How Castiron Makes Managing Custom Orders Easy

July 17, 2023

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September 16, 2022

Custom orders made easy with Castiron

When you started your business, you probably didn’t set out so that you could spend more time texting back and forth with customers, or sifting through emails on a hunt for a note from an order you took two months ago. 

You’re selling custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes, or other items because you enjoy making them, and you like sharing them with customers, right? 

Castiron’s custom order tools have been built with that in mind. We make it quick and easy to take care of custom orders — from order request to payment, and through the order due date — so you can get back to the stuff you love to do.

Here’s how: 

Step 1: Make it easy on your customer

With Castiron, your customers can submit an order request any time, day or night. That means you won’t have to spend time messaging back and forth just to get the answers to the questions you need to provide a quote. 

You can also set expectations for your customer upfront. From your shop, you’re able to share your minimum order size and price, allowing customers to determine if you’re in their price range before they speak with you. Your service area will also show up on your shop’s homepage, so your customers know if you’re in their area. You’ll also be able to share fulfillment options with your customers so that they don’t expect delivery when you only offer pickup.

Estimated Time Savings: Most customers are able to complete and submit custom order request forms in under five minutes.

See It in Action: Set up a Quote Request product in your Castiron shop.

Step 2: Collect the right information upfront

When a customer sends in an order request, we’ll automatically collect the basics for you, and store that information in your contact database. By default, we ask your customers for their name, email, phone number, order due date, and how they’d like to receive their order (via pickup, delivery, or shipping).

Castiron’s custom order forms are completely customizable, so you can collect as much information as you need to provide your customer with a quote for their order. 

Most of the time, we see custom bakers asking questions like: 

  • When is your event? When do you need this product?
  • How many people do you need to feed?
  • Do you have any allergies or special dietary requirements?
  • What theme or color scheme are you using?
  • Is this for pickup or delivery?
  • Do you have any inspiration photos to share?

Estimated Time Savings: One hour of back-and-forth messaging with a single customer (or more, depending on the customer!).

See It in Action: Use our pre-built custom order form templates to create your forms in seconds! When you create a custom product in Castiron, you’ll be able to select from a template or build your own order form from scratch. We’ve included all of the questions you need to ask your customers, but you can always add additional questions. See how bakers like Edible Art by Mariah, Colony House Cookies, and The Whimsical Cookie are using custom order forms. 

Step 3: Price correctly (so you make money)

If you don’t know your costs, you’ll never be able to make money. When creating a quote for an order, clearly document all of the pieces that make up your pricing by breaking them out into separate line items. You don’t need to create a line for each ingredient, but include the base product cost and any add-ons (like premium design work or special flavors). If you’re offering a discount, add that in as a negative line item to show your customers the true cost of the product!

It’s important to charge your worth! Know your margins, your customer and their willingness to pay, and make this business worth your while by charging appropriately. Learn more about pricing your baked goods. 

Step 4: Send a professional invoice and collect payment upfront

Look and feel like a pro by sending branded invoices to your customers. When it’s time to pay, make sure your customers feel like they’re paying a legit business! 

When you use Castiron’s invoicing tools, you’re also able to include your order policies (and require customers to acknowledge them) when they request an order, and when they pay the invoice. This keeps you and your customers safe!  After a customer agrees with your terms and conditions, you can offer a professional and seamless checkout experience via Apple Pay, Google Pay or any credit card — no more Venmo requests or day-of cash payments! We use Stripe as our payment processor at Castiron, which means the money is automatically transferred to your bank account.

We know how important it is to be paid in advance of your order. It prevents you from delivering your products without being paid, and it means you can cover the costs of creating the order. We always recommend collecting payment prior to completing an order.

Estimated Time Savings: No more spending 20 minutes drafting and sending emails or social media messages reminding customers that a payment is overdue.

See It in Action: Add a payment due date to your invoices and we’ll automatically remind your customers when payments are nearly due or past due. We’ll remind them three days in advance, one day in advance, and the day that payment is due to make sure they pay on time. No more chasing customers down manually!

Step 5: Know your capacity and manage your calendar

As new order requests come in, it’s crucial that you know your availability. How does a new order overlap with the other orders you’ve committed to?

Our calendar management feature helps you see New, Draft, Pending and Paid quotes at a glance to make sure you’re not overcommitting yourself. We help you keep track of upcoming order due dates so you can plan life outside of the kitchen!

Estimated Time Savings: 30 minutes saved. No more transferring orders onto a paper calendar, or copying and pasting information into a calendar app!

See It in Action: Once you add fulfillment dates to custom orders, they’ll appear on your calendar. Try it for yourself. 

Save time on custom orders today

Custom orders take a little extra time. After all, they are custom! But that doesn't mean that you have to spend all day, every day lost in a sea of forms, DMs, emails, and business admin. Start using Castiron to manage your custom orders so you can spend more time doing what you love.

About the Author
Emily Brungard

Growth Marketing Manager, Castiron

Emily is a sister, a friend, a cook, a world traveler, an interior design lover, and Growth Marketing Manager at Castiron. A career startup marketer, Emily has firsthand experience growing small businesses with marketing.

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