I need some help!

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PA Baker

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Nothing serious, but I have an exciting opportunity and need some help figuring out how to make this work:

A woman I work with has been so impressed with the different decorated cookies I've brought in that she's asked me to start baking for her. She's PTA president at her school and apparently what you bring in for snacks is quite the competition! She's asked me to make decorated cutouts for her children's Valentines Day parties. We know one class needs 4 dozen and she's not sure about the other (or if they're having a party). In March she wants me to make cookies for her daughter's class b-day party (I have cutters in the shape of cakes, a cupcake with a candle on it, or numbers for her age). She has offered to make me "business cards" on her computer so that she can then share my name and # with the other PTA ladies and her family! :D

So here's my dilemma--she asked me what I charge! I am going to figure out how much my ingredients cost per batch of cookies--the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, that sort of stuff will be easy. But how do I also calculate in enough for the tiny things that add up--the vanilla, icing coloring, baking powder, and then my time, utilities, etc.? I don't want to charge her too much to make it unattractive but I also don't want to low-ball it too much (and loose money or have to turn around and increase the rates).

Any suggestions? Ideas? I really appreciate any help you can give me!
 

CookinBlondie

Senior Cook
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Aug 19, 2004
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Bevier, Missouri, USA
Funny you ask! I just saw an episode on HGTV on how to price crafts, and this might also help in pricing your cookies.....

1) Figure all the costs of your ingredients. As for the small things, you could try calculating how much you used, and divide that from the total cost of the item.

2) Your payment. You are obviously a good baker, if you have been asked to do this, so start out by giving yourself 7-10 dollars and hour. As for the baking time, maybe you could cut your hourly pay in half, or by 25% while the cookies are baking.

3) Utilities. You should charge, for the utilities, 25% as much as the total cost of the first two items. (1 and 2)

I hope this will work for you, and if not exactly, at least this will give you a good starting point. A while back, I was asked to make pies for a dinner, for a client of my mother's. I wish I had known these tips before then.

Good luck!


†CookinBlondlie†

P.S.~ You could also check at a local bakery, and see what they charge for theirs. :roll:
 

kitchenelf

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That's a tough one - Check out some bakeries in your area if possible to find out how much they charge.

One thing to keep in mind - it's kind of like going to the hair dresser - sure, you could cut and color your own hair - but how would it look???? She has asked you to do her work for her - because she can't make them look as good as you can. You need to list all your ingredients - the cost of a bottle of vanilla, a bag of flour, a bag of sugar, and start pro rating. This will at least get you started in the right direction - I think!!
 

kitchenelf

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lol Cookinblondie - I'm always in the middle typing - then I get a phone call - then by the time I post I've typed almost exactly what someone else has said!!! LOL
 

kitchenelf

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Another thing PA - when she does your cards ask her how much they are - she pays you outright - you pay her outright - get an exact price from her. If she tells you she's just charging you for the actual materials you might want to make sure she understands that you can't do the same thing - two different animals here. Or tell her you already have some cards printed up and go get them done.
 

ronjohn55

Head Chef
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I'll second the mention of making sure you add in a fee. People always tend to think about what things will cost them in terms of supplies when setting up a business venture, but the #1 thing that gets forgotten is the value of your own time!

You don't want to have yourself working for free. Your time is an asset, and you are selling it, so charge accordingly ;)

(Oh Geez! That business degree is showing again!!! :shock: )

John
 

thumpershere2

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USA,Minnesota
Wish I could help you Pa, but I'm not very good at pricing. I have problems with my crocheting projects and what to charge. I did learn tho, don't undercharge. Good luck.
 

middie

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Cleveland,Ohio USA
we charge 2.49 a dozen at work. but then our cookies come in frozen all we do is bake them. hope that gives you some kind of guideline to go from there. since you're making them by hand i'd say roughly 3.50. but that's up to you.
 

pdswife

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Congrats! How exciting for you.

