How Soon Is Too Soon To Start A Business- Need Feedback![

Business By JuJu23 Updated 8 Jan 2010 , 5:57pm by JuJu23

JuJu23 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:41am
post #1 of 12

So i just came across an opportunity to buy equipment for a cake shop and the price is awesome and something i could do at this time. The rent for the space is really cheap and its a pretty established location.

How soon is too soon when you really just started decorating. Ive always baked cakes and desserts, but i dont know if its my nerves or that i dont think im qualified etc... any advice on how you guys got started would be awesome!!! Please feel free to look at my cakes (only 7 on there) and let me know honestly if i need a lot more practice too!

Thank you

11 replies
MnSnow Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:03am
post #2 of 12

Your decorating skills are great!

One thing to consider is capitol. Do you have enough funds in the bank to cover 6 months of rent, utilities, insurance and such. Do you have additional funds set aside for things like sanitizing soaps, garbage bags, hand towels. It's thiese little things that add up to alot of money.

You will need to have that much and more in hand before opening a door of a store front. If you have the funding available, then go for it! You may want to consider hiring help as well.

Good Luck!

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:08am
post #3 of 12

Hi JuJu23. I'm a partner in a different kind of business (not food related). But from my experience I would say to go into the business when you are prepared, or when you have calculated your risks. To be long-term successful requires that you understand how business works (marketing/advertising, food safety, inventory, overhead, taxes, insurance, accounting, etc.). So to answer your question, I'd say "it generally depends". You didn't give much of your background, so it's difficult to specifically address you. icon_wink.gif

It certainly sounds like you have the makings of a potentially successful start-up (equipment costs, rental space, location). But that will not ensure your success, even if you are a great baker/decorator. (Your cakes are lovely, by the way!) There needs to be a plan for how things will be done. How many cakes can you feasibly do in a week or month? More rather, how many do you need to do to break even? You need to know how much each cake costs you (including all expenses), so you know how to price your final product and make a profit. How does your work compare with other bakeries/cake shops in your town or surrounding area? There's a lot to think about.

So I would say, if you haven't already, start putting together a business plan (which incorporates many of the above mentioned items and MUCH more). And if you know an attorney, they can also help with the legal issues/liabilities of running a business.

Best of luck with your decision! icon_smile.gif

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:55am
post #4 of 12

I'm biased, but I'd say go for it! thumbs_up.gif If you have the money and the knowledge to run a business, why not? Of course, I'm biased. I have absolutely NO patience at all, and I always want to do stuff NOW. lol.

Sometimes I worry if I've started a business too soon. But, I really go by the rule that if I set my mind to do something, I'm gonna make it happen. Of course, my situation is a bit simpler. I live in a place where it was really simple to get licensing to bake in my home. I'm also currently in school for business and accounting, and a lot that I've learned has really helped my knowledge for the "business side" of business. Also, for me, I learn much better by DOING stuff. Sometimes its risky, but it works for me. icon_rolleyes.gif

Good luck! You definitely came to the right place to get some good answers.

Lita829 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 12:47pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarNSpiceDiva

I'm biased, but I'd say go for it! thumbs_up.gif If you have the money and the knowledge to run a business, why not? Of course, I'm biased. I have absolutely NO patience at all, and I always want to do stuff NOW. lol.

Sometimes I worry if I've started a business too soon. But, I really go by the rule that if I set my mind to do something, I'm gonna make it happen. Of course, my situation is a bit simpler. I live in a place where it was really simple to get licensing to bake in my home. I'm also currently in school for business and accounting, and a lot that I've learned has really helped my knowledge for the "business side" of business. Also, for me, I learn much better by DOING stuff. Sometimes its risky, but it works for me. icon_rolleyes.gif

Good luck! You definitely came to the right place to get some good answers.




I couldn't have said it better myself. I agree with everything you said...I'm the exact same way. Your going to have to take that leap sometime, Juju23, so why not now? It looks as though an opportunity has presented itself so I'd go for it (if I were you) thumbs_up.gif You can't live your dreams afraid to live them.

Good Luck and Best Wishes icon_smile.gif

Mike1394 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:35pm
post #6 of 12

Here's a few questions for you.

How much does a 8" cake cost to make?

How much icing does that 8" cake take?

What do you do when your competitor lowers their price in comparison to yours?

What portion of the market are you going after?

Mike

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:52pm
post #7 of 12

It's greas to want to leap into things cause your excited to do something, but not neccessarily smart. Really think about what Mike and MBB said. You have to have a well though out plan to succeed in todays economy.

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:53pm
post #8 of 12

And as far as your cakes go, you can sculpt figures really good and you have nice basic decorating skills. You could learn some more fondant skills. So, depending on what type of market your aiming for, you should be ok.

jodibug0975 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:19pm
post #9 of 12

I think your cakes are great, and could be considered pro.

As for me.... I really want to go into business someday. I plan to open my bakery when I can afford to live without an income for 2-3 years, as it seems to take about that long for any business to get out of the red and start making a profit.

Having three kids and a mortgage... that won't be happening any time soon!

JuJu23 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 5:37pm
post #10 of 12

TY all for your feedback. Mike to answer your questions, i know what it costs me as a hobby baker, but still working on the business side of it. My husband is the numbers guy and between him, my father and my uncle, they have all ran or still running successful food businesses in town.

I definately have the the marketing down. My sister is amazing, and is throwing me out there everyday. Ive had many people come to me to ask me to start. There is really only one other lady in town that is my competition, and to me, and some others, shes very pricy and taste not so good. But since shes the only one in town that can do it, people go to her. My only other competition are my giant eagles and wegmans cakes. There is a cake lady who makes wonderful cakes outside of town, but she will NOT do fondant. So with all this said, the market for me is good here. I just donated 500 mini cupcakes to a new years eve party celebration and i smiled as i watched people sit at the bar doing shooters of them. Gone in 2 hours... I love feeling like i have a purpose and my purpose feels like its to make people smile while eating my cakes!

Mike1394 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 5:52pm
post #11 of 12

So now my question is. Since you have relatives in the food business, why aren't they selling your cakes?

There is a MAJOR difference between loving 500 FREE cuppies, to be saying sorry I can only afford 100, or going to the grocery store.

Mike

JuJu23 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 12

My husband is now a manager in a grocery store and my uncle now owns a bar. He has used my desserts when he was at the country club and well given me a donation per say. My father used to own/operation an ice cream parlor, now hes pres. of medical organization, the parlor was part of a bowling alleay that has since been turned into a pizza shop. All three of them have a degree in HRIM. ordering, operating, labor etc i am well covered.

Trust me if they had the facilites to run out of, i would be there. However my note of thier skills was just to help me on the operating side of the business meaning they could easily help me on that front.

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