Starting A Business With A Partner

Decorating By pennywells Updated 16 Mar 2009 , 2:12pm by Cakes_By_Bright

pennywells Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 12:53pm
post #1 of 7

Need some advice! I have been working with my partner for about a year know. We are currently baking out of our homes and we are starting to get extremely busy. We work together very well and have the same goals, visions, etc, for our business. We are talking about opening a shop, which we could get fairly cheap because her father owns the plaza. Her are some of my concerns.
1. The economy, is this really the time to open a shop. Brides still need wedding cakes, and we do faux cakes, still getting orders for $50 birthday cakes but I am still nervous. We are in an area that is pretty depressed.
2. I just read on here someone talking about all the work and long hours and time away from their families. I was a stay at home mom that got bored and started doing this. I would love to be succesful (that's the competitor in me) but I am afraid of the time away from my kids. I don't mind 40 hours a week, but reading some of these topics I am getting nervous. Do you think it will be less stressful since their will be two of us starting it up, dividing up responsibilities?

Just need a some advice from those who started up with a partner or by themselves. What was your biggest hurdle?

Thanks

6 replies
Cakes_By_Bright Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 1:34pm
post #2 of 7

Hi penny!

First let me tell you, my partner and I opened up a cybercafe (there's is not an actualy cybercafe in our town, the only similar thing is a restaurant with Wi-Fi and Starbucks here closed icon_wink.gif ) about 2 1/2 months ago...I want to first tell you, if you get a lot of orders from your home, your def gonna get orders from your shop and hon, it is NOT 40 hrs a week that you gotta put in.

I don't have any kids but I LOVe being at home with my pets and just relaxing. I was working from home and it kinda got to me cause I felt my social life went null. I wanted to be OUT of the house. So, when the idea for the cybercafe came up I said let's just go with it. I am able to work from the shop in an office for my regular job.

Although responsibilities are divided...there's still a lot that goes into it. There's the inventory and buying, there's the bill paying, there's the marketing, there's the customer service (which I honestly leave up to my partner unless it's for cupcakes - tha's my area icon_wink.gif ) and worse...there's the getting all your numbers and books in orders because of taxes.

I thought it was cool cause we were spending time together (he's my bf)...and I thought we open 6 days a week and we'll have the 7th to relax. Yeah...umm we use the 7th to be at home to do big time cleaning since during the week it's hard to do the nitty-gritty at home cause there's the nitty-gritty at the shop. THEN my mom once called asking when was i going to visit her. So, we saved a Sunday for her, then the next, cleaning and shopping for the shop. Yesterday HIS mom called...so it's a lot of time you spend on the shop and on your family.

yes, the economy is bad. I for one know this, but I serisouly believe it'll get better. For me there's always going to be those students that leave work for last minute and need to use the computer or get copies, there's a couple of girls that work next door that have complained they gained weight because of the cupcakes (jokingly of course) so you'll always have clients. you mustn't get frustrated because of that, those are just pebbles. My little sister (well she's actually 19) calls me once in a while so I can pick her up and bring her over to the shop to hang out. When I can I sit and just "hang" with her.

So, it's hard (over 40 hours) and you'll need to make adjustments, you'll probably cry sometimes at night, and you'll make the most of any time off, you'll even have a point where you MUST go into a room and just scream and pull your hair a bit but...it's DEFINITELY worh it. We're still going through our biggest hurdle which is money. They say you shouldn't expect profit within the first but it's still hard as he77. Know what keeps me going? I don't like things kicking my a$$. icon_wink.gif But also, there's this Recipe for Success episode I have stored on my Tivo and whenever I feel like stopping I watch it again. (It was about a new bakeshop). Good luck!!

indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 1:37pm
post #3 of 7

Actually, the two things you listed are the LEAST of your concerns. Working with a partner is very delicate and can be very stressful. You need to have an attorney draw up partnership papers which spell out IN DETAIL the going in and the getting out clauses.

