One area in which I totally fail is advertising. I know next to nothing about it. Quite often I just go on gut feeling. In the past I worked twice with a company called Eversave. It got the VCVC Cupcake name out there and I made a little money too!!! So I was not not totally shocked when a girl contacted me from one of their rival companies called Living Social, saying they wanted to work with me. She had originally worked for Eversave and had moved to the larger company. She had remembered how successful my save had been and thought that I might be able to benefit from a wider reach. After about 4 emails back and forth discussing details, I was waiting for a contract. What I recieved instead was this statement : I just submitted the offer to my team and unfortunately we just put a rule into effect that any offer relating to food must have a store front location. This was a rule that just went into effect that I wasn’t even aware of so I do apologize. What I would like to do is keep your information if you do end up selling your cupcakes out of a specific location.
This bothered me on many levels:
1. She approached me because of my success in the past. So that has to run on the assumption that she knows SOMETHING about my business.
2. Even if she didn’t, it was discussed several times in going over the details of previous emails.
3. How is a brick and mortar store something less than a small home based custom cupcake business that has the same business license and food permits?
4. Who are they to decide that? It all sounds fishy to me.
5. I do sell my cupcakes from a specific location, my home.
It is true, I do not have a “store front”. I often get asked why. I live in a small town. At the current count this small town has 5 bakeries. In the past year 3 others have closed, one of which had been open for many years. I currently do not have the money to put into rent for a store front which does not go cheaply here. I also have a family, and it is important for me to be there for that family. Having my bakery at home allows for that. I can do both, I can help with homework and whip icing at the same time. I can work while the children sleep, and not have to pay a sitter. Above all that, having a store front would mean employing people. Promising them a job would be there tomorrow, next week and next year. I can’t promise myself that at this point, it is not fair to put someone other than myself in that position. I am able to control my overhead here, I am able to take care of my family and my business, I am proud of what I am doing, whether Living Social thinks it is good enough for them or not.
So whether or not you shop at Living Social any more is up to you, but I for one WAS an avid shopper there. I will not longer use any of their services because they are unsupportive of small businesses like mine. That is their choice, but I think it is a poor one.
For what it is worth, of all the current bakeries in my town, I currently have the highest rating on YELP. Not perfect, but I am working on it!!!