Please help! I am wanting to open my own cakes & confections shop, but I have NO CLUE where to start!! I live in Missouri and I'm not sure where to even start! Do I start with the health dept of the city/county I live in? Where do I go to find what licenses, etc I need? I'm completely overwhelmed. This started as something to do on the side but everyone is telling me to go into business. I would be the first in the area to do custom cakes (carved, 3-D, etc) and be a licensed establishment. I would defintely enjoy it, I just feel like I'm in over my head!
"Everyone is telling me to go into business"
Ok..... who is "everyone". If it's real customers who buy your cakes all the time, then consider that you really have the talent to take on the expense and headaches of opening a shop.
If it's family who like getting free cakes, take it with a grain of salt. These folks are always the ones to tell you to spend the money, but they are usually never around when you need folks to actually SPEND the money in your shop.
I find these folks are the ones who want you to sell cakes "to those OTHER people" but they still expect to get their's free.
Start with your local health dept and see what's required. It may be easier than you think. If it's more involved than you think, HD's are usually really great about walking you thru what you need to know.
Use the web. Type in starting a business in (state) that would be a start. There is all kinds of free information at your fingertips. Try typing in different searches.
I would strongly urge you to check with your local health dept. first as rules and requirements vary greatly from state to state and county to county as well. You will avoid misinformation and know exactly what is required. There is a lot to consider before making the leap. Many may suggest you to go into business, but many of them may not have a clue of what all that may intale. Find out for yourself so you can develop a sound business plan and determine what would be best for you and your area.
I wish you the greatest success and happiness!
Many may suggest you to go into business, but many of them may not have a clue of what all that may intale.
And along those lines, what is your business background? Many folks have a craft, hobby, or skill they are good at and think that qualifies them to run a business.
Being able to decorate cakes and being able to run a business are two TOTALLY different things.
Thank you sooo much! 'Everyone' is family members and outside customers as well. I have only been doing cakes since April I think. That's when I took my first Wilton Class. So I have a lot to learn and I'm not in too big of a hurry to open a business but I was curious about how to even get started!!
I LOVE the people on this website! (and I love this website) So helpful!!
Another good idea is to take more time learning different recipes & techniques. Wilton's is a start, but not an end. PRactice, practice, practice. A sold cake looks a lot different then a cake given to friends & family.
I'd suggest doing two things:
First- make a reverse timeline. Start with the date you want to open, then work backward with what needs to be done. You can start with a general timeline. Construction, sign lease, find space, research legalities, hire contractors, take classes, perfect certain skills etc. Also, put what you think is a realistic timeframe (can take 6mos to a year to find a good space)- then add 2 months for good measure. Its amazing how long it takes from "I KNOW that I can/will do this" to flipping that sign on the front door to open.
Second:make detailed lists of everything. keep these lists on one spiral notebook for easy finding. Lists of what you need for the kitchen, office, lobby, tools you will need, pans you will need, construction materials to pay for, advertising materials, etc.
This is a major eyeopener and can take a lot of time in an of itself, but makes it easier in the long run.
Another good idea is to take more time learning different recipes & techniques. .
Is good advice, but you also need to learn how to run a business. There is much to know and accountants and lawyers are your best friends. Even if you are working from your home. Most will consult for free, at least were I am. And community colleges usually offer basic business courses. And if you really want to do it correctly make yourself a business plan, there a tons of samples online. But most of all...have fun