Myself, along with many others have learned this the hard way and it is NOT fun... Trust me. Learning from your own mistakes can be a very expensive way to learn.
I personally have found that customers are a lot more willing to follow through with their orders if they pay a deposit.
Don't forget, your home-based business IS a business. If you don't treat your business like a business, why should anyone else?
Time = $$$
You will of course have to spend a small amount of time answering questions, etc. But you should not be spending a lot of time on an order until the deposit is paid.
The minute you start working on something related to an order (buying supplies, looking up pictures, etc.) without collecting a deposit, only to then have the order be cancelled, your business just lost money.
But wait, there's more.......
When someone cancels their order last minute, this potentially may cost you EVEN MORE than the actual time spent on that cancelled order.
Yes, you read that correctly. You may lose more money than the time you put into your cancelled orders.
This is why...
Since you accepted this order, you potentially had to turn down another order that wouldn't have been cancelled.
This is the mindset you MUST have in order to run a successful business.
How Much Should My Deposit Be?
A 50% deposit is pretty standard and is the amount I require from my customers.
I require all deposits to be paid within 48 hours.
No More Excuses!!
I've notice that the majority of businesses that don't require deposits forgo them because it's too much for them to keep track of, especially if their business is a side-hustle.
....I totally get it.
With Bakesy, you can seamlessly receive all of your payments on one platform and track the deposits made and balances owed for all of your orders.
Bakesy even takes it a step further by allowing you to send automated reminders to your customers whenever you want without having to feel awkward about following up!