I was wondering if there have been any of you that had to build there home cake business from nothing with not that much money. I have a place for a business and the willingness to do whatever it takes but we have 3 kids and only my husband works. My brother gave me a fridge (coke cooler) and the HD said for now I can use 2 regular sinks with a splashguard. Im just wondering if this is going to just become a disappointment or if someone else has been able to do it. I guess I just need a success story to give me the boost I need.
It all depends on how you define success, and how hard you want to work. You can start a business with very little money. Word of mouth will get many jobs for you while you improve your skills.
You may have difficulty doing too much with your children 'in the way' You have to find and keep to your limits.
Like the PP said, it's all in how much you want to work at it!
I had my cake business and it literally took off like a rocket... the week after I lost my use of the space (that first month I got about 2x as many contacts as I had for the entire previous year - now THAT is painful to turn that much money away after you'd been struggling)... because the site decided they no longer wanted me to do any cakes there and I had to be 100% out with my equipment by the weekend. What added insult to injury, it was my IL's family business (though my IL's weren't allowed any part in the decision making process)...
Anyways, since then we've been purchasing smart for building a new space. I've been watching the used equipment market and following auctions. When I find one that isn't well publicized to all of the restaurant auction sites I go and can usually pick up equipment for pennies on the dollar... I got my Hobart Commercial oven for $145 (yes, it's not missing a decimal there! and I truly went in thinking it was going to have one)... I got my hand sink for $30... I got my 20qt mixer for $300 (though I've probably got to put another $2-300 in new bowls/paddles/beater and a trip to the detail shop) but that's still less than the $900 price tag for it used otherwise. I bought my flooring at $9/box at a Home Depot going out of business sale... We also are trying to do this thing with 100% financing without going into debt because that's one way to ensure success because it eliminates a monthly payment to the bank and the costs become what you use (power, cool/heat, materials, and maintenance).
You've also got to consider that by the time all of the investing is done and what it's going to cost you for purchasing the equipment it's a lot cheaper/financially viable to take a job working for Walmart or the local grocery store as a decorator. Sure you don't get as much of a creative outlet, but you do get the most valuable thing, a good paycheck and far fewer hours on your feet! When it's a one-woman-show, you've got to balance having the kiddos wanting to poke at cakes (OTOH, I had the only 2yo who knew wash your hands while singing the ABC's, wear gloves in the kitchen and most of all wear a hat), you've got deadlines that your DH isn't going to be too happy to help meet because he thinks it's taking time away from him, etc.. You've got to consider all of the costs involved for whether it's worth it to you and your relationship. OTOH, if you take 100% of your earnings working for someone else part-time for the next 2 years and invest it properly into equipment as you go (lots of places going out of business now), you'll find yourself making smarter business/financial decisions early instead of getting a loan knowing it's going to take 3-5 years for business to really get consistent enough to manage the tough from the tougher times to make it successful in the long term.
Start with your business and marketing plans. Be brutal with them, figure on the worst case senario of the HD/DOA/CHD making you do the expensive upgrades...
Good luck!!!!! If the drive is there nothing will get in your way and a jelly bean sized step is a lot better than diving in head first into a shallow pool and finding yourself in a world of hurt with the HD/DOA/CHD....
Thank you! I do want this more than anything and Im willing to work my butt off. I have a place here at home for my own business. I dont want to go into debt either, I want to put some of my profits back in my business and I wont be able to if We pay someone back all that intrest and that would only leave us broke on the slow seasons.As for the labor my husband does masonry now but used to do construction so thats no problem, plus im willing to get dirty. I talked to the HD today and he gave me the low down. Im just going to have to put my heart and sole into it. This is my passion and I dont think ill be happy doing anything else. Good luck with you business, I hope you get things going.