When Do You Make The Move? (Long)

Business By Cascades Updated 5 Mar 2009 , 9:02pm by Deb_

Cascades Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 12:05am
post #1 of 16

I have been agonizing for weeks now of where to go with my business. I work about thirty hours a week for our local school district. My take home pay is about the same amount as I would make doing two moderately priced wedding cakes. But I do have medical and dental and retirement.

I also am one of the extremely lucky few in Califorina to have a separate licensed commercial kitchen in a cottage adjacent to my home. The problem is that I live in an extremely rural area. All my wedding cakes are in a larger community about 60 miles away. I have been doing well enough lately, that I just recently rented a place inside a floral shop in a very busy business district. I have a table with a cake display and my photo's and I can use it anytime to meet my brides.

My problem is that as I am getting busier, I don't know when would be a good time to quit my job. I know the economy is bad, but I find myself so overwhelmed. The time and energy at my current job is a lot ( I work in a Jr High Cafeteria) on my feet all the time. I am ok right now with all the time invested in both jobs, but I am really beginning to wonder am I crazy for not going full force with the cakes? I can make more money in one weekend with my cakes than what I make all month at my other job. If I was able to devote myself all week strictly to the wedding cakes, I could take in more cakes and increase my income. I am turning away weddings as it is. (I only do wedding and tiered party cakes.) I feel so pulled in both directions. Crazy to quit my job in this economy, but losing so much money by not being able to devote my full attention to the cakes.

What I am really afraid of is that I will burn out soon and just be stuck in a job I hate right now. I am on my own after the end of a 25 year marriage and security seems sensible, but going for it seems liberating.
Am I crazy?

15 replies
snarkybaker Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 12:09am
post #2 of 16

When you make enough to match your salary plus pay for the benefits you have for 3 successive months ( not april may and june BTW), then you can have a reasonable chance at paying your bills.

majormichel Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 12:20am
post #3 of 16

Follow your heart, the thing yoy enjoy most will bring the wealth. Don't worry about the economy. I was watching Joel Osteen (Preacher) on Sunday. He was encouraging his member to think positibe inspite of the economy. Also, he said expect something unexpected to happened for you this year. Alot of people saids the economy this and that (bad news), I am not putting my trust in the economy but a higher power who made the universe -God.

alvarezmom Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 12:30am
post #4 of 16

First your cakes are beautiful. I love the one with the brushed embroidery.

It's a hard choice to make. With the economy and ppl losing their jobs left and right I can understand how you would be torn.

Having medical and retirement is so important. If I would you I would call around to some of the bigger medical companies and get quotes. I am always seeing medical companies advertise "Pay for what you want in health insurance"! icon_smile.gif Shop around for the things that are important to you. You should also check with your bank and see if they have a retirement plan.

jennifer7777 Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 12:49am
post #5 of 16

I think you're in a good place, actually. And before I continue, let me state my jealousy for having your kitchen out here in this "no-home-baking-allowed-state-of-CA" icon_wink.gif
Perhaps you could calculate the income missed from having to turn down orders and see where you would be if you took the orders.
As far as benefits, etc. maybe you can find plans out there where you will be able to pay for your own benefits.
This may just be the best time for you to start your business. And like another poster said, when you do what you love, the $ will come.
Good luck in whatever you decide...I'm rooting for you.

Deb_ Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 1:50am
post #6 of 16

If you work at a school do you have summers off? I agree with txkat, wait a minute....... icon_confused.gif snarkybaker? is that a new screen name? Stop confusing me people icon_lol.gif

Anyway back on topic....I don't have to tell you how much healthcare benefits are worth, not to mention a pention plan.

My advice is when you have enough money saved to cover at least 6 months of your living expenses i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, gas, healthcare costs etc., then I would feel comfortable leaving my job to take the plunge with the cake business.

If you do have summers off and you can collect during the summer, I would not quit that job. In this economy you need to know that you can count on a certain amount of money a month, with cakes there are slow months but the bills still come in. Especially since you are the sole supporter of yourself without a second income to fall back on.

It's a tough decision, I wish you luck with whatever you decide. icon_smile.gif

snarkybaker Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 1:57am
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

If you work at a school do you have summers off? I agree with txkat, wait a minute....... icon_confused.gif snarkybaker? is that a new screen name? Stop confusing me people icon_lol.gif

Anyway back on topic....I don't have to tell you how much healthcare benefits are worth, not to mention a pention plan.

My advice is when you have enough money saved to cover at least 6 months of your living expenses i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, gas, healthcare costs etc., then I would feel comfortable leaving my job to take the plunge with the cake business.

If you do have summers off and you can collect during the summer, I would not quit that job. In this economy you need to know that you can count on a certain amount of money a month, with cakes there are slow months but the bills still come in. Especially since you are the sole supporter of yourself without a second income to fall back on.

It's a tough decision, I wish you luck with whatever you decide. icon_smile.gif




I thought the new name fit my mood lately icon_confused.gif I left the avatar the same so as not to be confusing... icon_wink.gif

To the OP: Don't underestimate the value of your health care plan. My insurance just went up over $100 per month per employee..to close to $350 each..and their average age is 23 icon_mad.gif Viva single-payer healthcare!!

