Wanting To Start A Business...but Where Do I Start??

Business By lyonsbr Updated 5 Jul 2010 , 6:11pm by jodyjeb

lyonsbr Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:21pm
post #1 of 11

I am an elementary school teacher who has recently lost my job due to budget cuts. I have been making cakes out of my home for a couple of years now and have been staying pretty busy with it, especially lately. Not to mention, I LOVE doing it. My husband has been encouraging me to start my own business, but I'm really clueless and don't want to enter in to this lightly. Should I just do cakes or should I do candy too? Can one person handle running a bakery? How much approx does it cost to get one started? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I get so much inspiration from this website. Thanks in advance!

10 replies
awatterson Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:34pm
post #2 of 11

http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs9/fcs9100/fcs9100.pdf

Not sure if you have seen that or not.

Someone posted last week that it cost her $13,000 to start hers, but it would all depend on the prices in your area.

Jamielc Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:41pm
post #3 of 11

I was a substitute teacher for 4 years and was never able to get a permanent job, and that was a few years ago. Since then, the job market has been getting worse and I don't have much hope of finding work in that field. Discouraged, I took a couple of cake decorating classes to give myself something to do and learn a new skill. Here I am 4 years later with a fun hobby and something to give me some money to pay a few bills while I try to find some sort of a job. I really do love it, but I'm not sure that I'm ready to run my own business yet (outside of what I'm doing now). I really do love it though!

I would stick with what you're comfortable with. I just do cakes. I'm sorry if I'm not much help. But I read your post and related to it, so I wanted to lend some support.

sweetartbakery Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:50pm
post #4 of 11

I also started doing this on the side while I worked a "real" job. I recently quit that job after heavily planning and getting the ball rolling with start up stuff. I'm almost a year into it now. If you are working out of a registered/inspected kitchen, you should do so. That is pretty easy if your state allows it.

if you want to start up a shop you need to first find a place to buy or build that is zoned for commercial use. you will then have to have an engineer draw up a formal plan for the changes to the space (or build). That alone has cost me $3,000. Those drawings are submitted for code approval and occupancy permits, another couple thousand. Then, you can get your space going with the basics. My dept of Ag (i'm in pa) had to then approve a kitchen layout and all my equipment...then you can buy that. There is also insurance, and workers comp (if your hire), plus other hidden things. I thought I would be able to get going with $15,000. I'm well over that now and still haven't even purchased all my equipment. I expect to be over 20-25,000 before my doors even open and its not a big store. icon_sad.gif Worth it, yes, but its a huge undertaking! Oh, and to get a loan you'll need a detailed business plan and some people pay to have the research done that is needed for the plan. I skipped this because I got a personal loan from a family member with low interest. You should also budgt enough money to act as working capital for a year or so. of course, just my opinion, but I think its smart.

you'll have a lot of people snip at you for wanting to start, some people like to rain on your parade. instead, I just thought I would tell you what I learned. most of this I didn't know starting. its been heartbreaking at times with hidden expense of ordeals to get certain permits, BUT once you get past that (or would have been nice to have someone let me know i needed that stuff) it starts to become fun again. Its just a one time struggle to start, then you just have a different battle to keep going. now that part, I have no advice on since I'm just getting past the misery of start-up! I'm glad I'm doing it though!

I would say that you could do it all yourself if you keep to the home operation, but I don't see how anyone can run a shop with at least a little help. I'm sure there are people that do it though! In my area, you wouldn't make a living off just cake, and people always ask for cookies and candy to match for showers and weddings...

lyonsbr Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 11

How helpful! I hope I have the courage to do this. My husband is going to medical school and he suggested that this would "keep me from getting so lonely." lol I do so love doing this and have had my eye on a few places in great locations in my town. I might just surprise myself and step out on a limb. Thanks sooo much for the helpful info!

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:10am
post #6 of 11

Go to the Business Forum and just start reading every single thread. Seriously. There is a goldmine of information in there. Some of it repetitive, but it's the kind of stuff that needs repeated.

The cost to get started has so many variables, that it can range from $5000 to $100,000 or even more. It depends on what is required in your area, what kind of build out, what kind of equipment, etc etc etc.

