ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 12:31am
post #1 of

AOver the years I have busted my butt, followed all the rules, won a few competitions, did all the research, started my licensed home business, created my own recipes, worked on getting a great credit score, and built an amazing client base. I did everything right. But 2 banks later and 2 turn downs for loans to open a storefront, I give up. My home kitchen is too small, it's busting at the seams with cake decoratings supplies (we use 4 cabinets and 2 drawers for our personal stuff). It's taking over our home. I feel defeated and deflated. The whole point was to expand, but hitting road block after road block will kill your drive. Banks don't want to give loans for "start up" businesses, how:-( are you supposed to succeed in this world? I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. I honestly don't even want to look at cupcake liner or cake pan right now. My last order is scheduled for October, then the supplies will be boxed up. :(

34 replies
Norasmom Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 12:41am
post #2 of

Sorry to hear that.  Unfortunately in the times in which we live, banks are strict and have some crazy qualifications for certain loans.  Loans are hard to come by.  I hope you don't feel deflated for too long.  Everything happens for a reason, even if we don't realize the reason for a while.  

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 12:42am
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AAre you a woman or part of a minority group? If so, sometimes you can find loans or grants.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 12:43am
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ASorry to hear that. Maybe you can take a short hiatus and come back with higher prices, which will both reduce your order volume and let you save more so you can fund a storefront yourself.

Another possibility is to rent out a commercial kitchen without a storefront, the startup cost is minimal and it will give you much more production space without affecting your home.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 12:46am
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ASugar, PM me your email address. I Amy be able to help.

keepingitreal21 Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:01am
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Wow! I'm so sorry to hear that. I completely understand how you're feeling as I have been feeling the same lately but with different circumstances. Just moved again after hubby lost his job, so it's a slow start again, on the verge of being homeless and losing everything after I just had a baby. So I may have to sell all of my supplies to help keep us afloat. Any way this is about you not me.

 

I just want to say that you're cakes are AMAZING! I'm sure you're customers will be very sad to see you go. I must be honest that I popped over to your album thinking I would see some so, so cakes as is the case mostly when people post about giving up as suppose to retiring. I must ask you and all cakers to forgive me for making that assumption. NEVER AGAIN! I really hope you find a way to make it work. Even if that means you have to take a break and then come back out swinging for the fences. I think a combination of Jason's and Secret's idea will work. Get a grant to rent the commercial kitchen, hike up your prices a bit (your best customers will understand) and save for that storefront. GL!

Norasmom Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:03am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by keepingitreal21 

Wow! I'm so sorry to hear that. I completely understand how you're feeling as I have been feeling the same lately but with different circumstances. Just moved again after hubby lost his job, so it's a slow start again, on the verge of being homeless and losing everything after I just had a baby. So I may have to sell all of my supplies to help keep us afloat. Any way this is about you not me.

 

I just want to say that you're cakes are AMAZING! I'm sure you're customers will be very sad to see you go. I must be honest that I popped over to your album thinking I would see some so, so cakes as is the case mostly when people post about giving up as suppose to retiring. I must ask you and all cakers to forgive me for making that assumption. NEVER AGAIN! I really hope you find a way to make it work. Even if that means you have to take a break and then come back out swinging for the fences. I think a combination of Jason's and Secret's idea will work. Get a grant to rent the commercial kitchen, hike up your prices a bit (your best customers will understand) and save for that storefront. GL!

Hang in there!!!  

ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:13am
post #8 of

AThanks everybody. I think what really kills my spirit is knowing that I've done everything right and can't move forward. I've watched a person (used to be friends) open a shop on a whim, went against all zoning and codes, and has no clue what she's doing.

keepingitreal21 Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:19am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohsugarsweets 

Thanks everybody. I think what really kills my spirit is knowing that I've done everything right and can't move forward. I've watched a person (used to be friends) open a shop on a whim, went against all zoning and codes, and has no clue what she's doing.

That sucks!!!

Stitches Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:22am

Don't let other peoples actions or inactions get you down. You made decisions that were right for you, and you should be proud of that! I've been knocked down more than seems fair in my life, too. The one constant seems to be things really do get better.....one way or another. You never know what silver lining is hidden in the grey cloud above your head, seriously. It's o.k. to quit on small things but don't quit on yourself.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:23am

A

Original message sent by ohsugarsweets

Thanks everybody. I think what really kills my spirit is knowing that I've done everything right and can't move forward. I've watched a person (used to be friends) open a shop on a whim, went against all zoning and codes, and has no clue what she's doing.

The difference there is that opening a storefront and failing will typically result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt and potentially BK. Deciding not to move forward with a storefront due to lack of financing means you are still doing everything right, and by closing (or hopefully just suspending) your home-based operation your loss will be relatively small.

BTW you shouldn't need a grant to rent an existing commercial kitchen, startup costs should be in the $2-3K range and ongoing operating costs are covered in the price of your products.

IAmPamCakes Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:40am

ASo sorry to hear this :-(. I have been working my butt off for my business, and can't get financing either. And my town desperately needs a bakery, but I just can't come up with a way to make it work. Hang in there. If you are doing everything right, you will eventually end up with your dreams coming through!

tdovewings Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:41am

Also, have you spoken with your chamber of commerce? It might not be your ideal location to begin with, but they are often good at helping find deals in areas they want to develop. 

ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 1:58am

AAre there any banks that have 10 year loans? There's no way I can pay off $50, 000 in 5 years. That would be crazy

KlyKat Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:20am

I am so sorry you are having such a tough time, but I do understand.  Has your bank not mentioned a SBA loan?  It's a LOT of paperwork but well worth it in the end.  Both for you, the bank and your community.

ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:22am

ANo, neither bank mentioned that. I will call sba tomorrow to get some info. Thanks :)

KlyKat Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:36am

Also, your local college should have a SBA dept. and they will help you with your paperwork and a presentation package.  Atleast, that's what I did.  You're very welcome!!!  Good Luck icon_biggrin.gif

ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:41am

AI wonder how I can find out if a local college offers that. Should I just call around?

KlyKat Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:44am

Yes, I would call around or your banker should know, maybe?

AZCouture Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:44am

Oh man, hope things turn around for you. :( 

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 3:00am

AAn SBA loan for working capital has a term of up to 7 years, and the interest rate can be up to prime plus 2.75% (that's 6% based on today's prime rate of 3.25%) for loans of 7 years. Smaller loans (<$50K) can have higher maximum rates. You may be required to personal assets up as collateral (such as your home).

Are you confident enough in your business plan to risk your home on this venture? If not, you are better off going the slow route of self-financing through profits from your home-based business.

Here's more info from the SBA: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/sba-loan-programs/7a-loan-program

There's no way I can pay off $50, 000 in 5 years. That would be crazy

That's not crazy at all. $50K at 6% for 5 years is about $1000/month. If you sell an average of 5 cakes per day, or 150/month, you can pay off the loan by adding $7 to the price of each cake.

JWinslow Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 4:06am

So sorry!  I was just on your FB page.  You do nice work!  I am no expert for sure so I'll throw this out -have you tried a credit union as opposed to a reg. bank?

 

I hope all works out for you :)

ohsugarsweets Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 4:42am

Thank you so much.  And yes, both banks were credit unions

FrostedMoon Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 4:56am

ACheck out crowdfunding, as explained in # 3 of this article. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2012/10/20/5-means-of-funding-a-small-business-how-to-get-your-piece-of-the-pie/

I've seen an ice cream business that has used this to get going.

Don't ever give up! There are always options! It may not look exactly like you expected, and might be in a different time frame than initially hoped for, but it's not over unless you give up. That's the part that is in your control.

BomCakes Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 6:56am

Re-invent! This sounds like delusions of grandeur but maybe you could host a celebrity pastry chef and offer classes? Some of them do tour giving classes for a fee ( book the Town Hall or your local Holiday Inn) There's money to be made there. Aspiring cakesters will shell out to meet a big name cake designer and get a few tips.  20 girls paying $150 each for an afternoon with so and so...Just sayin

I flew to Atlanta 3 years ago to take classes with Nicholas Lodge for a week. Great Class!! I highly recommend! But I spent 600 dollars for that 5 day class + lodging and meals. and there were 20+ other people there who spent the same $600 I did.

 

Hmm  $600 x 20 = $12,000 per week of classes for Chef Lodge. I know, that's HIM, but hey he started out at the bottom like the rest of us!  Fooood for thought <3

cakefat Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:01pm

hmmm the crowdfunding might be interesting to you..there's another one called Kickstarter....I believe- haven't checked it out myself..just heard about it.

 

anyway- I think it would be a shame to stop because you're actually talented and have a true skill. You make very nice cakes. I hope you can find a solution...because there are always options (as already stated), you might have to readjust things a bit. do you have to have a store front? Can you do it from your home still? Move things around? Buy an outdoor space/shed for supplies? I don't know. Good luck. but really- you have a true skill and you're good at it...so don't give up.

de_montsoreau Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:41pm

I'll chime in with the others - don't give up. There is always a way. Ask me how I know ;-)

A year ago I was in an even worse situation than you. I already had my storefront and a small bakery in a separate building on our grounds. Both cakes and cupcakes were going really well so I wanted to build a much larger kitchen (mine was and is bursting at the seams as well) and open a second storefront. Went to the bank with a concept. They said this is great we will support you getting a government subsidised loan, but as you have no collateral to speak of you must apply for a surtey at one of the government banks. I did and the surety was granted. What the bank neglected to tell me was that this is a very costly process. I did of course find out about the fees and of course paid them as I naively thought the word of the bank manager was worth something. Well, to make a very long story short, it wasn't and I paid more than 4,500 $ for a surety I was not able to use.

 

This hit me really hard on so many levels that I was close to giving up too. I did hang on in there, continuing my 80 - 100 hour weeks. About 6 months later I went to a different bank for a smaller loan and with a little help from my step-dad it was granted. This was definitely not the way I was planning to go but I am happy with it now. I have moved to a larger storefront now and am upgrading my existing bakery wherever possible.

 

So do not give up, research crowdfunding (I did as well) and private financing. If you know someone with some connections or someone who can and is willing to guarantee for a loan, don't be afraid to ask! There will be ways that willl open up. They might not be what you originally intended and not every possibility will be right for you and you probably will have to compromise, but you CAN get through this!
 

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 2:54pm

ACrowdsourcing can work for businesses that provide a product or service that can be shipped or accessed online, but for a local retail bakery the pool of people who could realistically patronize the business is too small to be of much use.

BomCakes Posted 10 Jul 2013 , 2:51am

There are a few shops around here who share premesis. We have a coffee/sweet/sandwich shop in town who shares the front portion of her store with a gift business. Been there prob 5 years now. The Cupcake store in the next town has a purse shop in the front of it. Doing good so far.

Would something like that be possible for you? Sharing the rent like that is smart and each business feeds the other.

Smckinney07 Posted 10 Jul 2013 , 3:46am

ADo you own your house/have a mortgage? Have you thought about expanding your kitchen or building a separate one at home? I would think this would be the least expensive of the options if you have say a garage you could turn into a kitchen. Depending on your house setup, I know you said it was overcrowded, I understand! Sharing a space with someone sounds like a great idea too but putting the extra money into your home seems more like an investment, at least this is what I'm planning on doing. Good luck to you

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