The Business Side Of Things

Business By tootie0809 Updated 18 Feb 2009 , 12:04am by tootie0809

tootie0809 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 2:34pm
post #1 of 10

I have almost no experience running my own business. I'm not licensed yet. Still working on finishing my in-home separate kitchen, but I'd like to start reading up and learning about running my business smoothly. I know there are Small Business for Dummies books and things like that out there. I wonder if anyone has any good advice on what books are good to read for running this kind of business. I don't want something too general. Does anyone have any wonderful resource they've used to help run a cake decorating business successfully?

9 replies
pattigunter Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:03pm
post #2 of 10

Make sure you have lots and lots of business before you take that leap. Old Uncle Sam will want a lot of your profit!!!

The only experience I have with small business is through my husband who owns a small lumber company. Its hard to stay afloat in this economy. Taxes, insurance, licenses - it all eats away at any profit you have. Then what little you do have is taxed too......

I'm staying under the radar as long as I can and working out of my home kitchen - just caking for friends and family. I only take one of two cakes a week. It tends to get out of control at times - word gets around that you make cakes and everyone wants one.

playingwithsugar Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:04pm
post #3 of 10

Have you checked the forum archives, using business as your keyword? There has to be a hundred articles on this subject in there.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:10pm
post #4 of 10

I think if you focus on one part of your business or another it might be easier to respond. That's a really broad question so maybe break it down a bit.
You wanna know about
taxes or
sanitation or
selling or
or delivery
or interacting with venues
or can you sleep and run a business too?

Kinda type a little slower. icon_biggrin.gif

tootie0809 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:46pm
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I think if you focus on one part of your business or another it might be easier to respond. That's a really broad question so maybe break it down a bit.
You wanna know about
taxes or
sanitation or
selling or
or delivery
or interacting with venues
or can you sleep and run a business too?

Kinda type a little slower. icon_biggrin.gif

You're right. My question was very broad, wasn't it! I have an S-Corp currently. Is that sufficient or should I go LLC with this specific business? I wonder what is the best way to track expenses. Quickbooks? I have Quicken Home and Business and hate it! The other thing I'm really bad at doing and need to obviously get better at is keeping organized, tracking expenses, etc.

I don't have a ton of business coming in yet, well none actaully other than family, because I am too paranoid about selling withoug being licensed, so I'm taking the leap without having a huge customer base. I haven't done any advertising or websites or business cards or anything really until I'm legal. I've even told my family to hold off on spreading the word until I'm ready to actually take any business they can help me find. Once I'm legal, licensed, and ready to go, I will then market myself and get my website going as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I'm using all of this waiting around for things to get finalized to get all my ducks in a row. I'd like to try to start out as prepared and organized as possible so I can focus on taking and filling orders as soon as I legally can.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:51pm
post #6 of 10

I'm just going sole proprietor so I can write everything off for a while.
I mean if you're not open yet why diddle with it.

I use QB at work and I like it a lot.

Cake Boss might be fun too.

But I am moving slowly because I have several other irons in the fire currently.

tracycakes Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 4:05pm
post #7 of 10

I recommend that anyone wanting to start a business look at local Small Business courses. Last Friday, my hubby and I attended a 3 hour seminar on starting a small business in Arkansas. It was held at a local university campus and underwritten by the university and another entity, I think a local bank that provides small business loans. it only cost $30 each and since my husband is a veteran, his seminar was free.

It was a great source to find out the basics of starting a business. It gave us an overview of what you need to do from doing your feasibility study, writing a business plan, finding out about licenses, taxes, etc. They didn't tell you what you specifically step by step have to do but what kinds of information you need to know and where to find it. They have some other seminars we will attend, like writing a business plan and some others that are more detailed.

I recommend to anyone looking into starting a business see if you can find a class like this is your area. We also found out that through this group that provided the seminar, they will help you along the way with things like reviewing your business plan, answering questions, etc. and it's all free. If I want help with marketing, they even work with the marketing students at the university and create a project that the marketing students create a marketing plan for you. We were amazed at what we found available and will definitely use them as we go forward through this process.

I'm sure that other areas have similar types seminars available. I was very excited to find this cheap resource available that has so much information!

Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to share. Every state and county and city are different on what they require so it's good to find local resources.

indydebi Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:20pm
post #8 of 10

Go to and order the book "The e-Myth" by Michael Gerber. A MUST read for anyone starting a business. It's not a textbook type of book ... it's written in story form that's easy to understand. Buy the book. Today.

I just hired a bookkeeping service. One thing he said that I found very interesting. I mentioned that we had bought Quickbooks, but hubby, while having spent 25 years as a banker, was not a bookkeeper, so he pretty much had no clue on how to "keep the books" for me. (I ended up taking it all back to my Excel Spreadsheet method and pulling an all-nighter to do it.. icon_cry.gif )

Anyway ... what this guy said is that Quickbooks has some good marketing to get the word out on how easy it is .... but if you don't have a bookkeeping background, if you have no clue what you're doing, then you can still screw it up.

I agree with the SBA courses and seminars. These are informative and the folks at SBA are there to help.

Deb_ Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 11:48pm
post #9 of 10

Definitely educate yourself especially about your State, County, City or Town's, rules and regulations as every area is different.

I'll tell you what I've told others..........taking a cake course and buying a starter kit is such a small part of a successful cake business. If you screw up the business end of it, it doesn't matter how delicious and gorgeous your cakes are, the business will fail.

I am not saying this to scare you or anyone else that may be considering getting legal or licensed. I say this because I'm amazed at some of the comments people have made on this site. For example: "I had no idea I needed to factor in the cost of utilities needed to MAKE the cake". I guarantee you there are a number of people here, not even breaking even when they sell their cakes, because they don't figure in ALL the expenses involved.

Taking a small business course at your local community college or high school (some offer them at night for adults), will be the best thing you can do to get started.

Good luck!

tootie0809 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 12:04am
post #10 of 10

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I'm hoping that "knowing what you don't know" will help me find out the things I need to learn so I can run a succesful cake business, on the business side. You're so right that no matter how pretty the cake is, if I can't turn a profit on it and know how to do that each and every time, I will fail. That's why I'm trying to focus on that not-so-fun side of cake decorating. I will defintely check out some business courses or seminars in my area and get the book indydebi suggested.

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