Ok so for those of you who are now owning your own company I have a question....
How did you figure out or when did you figure out when the right time was to quit the full time job and concentrate fully on your company? I know it's like the "We just aren't ready for a child debate".... When is the right time.
I'm asking because I'm coming up on being in business for a year. My business has grown in this time and where I never thought I would be doing wedding cakes I now am. I've toyed with the idea of looking for a location for a shop, but shoot the rent alone is just way expensive. I know though that a store front brings people in.... I've been working full time through all of this, and have quite a many weekend night with no sleep. When does it get to the point of saying ok time to step away from the guaranteed paycheck and run with owning your own company?
I'm finding that working 40 hours a week and having a wedding cake or two on a weekend is getting to be a bit tough.
Would love to hear everyone's thoughts and experience on this one.
Wow, you and I are under the exact situationâ¦ I work 40hrs a week on my daytime job and last weekend I made 5 cakes, including a HUGE wedding cake for 240!
Donât ask me how many hours I sleptâ¦
I would love to hear what others have to say.
Think about how many weddings (and how big) you're getting for next year, not just what was booked when the economy looked different.
I did it gradually...but I was lucky. I did mainly party cakes, limited it to 3 a week while working a 60 plus hour a week job (I was in the IT field...40 hour a week jobs dont exist..) I took on weddings my second year and very limited them. That second year, the business went nuts and I found myself working 9-12 hours a day at my regular job then coming home and working till 2 in the morning on the cakes. As well as taking phone calls on my cell during the day. I realized it was time to make a decision when I had a cake pickup and was called into work on an emergency one Saturday morning. My DH had to handle the cake. I went to my boss, who knew I had the biz, and I downgraded my job at work to just building servers and doing lower level repairs. Cut my hours to 25 a week. I had thursday and fridays off and was able to take on a lot more cakes! Last January, when I realized I had 60 weddings on the books, I went to my boss and it was an interesting meeting, because he knew why I was there...On that day I said goodbye to the IT field and haven't looked back. (although it is still a field that has a lot of jobs and I get calls every week asking if I want a job. I think about sitting in a cube and being on call and dealing with that side of my brain again..I almost went back a couple of times, as the money was so friggin good and the economy has me nervous, but I just love doing the cakes too much and I tell you once you are your own boss) anyway, sorry to make this so long...but it is a process you have to think long and hard over. I am lucky and live in a state where I can do it from my home. And most of the bakeries around here are from the home, so people are used to it. I thought about a store front as well and found the perfect place, but the banks are not lending money right now. So I decided to wait another year for that. As far as deciding, I agree, make sure you have the cakes on the books. Look at your bills and see if you can afford it. I don;t know what your full time job is now, but I took a huge cut in pay to do this, but I can still manage the bills. And I had to give up a lot, not only money,but vacations and new clothes and things like. And benefits, can you manage without the benefits of working?
Anyway, good luck! I know you are thinking wow I am exhausted, but I have to warn you: If you quit your full time job, you have to take on more cakes and you still will not get any sleep during the weekends!
Thanks Lori for sharing that with us. I know it's not a walk in the park when you go full time cakes. But for example I had a full work week last week and two weddings due on Saturday. I didn't get any sleep Friday night because I was up all night decorating and was up until 10 or so on Saturday. This in turn made me so tired that I slept most of yesterday away and I'm still tired today.
I was just curious as to if there was a clue or something that will help as a trigger of when I could say to my job I need to go part time or no time. I had a tasting scheduled for this evening that I had to call to reschedule because I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough yesterday to prepare for it.
I'm gradually working my way there....A couple of weeks ago I had to actually take vacation days from my regular job to complete a gigantic wedding-wedding cake for 400 and additionally 400 red velvet cupcakes for the groom's cake and another 3-tier sweet 16 birthday cake. I just keep trying to juggle the two because I have 2 kids in college right now and because not every week is like that, although I think it could be if I could just advertise a little--OK does not allow home kitchens to be licensed. Anyway, I'm buying used commercial equipment (my garage is filling up) and I have a building in the works, but I'm paying as I go--I refuse to go into debt for this....but it's something I truly love to do and want to make a career of it (even at the age of 46!)
I spent over a year getting by on 4 hours sleep a night ... full time job, plus spending 4+ hours a day baking 300 cookies .... every day .... in a home oven! Plus I was doing 2-4 sampling appts a week, plus wedding cakes AND full catering! I scheduled a lot of Fridays as vacation days when I had big weddings. My lunch hours were spent picking up supplies (thank goodness I worked just 3 minutes away from a Sam's club!)
My 2nd year, My sales tripled and I grossed almost twice as much money in cake/catering as I did at my full time job. But I was about max'd out on capacity ..... I couldn't take on more with a full time job and a home kitchen. It was time to move on....
I got my financing in March .... told my boss I'd be leaving by the end of the year. In November, the company had a down-sizing and since I was planning on leaving anyway, he picked me to downsize! Yay!!! (Now I get unemployment! ) And it was smart biz move on his part ... I was leaving anyway and it saved the job of someone who needed to stay with the company.
There are no guarantees .... the time is never "right" to open a business, to change jobs, to buy a house, to have a baby.
"Good things come to those who wait ... but only the things left by those who hustle." ..... A. Lincoln