I keep going back and forth on this one, are some sort of credentials vital to start a cake business? Anyone that already has a business your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! I feel I have enough talent to start up a place, but then I think maybe a degree will make me look accomplished. Anyone Help...
From what I've seen ... you don't need a degree, but you ABSOLUTELY should take a few business / entrepreneurial courses! You should also have a nice portfolio ... I'm sure that means more to any potential customer than a fancy piece of paper!
I just took a course in "costing your goods" and the instruction said that in the food services industry (bakeries, restaurants, etc) 90% fail in their first year... and 50% of those left will fail before they get to 5 years!
Most of these failures are not due to a bad product, but due to simple mis-management! You need to learn the business end ... I would strongly recommend as a minimum, a costing your goods course, a basic marketing course, and intro to accounting (even if you're going to have an accountant!)
Your local community college will probably offer many of these courses, and most cities have some sort of small business assistance program (which may or may not include financial assistance) which should help you with a business plan, etc.
I agree with MelC, it's not about having the "degree" but more the knowledge of how to run a successful business. I do this on the side and just dread the idea of ALL that goes into an actual business (like taxes!) There are so many things that people don't consider. So if you're going to do it, do it the right way! I wouldn't worry about getting a degree to make you look better, your work will do that. Just be a smart business-person too! Good luck!
I have been wondering the same thing myself. I know of at least one successful bakery in my area owned and operated by someone who did not go to culinary school.
A culinary degree will not guarantee a successful bakery, but you do need a LOT of MONEY. And help. Most baking businesses have had to expand their menus to keep the money coming in. Unless you have a high demand for product, you have to deal with waste.
It might be good for you to work in a bakery like the one you want to have, so you can see how much work is involved, before you make a huge investment in time and money. Even if you could just sit and watch very carefully as a customer, you can find out a lot about what it takes to keep the doors open.
The business classes are also a great idea. You can save some time by finding an expert to help you. There are usually groups of retired business people like SCORE (can't remember what it stands for) who offer free advice about new businesses.
A tax course can be quite helpful as well. Just for my own benefit, I took the H&R tax course last year and learned quite a bit. Not only for my peronal income taxes, but it helped with my business and my DH's. I found that I was leaving out some expenses that I could have used.
I think it just depends on what you want to do. My husband has a degree in business and has run his own business and he does all the business stuff for me. And get an accountant for taxes (like here in NC we have to charge 7% sales tax on food goods). This is just a part time thing for me, to just make a little extra money to help cover bills..I have no dreams of being a millionaire or opening a big bakery. (I agree, I think you need to offer cookies and breads and other things for a store front bakery..in my area, most offer coffee and such too!) I think it depends on your area too. People seem to really want cute, different birthday cakes besides what they get at Walmart, and are willing to pay a little more for it. I am still struggling with what to charge (my husband looks at the work I do and thinks i charge too little...)
I agree though, if you don't have any business exprience, take some courses in business! its very complicated!