Did Everyone Who Owns A Business Go To School For This?

Business By mamafox Updated 6 Jan 2010 , 2:11am by morgnscakes

mamafox Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 5:01pm
post #1 of 19

I was planning on going back to school to become a pastry chef but just found out the program is not available. I have to go for the full culinary chef program. I have been doing cakes, cookies, candies etc. from my home for years. I have taken the wilton classes but I am mostly self taught. I do not have a licensed kithchen so i do this for practice and the fun for family and friends. I want to open a place but feel lost on how. I turn business away all the time bc i am not licensed. I am turning 40 in a few weeks and really want to do this. I am tired of doing what I need to do. I want to do what I want to do now! Mid life crisis?! Maybe. Just wondered how all of you got your start. Thanks.

18 replies
muddpuppy Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 5:28pm
post #2 of 19

I did not go to school. I am completely self taught, the internet is a wealth of info!! And I am a business owner... I say go for it...

HarleyDee Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 5:50pm
post #3 of 19

I wanted so badly to go to school for it, but the university I attended didn't offer a culinary program of any kind. Of course 2 years after I graduated they started one, pfft. icon_razz.gif

Is it the big scale baking/decorating part that has you lost, or the actual opening a business part?

There is an office for the Small Business Administration is just about every city, and they helped me with all of the business stuff. (I'm smart with cakes and baking, dumb with taxes!) icon_smile.gif

CakeForte Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:03pm
post #4 of 19

My education is in public relations/ business and communications at the graduate level. Knowing how to run a business and having the skills is more important than knowing how to make a cake.

Mike1394 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:20pm
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

My education is in public relations/ business and communications at the graduate level. Knowing how to run a business and having the skills is more important than knowing how to make a cake.





KABANG Best post of the year. It's cheaper to hire someone to make cakes. It's never cheaper to hire someone to take care of YOUR $$$$

Mike

LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:24pm
post #6 of 19

Oooooo Mike I see you got your Forum Superstar status! icon_wink.gif

And no, I didn't got to pastry school. But Cakeforte hit the nail on the head. LEARN THE BUSINESS SIDE WELL.

mamafox Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:29pm
post #7 of 19

I went to college for art education and now am a hair stylist. I have done hair for 16 years. Would you suggest business classes over the culinary arts? I feel so lost on where to begin. My husband is a gm at the college here for the dining services so he nows all the food safe guide lines but neither of us has ever opened a business.

LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:31pm
post #8 of 19

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most hairstylist independent businesses. For example, all the hairstylist I know rent booth space or cut a flat percentage of their sales to the salon owner. They still have to promote themselves and figure business cost. Is this different for you?

mamafox Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:33pm
post #9 of 19

oooops!! I obviously didnt major in spelling! LOL Just reread my post. My husband KNOWS the food safe guide lines. sorry. hee hee

mamafox Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:41pm
post #10 of 19

LaBellaFlor, You are right most salons are on a booth rent basis. I have been booth rent but have switched over to a commision salon. The owner pays me a very high % because I specialize in hair replacement with a focus on people dealing with chemo. Although rewarding it is getting harder to deal with. I can handle the promoting, taxes etc. its the finding the place and getting it set up and hiring of staff that have me worried. Maybe im thinking too much and just need to jump in the pool!

Mike1394 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:43pm
post #11 of 19

You have to KNOW the ins, and outs of running a business. Did people KNOW how to make pet rocks? No. they knew how to SELL them

LaBellaFlor, They haven't kicked me out yet. Shhhh I'm trying to catch Debi. I don't want her to know I'm closing in. LOLOL icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

CakeForte Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:44pm
post #12 of 19

The common trait for ANYONE in business is business; whether you are a stylist, car salesman, real estate broker, cake artist, etc.

The business skills are what you need. There are many ways to get those skills...but they are essential and you can't run a good business without them.

My personal goals are to possibly teach at the collegiate level, using my own business experiences, which I why I chose the graduate level route. Community colleges offer excellent businesses courses as well, and the professors are often the same ones from the big universities.

Entrepreneur.com and the magazine is my favorite resource. As well as the library. Most memberships are free to very very cheap for an unlimited supply of books. You absolutely must get those skills.

One of my favorite shows is Tabitha's Salon Takeover, and each episode the problems are the same.....the owners do not have a solid foundation of business skills. They think what they do is "fun" which it is but their "fun" has run them into financial ruin because they don't think and operate like a BUSINESS first.

The Big Idea w/ Donny Deutsch is good too. I think that show is over, but he has a lot of resources on the website.

LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:56pm
post #13 of 19

Well it sounds like you have some degree of business know how. Research the new field you want to go into.

leah_s Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:01pm
post #14 of 19

I agree with what every one else is saying. Business know-how will make or break you.

I grew up in a small family biz, later got an MBA and then went to culinary school for pastry arts. Biz school/MBA was serious, pastry arts school was fun.

mamafox Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:06pm
post #15 of 19

I do love Tabitha! Maybe i will run the bakery like her. I can be known as the cake b$%ch! Wouldnt that be fun! Thanks for all the great advice. I KNOW what I have to do now. icon_lol.gif

Mensch Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:39pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

Knowing how to run a business and having the skills is more important than knowing how to make a cake.






Ding ding ding ding....

We have a winner folks!

this-mama-rocks Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 8:08pm
post #17 of 19

I have a business degree and worked in the oh-so-exciting field of sales/use taxes for several years. I later got a degree in interior design.

Most new business fail for 3 reasons: undercapitalization, insufficient marketing, and failure to pay taxes (those penalties and fines aren't cheap!).

Just remember:
1. You are there to run a business, not to be "nice" and have everyone "like" you.
2. You will be dealing with people who are your "customers" or "clients", not your "girlfriends".

good luck!

indydebi Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 8:50pm
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Just remember:
1. You are there to run a business, not to be "nice" and have everyone "like" you.
2. You will be dealing with people who are your "customers" or "clients", not your "girlfriends".

good luck!



Print this out and hang it on your bathroom mirror where you will see it every single day!

morgnscakes Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 2:11am
post #19 of 19

I can say that all of you have great advise!!! I am in the medical field and am now about to be a "cake boutique" owner. My husband and I have been creating cakes now for about 5 years together and are completely self taught. We would not be able to make it if we didn't know how to run the business side. We are not business majors, but my mother was in accounting, so I learned some things from her.

Just look at some of the big names...Sylvia Weinstock for example. She is completely self taught but she knows how to run a business!!! When it comes down to it, you could be the best cake designer and decorator out there, but can you keep your business side in order?????

Learn whatever you can and go for it!!!!!!!!!!

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