O.K. I posted this question awhile back and at the time I totally agreed with the advice I was given, but once again I am beginning to have second thoughts. This back and forth is killing me.
I have a job at the local school district. I work 30 hours a week in the cafeteria as a computer accounting clerk. I am on my feet for most of the day. I usually, two to three times a week, leave after work and drive about 45 miles for my tastings. Then Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturdays busy with wedding cakes. I am exhausted.
Last year I thought I had to hang onto my position no matter what because of the benefits, but now with all the school budget cuts I am having second thoughts. I have figured out that I have to make two more wedding cakes a month to cover what I make at work if I were to quit. I was a 12 month worker and now I being cut back to nine months. With maybe up to 10 days a year forced days off with no pay. And that's just this year, next year is supposed to be worse. My cobra would carry me for another 18 months at a pretty reasonable rate.
If I didn't work thirty hours a week, and spent my whole time devoted to my business I know I would have no problem picking up those extra cakes. In these times it seems crazy to quite your job, but when the job keeps going backwards and with total devotion the cakes seem to have the potential to move forward, is it really that crazy? Or am I just trying to talk myself into something here (sigh)
I remember when you were thinking about this a few months ago.
I think another important thing to factor in is the retirement package that you receive. I'm self employed and it really stinks to not have someone matching my contributions to my retirement.
I don't want to say to do it or not to because it's really a huge life changing decision that only you can make. I only say to really weigh the pros/cons and let that be the deciding factor.
Is the Cobra health insurance OK in CA? Reason I ask is that my BIL was laid off and took the Cobra that his company offered, and it was awful. It barely paid anything at all and ended up costing them a lot of money for Dr.'s appts, meds etc.
Good luck in your decision making, you're very talented and your cakes are gorgeous. I can see you wouldn't have any trouble getting clients!
I hate to ask, but are you sure that the profit from two cakes would cover what you'd be makign at work? That seems like not a lot...You've probably thought about it, but you should make sure that all of your expenses would be covered. There's cake insurance, rent (I assume that you have to bake out of a licensed kitchen in California? Unless you have a separate kitchen? I don't know how the law about that works there), advertising, equipment, etc. costs that figure in when you're running a full-time business. Sometimes people don't think about the hidden costs, but they're there.
Having said that, I make a decent amount of money doing ONLY wedding and groom's cakes, so I'm sure that you could, too. If you really hate your job and are exhausted all the time, it might be a good thing to take the plunge. You're the only person who knows what your acceptable level of risk is, so just make sure that you have a good plan and go for it if you really want to. Just make sure that you think of it as a business, which it is, and not just something that you're doing because you like it.
O.k. guys I always hate to say talk money, but with the budget cut backs I now will take home around $800.00 a month. With Ca budget cuts, I took a big hit. My retirement is now minimal. I just don't know if it makes sense to stay working there, I feel like I am losing more money by not being able to go after more business. I think the thing that kills me is that I easily make that in one Sat. But after working 30 hours a week, and all the extra after work, I am just drained. I keep wondering what it would be like to have the energy to devote to strictly the business.
I don't have to pay rent on my kitchen. I have a legal kitchen on my property. All my business expenses now are being paid by the business, not by my salary at work. The problem is I need time. Time to go out like Debi does and sell my product. Time to go to the local wineries and get to know them.
I am on The Knot and I do get quite a bit of my customers from there.
I hold my tastings at a local winery on Sundays. Every free moment I have is either meeting with customers or actually doing the cakes. There is so much more to actually making a successful business....if I had the Time. Thanks for your input guys. I really appreciate all of you!
If that's your take-home, after tax salary, you can easily make it up by doing more cakes than you're doing now. If you were taking home $5000 a month that's a different story, but for $800 I'd ditch the stress and go for it! Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
My retirement is now minimal.
Ya, but I have only been working for the school district 2 years and if they cut back next year like they want too, I won't get enough hours to get retirement.
I guess the trouble I am having is I worry to much about what others would say. I know it's not worth it to work there anymore, but a lot of people around me think I am crazy for quitting in this economy. My last child is just finishing up college and I was reading an article for newly college graduates in these hard times. It said try and pick one thing that you are good at and take this time to perfect it.
Thanks guys for all your help. I thinks it's time to take the risk!
It's pretty cool that you have things built up already so that you can take a running leap off the cliff, rather than just diving off completly blind folded.
I know what a tough decision this is, so congrats!!
For what it is worth: I think that you need to think about YOU! Yes, money is a necesity, BUT, you/your health an sanity can never have a price attached to them. If your business is established and you are confident with your business and the income it has potential of I would seriously think about doing the cake thing.
I was faced with a decision about 6 months ago of staying at my current job then that I hated but was making good money but exhausted and missed seeing my kids OR taking a job with a big pay cut but LOVE my new job, get to see my kids SO much more and am VERY happy. Just a thought.
I agree with Missyd4e...I think that your sanity, comfort, and happiness are paramount. I don't know how much business you normally take in but I'm sure that you could cover that $800 with producing more baked items having more time to do so.
I'd go for it it if I were you
Good luck either way!!
It sounds like you want to do it bad enough that you'll have no regrets. Your kids aren't little, so you aren't jeopardizing anyone's future. Your own future right now is uncertain even if you stay at your job. People are usually going to give you negative feedback when you want to change something. People don't like change. But as long as you're happy with your decision, and your husband supports you, it doesn't matter what others say. No one supported me at first. Now everyone is very supportive. Even my dad is being more optimistic, which is a biggie! If you're willing to work really hard and be in charge of your own destiny, you should go for it. Now sounds like it might be a better time than ever, considering you DON'T have as much to lose if, say, the economy were better and you WERE going to get an awesome retirement package.
just do it...imho....which isn't worth much, at 800.00 you will easily make that in cakes....i know it's scary.
your cakes are lovely, you'll make out just fine....what does your heart tell you?
Well said, SugaredUp
It's funny how things work out. We are coming to the end of our contracted school year. Today I decided to tender my resignation on Monday. The fact that this topic popped back up today makes me feel like it's a sign.
Good luck to you! I think you've made the right decision. You seem to be really serious about your business, marketing, etc. I'm sure you can find better financial advice than from me (!) but aren't there IRA's and things for self-employed folks? Start your own darned retirement plan! you can do it!!!!
Best Of Luck to you, Cascades . I'm sure that things will work.
I, also, think that you are making the right decision. You have to go with your heart and your dream....you only live once
Congratulations on resigning I think actually following through with that is the biggest hurdle, because there is no looking back. It sounds like you are in a great place in your life to make this change. And if that is what really makes you happy, your mental health is worth so much more than $800/month. You could even get an intern to work for free to help you out with the extra work.