Afraid To Take The Plunge

Business By pbhobby Updated 10 Mar 2011 , 4:11pm by pbhobby

pbhobby Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:08pm
post #1 of 24

I've been decorating cakes for my family and very close friends for almost 7 years now. I've done 3 wedding cakes and they all turned out great. My family and friends keep telling me I should start a business but honestly I'm afraid to. Where I live I can not legally sell cakes out of my home kitchen so I would have to either rent a kitchen or find a retail location. I have recently found a retail location that I can afford to buy and pay for the mortgage with my husbands income. However, I'm just not sure about all the "unknowns". I am currently a stay at home mom with 2 small children but I need to get back to work. I have a BS degree and a lot of professional experience but I'm having trouble finding a job in my field with today economy. Should I make a career change and turn my hobby into my new career???? Does anyone have any personal experience, tips or suggestions for me?
Here's my personal blog site with pictures of my cakes:
http://thepinkbandanacakes.blogspot.com

23 replies
j0z1e Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 24

I say go for it, but I don't know what kind of competition you'd be facing where you live or are planning to open. Just basing it on your design skill though, I think your cakes are gorgeous. If I was in your situation with not being able to find a regular 9-5, then I would be heavily considering it as well. Good Luck!

pbhobby Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:37pm
post #3 of 24

I would be opening my business in the Greater Indianapolis, IN area. There are several nice cake shops in the area.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:38pm
post #4 of 24

Check out the information on this website. Most will tell you to do a business plan and this will let you know if it is the right time or not.

leily Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:42pm
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Check out the information on this website. Most will tell you to do a business plan and this will let you know if it is the right time or not.



I agree, a business plan is a must. It will help answer many of the questions you have and let you know what you'll need to do to keep the business open and hopefully growing.

pbhobby Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:51pm
post #6 of 24

I definitely plan on doing a business plan. I have looked at several websites and books about starting a small business. However, does anyone have any websites or books that you found particuarly helpful when starting a small baking business?

cakesherry Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:54pm
post #7 of 24

Do a business plan and contact Score. It's a free service and my counselor has helped me immensely. It's a great organization.

pbhobby Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 9:13pm
post #8 of 24

I will certianly look in to our local SCORE. Thank you so much cakesherry! I'm new at this so I have so much to learn. Any advice is much appreciated.

Corrie76 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 9:41pm
post #9 of 24

I suggest reading some of the E-Myth books, the one book is really cheezy and sappy but a great start into what it takes to run a business successfully, IMO. Also, could you think about a compromise? Maybe go out and get a part-time job and also pursue a cake business part time and that wasy you could "try the waters" so to speak but also have the security of a steady paycheck from the other job.
Good luck, your cakes are beautiful, I can see why you are encouraged by others to give this a shot!

cheatize Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:50pm
post #10 of 24

You're going to need much more than mortgage money. Insurance, utilities, etc... will all have to be paid. Along with the other great advice you've already gotten, you may want to consider sending Indydebi a pm. I bet she knows that market inside and out.

scp1127 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:05am
post #11 of 24

Buildout alone could reach $100,000. My husband and I both have our contractors' licenses which enable us to pull our own permits and hire out the work. We still hit $25,000 and the quotes to hire it out to other contractors came in at over $50,000 for finished space with all the right surfaces to start. We also already had plumbing, heat, ac, and a bathroom. Running the correct wiring and tearing up floors for plumbing is very expensive. Before buying, have a plumber and an electrician familiar with the code come and give you an estimate. Then double that amount and double the time you were told to finish the project. Not kidding.

cakesherry Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:19am
post #12 of 24

Let me add one more thing about Score, because I am so grateful for it. You can ask to be teamed up with someone from a similar background (bakery) or a female entrepreneur.
I'm so happy I didn't choose either option. My mentor is retired from a Fortune 100 company, top-level executive. He has also financed several successful companies. He could care less about cakes. He has been incredible about getting me to see how little my talent matters and how much my planning, execution and business strategy does!

