Hello All! I have a little situation that I need to vent to the only ones who understand and have the same love I do. Here's the deal.......
I've been working at home doing cakes sporadically since being unemployed the past year. I did ok, for not really advertising like I should have and still brought in customers, albeit I could have used TONS more! Lol! But........I am about to get married June 20th, and have children. His income would be the bulk, unless.................I either (1) go back to working in the operating room....which causes unimaginable hours and being on the beeper or (2) remain doing cakes....which are not coming like I need them to. Maybe it's just not advertising....and once I do....it will come. I don't want to go back to corportate america because I love what I do and I love being able to be there for my kids. At the same time I need to help as well.
My soon-to-be husband is VERY supportative of my business and believes that once the word gets out like it should I will be crazy busy, especially because I'm moving into a new house this week with a neighborhood full of kids and families. My thinking is to do postcards that say GRAND OPENING with a special on it and place them in their mailboxes. I'm desperate to do anything to keep doing what I love to do and generate the income as well. My fiance isn't stressing about it, but does say it would be nice to have another income flowing in, although he's paying all the bills with no problem! I still want to contribute to the house as well as make people happy with my creations! Can you guys help me? What should I do? Is the postcard idea silly? What would you put on it? Thanks you guys!
do not put anything in mail boxes... I believe the post office considers this a crime. not sure, but check on that.
not sure which state you live in, but most states it is illegal to advertise with out a licsence, depending on which state you live in really depends also how hard the health dept. will fine you.
check those things out BEFORE you do any advertising.
hope this helps!
I think you should do what's best for your family...
for me, that would be staying home.
The postcard sounds like a great idea. What about an "open house" - meet the neighbours and feed them some wonderful cakes and cupcakes.
My suggestion is to do what you LOVE because no one wants to work they want to enjoy and take pride in what they do or they will get in a rut and be unhappy. Market yourself...Make the post card with one of your cake setups. Let family and friends know ...tell your story!!! Then when you move in be sure to get to know the neighbors. Ask a few over for coffee and let them see your creations...Let them take some home to their families and get to know the kids...that way it will be easier to create something they might enjoy. You can do it!!!!
I do like a meet the neighbors.... make a great cake and let casually let them know you do cakes.
search some of the forums for topics about selling legally, or illegally and just read a few first though.
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
I was an ER nurse for 10 years so I kinda know where you are coming from regarding the crazy hours and the stress of that side of your situation. I was fortunate to be able to quit nursing and be a stay at home mom. Cakes became my creative outlet, so I can understand your passion.
Does your state allow baking in a home kitchen? I'd advise against advertising at all unless your state allows home bakers.
Or are you talking about opening a business?
I am a legal home bakery and have passed my health inspection. I'm just moving to a different part of the city of North Carolina. So, is it illegal to put post cards in the mailboxes? I don't mean open them and put them in there, but put them at the bottom in that opening where you get other advertisements. Maybe I wasn't clear about that one! LOL! I just can't see being happy going back to where I was a few years ago. We have a clubhouse in the neighborhood, so maybe I could use that! Especially since the weather is getting warmer and people want something to do as well as some tasty FREE treat! LOL!
I would love to hear the suggestions too. We're on the same boat except we already got married last month. Best wishes to you and your fiance!
I also would advise doing what you love, I wouldn't give up being with my kids for anything and caking gives me the opportunity to keep my kids from those filthy day cares while I'm away slaving at some corporate office making someone else tons of money.
As far as the advertising...if your not licensed, I would walk cautiously on that. Advertise to friends and family, and their friends and family but as far as mass advertising to the open public I think you should check with your towns licensing agency and health dept. to see what the rules are to keep yourself out of any trouble.
Congrats on your engagement. I'm going through the same thing...my husband pays all the bills while I build clientele and is very supportive. That is so important to have that support and you should be thankful of it.
Take your time and think about what exactly it is you want and go for it.
From a personal note I would tell you to stay home and do your cakes, but I would be really careful of spreading the word to much around the block.
I have read many people post on here about how they turned in other people on their blocks or town because A) they are bakers who don't like the competition or because they are licensed and think its unfair B) someone said that they turned someone in because they didnt have a garbage can outside of their home and the customers would throw trash outside on the ground and had the neighborhood looking dirty C)The house didn't look clean (even though these people have never been inside). People get very petty and nit pic at any little detail no matter how insignificant.
Be patient and let the word just spread on its own. I would definitely not go around annoucing it in the neighborhood. There is nothing like being able to stay at home with your kids. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you!
Stay at home and ADVERTISE!!! find out what you need to become registered with the authorities and get insurance. i just started up in october and while i do still work as a legal secretary full time, i am getting between 2 and 5 orders a week and weddings coming up just through a few flyers in local shops and a very simple website which you can direct people to to see your work. its all word of mouth, all you need is a couple of people to see your flyer and tell their friends and before long you will have a business but people need to hear about you first!!
if you fiance can maintain your basic living standard for you to stay at home and do what you love then go for it, but make sure and put your all into building up your business and getting as many people to hear about what you do as possible.