My attorney talked about partnerships with me and said a 50-50 deal NEVER works because SOMEBODY has to be in charge. What if you say no and she says yes on something? Who is the tie breaker? Needs to be 49-51 at the minimum.

Also, what if one of you wants out? What if the other can't afford to buy them out? THen both of you are out of business because the biz has to be sold so the one partner can get their money out. Or what if one partner wants out and says "This person is buying my half." Does the other partner have any say in who can buy into the business ... in who they are "stuck" working with?

To answer your original questions, I've NEVER read, at any time in history, where anyone says "Oh, yes, THIS is a GREAT time to open a biz!" The naysayers are never encouraging and it's always a bad time, according to them. So it's your gut feeling and your market research part of your business plan that will help you with that decision.

Hours at the shop? Depends on your volume and the kinds of products you carry and how you are set up. I'm not a retail shop, so I dont' have to go in at the butt-crack of dawn to make doughnuts and pastries andbrownies and all that other stuff in the front cases. And I have found it's not the baking/decorating that keeps me working ... it's the paperwork and the marketing and the organizing and the cleaning and the supply buying and putting it away when the delivery comes in (and did I mention the cleaning?)

Cakes_By_Bright Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 1:41pm
post #4 of 7

ANOTHER reason I started...I hate "what ifs...?" I can't stand thinking if I'm 85 and I ask myself "What if I DID open that shop?" No no no...not happening to me. Of course some may say wait...but what if tomorrow i'm in an accident and become paraplegic? I know some people think it's awful to think that way, but I think we're here only for a short amount of time and you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. if it doesn't work out (and I pray it will) well, at least I tried. It's not like I'm going to die or anything, ya know what I mean?

I say go for it. I know kids grow up fast, and I don't know their ages, but i'm sure you and your partner can work something out. When my sister was around 8 I would take her with me to work with her backpack full of Barbies and she would sit by my desk just playing and I'd play with her on my break. Funny, after I left that job and started working as a supermarket cashier she always asked when I was going to take her to work. icon_sad.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 1:50pm
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakes_By_Bright

[color=green]ANOTHER reason I started...I hate "what ifs...?" I can't stand thinking if I'm 85 and I ask myself "What if I DID open that shop?" No no no...not happening to me.



me, too!

One of my favorite quotes:

"Regret for the things we have done can be tempered by time. It is regret for the things we have NOT done that is inconsolable."

I kinda live the Nike life ... "Just Do It"

Mencked Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 1:50pm
post #6 of 7

Even though your working relationship is great right now, starting a business with a partner can go south in a hurry.....I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan and he cautions people to never start a business with a partner.....I'm going to take his advice and I think you 2 should really think through all what-ifs in your personal relationships as well as the professional aspects.
As for the timing.....it's a great time to start a business! Choose to not participate in this downturn in the economy....help in the recovery!!!

Cakes_By_Bright Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:12pm
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Hours at the shop? Depends on your volume and the kinds of products you carry and how you are set up. I'm not a retail shop, so I dont' have to go in at the butt-crack of dawn to make doughnuts and pastries andbrownies and all that other stuff in the front cases. And I have found it's not the baking/decorating that keeps me working ... it's the paperwork and the marketing and the organizing and the cleaning and the supply buying and putting it away when the delivery comes in (and did I mention the cleaning?)




OH MY GOD YES!! THE CLEANING!!! At home you can go to bed and say "forget it I'll was that cup tomorrow" but not at the shop. Plus, not a lot of people "sanitize" at home like you have to in the shop. The paperwork sucks big time. Where I live taxes are done monthly (and yes after being told it was one a year I find a month late that it's monthly. icon_mad.gif The bf once said don't print any of the sales reports keep them in the computer. Of course I print them out, and guess what crashed a few days later? I just waved my reports around and pranced. With us it's old-skool vs. new ...but yeah everything indy mentioned. But it's OH so worth it! I get to the shop sometimes and think "wow...this is ours".

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