I am moving the first two weeks in January to a brand new house (military base housing). I am getting all my paperwork together to get my home business permits and all. I really want a store front, but I need to get my business plan together & check with the SBA about financing options, start up costs etc. I know in NC I have to go through the Dept of Ag, but does anyone have experience on military bases? I have written permission from my base, but Dept of Ag still says they have no jurisdiction in military housing....chasing my tail in circles on that one at the moment. ;o)
For those that went the way of home bakeries, what made you choose that over a store front? besides the obvious cost difference. lol
For those that have stores now, how did you do your business plan, financing, etc?
How much did you invest in it? New mixers? supplies? Planning menus, prices, wholesale?
Yeah I am full of questions. lol I have made some GREAT contacts & have free radio advertising on several stations in my area as soon as I have my permit in hand. whoo hoo
Thank you to anyone who can offer advice and direction.
I started working from home (still am!) Scoured the internet for the best prices on supplies (including Ebay where I get the majority of my cake decorating supplies), scouted out all the food outlets in my area for the best pricing. Since I am small I didn't need any big equipment. I did however get a free refrigerator from freecycle.com and that has been a lifesaver. I did not want a store and do not, because you are tied to that place 24/7 if you want to succeed. Even as I get busier, I still want to keep it catering and wholesale behind the scenes.
I'm going on 3 years, and my prices have changed so much just from learning what my market will bear, etc. There's a lot of work to do, but this forum is fantastic for advice! Good luck!
I was just reading the posts and I don't know anything about starting a business but I wanted to say thank you to your husband for serving in the Marine Corps. I have a brother that just returned from Iraq and I don't think they get thanked enough for what they do. Happy Holidays!
Thank you so much mjsparkles! My husband was in Iraq at the beginning & looks to be headed back next year. We have many friends and family over there now. I really appreciate your comment.
Izzybee... I am steering towards keeping mine at home so I am around with my kids more. I am still learning the legalities in NC & on base to running a domestic bakery. How do you do your wholesaling? I think I have about decided that Sams Club is one of my better options for ingredients in my area so I can keep my prices low without losing my shirt.
Don't you just LOVE freecycle!!! I am always in awe of what great things you can get from their. I was able to get my dishwasher off there two years ago & just passed it on through there since my new place has one.
For wholesale, approach a local restaurant or coffee house, and ask them if they are interested in purchasing baked items from you, then bring them samples and a price list. That's the easiest way. I got lucky and stopped into a local bakery to see if they needed any help in the mornings when my daughter is in school, and now I bake my items for the bakery from home.
Thanks to your husband and all the other Marines! My son is a former Marine (now Army)! We appreciate all that they do! My son was in Iraq at the beginning and did his training at Camp Lejeune!
I hope you have a great Christmas!
I am still starting out, I haven't completed all my requirements for a "business" yet. Like for instance, in NC you can't have the fridge or freezer in the garage..so have to do some moving around at home.
I wish i could do a store front/commerial space, as it would mean more room. But just don't have the money. I haven't even hit the local stores or anything yet..I have found just doing a birthday party for someone, you suddenly have 10 moms who want you to do their kids birthday party!
btw, you have to charge sales tax in NC..not sure if that applies to miltary bases or not.
I also hit sams and cosco and anywhere I could find for cheaper supplies!!
I think it all depends on the post and the state. I mainly decorate cakes for fun and for friends. My husband is Army and I know that some larger posts allow demonstrators to have business on post since there is no overhead stock, but some smaller bases dont allow them at all. I think it gets tricky when it comes to food business'. If you already know where your going, contact the housing office to see what they say. Rather then do all the work for a home business check to see if you should be leaning more towards leasing a store front.
I have been through my housing office & just waiting on my new address and keys for them to right the letter. Their requirements were that my business could not interfere with residents (so delivery only) & could not be a service already provided by base (we have a commissary, but I do specialty cakes not applicable to them). I now have to go through the DoAg red tape to see if they will inspect my house. The two times I called before I got, "We have no jurisdiction on base." SO I am trying to find out who does. lol
The paperwork they sent didn't say anything about garage space being off limits. I will have to ask again since that is where my second frisge & my deep freeze will be going. There is no other space in these houses.
I know I can't charge sales taxes since I live on the installation. I charge can charge a flat fee only so sayeth the base. lol
Does anyone know who to call on the county level about state taxes? I have all the paperwork for federal. I am not sure about state though since I am out of state resident & working on a military installation.