Occther Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:53am
post #13 of 24

You definitely have the talent to start a cake business. Your cakes are beautiful - and definitely a step above many other decorators who have asked about starting a business. My only question is whether people in your area will pay the price that you should be getting from your quality work.

luvstoshop Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 12:29pm
post #14 of 24

I agree pm Indydeb.

luvstoshop Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 12:31pm
post #15 of 24

I agree contact Indydebi she is a world of imformation

pbhobby Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:31pm
post #16 of 24

Thanks for all the great advice everyone.

pbhobby Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:37pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Buildout alone could reach $100,000. My husband and I both have our contractors' licenses which enable us to pull our own permits and hire out the work. We still hit $25,000 and the quotes to hire it out to other contractors came in at over $50,000 for finished space with all the right surfaces to start. We also already had plumbing, heat, ac, and a bathroom. Running the correct wiring and tearing up floors for plumbing is very expensive. Before buying, have a plumber and an electrician familiar with the code come and give you an estimate. Then double that amount and double the time you were told to finish the project. Not kidding.




The commerical building I have already found in my price range was a former bakery. I expect some additional cost but not this much. But I will definately do my research before making any purchase. Thank you

scp1127 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:47pm
post #18 of 24

That's great. One of my contractors told me that the UCC had some changes last July. But because we already owned the property and it was an upgrade, we did not have to comply. We did it anyway. It had something to do with the type of breakers in the box.

leily Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 3:59am
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkbandana

The commerical building I have already found in my price range was a former bakery. I expect some additional cost but not this much. But I will definately do my research before making any purchase. Thank you




Even though it was a former bakery make sure you check with the HD and Fire Dept and have them look at the space and see what you need to bring it up to code. Depending on what changes have been made in both Departments codes the bakery may not be up to code anymore. And you being a new business (even though its the same type) would need to make those improvements before they'll sign off on anything.

leily Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 4:00am
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesherry

He could care less about cakes. He has been incredible about getting me to see how little my talent matters and how much my planning, execution and business strategy does!




This is SOOOO true. Many people think that all you need to do to have a business is be able to provide the product, well in part that is true. That really is all you need to have, but in order for it to be successful you have to know how to run a business (it doesn't matter if you know about the product to begin with anyways.... until you get to the marketing part LOL)

EpicureanMaiden Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 4:32am
post #21 of 24

You are definately talented, and I LOVE your site! Your graphics, photos and layout are so crisp and lovely!
I'm in a similar situation....poor job market. I've been struggling. I've had many requests and encouragement from family. I'm taking the plunge! Luckily I'm doing it with a friend who has talent. I have a lot of resources for business planning, but am starting the process myself, so I'll keep you updated as how it's going.
One piece of advice where the space was formerly a bakery is why did it fail? Why are they no longer in business?
I love that advice CakeSherry.

pbhobby Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 1:03pm
post #22 of 24

Thanks again everyone. You've been most helpful.
Cakesherry, Thanks you soo much about the advice on SCORE. I check their website out...wow! What a wealth of information. I'll definately be getting a SCORE advisor. Thank you!

scp1127 Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 2:05pm
post #23 of 24

You know what is more terrifying than the plunge... fear of failure. But if you want a business, you have to take that financial and emotional plunge, and put your skills and business sense up for public scrutiny. Everyone gets butterflies in this situation, but we go for it anyway.

ECONOMIC DEFINITION OF PROFIT: THE FINANCIAL REWARD FOR A RISK TAKEN.

pbhobby Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 4:11pm
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

You know what is more terrifying than the plunge... fear of failure. But if you want a business, you have to take that financial and emotional plunge, and put your skills and business sense up for public scrutiny. Everyone gets butterflies in this situation, but we go for it anyway.

ECONOMIC DEFINITION OF PROFIT: THE FINANCIAL REWARD FOR A RISK TAKEN.




scp1127, I completely agree!

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