My dad and I have been discussing the pros and cons of me starting a bakery. I really want to, but I feel like a little kid who is very confused and overwhelmed just thinking about everything that must be done.
I was wondering how all of you got started with your businesses. Did you save up the money and slowly get started? Get a loan? What was the first thing you did to get started?
I'm going to keep giving this thought before I decide. There's a cake decorating contest coming up and the end of this month here at my town. I'm going to let that be my defining moment. If the cake is a success, I believe I will pursue this goal. But I'm still confused. Do you mind sharing your stories? I would appreciate it very much!
I started by making practice cakes that I shared with friends and neighbors. From there it's been entirely word of mouth. I'm in a very rural area and it's still growing all the time, I've done cakes for people that are 2 hours away. I post pictures of my cakes on photobucket, which is free, and have the link on the bottom of all my emails, plus I send out an email update every now and then to everyone I know for them to see the latest cakes.
Good luck. I'd love to know how you do with the cake contest.
How much business are you doing now and how much are you turning away (either because you're booked or because you choose to keep it at a certain level)?
Do a business plan. Your local SBA or SBDC can help you with that. They are GREAT with folks contemplating a new business.
The business plan is a great exercise and very informative to you. Many are surprised at the cost involved to start a biz.
But the Plan is the first step.
I'm currently not doing any business because I live in Alabama, so a home kitchen cannot be certified. Although, I think I might have found a loophole that will help me get started. I read an article online stating that in Alabama, you can sell home-baked items to a farmer's market as long as it is stated that it came from a kitchen that was not certified. I'm going to contact somebody from the local health department to check on that. If so, it's perfect because my parents own and operate a farmer's market! One day I would love to have my own place, though.
Before we even get into a business plan, I have to ask, how much expierence do you have? Are you trying to do the cake decorating thing or the WHOLE bakery thing? I ask, cause I've looked at your cakes and from what I see it looks like you are just getting started. This is not something you go into with just three Wilton's courses you took at Michael's. ANd just so you know, I've worked at a bakery and bakers hours start VERY early in the day. Try 4AM.
i worked in bakeries for a few years first....then sunk all my $$$$ and sold my house and used the equity to pay the bakery off.
it's a lot of work alot more than you'd think.....at least half of it has nothing to do with baking or decorating.
LaBellaFlor, yes I am just beginning. I haven't even taken a single Wilton class. And I probably won't ever because the closest one would mean a two hour drive for me. I've basically just been teaching myself. I'm not expecting to open up a business soon. I know I need to make a lot of improvement before I can go into business.
As for what kind of bakery I was wanting, I'm not 100% sure yet. I live in a small town so I'm not so sure a full bakery would be a success. I would probably sell basic cakes, cookies, ect to my parents for them to sell at their store. And take orders for other cakes. My thinking is to start small and see how it goes.
By no means am I saying take a Wilton's class. I am self taught. And you seem to be on the right track teaching yourself. I always just have concern when someone wants to get into a "bakery" and they just started. It is hard! I loved working at a bakery, BUT I just worked there. I didn't run it. My job was much easier then the manager. And what you are describing sounds like a full bakery, minus the bread. Think 3AM. If that does it for you, knock yourself out...after gaining a lot more expierence.
I'm volunteering to make any cake I possibly can. I tell all my family that I will do their cakes so I can get more practice. I know it's not going to be easy getting into my own business. That's why I'm doing research now. So when I get to the point when it's possible, I will go into it with at least a small amount of knowledge. I'm just 24, so I have time.