at the time working in the shared office space. A complete surprise to all and a welcome tea break from their hard work!
We chose Spacehoppers because we've had previous experience in co-working environments and we love the vibe from entrepreneurs who work in such places. A big 'HELLO AND THANKS' goes to Ben at BeKagool who tweeted us a photo of the cake being enjoyed in the office after we left.
Finally, we popped along to St Andrew's Park, Bristol...
We had to celebrate on 'home turf' too, of course! Word got to us that the Bristol Vegan Parents Group was meeting with the kids for a half term get-together, so we took them some complimentary cupcakes to sort out a snack for that lovely lot. The meeting point was "by the coffee hut in the centre", so cake and coffee worked out perfectly!
A fabulous day - we feel well and truly celebrated!
Thanks to all our willing cake eaters and our hard-working team. Here's to another successful year at 280 Bakes!
Owner of 280 Bakes
Big News: Our home baked cakes are now available for delivery to homes and businesses in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
We were looking for some significant way of celebrating our second birthday (today, yay!), and thought that expansion into a third town would be perfect!
Our cakes are now available seven days a week in Portishead, Bristol and Stroud.
From today, we have home bakers ready to take your orders and bake a delicious cake for your office meeting, birthday party, or just a nice treat for tea. Just give us a call on 07835 882817 or contact us here and we'll deliver. Same day delivery is available, and of course, we have our fabulous vegan and gluten free recipes if you need them.
Want to work for us?
And, if you're a keen baker, we're expanding our baking network, so take a look at the details of our baker position - it could be for you!
We're excited to have you, Stroud - let's fill your town with home baked cake!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Who would like to win a month's supply of home baked cake?
Short and sweet today - just take a look at the top post on our Facebook page to find out how to (easily!) enter. Bristol and Portishead only, vegan and gluten free cake available.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
we were SUPER excited to be asked along to speak at the Bristol Foodies Festival this month!
The Foodies Festival is an annual event in Bristol (and around the UK), bringing chefs and foodies together over a fantastic weekend of talks, music, demonstrations, classes and food stalls.
Our Louise went along to speak at the cake and dessert stage in Bristol on the Friday afternoon (21st May 2018). She demonstrated how to make a vegan chocolate Guinness cake and shared samples to a willing and hungry crowd.
"It was so much fun, a totally different thing for us to be doing," said Louise. "And I felt kind of 'Madonna' walking around with a head mic set on!"
Well done Louise, maybe this is a start of something HUGE! More demos please....
Missed out on trying a sample from the Foodies Festival? We've posted the recipe for the vegan chocolate Guinness cake on our blog so you can try it yourself. And if you don't fancy baking, just contact us to order one!
Big thanks to Charlotte White at Restoration Cake and the Foodies Festival team for inviting us along. See you again, we hope!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We have a new home baker in our network, and we'd love to introduce you!
Say hello to Catie, our latest recruit!
Catie has joined us this month, helping us to fill our customers' cake orders. She lives in Gloucestershire, so will be helping us with mainly north Bristol and central orders.
Catie's favourite cake is carrot cake, with our sugar free chocolate cake coming in a close second place. She's a painter decorator by trade, with a huge passion for great tasting cake. Catie's already been helping us tweak our red velvet sponge recipe to gte an even better colour.
Thanks for joining us Catie, we're so pleased you've joined us!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
** BREAKING NEWS ** Our blog has, for the first time, had over 2,000 views in one week!
What an achievement, good news for Good Friday! It's been a lot of work, but great fun - more to the point, we're glad you're enjoying reading it.
Let us know if there's anything you'd like to see us blog about and we'll give it a go.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We'd love you to join us in welcoming our new baker, Lucy!
Meet Lucy, our newest baker. She lives in the southern area of Bristol, so if you're ordering a cake for that part of the region, you're likely to see her lovely face on delivery.
Her favourite cake is carrot cake and she comes to us already qualified with Level 2 Food Safety - good work!
We look forward to seeing your baking, Lucy, and welcome!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Our biggest corporate cake yet was baked this week for the Environment Agency's flood conference.
The third annual Flood & Coast conference, organised by the Environment Agency, was held this week - and we were there! Our Louise was asked to make a cake in the shape of a remote controlled river monitoring boat, an "ARC-boat". It's a surf board-like craft worth over £16,000, used to measure speed and depth of rivers, and other data to aid flood management efforts.
The Agency had sold it's 100th boat, which gave them a fabulous reason to celebrate.
The cake was cut by the Chef Executive of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan, the Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management John Curtin, and Louise.
Feedback on the cake, a chocolate sponge decorated in an eye-catching lime green to mimic a real ARC-boat, came... flooding in, post event on our Twitter.
Thank you to the Environment Agency and in particular, Nick Everard, for the opportunity to bake for the occasion. We're more flood aware than we were before, that's for sure, and a small part of the flood family.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Katy's had to leave our baking team, due to other commitments, so that means we're looking for a new baker. Could you be our next recruit?
Are you a keen baker?
Do you work part-time or less, and live in Bristol?
We might have the job for you!
We're looking for another freelance cake making enthusiast to join our team of four bakers; male or female, we need an additional pair of 'part time hands' with great organisational skills, able to follow strict recipes and delivery deadlines. Experience in baking vegan cakes or gluten free cakes would be a bonus, but really, we're looking for someone reliable, flexible, trustworthy, and of course, a good baker. There are often opportunities with 280 Bakes for working events (e.g. Bristol Vegan Festival, Community Summer Fairs) for extra optional paid work.
Please note: All office work (e.g. social media, advertising) is done centrally. This is a 'bake and deliver' role only.
Discount at cake supplies shops (e.g. Kitchen Cookshop), access to 280 Bakes recipes (top secret!) to use at home, a great platform to show off your cakes, social activities with the team and more. Our Whatsapp group is buzzing with baking tips and feedback from within the team - we're a really friendly bunch, so you'll be made very welcome!
NEED TO KNOW:
Applicants must be over 18 years old, have access to a car for deliveries and a smartphone.
Start up costs are minimal - just £20 to cover your 'business in a bag' (t-shirt, business cards, guide to baking for 280 Bakes etc.). Along with all the tangible things to help you set up, we'll be here to assist with any queries and support throughout.
Applications close Wednesday 9th August at 7pm. We reserve the right to close applications sooner if we find a baker we want to hire earlier than expected. Interviews will be via a Whatsapp video call initially, then a face-to-face in your home kitchen with home baked cake sampling.
Interested? Send us a message via our contact us page!
Please have some photos of cakes you have previously baked and/or decorated available.
Previous recruitment drives have produced some amazing talent, so we're excited to be looking for a new team member this month. Spread the word if you know someone who would be perfect for the job!
Owner, 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!