23Mar
Image of buddy the cake boss and team in front of their bakery

How I Learn Business from Buddy the Cake Boss

Image of buddy the cake boss and team in front of their bakery

My family recently made the decision to dramatically reduce the amount of television we watch.

In doing so, we got rid of our DVR’s (we had 3 of them), and decreased the amount of programming we purchased. While selectively looking for more family oriented content, we came across a show called ‘Cake Boss’.

I was very skeptical at first. A show about a New Jersey bakery didn’t seem to fit the criteria we were looking for. However, my daughter was interested in it, so we gave it a try. Within a few episodes, it was obvious that Cake Boss fell into the ‘family-friendly’ category. It really is a wholesome and entertaining family show. While watching Cake Boss as a family-friendly show I started to realize that it is also a show with great business principles.

I enjoy it even more now that I can see some familiar business concepts in each episode. The main character, Buddy, is brilliant. Buddy does a lot of things that are really helpful to any entrepreneur.

Here are some things Buddy does in a New Jersey cake shop that I think apply to even the hippest of web 5.0 tech companies:

    1. Know Your Business Better Than Anyone Else: Buddy understands his business inside and out. In each episode he can be found doing everything and anything at their bakery. He is a master baker. He meets with customers. He delivers cakes. He hires, trains and fires. Buddy truly is an expert; there is no one at the bakery that knows more than Buddy. He has figured out how to find and keep great people. He can trust them to do beautiful work – and they do. Are you an expert in your business? Do you trust your employees to do beautiful work? Do you have a repeatable system that can be scaled to match quality with quantity? Buddy does.

 

    1. There Is No Shortcut For Hard Work: Everyone at the bakery works their butt off. No one works harder than Buddy though. That dude is there all the time. In a recent episode he arrived at 4:30am on Christmas Eve (their biggest day of the year) to lead his huge staff into a day that ended late that night. How did it end? With Buddy personally cooking a special steak dinner for his key staff members. This was after a 16-hour day wherein he oversaw all operations, made a lot of product himself and found time to serve hot chocolate to customers waiting outside (there was a huge line around the block to get in). Buddy puts the time in personally and leads his team by example. Do you? Are you willing to work harder than anyone else at your company? If not you, then who?

 

    1. Customers Are Like Oxygen: Buddy treats his customers like Kings/Queens and he won’t settle for his staff doing anything other than the same. In one episode his sister was rude to some customers. Buddy found out and took her aside and let her know in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable. He had her apologize and they gave the customers free cakes. Buddy treats every customer like they are his most important customer. His staff is required to do the same. There is a zero tolerance policy at their bakery for anything other than delightful customer service 100% of the time. Do you treat your customers like Kings/Queens? Do you speak highly of your customers all the time? Do you require your team to do the same? You’d better.

 

    1. Sell Something That Is Worth Paying For: Buddy charges a premium for his products. They are not discount cakes. Thousands of dollars per cake are the norm. Why? Because quality is something people will pay for. Buddy sells quality ONLY and they don’t shy away from charging for it. You shouldn’t either. Are you afraid to charge for you product? Why? Build something you can and should make money from (directly or indirectly). Build something you are proud to sell and deliver.

 

    1. Increase Revenue By Monetizing Existing Products: Buddy gets paid twice for every second that camera is on. In fact, Buddy is getting paid dozens of times simultaneously. While they are selling hundreds of cakes out the front door, dozens more are being delivered out the back – all while a TV camera tapes it and pays Buddy a fee to film! Buddy is squeezing every dime out of every day. He has multiple streams of revenue. The TV show? Free advertising too! Brilliant. What are you doing to get the most out of your company? Are you able to generate multiple revenue streams from it? Can you increase your margins by monetizing your product in a bunch of different ways? Yes, you can.

 

  1. Attitude Matters: Buddy is happy, friendly, enthusiastic and appreciative. Buddy is a fun guy to have around. Buddy works hard and is demanding but you can tell he loves what he does. Do you love what you do? Is it easy for others to tell? Are you happy, friendly, enthusiastic and appreciative? You can be all of these things while still working hard and keeping very high standards for others.

These are a few of the concepts I have been reminded of while watching Buddy as the Cake Boss. Have you seen the show? Are you doing the stuff Buddy does? I think it can apply to any business. What do you think?

I’d love to see some of you commit to these principles and focus on them for a month or two and report back. Is anyone willing to step up their game and follow the “Buddy The Cake Boss Rules for Success”? Let us know and report back! In the meantime, do you and your family a favor and catch an episode.

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About Alex Lawrence

Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.
  • Thanks for the post Alex. I love reading about the basics. I think too much of the time we get so caught up in advancing our businesses with new technology and new strategies that we forget about strengthening the foundations.

    I especially like the part about monetizing existing products. That turns around my own paradigm, thinking about getting paid to advertise my own company and products. Genius!

    • Alex Lawrence

      Hi Mike – thanks for coming to my blog and for the tweets! Glad you found some new and unique insights. Keep us posted on your efforts, would you?

  • Awesome post Alex! Love buddy story. I’m sure he’s a great guy. And he will surely be rewarded by the universe. Yeah, I want to be a hardcore gamer like Buddy 🙂 all what buddy does matter a lot in business. Thanks for sharing. Have fun.

    • Alex Lawrence

      Hi Samuel – glad you like Buddy too. Thanks for the comment. Stay connected!

  • Pingback: A roundup of some interesting marketing and entrepreneur articles | Chris Lahay()

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