Cascades Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 4:56am
post #8 of 16

Thanks everybody for the advice. TKelly the school I work at is year round so unfortunately I do not get the summers off. If I did, I wouldn't even be considering it right now, my position used to be a 9 month position, but when they hired me two years ago they turned it into a year round job. I was thinking of asking my boss if it was possible to go back to nine months. Since California is having huge budget problems and the schools are looking for ways to cut back I might have a chance.

I was thinking if I could get the summers off it would give me a chance to give it my all and see how it goes. I guess I should try that.

Again, thanks everybody for the advice.

Rocketgirl899 Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 5:10am
post #9 of 16

i wouldnt give up retirement... especially if they match it...

janelwaters Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 5:38am
post #10 of 16

My husband works for UPS and his insurance is free, free for the whole family! I told him once that if he ever quit his job not to come home! And if for any reason if he got fired he better do "WHATEVER" it took to get his job back!

He is still "on the bottom", working nights, part time, unloading semi trucks - not the most glamorous job, or the most in the paycheck, but when you compare just the health benefits to the $650 a month I was paying at my old job - its THE best job in the world!

No one ever "plans" to get sick, but let me tell you from experience - the LAST thing you need if you do get sick, is to look at all the medical bills, it can and will financially ruin you. Last year I ended up having to spend 2 nights in the hospital - the bills added up to almost $9,000 - for 2 nights!! That doesn't include the follow up dr's appointments etc.

I would try to work with your employer to somehow cut your hours and keep your benefits and then work on your cakes. Do that for as long as you can to keep your benefits. Private insurance vs. a group policy is a HUGE financial difference!

Now that I have rambled on about the value of health insurance (no I don't sell insurance) - good luck with whatever you decide to do! Your cakes are AMAZING and I have serious cake envy over your cottage kitchen!

Deb_ Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 1:59pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascades

Thanks everybody for the advice. TKelly the school I work at is year round so unfortunately I do not get the summers off. If I did, I wouldn't even be considering it right now, my position used to be a 9 month position, but when they hired me two years ago they turned it into a year round job. I was thinking of asking my boss if it was possible to go back to nine months. Since California is having huge budget problems and the schools are looking for ways to cut back I might have a chance.

I was thinking if I could get the summers off it would give me a chance to give it my all and see how it goes. I guess I should try that.

Again, thanks everybody for the advice.




This was what I was thinking........it would be a perfect way for you to see how much you could make doing just cakes for a few weeks.

I've always been self-employed......right out of hairdressing school I worked for a salon but paid a percentage of my earnings as rent and had no benefits. I've owned my own Salon for about 14 yrs now, I do have self-employment insurance, but believe me it stinks when I take a week off and the only income I get is from my operators rent. I had foot surgery 2 yrs ago and was out of work for 12 weeks, the insurance didn't even pay me half of what I usually take home.

My point is if I weren't married and my DH didn't have healthcare, and a steady income, I could never have depended on my salary from the salon and cakes to survive. It's really hard when you're a small business woman, if you don't work you don't get paid. There is no such thing as a "sickday".

Don't get me wrong there are a LOT of perks to being self-employed, it just takes a little more creative thinking and planning for a "rainy day" to make it work.

As far as retirement goes, if it weren't for my DH getting me into some IRA's I probably wouldn't have put anything away, fortunately he made me. Even though 401k's are tanking right now, they will come back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I think your idea of asking for reduced hrs in the summer is a good one, especially with all the layoffs Arnold is handing out.

Good luck, your work is gorgeous I know you'll be very successful!
Deb

Cascades Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 2:53pm
post #12 of 16

Thanks everyone for the great advice and the wonderful compliments. I will go today and ask my boss about the reduced hours. Two and a half months off is a great way to get re-energized and see how much I can get done with my business.

Thanks again. Have a wonderful day all!

Anne

Cascades Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:25pm
post #13 of 16

Just a quick update: I talked to my boss and YES! I can work just the regular school year and get my summers off. I feel so blessed. I just wanted to let all of you with your dreams of owning your own business know to hang in there. I know at times it seems impossible, but take it one day at a time. A long time ago a friend of mine told me if you really want to make something happen, do one thing each day that works towards that goal.

So for all your decorators maybe if you find just little things, learn a new technique, read a new book, stay connected with other decorators, if nothing else maybe even a prayer for that day. It works. Look at me, I live in a state that says a big NO to home-based kitchen, yet after a lot of networking and talking to others I found a way around it. I am pretty much self taught so everyday I do have to do something new to keep ahead. Many days I feel stagnant and frustrated (especially when things are slow) and yet others days I am exhausted. Those are the days when I find a prayer is all I can muster up to keep the goal going.

A big hug to all you guys on CC. This forum is always a motivator.

Anne

janelwaters Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:47pm
post #14 of 16

oh Anne!!! I am so happy for you!!!! Congrats and good luck this summer!!

twindees Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 3:05pm
post #15 of 16

Congratulations Anne, thats AWESOME news. I am so happy for you. All the best to you and your business. You are surely a source of motivation and inspiration to me.


Stay Blessed.

Deb_ Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:02pm
post #16 of 16

Oh Anne, that's awesome news........I'm so happy for you. You'll have the best of both worlds, extra time off during the busy Wedding season yet the security of having your benefits and a pay to fall back on.

I wish you the very best in building up your business, you are going to make a lot of brides VERY happy with your gorgeous cakes!!

Good luck again,
Deb

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