My Business Plan Needs To Take A Drastic Turn

Business By letsgetcaking Updated 24 Jan 2011 , 2:32pm by mayo2222

letsgetcaking Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 20

I'm laughing at myself right now. I've been gearing up to start a home-based business in Ohio (once we move there this summer). I've done a lot of research on business models, marketing, etc. (Not to mention baking and decorating, too.) So, recently I finally thought I'd found the perfect niche for myself: specializing in Quinceanera cakes. I thought this would be great for a few reasons:

1. It's an important, large event where the cakes can be extravagant.
2. I speak Spanish.
3. There is a large Latin community where I currently live.

I start thinking of layouts, designs for Quinceanera cakes, special tastings, yadda-yadda-yadda...

Then, BLAM! I started doing a little market research into the area I will be moving to (thanks to a post by Indydebi). Here's my thought process along the way:

Population of the county: 160,000 (hmmm...a lot smaller than the 970,000 in my current county)

Persons of Latin origin: 2% (That's 3,200.)

Persons under 18 years old: 21% (That's 672. I divide that in half so I'm just focusing on the girls, which is 336. Just to get a general idea, I divide that by 18 to see about how many girls would be turning 15 in a given year...about 19.)

Nineteen! I was all geared up and ready to launch a business focusing on a target consumer audience of nineteen!

Back to the drawing board.

icon_biggrin.gif

19 replies
letsgetcaking Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 4:13pm
post #2 of 20

I guess my point in posting this was to see if any one else out there had something like this happen to them. This just made me worry that as I continue to develop a business model/plan, that I'll overlook something crucial like this.

DanaG21 Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 4:39pm
post #3 of 20

I think this is a perfect case study for why we need business plans. Look what you discovered before it was too late. I've been putting off doing one because I'm on the fence of becoming more than a hobby baker. The business plan will obviously help me make that decision! Thanks for htis post.

CWR41 Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 5:17pm
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

So, recently I finally thought I'd found the perfect niche for myself: specializing in Quinceanera cakes.

Back to the drawing board.




It's great that you discovered those results from doing the research, but you're absolutely right--back to the drawing board. I'm glad that you haven't given up, just realize that your specialty doesn't need to be limited to only Quinceanera cakes. Focus on the rest of the market too, and you won't need to limit yourself. There's no need to turn other business away when you're capable of providing the same service for people of all ages.

bellaudreycakes Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 5:53pm
post #5 of 20

where you moving to in Ohio? I'm from Ohio too! icon_biggrin.gif

letsgetcaking Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 6:33pm
post #6 of 20

Thank you for the responses, guys. I read somewhere not to chase two rabbits at once or you'll lose both. I was trying to focus my business, but I guess I focused it a little too much.

We're looking at moving to Beaver Creek. It's actually pretty close to the Montgomery County line, so the population I could market to is larger than I first calculated. However, it's still not large enough for me to only focus on Quinceaneras.

I was trying to think of something that would set me apart from other bakers and help customers to think of me when they want a cake.

CWR41 Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 7:21pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

I was trying to think of something that would set me apart from other bakers and help customers to think of me when they want a cake.




Exactly! They'll think of you for the taste, not just for a once-in-a-lifetime event. You have an unlimited occasion market to go after.

indydebi Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 7:32pm
post #8 of 20

great post and I'm thrilled you posted your experience for others to learn from! thumbs_up.gif Saving this thead in my files 'coz I'm sure I'll be referencing it many, many times!

cheatize Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 12:18am
post #9 of 20

I know someone in Beaver Creek. She's a gabber so she knows lots of people. LOL Send me a PM when you get settled and are ready to open. I'll send her your info in case someone asks her if she knows someone. I know she supports small biz and loves that we can bake from home in Ohio.

cakinallday Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 1:02am
post #10 of 20

Um icon_redface.gif how do you do market research? icon_redface.gif

cakinallday Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 1:03am
post #11 of 20

Um icon_redface.gif how do you do market research? icon_redface.gif

letsgetcaking Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 3:43am
post #12 of 20

I appreciate everyone's input.

Quote:
Quote:

You have an unlimited occasion market to go after.


Thank you, CWR41. I need to remember that.

@Indydebi - I'm glad my mistake can be used for good. thumbs_up.gif

@Cheatize - Thank you for the offer! I just might have to take you up on that. icon_smile.gif Are you also in Ohio?

@Cakinallday - Here's an awesome article from entrepreneur.com to help you understand Market Research and how to get started.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217388

cheatize Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 5:54am
post #13 of 20

Yes, I am near Columbus- too far away to advantage of my friend's contacts in Beaver Creek.

jen1977 Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 1:45pm
post #14 of 20

I'm not too fat from Beavercreek. You won't just be marketing there.....you're pretty close to lots of other cities. Just look at Beavercreek as a south suburb of Dayton.

scp1127 Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 5:17pm
post #15 of 20

It is refreshing to see someone doing this kind of research in planning a cake business. You are so smart to do a demographic study of the area. I know this plan fell through before you could go further, but the next step after demographics is a breakdown on income in the area. I am adding this because I am sure in your research you will definitely find your niche and be successful.

letsgetcaking Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 11:02am
post #16 of 20

I will definitely continue my demographic research. Thank you, everyone, for the advice and encouragement.

leily Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 11:07am
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

@Indydebi - I'm glad my mistake can be used for good. thumbs_up.gif




But you didn't make a mistake because you did your research first!!! I am also glad to see you post this about doing a business plan. It is SOOOO important and a lot of other people who post wanting information on starting a business seem to take it wrong when it's suggested to do a business plan. This is exactly why!

scp1127 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 11:24am
post #18 of 20

I think this is one of the best discussions about how to start a business. People get upset when they ask advice, it is given, but it wasn't what they wanted to hear. Letsgetcaking got it RIGHT!!! Find your market. Then assess your competition. Plan pricing based on where you fit with your competition. Find the true cost of opening. Then finally, see if market pricing can cover your expenses and make you a decent living.

indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 2:05pm
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

@Indydebi - I'm glad my mistake can be used for good. thumbs_up.gif



But you didn't make a mistake because you did your research first!!! I am also glad to see you post this about doing a business plan. It is SOOOO important and a lot of other people who post wanting information on starting a business seem to take it wrong when it's suggested to do a business plan. This is exactly why!


thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

mayo2222 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 2:32pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen1977

I'm not too fat from Beavercreek. You won't just be marketing there.....you're pretty close to lots of other cities. Just look at Beavercreek as a south suburb of Dayton.




Its okay if you are a little larger, we don't judge here icon_biggrin.gif

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