Hi there everyone. I had a quick question. For the past 5 years or so I have done cakes as a hobby. It would be months in between cake commisions, maybe 4-5 a year (if that). Since the beginning of the year things have really been picking up and I have done 5 cakes to far with 3-4 in my near future. I live in a very small town and you would have to drive to at least 30 miles to the nearest Walmart or Dillons to get a cake. Is it worth my time and effort to make this more than just a hobby? and what does it take to make an actually business? My family keeps telling me to start a business out of this, but I think I am already there, it is just not formal. What would you do?
hhmmm....that is tough. Are you the only designer around? Where is the closest designer (not inc. the stores since you are trying to custom)? How many people are in your area? I assume you can't have a legal home biz? How far are you willing to drive to deliver cakes? Would this be your sole source of income?
Those are some questions I would ask myself in your position. Hope that helps.
First, you need to investigate what it takes to be a "legal" cake business in your state. Call the Dept of Agriculture. They will be able to tell you what it takes to become licensed and whether or not you can do this business out of your home. Every state is different and some are even different depending on the county or city you live in.
I would also highly recommend going through the process of writing a business plan. It's a great exercise to do to find out if you have a viable business idea. It will also challenge you to educate yourself in areas you didn't even think of before (trust me on this one). Also, if at any point you decide to get a business loan, you will need to have a business plan anyway.
It's so exciting to be at this stage isn't it? Best of luck to you!
Thank you! You have given me a lot to think about. I will check into the licensed home bakery first. Over the last few days I have gotten 5 more orders this month. It is exciting being at this stage! Thanks again!!!
I don't know much about Kansas, but if your state does require a license, you need to get one quick. Ditto on liability insurance. It only takes one lawsuit for you and your family to lose everything. And people are lawsuit crazy.
The state of Kansas does allow for home bakers, and they do not have to be licensed; and are only inspected if a complaint is received. You are limited to "non volatile" foods - meaning they cannot require refrigeration of the end product. It limits you on fillings, etc., but not much else. You cannot sell for re-sale - so you couldn't sell to the grocery store bakery, or to a restaurant for them to re-sell.
That being said, when I spoke to the Dept of Ag, she told me there are a couple of counties that do not allow home bakeries, so you need to check on the local level. She also said to check zoning laws - because that can also cause a hiccup.
Hope this helps on that part! Good luck!