What Do You Think?

Business By CiNoRi Updated 28 Dec 2009 , 2:50pm by cakesdivine

CiNoRi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:59am
post #1 of 13

Hi all,

I need your opinions. I am currently playing with my options for working in the business. Long term, I would like to have my own shop/ business, but right now I'm thinking that starting at an established business might be a good start. Like I said, ideally my own business would be wonderful, but right now I am unemployed and would like to get rolling as soon as possible in this career if I'm to make the switch (coming from a graphic design background).

Professionally I have no experience, but personally on my own this last year I have been working on my skills. What I have taken on, I have picked up on very quickly. I think as a level an "apprentice" job with a near move to full "decorator" is where I might be. (I am posting a couple photos of what I have done recently to give you a rough idea. I know I need to work on my piping skills. I have also been working with fondant and am feeling pretty good thus far. All in all time will of course help.) Many of the jobs I have seen for an Apprentice level, ask for your basic kitchen duties, torting, filling, and through the initial icing of cakes. These tasks would be no problem. I thought maybe starting out this way would be a great learning experience.... but I also don't want to limit myself on growth.

As you all know the job market is tough... I have been applying all over from local bake shops to even grocery stores. I really feel that because I don't have a background in cakes "on paper," I'm getting passed over.

What is your opinions on the route I should take? Any insights/ advice?

Also, the other day I received my first response back from a local bakery. It's an Apprentice job, and all in all looks like it would be a nice start. However, in their response about the job they mention me signing a non-compete agreement:

"The job also requires that a non compete agreement to be signed. This agreement states you cannot do cakes or any type cookies, candies, etc as your own business during your employment at ******** and two years following any type of termination. You also may not work for other bakeries or competitors during your employment at *******. The job also requires a signature on a non disclosure agreement for obvious reasons. "

For the most part I agree with the idea; while I'm employed, I can't do business on my own or for any other bakery- agreed. But the part that worries me, is the "2 years after termination".

I know they don't want me to take their ideas and run. I would never do that, but do you think 2 years is a bit much? Am I understanding this correctly, that if i decide to leave at any point. I can't do my own thing for 2 years? Is this a normal thing/ time frame? I have had to sign these types of agreements before in working in the ad agency world, but I don't ever remember them constricting you to this much time.

What do you think about this? Should I go ahead and apply? How should I approach this? If they did want me to work for them... do you think I could negotiate this?

Any and all opinions are appreciated!
Thanks!

12 replies
pattycakesnj Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:25am
post #2 of 13

2 years for a noncompete is way too long. What if they fire you, 2 years would still apply. If they won't negotiate this away, run fast

Jeep_girl816 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:32am
post #3 of 13

Two years AFTER? That's crap. I understand while you're working for them but they are basically denying your right to find work in your chosen field if you leave or they fire you. Whatever! If they won't budge on that (and sadly they do have the upper hand in this market) I'd keep looking.

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:42am
post #4 of 13

DH reviews contracts for construction companies and non-competes are VERY common in his industry. 2 years is very common. I've also seen non-competes for portrait studios, again, the norm is 2 years. Now that I think about it, every non-compete I've seen (probably about 10-12) has a "2 years after" clause.

From the business owner standpoint, what would prevent you from quite literally working in their shop right up until you open your own doors?

cblupe Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:54am
post #5 of 13

I wouldn't get myself trapped like that ~ two years is alot to ask for you not to do anything once you have left. And what happens to you should something happen to the owner/bakery and they had to close their doors are you still held back once they closed? Two years is a long time for you to have to wait and then some of your skills will dry up. Be sure to try and negotiate this part of your contract.

CiNoRi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:54am
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

From the business owner standpoint, what would prevent you from quite literally working in their shop right up until you open your own doors?




I see your point, and understand their concerns. Non-competes I agree with, I have worked in advertising for years, but I feel like they could limit my ability to work. If you have a good reputation as a bakery and are able to hire and keep your employees, I don't understand the need for such a long term restriction. What if i were hired, and a time later they have to lay me off per slack in business. I could be stuck! ;-(

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:02am
post #7 of 13

I've signed 2 year non-comp. comtracts before, but that was in the technology industry. Very hush, hush about their technology secrets. I also understand it for the bakery, but 2 years for that industry seems long to me too...though if I was the owner, I probably would do the same thing.

CiNoRi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:06am
post #8 of 13

Any ideas on how to approach negotiating?

dawncr Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:25am
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

...... non-competes are VERY common in his industry. 2 years is very common. I've also seen non-competes for portrait studios, again, the norm is 2 years. Now that I think about it, every non-compete I've seen (probably about 10-12) has a "2 years after" clause.




Ditto. 2-year non-compete clauses are pretty standard in my field, but tend to specify a geographic limit. I.e., you could go 60 miles away and practice, but you couldn't do it locally until after two years had passed. It helps to reduce confusion about taking clients/customers/patients with you when you leave.

Thinking about it from the other perspective, it makes sense. You've said you want training and experience, and then you'd eventually like to open your own business. I'd be hesitant to provide someone with that experience and train them how to run a cake business so s/he could leave and become my competitor.

Just my opinion. There are others on these boards who would disagree.

CiNoRi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:33am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawncr

Thinking about it from the other perspective, it makes sense. You've said you want training and experience, and then you'd eventually like to open your own business. I'd be hesitant to provide someone with that experience and train them how to run a cake business so s/he could leave and become my competitor.




Yeah I'd like to see myself doing my own thing, who wouldn't!... but who knows once I get into the business, I might feel differently. icon_wink.gif The idea of even finding a good company, with good people to work with, and a path to grow in... that could be just as nice.

Mike1394 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 10:51am
post #11 of 13

Look at it from a money perspective. Do you have the $$$$ to open a bakery? Your not going to make that kind of money at an apprentise job. Unless you already have the $$$, or you going to live in a tent, and eat dirt your not going to get the money from this job.

Take the job, get the experience, say NOTHING about your future plans, and learn what you can.

Mike

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:33pm
post #12 of 13

Dawn is right about the geographic limit. You may be able to negotiate this aspect of the non-compete. You may also be able to negotiate the "layoff/business closes" aspect.

Something to think about: What is the harsh reality of you opening your own shop? Is it something that you already have planned out? I hate to be the downer here, but as a WMI I can't tell you how many people tell me they want their own shop, but it never happens.

If you are, at this point, just thinking that your own shop might be nice, I'd suggest going ahead and taking the job, sign the non-compete and go from there. Chances are better than not that if you do decide you want your own place, it will take 2 years to make it happen. Just ask Debi how long her 10 day construction project took! icon_lol.gif

cakesdivine Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 13

There is definitely something to be said for a steady pay check especially in this economy. If I were getting to do cakes like I like, and have fun, learn, be challenged, AND make a great income you darn right I would sign, because my want/need to own my own thing would not exist. The main reason I do have my own biz is because I wasn't allowed to do things the way I wanted or use my imagination, nor was the pay good enough to warrant staying and being miserable. There are several bakeries that if I got the opportunity to work for them and make a great living I would do it in a heartbeat, but most don't pay enough or give you enough free reign to make it worth signing a 2 year non-compete. A geographical one is better, that way you can do it, as long as you are not in the area they market. Talk to them about possibly changing that from a time constraint to a geographical constraint, because honestly a time on constraint would legally keep you from doing your own thing even if you moved to another city or state.

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