I have a home-based cake decorating business....my question is: At what point did you decide that you needed to move from your home into a storefront business?? I am doing about 9 cakes a week and working full time teaching high school. My kitchen has turned into a full-fledged bakery and my husband is complaining that he is not allowed to cook in it anymore.
I don't have an answer to your question, but I would be happy if my husband wanted to cook.
Congratulations on your success
The only question I would have is this: would you want to spend that much time away from home if you had a storefront?
Yes! LOL!!! I would!! My daughter got married last December and I am BORED!! I would love to have a new business away from home, I just want to make sure I can afford it!
he has to cook if he wants to eat...I cannot remember the last time I had time to cook!
run the numbers. make a business plan. once you know if you can afford it, the decision is an easy one.
You don't need to jump directly from a home-based business to a retail storefront, the intermediate (and much cheaper) step is renting out a commercial kitchen, keeping your home as the "storefront".
You also may want to consider raising your prices and/or cutting back on accepting orders...9 cakes a week plus a full-time teaching job is a recipe for burnout. Hiring a new employee would also help.
as a fellow north carolinian --
do you REALLY want the expen$e of a storefront when NC is SO home baker friendly?
Might a second kitchen on site (converted garage, outbuilding) be better?
I know of one baker in Fayetteville who had a home business, got successful, opened a storefront, and then closed the storefront and when back to home based as it was not financially feasible to do the storefront in light of how much higher she HAD to charge to cover the storefront's costs vs. how much less all the home based businesses charged.
On site second kitchen allows hubby to cook, you a private "away" space and a more efficient custom design.
Loews and Home Depot even sell a cute 2 story outbuilding that would make a perfect mini-shop and there's lots of places selling the backyard storage buildings which can be custom ordered in terms of size and then could be fitted out to be a kitchen.
Great ideas Doug...I had thought of the outbuilding idea before...still may look into that one!