Please Help Me Decide :)

Business By kandu001 Updated 30 Sep 2010 , 4:19pm by mandymakescakes

kandu001 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 1:48pm
post #1 of 13

Hi,
I haven't been on CC in a while because I just had a baby. She's now 4 1/2 months old and I'm debating going back to work (I teach 2nd grade) or my hubby suggested opening up a cake/pastry shop. If you wouldn't mind, please take a look at my cakes and tell me if you think it is worth it for me to do this. Any advice or suggestions that you may have would be very helpful. I need to make the decision within the next few weeks because if I do go back to work, my maternity leave ends soon.

Thank you in advance for your help!

12 replies
tootie0809 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 2:22pm
post #2 of 13

Your cakes are great! You definitely have talent, and that's obviously important when running a cake decorating business. But, from my own personal experience, it is a huge deal to open a business. Are you planning on opening a retail storefront or getting a licensed home bakery? Either way, they are more work than most people anticipate.

It took me a year longer than I expected to get my home bakery finished and licensed. I have been open for a little over a year now, and I hope to be able to make an actual salary within the next 1-2 years. This first year has been fantastic business wise, way more than I had expected it to be, but even working out of a home bakery with little overhead compared to a storefront, the expenses to start a business are staggering.

Don't get me wrong, if this is truly your passion, go for it! But if you need a solid, reliable income now, it's going to be difficult to replace a regular steady job income with a bakery income for quite some time, so if your family is depending on you financially, it might be better to wait until you can save enough to have a cushion of cash to float you for a while as your business builds and starts to grow and you are able to start paying yourself....because the business owner is that last one to get paid, unfortunately!

It's been a lot of hard work for me, and we've had to be very frugal over the past 2-1/2 years since we started this process, but it's been incredibly fulfilling and I have loved just about every minute of it. Good luck in whatever you decide!

imagenthatnj Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 2:26pm
post #3 of 13

Congratulations on the baby!

I think your cakes are very nice and you would certainly get clients. But will you be OK while you build a client base? And how's the competition around you? There are so many things to make sure of before you start a business.

I'm the cautious side, so if I were you, I would go back to work while I build my client base on the side (unless you already have that) without letting my work distract me from the main goal.

I have a friend at work who luckily has her mom at home. Mom bakes the cakes for her and my friend goes back at the end of the day and decorates them and puts the final touches. All that is being done (and I know it's stressful) just until there are enough clients to support a business. She says that it's going great and that she gets about 8 cake orders a week.

On the other hand, if your husband can support the two of you and the baby while you start full fledged on a bakery, then I would say just make the jump, go for it.

peg818 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 2:27pm
post #4 of 13

Your pictures are very nice and if you can get licensed to this legally then it might be an option.

Somethings you might want to consider, if the time and energy that a baby and a business takes. Also, if you need a steady paycheck you need to think about that too. Even though a day job may take alot of time away from your baby, a business would too, and this business is alot of weekends. You also, have to figure if you have reliable day care. It isn't easy leaving a little one at a daycare center while you have to go off to work.

Just somethings to consider things are never as easy as yes this is what you should do, there are some choices only you can make. But carefully weigh your options before jumping head first.

And the first thing is to see if you can legally do this, and if you have the financing required to operate a legal food business.

kandu001 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 2:42pm
post #5 of 13

I'm in Florida, so it would have to be store front and not in my home, unfortunately. Everyone I've made the cakes for said they had people ask if I make and sell cakes. Of course I don't, but if I di they could have been new customers! icon_smile.gif

cakeythings1961 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 13

So many of the people I know who own their own business work 12 hour days, 6-7 days per week, and hardly ever take a vacation. icon_eek.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 4:24pm
post #7 of 13

Do you think you can start by doing it over the weekends, without getting a front store, by renting a commercial kitchen, or some licensed church kitchen? Just an idea.

http://www.cakeswebake.com/forum/topics/home-baking-in-florida-1

costumeczar Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 4:25pm
post #8 of 13

Holy cow, with a 4 1/2 month old I'd go back to teachfor the time being if those were the two options! Opening a shop is a huge undertaking, at least with a teaching job you know what your hours are going to be!

leily Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 4:42pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Holy cow, with a 4 1/2 month old I'd go back to teachfor the time being if those were the two options! Opening a shop is a huge undertaking, at least with a teaching job you know what your hours are going to be!




I agree with this 110% I have a 3 month old and i have looked in the past at store fronts and the cost associated with it. In the long run I would be working way more than i want to at this point. I want time for my family and to enjoy the first few years with my children. I am lucky enough to live in a state that allows home bakeries so I have the option of taking limited orders, but if I had a store front there is no way i could handle working as much as i wanted to without feeling terribly guilty and i think in the end i would regret it with my children so young (i also have a 1-1/2 yr old.)

kimbordeaux Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:48am
post #10 of 13

Your cakes are beautiful. I think that if you have a job you should stay with it though simply because of the economy. I'm a couple of weeks away from opening my shop and I'm excited but, scared at the same time, a lot of worries and money spent. I have a college degree, in Computer Science, and looked for a year and a half for employment and could not find a job. So, we took what savings we had and started Kakes by Kim. Its a lot more stress building a biz and keeping it going than to go to work for someone else, especially if you have a child (in my case 2 children). Good luck with choice!
~Kim

CakesbyCarla Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:36am
post #11 of 13

kandu001, I hate to ask, because it's not related to your post, but I looked at your photos and would like to know what white chocolate fondant is. Are you making it from scratch or buying it? If you're making it I would love to know what you're using/recipe etc. It looked tasty.

IsaSW Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 3:32pm
post #12 of 13

icon_surprised.gif

[/quote]
On the other hand, if your husband can support the two of you and the baby while you start full fledged on a bakery, then I would say just make the jump, go for it.

Quote:
Quote:



Totally agree!!! Please don't do it. Everywhere I read about starting a biz, you don't see any profit after the first two years. I agree! I am there myself.
If you have enough money in the bank to cover your salary while you start your adventure. Go for it!

I am only on year two, and what I make of the cake biz, can not compare to what you can make on a regular paycheck.
Keep your job if you need the paycheck and start slow, you have a Talent, you can do it!
I read here in another forum, kids grow up so fast, enjoy your kids when they are young, you can always work later.
If you have the creativity in you, is hard not to let it out. So start slow, while they are little, and then go full blown, when they are older.


mandymakescakes Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 4:19pm
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaSW

icon_surprised.gif

Quote:
Quote:


Totally agree!!! Please don't do it. ... YET.

I read here in another forum, kids grow up so fast, enjoy your kids when they are young, you can always work later.

If you have the creativity in you, is hard not to let it out. So start slow, while they are little, and then go full blown, when they are older.




My two cents: I've worked in the hospitality industry for over 13 years now, mostly hotel restaurants and while doing that, I've worked along side award winning bakery departments. If I thought I had long hours (50-70/wk), they had longer. Granted, they were also making all of the breads and desserts for the restaurants on property (5-7 depending on the property), but they did make the wedding cakes and specialty cakes for our larger events as well.

I have not started my own cake business for two main reasons, one I live in CA and it's e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e, so much for being a small business-friendly state; and two, I plan on starting a family in the next couple of years and I want to be home as much as possible with my kids, a bakery won't let me do that, not for a while anyway. So I'm a hobby baker for the long term. Besides, if I started my own bakery, I'd have to hire someone else to do all the fun stuff like bake and decorate because the amount of daily/weekly/monthly paperwork with any business is astronomical! Blah!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%