HI!! So I have been doing cakes for friends and family (for free/their gift) for YEARS and 2 years ago I started working at a Retail Grocery chain decorating cakes to help with my butter cream skills, portfolio, and speed
I have been trying to research things for a while now on how to become a legal cake decorator (outside the Chain). My state does not have a Cottage Law, so my options are to build a whole new room onto my house or rent a space. My dream is to one day be able to build an addition onto my house and work from home! That requires money that I am currently saving up for.
This week an opportunity has presented itself. A friend of mine has opened a small restaurant and has offered to allow me to rent part of his space. We haven't discussed pricing or specs yet. I honestly hadn't been planning this (been mearly a thought in my head) and honestly didn't think I would be able to even find a space to rent.
The thing is, now that this offer is out there it got me realizing I needed to know what to do next!!!!!
IF I choose to rent the space from him what all do I need. I see threads about at home businesses and brick and mortar businesses but couldn't find any for renting a space.
I've read and researched here and google and cant really find out how to get started and make sure I'm "dotting my i's and crossing my t's"
I'm sure there is ALOT more than I can ever imagine..... that's why I am reaching my virtual hand out asking for your all's direction and advice!!!
AYour starting point is a business plan: http://www.bplans.com/
You need to determine what you want to sell, why customers should buy from you instead of the competition, what your competition is selling and how much they are selling it for, which customers you want to target, how you will reach those customers, how much you can charge based on your market, how much your products will cost to make (including labor and overhead, you would need to estimate the kitchen rental cost here and use different what-if scenarios), and how much you will spend on startup costs and recurring overhead (license fees, insurance, etc.).
Once you have your business plan and costs/pricing model in place you will be in a better position to set a target for how much you can spend on renting the kitchen, as well as the max rent you can pay and still make a comfortable profit.
Thanks Jason! I knew I needed a Business Plan but didn't know where to start! That website is awesome. I have been working on my plan now--gonna take me a while ! =-)
I 2nd Jason with starting with your business plan.
I too recently started making cakes for business purposes. Since turning this into my "Business" I have learned there is allot more that comes with it other than decorating.
Now you are responsible for everything!!! Obtaining customers, making sure they are satisfied. Marketing your business ect.
My best advice is don't go into it thinking it's going to be a "Piece of Cake". Hours are longer and patience is key! Success will not come overnight and you might feel like you are learning everything again from scratch. Creating a cake for your family and friends, and creating one for a "Consumer" is two different things! Your family and friends may be ok with the crack on the bottom left corner of the cake. While a consumer who is spending there money will not(Just an example)
There are lots of start-up business information online! Read Read Read!!!!
Create a web-site and use social media to your advantage!!
I hope that you are successful in all your business adventures.