Our latest #CanonSmallBusinessHero is Anna Ward, founder of London’s latest innovative business solution, CakeDrop. Born out of the idea that colleagues should never miss a birthday again, Anna is working with some of the best bakeries and shops in the world to deliver cakes straight to your office door.
1. Tell us a bit about your business
CakeDrop hand-delivers indulgent cakes from London’s best independent bakeries, direct to offices in Zone 1. The idea is to connect London’s office workers with the best cake our city has to offer, whilst simultaneously opening an exciting new route to market for the capital’s incredible local bakeries. We allow offices to buy and schedule cake deliveries in advance via our website. We then source freshly baked cakes from our bakery partners and deliver them on our CakeTrike on the scheduled days.
2. Why did you start CakeDrop?
The inspiration for the business came from simply working in offices and seeing a gap in the market. Cake is a huge part of workplace culture in London now. Whether it’s birthdays, work anniversaries, or just hungry employees, there’s always a welcomed excuse for baked treats. Even though London is home to some of the best bakeries and cake shops in the world, the majority of offices only ever indulge in the same old, mass-produced supermarket cake. What's more, no matter how often office celebrations come around, they always seem to be a bit last minute. This sparked the idea to give offices the tools to be more organised and connect them with the best cake London has to offer.
3. What’s been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced?
A significant challenge we face as a new business is educating the market on the concept. People are unfamiliar with the model of buying and scheduling cake deliveries in advance, as the norm in offices is to make a last-minute dash to pick up a supermarket cake or order cakes on an individual basis. It will inevitably take time to reach everyone and help them understand the alternative which is to save time, money, and enjoy better cake with CakeDrop.
4. What barriers to growth have you experienced?
As we’re still in infancy, we haven’t experienced any significant barriers to growth as of yet. However, in order to take our business to the next level and reach a wider audience across London, we anticipate needing extra financial investment. It’s for this reason that we plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month – keep your eyes peeled as we have lots of exciting rewards up for grabs.
5. How digital do you consider your business operations to be?
Although cycling cakes around London doesn’t seem all that digital, our proposition is fundamentally built around our online tool which allows our customers to purchase, schedule and amend cake deliveries at the touch of a button. We would also consider ourselves highly digital in the way that we engage with our customer base, partner bakeries and other followers. We have a strong social media presence which we rely on heavily to showcase our cakes, interact with customers, and connect with the start-up and baking community in London.
6. How much time do you spend on admin?
We tend to dedicate mornings to operations and afternoons to admin. Luckily our website and online scheduling tool makes sales order processing really straightforward, which frees up more time for business development and marketing – the really exciting stuff!
7. What’s the one piece of tech you couldn’t live without?
The live chat function on our website which sends messages directly through to our smart phones. It’s great being able to engage with our website visitors in real-time and be instantly accessible to customers whenever they need us. There is definitely something a little more human about live chat rather than email and there are also tangible benefits to capturing those crucial decision-making moments which may otherwise be lost by relying on email alone.
8. If you could give one piece of advice to another small business, what would it be?
Don’t pay people to do things that you can learn to do yourself. Teaching yourself the basics of everything is way more satisfying than paying to outsource, until you really need to.
9. What does success look like for your business?
We would love to see CakeDrop become the natural go-to for cake in the office. Success would be signing up every office in Zone 1 and bringing on every fantastic independent bakery in London to meet the demand.