Read all you can on Business Plans and write one. It's THE best exercise you will go thru. The accounting stuff part of it is the worst but I just loved the research part!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:12am
post #7 of 11

I just wanted to add that if your state/county allows it, you could start by renting space from a local caterer or other already established commercial kitchen. That's a good intermediate step between doing it as a hobby/on the side and a full-on bakery where you are responsible for a lease and getting a location set up. It all depends on what you are comfortable doing, of course! That's just another option to think about.

Of course, as the PP said, there is also the option of a home-based business, but most states require you to have a separate kitchen with separate ventilation to do that.

I would start by googling "Starting a business in Kentucky" and that should give you some good info and a step-by-step list of what you need to do.

HTH! Good luck! icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:39am
post #8 of 11

I see you're from KY. It's verrry tricky here. It's *safest* to rent a commercial kitchen. Otherwise the Health Department will find you. <-- voice of experience.

mamawrobin Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:50am
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetartbakery

I also started doing this on the side while I worked a "real" job. I recently quit that job after heavily planning and getting the ball rolling with start up stuff. I'm almost a year into it now. If you are working out of a registered/inspected kitchen, you should do so. That is pretty easy if your state allows it.

if you want to start up a shop you need to first find a place to buy or build that is zoned for commercial use. you will then have to have an engineer draw up a formal plan for the changes to the space (or build). That alone has cost me $3,000. Those drawings are submitted for code approval and occupancy permits, another couple thousand. Then, you can get your space going with the basics. My dept of Ag (i'm in pa) had to then approve a kitchen layout and all my equipment...then you can buy that. There is also insurance, and workers comp (if your hire), plus other hidden things. I thought I would be able to get going with $15,000. I'm well over that now and still haven't even purchased all my equipment. I expect to be over 20-25,000 before my doors even open and its not a big store. icon_sad.gif Worth it, yes, but its a huge undertaking! Oh, and to get a loan you'll need a detailed business plan and some people pay to have the research done that is needed for the plan. I skipped this because I got a personal loan from a family member with low interest. You should also budgt enough money to act as working capital for a year or so. of course, just my opinion, but I think its smart.

you'll have a lot of people snip at you for wanting to start, some people like to rain on your parade. instead, I just thought I would tell you what I learned. most of this I didn't know starting. its been heartbreaking at times with hidden expense of ordeals to get certain permits, BUT once you get past that (or would have been nice to have someone let me know i needed that stuff) it starts to become fun again. Its just a one time struggle to start, then you just have a different battle to keep going. now that part, I have no advice on since I'm just getting past the misery of start-up! I'm glad I'm doing it though!

I would say that you could do it all yourself if you keep to the home operation, but I don't see how anyone can run a shop with at least a little help. I'm sure there are people that do it though! In my area, you wouldn't make a living off just cake, and people always ask for cookies and candy to match for showers and weddings...




sweetartbakery...good luck to you. Just wanted to say by the looks of your cakes you're going to do fine. I absolutely love your "bling" wedding cake thumbs_up.gif very nice.

sweetartbakery Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:23pm
post #10 of 11

Thanks mamawrobin! I don't have most of my cakes on here because then they are "published" icon_smile.gif I love that you like one of my early ones!

I agree the business page is great. Just search it for your particular area of interest (or mental breakdown that day!). I found out WAY too late that what I should have done was call my local borough office. like I said, WAY TOO LATE!

jodyjeb Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 6:11pm
post #11 of 11

I was recently laidoff after being in the food business for 30 yrs. I deceided to take a chance at a bakery business as I had been baking for years. I went to my local farmers market, rented a stand that already had a 3 bay sink w/electric and water included in the rent. I already had a table-top convection oven and an extra refrigerator in my basement and my kitchen-aid. I gathered all of my baking accessories from home and moved in. Little tough going because market is only open Fri and Sat but I can get in 24/7 and have posted notes alerting customers that they can pickup cakes during the week. Also, signs posted "If you have a favorite recipe and don't have time to make it...bring it in and we will make it for you. I have taken a lot of requests for items. I normally sell cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, sugar-free cupcakes and brownies, cinnamon rolls w/cream cheese icing and pies. It is an inexpensive way to startup, you get a lot of "foot traffic" and word of mouth is free. I also offer sample cupcakes made in candy cups on the counter at all times. I have taken pictures of all cakes and cupcakes done (they are posted on the plexiglass wall as well as on facebook, which is free). I printed my own business cards with the facebook site printed on it. Now I am saving up for a refrigerated display case. My business name is "Sweet Dreams Bakery".
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