The Businesses That Don't Get Off The Ground.

Business By teachingmyself Updated 13 Sep 2009 , 8:22pm by teachingmyself

teachingmyself Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:37pm
post #1 of 18

I see people starting up businesses all the time on here and I am just wondering about those that have started up and had to shut down for any reason. I would like to use this forum as a learning experience if I were to go into the cake baking biz, the plus/minus type of things. If anyone is interested in sharing their story, would love to hear it.

17 replies
tracycakes Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:46pm
post #2 of 18

I would go through the cake decorating business forum and read everything you can. I spent lots of time reading old posts and watching topics to go back and refer to. I haven't closed down, just getting started, but there is a wealth of information available in the forums. I read the Disasters too because there is alot of information there about brides and how to handle things. It gave me a lot to think about before I decided to open.

yumcake06 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 7:47pm
post #3 of 18

I haven't had a hard time getting people to buy my cakes my problem has been getting out there my biz is based solely on word of mouth and it is affecting me cuz I got kitchen rent to pay BUT advertising is very expensive! So are bridal shows and well we cannot afford that at this time

snarkybaker Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:20am
post #4 of 18

Over 90 percent of home based businesses fail, so there are a lot of reasons, not just one.

For women in business, a very large percentage of home business failures have to do with the demands of child rearing. Women go into business at home so they can " be with their kids" and they spend more time being mom and not enough time on the business to make it successful.

indydebi Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:39am
post #5 of 18
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I read the Disasters too because there is alot of information there about brides and how to handle things.


Very true. Had I not read many threads about sliders (top layer of cake slid about 1.5" on the way to the wedding), I would have had no idea how to fix the first one I had.

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advertising is very expensive! So are bridal shows


I was in one just this past Sunday that cost me nothing but 100 mini cupcakes as samples. Yep, a free one! icon_surprised.gif Smaller shows can only cost $200-$400 (instead of the $1500-$2500 that some of the big shows cost). I'm listed on 21 websites .... 19 of them are free listings.

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Women go into business at home so they can " be with their kids"


I learned this lesson while Iwas in corporate america. I shared with a co-worker (she was more of a mentor than a co-worker) that I took some work home, thinking I'd do some "while I got the house ready for the holiday". She said to me, "Can you clean your house while you're at the office? Then what makes you think you can do office work while you clean your house?" She made me see that there is only so much time in a day and the idea that we can do one thing "WHILE" we do another is a falacy (sp?). We have to STOP doing the one thing to do the other. Once I understood how that worked, my stress level went down.

-Tubbs Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:55pm
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Over 90 percent of home based businesses fail, so there are a lot of reasons, not just one.

For women in business, a very large percentage of home business failures have to do with the demands of child rearing. Women go into business at home so they can " be with their kids" and they spend more time being mom and not enough time on the business to make it successful.



This is very true, and even for those who have kids out at school all day. I have a seperate licenced kitchen at home, and should have spent yesterday preparing dummies for photographs for my new website. Instead I spent it shampooing carpets, washing couch cushions and taking my dog to the vet to get her ... well, you don't really want to know. Point is, by the time I was done, I was done - nothing left for the cakes...

I have to write lists and prioritize or I'm finished. I am extremely concious that right now my 'business' is really just a hobby, and I have to find ways to take it to the next level... Including making time to read the book my sister left for me: "Six Steps to Free Publicity".

teachingmyself Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:23pm
post #7 of 18

I don't know how to do quotes on here, but I would not be staying home for my kids, they are just about to graduate icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif
I currently work full time at a great and stable job thumbs_up.gif which is a good thing in this economy.
But I am wondering maybe as a part-time second job with employees to work for me during the day when I am not there.
With the kids gone I am going to need something to do and I like to make cakes. I am aware that I would need to offer other things also, but just don't have a clue as to what. What all do you offer besides cakes, cookies and cupcakes?
From reading many of theses posts about bridezillas and their mothers and MIL, I don't think I could make a wedding cake, the horror stories would be in the back of my mind the whole time.
I hope I have made sense to someone.

muddpuppy Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:37pm
post #8 of 18

About 90% of my business is wedding cakes and I've olny encountered a few bridezillas! Don't let that turn you off from doing weddings! Most brides are friendly and polite and I've actually ended up remaining friends with several! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:49pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by muddpuppy

... and I've actually ended up remaining friends with several! icon_smile.gif


My 10-10-10 bride has become one of my closest friends! She pops in once a week to chat about nothing and everything. She's even become part of my staff and has worked a wedding with me!

Gingoodies Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:52pm
post #10 of 18

Just a word of caution here. Starting a new business with a "part-time" owner is not good for the business. If you are going into business, you HAVE TO BE THERE. Too much potential for failure if you are not on top of everything that is going on. If you have a good full-time job and don't want to give that up, and your DH cannot be at the shop when you are not there, I would say wait. WAIT until you have the time to give it what it will need.

cakemaker30 Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 2:55pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachingmyself

I don't know how to do quotes on here, but I would not be staying home for my kids, they are just about to graduate icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif
I currently work full time at a great and stable job thumbs_up.gif which is a good thing in this economy.
But I am wondering maybe as a part-time second job with employees to work for me during the day when I am not there.
With the kids gone I am going to need something to do and I like to make cakes. I am aware that I would need to offer other things also, but just don't have a clue as to what. What all do you offer besides cakes, cookies and cupcakes?
From reading many of theses posts about bridezillas and their mothers and MIL, I don't think I could make a wedding cake, the horror stories would be in the back of my mind the whole time.
I hope I have made sense to someone.




