Need To Rant About Partner!

Business By ponderiffic Updated 25 Jun 2008 , 8:15pm by Mike1394

ponderiffic Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 3:18pm
post #1 of 52

My next door neighbor and I took Wilton classes at our Hobby Lobby last summer. We had a good time and started making cakes for friends, family and coworkers. Eventually we thought we could start making some money by making cakes out of our homes.I came up with a business name, she came up with our slogan, and my husband created a webpage for us. (Love having a web developer husband!) She then started talking about advertising and started printing business cards, note pads, magnets, pens... anything you can think of, using vistaprint.com. We started looking for places to open a real cake shop in our home town.

Now the entire time I am a little reserved. I am not a risk taker. I rushed through college as fast as I could so I could get out there and start working. Being a teacher, I know there will be work for me and a steady paycheck. She is enthusiastic and friendly which would be helpful in running a store front, but her decorating skills have never been outstanding, mostly because she does not have the time to invest in getting more practice. She has 3 kids and a husband, where as I have no kids. I also know that starting a business from scratch is an expensive risk to take.

WELL, we started getting business from outside people from our business cards and website. It's wonderful and she and I were both excited about these new opportunities to work and show our skills. She had her cakes and I had mine but we worked under the same company name and would help each other out if need be.

This past Friday she had two cakes due for a b-day party on Saturday. She had to make a tinkerbell one and a hellboy one for this lady who had contacted us from our website a month ahead of the event. She made two overcooked, dry 9x13 cakes, frosted them half-assed and expected the customer to fork over the cash. They only paid $30 but still!

The customer complained. She told her friends about the crappy cakes. Her friend posted a negative rant about our cake business on her neighborhood bulletin board in her town, telling everyone to never do business with us. My friend, who lives in the same neighborhood, saw it passed it on to me so I could see what was being said. Being one of my biggest fans she was appalled by the post and the cake pictures that were posted!

Now my partner was out of town this weekend so I didn't see her until last night. She is completely nonchalant about the entire thing. Shows me her "ugly cakes". When I tell her that I had to call the complaining customer and make things right by making another cake for her (the same time I am doing a friends WEDDING cake) she seems upset that I feel this way. Tells me the lady will never be satisfied and I should just let it go! GRRR!

She huffed out of my house. Later she came back and returned my cake stuff she had been using and my house key. I guess we are no longer friends.

What do you think? Sorry so long!
What can I do? I want to make the customer happy and I want to remain friends.
All comments and suggestions welcome!

Thanks,
Holly

51 replies
foxymomma521 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 52

If you ever want to make caking a full time thing, you need to let her go NOW. If she doesn't get it now, she never will.

oliveoyle Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:01pm
post #3 of 52

I have to agree with foxymomma she is either going to get it now or she never will, and if she is not going to worry whether the cakes she makes for the customers aren't up to par, perhaps you need a different partner or none at all.

A good reputation is a difficult thing to achive and a very easy thing to lose.

ponderiffic Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:05pm
post #4 of 52

I'm wondering if I need to start over. Should I change my company name?

ponderiffic Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:07pm
post #5 of 52

I'm wondering if I need to start over. Should I change my company name?

Amy729 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:11pm
post #6 of 52

If possible, I personally, would change my business name.

I wouldn't want anyone to speak negatively of your cakes because of that situation with your "friend".

Good luck!

Amy

arosstx Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:14pm
post #7 of 52

I would change the name, get on the website and remove her info from it - good thing YOUR husband did the website.

Just a caution though - I would be very careful about advertising a cake business that is done from your home. It is not legal in Texas to do that. You have to have an inspected, county health dept. approved kitchen and/or storefront to bake and sell cakes from. Inspectors are notorious for checking the internet for people that advertise cakes and are not legal. I know because it happened to two people I know and it forced them to rent commercial space, get commercial insurance, etc... $$$$$

Good luck with your situation!

becky27 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:24pm
post #8 of 52

well why don't you wait and see if the lady likes this cakes....perhaps you can salvage your reputation....its really hard to find a partner that is on the same page as you sometimes....unfortunately your friend...doesn't seem to care about the end product as much as you!!! or about making things right with a customer who is unhappy!!! sorry things didn't work out with the both of you...good luck!!!!

Ironbaker Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:26pm
post #9 of 52

I agree with arosstx. But also, since she is a friend, I'd try to speak with her to let her know how you feel and what you want to do. If she doesn't understand, she doesn't understand. Good luck, that's a tough situation.

