INSIDER QUESTIONS: STEPHEN SWARTZENDRUBER
1. How do you succeed and prosper with your Service ?
I really just try to provide the best possible product and maintain a 5-star rating. I really depend a lot on people’s reviews and recommendations. I also network with other wedding vendors by participating in styled photo shoots that helps us all out by getting published in the blogs and magazines.
2. How do you run a thriving operation?
I really try to just offer great tasting cakes that look good and speak for themselves. If the clients and their guests are happy with the product I’m providing, they’re going to tell all of their friends and that really helps my business to grow.
3. How do you market and sell your services?
I mostly just market myself online and by word of mouth. Being published in blogs and magazines for the styled shoots I participate in really helps a lot as well.
4. How should a new company like yours price their services?
Price for your time, even if your cakes are not as perfect. Don’t undercut yourself. You can practice your skills by doing cakes for family and friends, and take plenty of classes to learn, and when you’re ready, try to keep your prices in line with the current market. Don’t charge significantly less just because you feel your work isn’t that great. Take pride in your work.
5. How much of your annual budget is dedicated to marketing and advertising?
I spend around $2,500 a year on marketing and advertising.
6. In what ways are networking, blogging, and social marketing incorporated into your business?
I am always trying to network with other vendors by attending bridal shows and doing styled shoots. I don’t really blog, but I do use lots of social marketing to market my business. Most of my business comes from Facebook, Yelp, WeddingWire, or my web site.
7. How do you integrate customer service into your Service?
I do in-person cake tastings and consultations, always try to be as responsive as I can, and make sure that the customer is happy with the taste and looks of their cake, and I’m always happy & smiling. Smiles are contagious!
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