I have found that I make the majority of my money from wedding cakes. It's easier to make one or two large cakes than 20 little ones for the same amount of money. At least for me it isicon_smile.gif A couple of questions I would ask myself if I was in your situation would be:
1. Can I generate enough business doing party cakes to pay other people to do them for me while I work my other job?
2. Will I be able to hire people that I trust enough to leave in my home while I'm not there all day?
3. Are the people that I hire going to be as invested in my business as I am because essentially, if you work a full time job, they will be running your business for you?
4. How will you handle a crisis if it comes up and you aren't there or what if one of your employees calls off and you have a cake due, but you have to be at work?
5. Will it change my ability (licensing, fees, taxes, insurance) to run a home based bakery if I have employees?

I'm not saying you can't do it that way, but there are a lot of things that it requires to run a business. It's one thing to have people manage your business, but if you aren't available to them when they need you because you are at another job it can be very difficult.

By the way, to quote people, you just hit the quote button in the top right hand corner of their post. icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 3:08pm
post #12 of 18

Working full time and launching a business with employees to me is like walking a tight rope where one of the ropes is not perfectly stationary... ever.

It's a long distance relationship with an infant that needs frequent diaper changes and constant feedings.

Put it this way, when my son changed apartments and he continued to do his laundry at the old place (in non-coin machines) because the owners lived hundreds of miles away... the mice play as the old saying goes.

Ain't easy.

cakesweetiecake Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 3:44pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachingmyself

I don't know how to do quotes on here, but I would not be staying home for my kids, they are just about to graduate icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif
I currently work full time at a great and stable job thumbs_up.gif which is a good thing in this economy.
But I am wondering maybe as a part-time second job with employees to work for me during the day when I am not there.
With the kids gone I am going to need something to do and I like to make cakes. I am aware that I would need to offer other things also, but just don't have a clue as to what. What all do you offer besides cakes, cookies and cupcakes?
From reading many of theses posts about bridezillas and their mothers and MIL, I don't think I could make a wedding cake, the horror stories would be in the back of my mind the whole time.
I hope I have made sense to someone.




You could do custom cake orders where everything is by appointment only and pre-ordered.

tracycakes Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 4:01pm
post #14 of 18

My business just opened and I still work fulltime. It is a part-time business and I rent a commercial kitchen in a donut shop. It works great for me as they work in the mornings and are closed by noon. I work 6:30 - 5:00 Mon - Thur at my day job so I can go over there after I get off work and work as late as I need. On Fridays, I have almost all day to get cakes ready for the weekend.

I would not open a full-time business and employees there and not me. Call me a control freak but this is my business, my name, my reputation. I wouldn't trust anyone else with that but me.

We are using this part-time business to build a customer base with plans to open a storefront within a year. We thought about opening a storefront now but just decided, that for us, it was best to do this part-time and build up the business then expand. Besides, while I'm working at my day job, I still have a lot of contacts through them. Even today, one of my bosses called to tell me that someone was looking for a specialty cake for their daughter's 16th birthday. thumbs_up.gif It's great to have that kind of support! icon_biggrin.gif

hjustesen Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 4:18pm
post #15 of 18

There's a reason why most businesses fail in the first year, and it's because overhead costs are more than income. The point being that if you try and pay employees before you have a stable income, you're going to lose your shirt (especially in the current economy). I would never, never start a business and turn the reins over to an employee while I went back to work full time. They don't care about the business's success like you do, they probably don't have as much experience as you do, and if they do have it, chances are they aren't fit to run their own businesses, or they would by now.

I have a couple of friends (a married couple) who started their own copy shop a few years back. They BOTH kept their full time jobs working different shifts, so one or the other of them could be there the rest of the time. They did this nearly a year before one of them was able to quit, and they were well into their second year of business before the other was able to quit as well. I agree, keep the job open only certain evening hours, or by appointment. Do the work yourself for the first while, hire a helper if you need it, but don't leave the business to them. it's just asking for trouble.

Caralinc Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 4:46pm
post #16 of 18

I would also like to add that you may want to check to see if you can employ employees at your Home Based Business. HTHS

hjustesen Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 5:27pm
post #17 of 18

She actually never states that this will be a home-based business. In my opinion, if she's selling all of these other things, she'd have to have a storefront.

teachingmyself Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:22pm
post #18 of 18

thumbs_up.gif Thank you everyone for the great replies and great tips. After reading these posts I am going to wait a while, give it a few years after the kids graduate and then go from there. What's the rush right! Thanks again CC'ers for coming through. icon_biggrin.gif

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