Do you know if she's a member of this site?

Carolynlovescake Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:27pm
post #10 of 52

Holly,

I'll post more later because I'm holding a sleeping baby (with a summer cold)right now & loving on her but until I have both hands to type *hugs* to you.

terrylee Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:28pm
post #11 of 52

I'm sorry that happened to you....your partners work does reflect on you and your business...Get out now. Maybe your friendship can be saved, if you want it.

Get a new name for your business... your cakes are good and by word of mouth you'll get customers. The bake at home is a tricky business like arosstx said.

Good luck.

Mac Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:29pm
post #12 of 52

Yep, I had to pay a fine for baking out of the house. However, it did get me off my tail and get serious about finding a place to rent. So, it was kind of a blessing in $$ disquise.

Definitely have the website redone. Your neighbor seems really smart with the other aspects of a business...maybe something like that would work out. You cakin' and her working on promoting the business? Just a thought if you wanted to try to salvage the neighborly friendship.

edith123 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:30pm
post #13 of 52

I have to agree with foxymomma521. You are better of letting her go rightnow then later when things get worst!

mlharvell Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:37pm
post #14 of 52

I say cut your losses and move on.

gottabakenow Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:43pm
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac



Definitely have the website redone. Your neighbor seems really smart with the other aspects of a business...maybe something like that would work out. You cakin' and her working on promoting the business? Just a thought if you wanted to try to salvage the neighborly friendship.




that was my thought too. maybe she could work with the clients since she seems to be a people person and you can do the decorating.

BrandisBaked Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:45pm
post #16 of 52

I can see why she would be insulted. It's almost as if you were showing her up.

Right or wrong (and I believe you did the right thing for your business - but the wrong thing for your friendship) - she has what I think most of us here have... a fragile, artist's ego.

If you want to salvage the friendship, you need to dissolve the business and work independently to avoid situations like this. And I'd apologize to her.

ponderiffic Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:46pm
post #17 of 52

My partner is a member of this site so I run the risk of her seeing what we are writing. I hope she understands that I lover her as a friend but value the work that is created from our company. Check out the pics that were posted on the neighborhood message board for about 1500 people to view.
LL

Ironbaker Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:57pm
post #18 of 52

I have to say...if you do love her and she is a member of this site, I'd rethink posting her cake pictures here...for thousands to view. I know they are under your "business name" but the only thing that will accomplish is embarrassment and some very hurt feelings. And if you do want to salvage the friendship, this is going to make it even more difficult.

OCakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 4:58pm
post #19 of 52

Tough situation... if your friend won't listen, then do you really want to be in business with her? I think you two need to sit down & hash it out. Try to come out friends in the end, whether you're bus.partners or not. Talk to her about what to do in the future if a customer complains, and also advise that you would never turn-out such a sloppy cake & if she needed help completing them, she should have asked. Also, are you ready to have a cake business if she cannot turn-out more than 2 cakes on a weekend? For example, I had a 10yr old in school, was working full time as an Admin.Asst., & was starting my business out of my home - my busiest week at the time had 14 cakes which were all specially decorated. I realize she has kids, but 2 cakes is nothing. My daughter is now 12 & I have 1yr old twins, and I've been baking again since they were 2 months... and doing at least 2 cakes/week, but now I'm back up to making around 8/week, including wedding cakes... & I call it part time. SO, I said all that in order to give some perspective - if she cannot keep up, maybe she can agree to help on a part-time basis? You definitely DON'T want dry cake though! I think she needs to admit she made a mistake & if she's not willing to do that, then don't work with her anymore. I had ONE customer in the past 4 years, say that I gave her a dry cake. I think she was just a grumpy person who likes to complain, because all my customers rave about how moist my cakes are... but you know what? I didn't taste the cake, maybe I DID make a mistake... so, I offered her 50% off a future cake & profusely appologized. I don't say the customer is "always" right, I say they are "usually" right =) Sorry this happened!! I hope you get a Bakery of your own, and succeed!! Good luck with everything, I know it's difficult!

NickiKR Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:02pm
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

I have to say...if you do love her and she is a member of this site, I'd rethink posting her cake pictures here...for thousands to view. I know they are under your "business name" but the only thing that will accomplish is embarrassment and some very hurt feelings. And if you do want to salvage the friendship, this is going to make it even more difficult.




I completely agree with Ironbaker. If you want to salvage your friendship, this isn't the way to go.

