Starting Your Business, How Did You Do It?

Business By Echooo3 Updated 4 Sep 2009 , 11:03pm by alexj9988

Echooo3 Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 3:02pm
post #1 of 11

Dreaming of the day to making this real. Right now, all I know is - I am giving a TON of cakes away and people are loving me for it.

I work in an office with about 150 people that make between $80k - $300k a year. So I have got a good network of people. Every week I take in a cake, different flavors, sometimes tiered. I even take cakes to my church that has over 2,000 members and give them away.

I want to do this so badly. I am so blessed to have such supportive people around me. It's costing me a lot right now to be giving all these cakes away, and I am not one of those making $80k a year.

Would you mind telling me about yourself and how you turned the idea into reality? Thank you.

10 replies
HeatherWantsCake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:15pm
post #2 of 11

I was in the same situation - bringing in cakes to work and making them for family, for free. Several people had said "You should start a business", so ... I did.

For me, it was mostly about the wording. Once I had let people know I was starting a business, I made sure to say "Would you like to order a cake for so-and-so's birthday?" instead of just offering to make one. I made myself some business cards, decided how much time I was willing to spend doing this (one cake a week, two if they're not too elaborate), bought Cake Boss and I'm booked for the next 2 months .. all through contacts at work.

(There are, of course, all sorts of important steps like getting a business licence and checking to see about health and safety regulations for your kitchen that I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will tell you about.)

I just wanted to share that, in my experience, especially with a great network of people, it really doesn't take much to get started, if you're starting small.

Good luck!

cakesweetiecake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:24pm
post #3 of 11

I was just curious how people, especially those who received free goodies, responded to your businesses and the need to charge for your cakes. Does your family purchase cakes from you now that you are in business or do they still expect free cakes? I find that the folks telling me that I should go into business are the ones who are receiving FREE cakes! LOL! I was just curious about the transition if I were to ever go into business.

HeatherWantsCake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:31pm
post #4 of 11

Well, I hadn't been doing fancy cakes for family, but now I'm sure they expect me to bring something spectacular for Thanksgiving dessert. LOL. I have a really small family, so it's not likely to be an issue for me.

I'd been bringing baking to work just as treats and everyone was excited to hear that they could order cakes for their kids birthdays or family parties.. whatever. All of the orders I've got so far have been from people I work with.

Echooo3 Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 8:00pm
post #5 of 11

Well I live in a state where you can not have a licensed home business. I can not imagine the cost to start one.

I don't know anyone personally that has owned there own business so I am sure there are obsticles greater than I can imagine.

I just would like to hear how someone in a simular situation made it happen. I have no doubt it can be done. I am so obsessed with baking and decorating I pretty much do it 24-7. My dreams are even about baking cakes.

God willing, my day will come. I sell real estate so every once in a blue moon I have a closing which usually goes towards bills.

littlecake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 9:30pm
post #6 of 11

i've had a storefront 8 years now, my son is opening up a bakery in another state,

with ebay and craigslist his stuff is costing a tiny fraction of what i paid....God is helping him so much, for example the mixer i paid 1800.00 for, he got off ebay for 300.00.....

he's got almost all the equipment i started with, i doubt he's spent 2000.00 yet.

God helped me place cost 28K to get the ball rolling...and i did it all paid for.

if i were you, i'd start stashing away some $$$$ and keep your eyes peeled on ebay and craigs list...there a gal on here that outfitted her whole shop for (i wanna say) under 1000.00 going to auctions...i could be wrong, that's what i think i'm remembering.

"all things are possible to him that believes"...."do not despise the day of small beginnings"

just start making baby'll be there before you know it.

have you thought of doing some bakery work?...i worked at few before i opened my place.

this-mama-rocks Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 9:56pm
post #7 of 11

I'm very fortunate to be in a state that licenses home based kitchens; we've been here a year.

I made a few (3 maybe?) cakes for DH's support team as a "thank you" for a couple of grueling deadlines. I made a cake for his church choir; one member is friends with the lady from "Wife Swap" who does tea parties from her house. Then I did a cake for the kids' teachers at Teacher Appreciation Day. People started asking DH if I would sell any cakes. At first I said no, then had a change of heart in May.

Heeding leahs' sage advice about getting legal, I got licensed in July, got a $1M business insurance policy in August, entered a cake in the county fair last week. So far, I've sold 4 cakes, I am meeting with two brides this week, and have a $300 order due next week.

Call it luck, or good karma, or multiple blessings from God, but so far it has been pretty easy.

I really, really feel for everyone who is in a state that doesn't licensed home base kitchens. That stinks.

Echooo3 Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 9:59pm
post #8 of 11

Well it sounds like I am on track with what you said. I've been buying stuff when I find incredible deals and stashing it away. Now I have a whole room in my house with nothing but baking supplies bursting at the seams. Buying it in bits an pieces has really helped.

I have visited all the bakeries in the area and to be honest, I just don't feel right about working there to take ideas away. I've been offered jobs though. I have talked to as many bakery owners here as I can. Really, in my heart, they don't have the right concept. I think when you open a door to the bakery you should smell something incredible and the atmophere should be warm and inviting. They don't have that WOW factor which defeats the whole purpose of being in business for yourself.

And rarely do they want to share "how they did it" - can't say that I blame them. But I always buy something. Nothing to date has knocked my socks off.

I have a saying I keep closest to my heart and on my desk at all times. "God, your timing is perfect, so I am going to stay in an attitude of faith and keep trusting You to do what is best" and every day I know that I am one day closer to my dream.

this-mama-rocks Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 10:13pm
post #9 of 11

Have you met with tonedna? I think she's in Orlando.


Echooo3 Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 10:50pm
post #10 of 11

No, I haven't met with toneda. To me she is like a superstar. I would LOVE to meet her for sure!! That would be like meeting Duff, I would be tongue tied.

She is my HERO.

alexj9988 Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 11:03pm
post #11 of 11

I am also looking to start my own shop, one dayicon_wink.gif I am currently unemployed, and staying home with my 6mo son. I started decorating in May, and I have actually sold two cakes. Fortunately, I sold them for enough to pay for my fancy new ovenicon_smile.gif I also undercharged for them. I have a lot of equipment for a kitchen already, as my DH and I had our own restaurant for a couple of years. We have no home licensing in my state, and I am looking at maybe getting a small business loan, but I am a little unsue... I will bee checking craigslist however! all I really need is an oven.

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