Ummm, the OP has said that she IS a legal home bakery, so I'm a bit confused as to why you haven't been getting your name out there more already?! Sounds like you just need a kick up the butt (meant in the nicest possible way!). Get advertising already!
totally!! (as in i agree with bonjovibabe!) you can get car magnets from vista print quite cheap that you put on the side of your car, see if the local schools will run an add in their newsletter, do a leaflet drop (i don't understand why that would be illegal) advertise in the local paper, if your town gets a coupon paper advertise a % off for all new customers or a free aniversary cake for all wedding cakes booked or something. get a wesite, get tshirts printed and make them your new wardrobe. get stalls at the local fairs or markets participate in local charity events, offer your services as raffle prizes at events where your work can be displayed, get involved in the kids school for fundraising and raffle of your cakes, all the mums will see your work and they obiously have children = bday parties = kids seeing awesome cakes = more orders. i saw an awesome idea of a stamp that had the symbol and name of the company on it and it was stamped into the fondant on the cake board of every cake so that everyone knew where it came from so they didn't have to ask -brilliant!. your kids sports cllubs, your hubbies work (mine is a butcher and i get lots of order from having a stand with pics and business cards) i started out baking for a local cafe not great money but weekly constant and got my name circulated. do the hard yard, put in the hard work, you can't just sit there and wait for people to find you you have to find them. i have had two seperate companies in two completley differnt feilds in tow different states and they both went from nothing to full steem within 12 months of starting. its about drive passion belief and most of all constant hardwork NEVER take your foot of the gas pedal my dear!!! nose to the grindstone thats how you get there!! i hope that helped!!!
Please nix the idea of placing postcards IN people's mailboxes. VERY ILLEGAL! If it doesn't have a stamp on it and been cancelled, it's a no-no. Nothing wrong however, with putting it IN the door, or wrapping it around a doorknob with a rubberband. Or better yet, go around in person, knock on the door, and meet those new people face to face! Good luck.
I think the post cards and an open house serving your delicious cake are a good idea, but I think you should hand deliver them, make it more personal.
I have been a stay at home mom of 2 for allmost 6 years. When my first daughter was born I gave staying at home lot of thought. I finally decided that my daughter needed to be my priority. I came home and told hubby that I was going to quit and stay at home with her. That I had total confidence in his ability to take care of our family. There were times that he did not bring home anything (100% commission salesman) and times that he brought home ALOT. Either way, I stayed home. We learned to prioritize what we really needed to live and what we could cut from our daily lives. I truely believe that any mom can stay home if they have thier priorities right but that has to include your husband making comprimises on things he may be used to having around. I started my cake and candy business in order to help bring money into the household. It is not easy and that is ok with both of us because we are doing what really matters. Listen to your heart as well as your head. SIt down and put things on paper then it will be much more clear to you.
You can put the fliers in newspaper boxes. But you can't put them in mailboxes. It is illegal! The previous company that I worked for got a few warnings from the post office!
i am in the same boat. i am going to school to become a teacher, which is something i've always wanted to do, but it's full time and i'm not working, just doins some cakes here and there whenever i have the time. my husband is supported of whatever i do, but i know he would like an extra income even if he doesn't show it. he's the one who got me started in cakes and helped generate business when we were stationed in italy. he can do it here, but i wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand.
what i did first was have him take a cake to work and then i started getting calls for birthdays and special occasions. i set up a website...which you can do for free and freewebs.com. this will help get your pictures out there for all to see. i also made some business cards and attached them to all the cakes boxes for my customers. i also gave extras so they could pass them out to friends and family. i put my business cards wherever i could...like in public places and establishments with the owners permission.
i know it's difficult to choose between something you love and something you must do.
i'm going to teach for however long i can...when i finish my degree...but i am also going to do cakes on the side, and when i generate enough cake business, i might just give up teaching because doing cakes makes me happy.
i hope all goes well for you!
I am a legal home bakery and have passed my health inspection. I'm just moving to a different part of the city of North Carolina.
You will need to get a new inspection and license when you move to your new home. Your business name can stay the same but your inspection and license will be voided once you move.
So first, before you advertise at your new neighborhood, call your HD and set up an inspection for your new home. Be sure your new neighborhood is zoned for home businesses before you move.
Good luck and Congrats on your upcoming marriage.
Thank you all for your advise! I appreciate every comment and have thought long and hard about what I needed to do. Someone mentioned putting the postcards in the newspaper slot and that was what I thought about as well. Thanks. I do have a website and I just gave a stack of cards to a lady working in the bank, since they all know me there due to making something for their customer appreciation day. They loved my products and said they would be ordering as well. I just have to get out there more as most of you have suggested. I didn't know I would have to have another inspection and all that AGAIN! Ugh! Oh well,it's worth it. Thanks so much guys
wow rules in the states must be strict! we can dump whatever we want in peoples mailboxes lol!!
wow rules in the states must be strict! we can dump whatever we want in peoples mailboxes lol!!
Yup, its a federal offense to open other peoples mail or put stuff in mailboxes that don't have postage on it.
I say work. You don't have to do full time. That brings in some spending money. I am a stay at home mom to my 12 and 14 year old. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I'm trapped. I miss working. Being around adults brings normalcy. How many people do what they love? My husband doesn't like his job. However, he knows that he has to bring home money to pay for our bills, food, etc. Cakes won't bring in the money unless you have a very busy store. I'm guessing that's not happening.
Good luck either way
Try advertising on the local mother's club websites, offer to donate a cake for their next function in exchange. Also local bowling alleys, bouncy houses, boys/girls clubs, skating rinks, Elks club, local health club, community center bullitin board, the list is endless. I'd do a 8x10" flyer with cake pics & prices on it and those little tearoff things at the bottom. You're legal, advertise away!!