Sales are an integral part of any business, especially for a small business that accounts for a person’s entire income. Sales and customer orders can occasionally get lost in the shuffle if you're running the business on your own and are spread thin or if you're disorganized. Implement a few different systems to help you become more organized in your cake business and keep track of all of your cake orders.
Purchase Order Forms and Calendar Method
Buy a supply of customer purchase forms from a department or office supply store. Buy forms that ideally come with two carbon copies attached, though forms with one carbon copy will suffice. Place a stack of forms near the phone and near your business’s front counter so that they are available when people contact you to place a cake order.
Write down the pertinent information for each order on a purchase order form. When a customer places an order, write down the customer’s name, phone number, address and payment information, such as credit card number. In addition, write down the style and flavor of cake that she wants, what size cake, what kind of frosting, any special requests concerning the cake and what day the cake must be ready. Also include how much tax you are including in the transaction, if any, and write the final cost of the cake.
Divide up the copies of the customer order forms. Keep the main copy of the form in a file designated just for customer orders that is organized by date. Hang up one carbon copy in your kitchen or work station to remind yourself of the customer’s specific orders or requests when baking the cake. Give the last carbon copy to the customer or attach it to the box of the cake when the customer picks up the cake. This copy will also act as the customer's receipt.
Hang a calendar in your baking kitchen or home office that is just for cake orders. Mark the dates on a calendar when each cake must be ready along with the customer’s name and phone number. This will help you to see how much time you have to make each cake, help you to plan ahead and help you to know when you are too swamped and will have to turn down orders.
Electronic Spreadsheet Method
Buy or download an electronic spreadsheet program. Insert the software disc into your computer if there is one and follow the on-screen instructions for installing the software. Double click on the program to open it once it is fully installed.
Create different columns and rows for each purchase order. In row "1," enter “Customer Name” in column “A,” “Phone #” in column “B,” “Address” in column “C” and “Cake Description” in column "D." Type “Price” in column “E” and “Due Date” in column “F.” Designate one row per customer order starting with row "2" and beyond.
Update your spreadsheet continually. Add a new row for each new order that you receive. Keep the spreadsheet organized in the order each cake must be made by. Keep all uncompleted orders in black font and highlight each completed for order with your computer mouse and change that order’s font from black to red by clicking on the “Font Text” button and selecting the color red.
Dan Richter began freelance writing in 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Wausau Daily Herald," "Stevens Point Journal," "Central Wisconsin Business Magazine" and the "Iowa City Press-Citizen." Richter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies.