I live in a rural area and have been baking out of my home for 4 years or so. There is an opportunity for me to buy/rent a building in the nearest town (pop. 800). It is starting to become a pain having cakes on every flat surface of my kitchen, but I'm scared to put money into rent, utilites, etc. if I go with the place in town. I do like the freedom to be at home and multitask when cakes are baking, but it would also be nice to have my family be able to enter the kitchen come December when cookie season is in full swing!!
Most of my business comes from surrounding towns, but I think I could have the opportunity to sell more if I have a storefront. I could branch out to having things on hand to sell-pastries, cinn rolls, etc that people could just walk in off the street and buy.
Also-would I have to get a permit if selling as a storefront? I am in Iowa and right now you don't need to be licesensed to have a home-based biz.
Any opinions would be great!!
first step -- check all regulations -- health dept., county offices, etc.
I can already guess you will need business license, health inspection for a store-front.
then do a business plan that compares ALL the costs of running a business in a stand-alone location vs at home.
the small business administration has lots of info and excel worksheets to help you do a business plan
do you have enough land and $$ that you could do an addition to your house just for baking?
Thank you for your opinion. That is a great idea to compare apples to apples. I can guess that having a storefront will be alot more expensive, but it also has the ability to give me more exposure and more business in the long run.
We had also toyed around with the idea of either having a large cake room in my unfinished basement, or building a garage-type building somewhere else on the property.
I am also looking into a grant to cover part of these expenses.
I am open to all ideas-this is a huge decision! I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years and don't really want to have to return to a "real" job once all my kids are in school. I'd love to be able to get more business so that I don't have to. But, I want my kitchen back!!!!!!