Making money is Art. Working is Art. And good business is the best Art."
– Andy Warhol
When I was a kid, one of my relatives was an amazing baker.
She’d often bake all sorts of cakes, cookies, and tons of other pastries for us and the rest of the family. And her baked goods were uber delicious!
She decided to start her own business. Making cakes for birthdays and other events.
I still remember her first order.
It was from one of her friends.
This friend had a kid whose birthday was coming up soon.
She ordered a delicious chocolate birthday cake. Just for the event.
My relative was delighted!
And she got down to working. Preparing to make a delicious cake, like all the others she was known for. And soon, as the day approached, the cake was done.
But it wasn’t over yet.
There was one more thing to do.
Before she delivered the cake, she still had to…
… decorate it.
I still remember I was in her kitchen at that time. All of us there suddenly had blank looks on our faces as we stared at the almost-finished cake on the counter.
How do you decorate a cake?
Turns out that my relative had always been making delicious-to-eat cakes. But she’d never actually had to decorate them before. Now that this was the first time, she’d never thought about what she’d do.
It’s just decorating a cake?
Couldn’t be that hard, right?
A short while later, out came the whipping cream.
With an unsteady and untrained hand, she made a really unsightly-looking "Happy Birthday" squiggle across the top of the cake that was hardly legible, along with a couple of hearts.
To be honest…
… it was hard to look at.
But the cake was delicious. And that’s more important right?
Well, shortly after… the cake was delivered to the client. We left right after dropping it off. My relative had a smile on her face. She didn’t think that the design really mattered. But in the car, I couldn’t stop imagining the look on the kid’s face once she’d open the box and saw what her Birthday Cake actually looked like.
Yeah, it was a delicious cake. For sure.
That’s not really what most children look for in a cake, is it?
They want it to look fancy. Cute at least. And maybe even get a gasp or two from their friends at the party.
Needless to say:
My relative’s friend never ordered another birthday cake again.
And the cake business…
… rather quickly came to a halt.
So it is for most businesses out there.
There are so many well-meaning business-owners with a great product or even a great service. But then, they underestimate the importance of having great design and packaging to top it all off. And they try their luck at doing it themselves with their unsteady hands.
The end result?
Their customers come once for a taste…
… they never come back again.
(Some kids even end up getting scarred for life in the process too.)
And while there are businesses out there where looks don’t matter at all, and no matter how ugly your goods are customers couldn’t care less about how it’s packaged and only care about the end result…
… those businesses are a rather… tiny… minority.
But if you’re not in that minority?
And you don’t wanna risk scaring all the kids away with an unsteady hand and watch as your customers never come back?
As always, I’ve got your back.
All you gotta do is drop by anytime… 😉
"The Steady-Pawed Princess"