Have you ever posted any photos of your cookies??
 

PA Baker

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pdswife1 said:
Congrats! How exciting for you.

Have you ever posted any photos of your cookies??

Thanks, pds! Here's a link to the ones I did for Halloween. I haven't gotten around to scanning in the photos of my Christmas ones. I need to do that...
http://www.discusscooking.com/viewtopic.php?t=5227

Thanks for everyone's great ideas and comments, so far, too! They'll all be useful! :)
 

pdswife

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PA Baker said:
pdswife1 said:
Congrats! How exciting for you.

Have you ever posted any photos of your cookies??

Thanks, pds! Here's a link to the ones I did for Halloween. I haven't gotten around to scanning in the photos of my Christmas ones. I need to do that...
http://www.discusscooking.com/viewtopic.php?t=5227

Thanks for everyone's great ideas and comments, so far, too! They'll all be useful! :)


Beautiful! Can't wait to see the Christmas ones.
:D
 

Catseye

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 30, 2004
Messages
326
Location
USA,Virginia
Wow, PABaker, that is pretty exciting! People selling cookies on the web charge variously $3.00, $3.35, $3.50 and $4.00 for a dozen cookies.

Here is an article comparing costs of "scratch" baguettes versus mass-produced, just to add to your education. You might be surprised!
http://www.progressivebaker.com/toolbox/business/tip2a.htm

You might call Wal-mart, see what they charge for a dozen cookies, then kinda ballpark it from there, taking into account your costs.

Good luck, and please keep us posted!


Cats
 

-DEADLY SUSHI-

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Mar 9, 2004
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As a salesman that I am..... those cookies go for $1.50 retail. I would price them at $0.75 per cookie for your situation. As for the cards.... you could goto OfficeMax and get 500 for about $15 with no frills. So, take that with a grain of salt (no pun). ;)
Ofcourse the more cookies the lower the price goes. If they want 100 then I would go $0.50 per cookie. It REALLY depends on the quality. But these are prices from the Chicago area. Hope it helps! :D
 

PA Baker

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Thanks DS! I was thinking about that amount, too. This woman is ordering at least 48 and is my first client so I'm going to try to keep the price a little lower for her to start.
 

Lifter

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Jun 26, 2004
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A few other stray thoughts for you, PA...

Are you going to be earning a taxable income in doing this? If so, then there's a bunch of bookkeeping to be done (time + cost) including saving all receiuepts and writing up all sales, as well as the business tax return...

The IRS will not take 50lbs of flour, 25 lbs of sugar and a quart of vanilla in payment, either! (Which may be your "assets" at the end of one day!)

Burnt cookies? Batches gone "bad" ("unsalable?) need to be factored into your costs.

"Bad debts" and/or "order cancellations" come into it as well...can you get money up front with the order?

Wear and tear on your household appliances and baking "tools", which would logically need tobe replaced sooner or later...

Vehicle costs for shopping and delivery?

"What would be the"limits to growth", for this?

Lifter
 

Catseye

Senior Cook
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Oct 30, 2004
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326
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USA,Virginia
Lifter said:
"Bad debts" and/or "order cancellations" come into it as well...can you get money up front with the order?

Wear and tear on your household appliances and baking "tools", which would logically need tobe replaced sooner or later...

Vehicle costs for shopping and delivery?

Another thing you can't do without is liability insurance.


Cats
 

buckytom

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give them the first couple of cookies for free, then over charge for milk, and subsequent cookies. keep raising the price, and when they're completely hooked on your cookies, get them to start selling some for a few free ones... :evil:
 

PA Baker

Master Chef
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Messages
5,998
Location
USA, Pennsylvania
buckytom said:
give them the first couple of cookies for free, then over charge for milk, and subsequent cookies. keep raising the price, and when they're completely hooked on your cookies, get them to start selling some for a few free ones... :evil:

Maybe someday I'll be the Phillip Morris of cookies! :twisted: ;)
 

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