I'm new to this whole thing, and not really looking to start a business tomorrow, but I would like to do it eventually as I get better at it. So, my question is, how would one even begin to start a cake decorating business? What would someone need in order to even get a business license? I'm so excited about starting this new hobby of decorating cakes, but am a little put off by the fact that I wouldn't even know how to sell one if someone wanted it. lol.
Your first step is to read almost every thread in the Business Forum. I'm not kidding. There is a GOLDMINE of info from some very knowledgeable and talented people in those threads.
Find out in your state if you can be licensed to work out of your home or if you are required to have a "real" storefront location.
And start researching your business plan. When I did mine, it took 9 months, a CPA, and an orgz that helps biz's write biz plans ... and about $2500 in fees. It's a LOT of work and can't be just thrown together over a weekend.
Yup what indy said, I started my business 3 years ago found this site last spring and havent stopped learning from it since LOL Read, read, read then ask questions when you need to.
As far as I know, you are allowed to bake from your home kitchen in Virginia so you have that working for you.
You will also need liability insurance.. commercial auto insurance (because you will be using your car for deliveries so it is now officially a work vehicle).. to sit down and figure out what it costs you to make your cakes. I'm talking ingredients, boards, piping bags (if you go disposable), dowels or support system, cake drum, boxes to put cakes in.. you name it.. so you can figure out what to charge for your cakes to make it profitable to you.
Being that you can bake from home, your overhead won't be so bad, but your time is worth something so don't work for peanuts. Be prepared to bleed sweat and cry.. LOL.. but it's a great profession.. honest it is.
Thanks! I've been on this site for about a week and have already learned so much, and I look forward to learning even more!!! At least I know Quickbooks back and forward already, so I'm kinda ahead on that as well. lol.
A ditto to everything already mentioned above. It took me 18 months from initial decision to start a business to launch. During that time I was busy working out my target market, PR and advertising strategies, building the website, corresponding with my Environmental Health Officer to make sure I was making the correct changes to my kitchen, building a portfolio, learning about the tax implications...
I'd do a Google search for business plans. If you can get a template of headers, it'll give you a good idea as to what areas you need to research and what information you'll need to gather.