MaryAnnPriest Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:04pm
post #21 of 52

If you want to remain friends (not that she seems to be much of one), your best option is to no longer be business partners. The parting of ways is also the best thing for your business. Your only as strong as your weakest link. No matter how skilled you are her disregard for customer satisfaction along with lack of talent will drag your business down to her lazy level.

cocorum21 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:05pm
post #22 of 52

I agree with Brandi & Iron baker. You need to rethink about posting too much personal info (business name & your web address & photo). What in your eyes may be bad work, even if the customer was not satisfied, she may have been proud of at the time. Maybe she just has a different outlook on the business than you do. Business and friendships should not mix.

I would apologize to her. I wouldn't discuss business with her when you apologize leave that for another day. Let her know that her friendship(feelings) is important to you and agree to dicuss business at another time. But I do think you need to do your own thing independent from hers.

Good luck with everything! thumbs_up.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:21pm
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponderiffic

My partner is a member of this site so I run the risk of her seeing what we are writing. I hope she understands that I lover her as a friend but value the work that is created from our company. Check out the pics that were posted on the neighborhood message board for about 1500 people to view.




Ouch! thumbsdown.gif

No offense, but taking this public and possibly humiliating her was not very "professional". Perhaps you both have some things you need to work on?

maryjsgirl Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:28pm
post #24 of 52

Is her work normally like this?

If not, maybe something is going on in her life. Maybe that is why she is offended? You thought of business first, instead of wondering what was going on with her personally? To me that cake looks like she just doesn't care. I don't want to offend, because she is a member, but she has to see that. She needs to put herself in your shoes also.

OCakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:38pm
post #25 of 52

I had actually meant to ask if she was a member of this site as well... I would delete this if you can. Yikes. Just talk to her asap, it's not good if a lot of time goes by. She was your friend first, but maybe you guys don't make good business partners. So, there are enough customers out there for both - make your own businesses. Good luck with your decisions & I hope you two are able to resolve your differences & just be friends! (This is exactly why I say "no" to my friends when they want to help me bake, etc... I don't want this to happen! But I DO hire them when I put on show & we have FUN together!)..... good luck again. =)

MichelleM77 Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 6:05pm
post #26 of 52

I can see why you would post the pictures. That was the customer's picture that posted it on the neighborhood bulletin board, not your or your friend's picture, but it still might hurt. You are in a tough situation. Sounds like a good sittin down and talkin to is in order.

Sheesh, where did I come from, under a rock down south??? icon_smile.gif

DesignerCakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 6:26pm
post #27 of 52

Business is business and friendship is friendship. When the two mix, it can be very difficult to get out of a tough situation such as yours.

I personally take my cake business EXTREMELY seriously. I compete with the top people in my area. A situation such as this, and most importantly, a similar reaction of a friend and partner, would be a huge turn off for me. I think that as adults and as working professionals, we must take responsibility for our actions.

While it may hurt your partner to see her cake here, she owes it to you, and to herself, to do good by you, the business and her role in it. I don't think posting the public photo on here is going to change any of that - unless you did it with ill intent, which I don't think you did.

I don't think you owe her an apology. She should know better than to walk out on a friend and not acknowledge a job poorly done. She did you and your joint business a disservice and then walked out altogether, rather than accepting responsibility. I'd say you are better off working alone. I take great pride in my work and would never falter on that for anyone, even my closest friends and family.

melodyscakes Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 7:01pm
post #28 of 52

since she ordered all the supplies with the business name, its only fair that she get to keep the name.
plus you can start over....if your legal....you've read post about that already I'm sure.


good luck,


melody

michellesArt Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 7:15pm
post #29 of 52

i started working with a close friend a few years back and it was great because we really complimented each other-i'm more shy and she's definately not, but wheareas she liked decorating she left that up to me because i was better at it but she did things like tarts, tirimasu and dessert-type stuff that i have no patience for (imagine?). you could see if she would do more promoting, some consulting, phones ect and do the more hands on and get her to help with prep things, like making the icings and colouring that would help save time. it was really nice working with my bf, we'd chat and plan and dream...she's sinced moved out of town but is a big supporter still

Maria_Campos Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 7:18pm
post #30 of 52

Tough one, I would let it pass and move on. But I would not post anything on here about her or her cakes if she is a member of CC. You should have this thread removed. I if she see it you should appologies. She ended the partnership when she dropped off your supplies and walked out, but youcan still salvage the friendship if you can get this thread removed. icon_sad.gif

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