Starting My Home Business

Business By rr2sweet Updated 4 Jan 2015 , 12:37am by rr2sweet

rr2sweet Posted 2 Jan 2015 , 10:49pm
post #1 of 6

AI'm taking the next step and moving to California , since my state doesnt have the cottage food laws, to pursue my dreams of starting my own cake decorating business. I plan on starting out of my apartment to begin, then perhaps eventually getting my own kitchen. Just wondering if you all have any advice for starting or any mistakes you wish you hadn't of made when you first started?

5 replies
kakeladi Posted 2 Jan 2015 , 11:06pm
post #2 of 6

No pets.  Make sure there are no problems with the apt. complex having a business/many visitors.

Get set up in a local church, club, etc to make friends who might eventually become your customers.  Make sure of your pricing before you start advertising.  What is the 'going' price in the area? Don't undercut - just because your new!!  Know who your target customer base will be.  Check with the county and city health dept - their rules can be different from the state ones!  Check out the appliances of the apt you want to rent.  Make sure the oven is big enough to hold large cakes.  Is it gas or electric?  Which are you most adapt using?  No matter which it is *every* oven is different and it will take time to learn the problems a new to you one has.  If there are problems w/the appliances who is responsible for fixing?  (Your landlord or you.) 

Just some of the things to think about.  Oh, how hard will it be for customers to find the apt complex &/or your apt?  You will not be able to put up any signage to help them locate you, so be prepared to give excellent directions!   Keep pricing simple: don't do things like $12.99 - instead round it out so you don't have to make lots of change.  Keep change on hand so if they pay for a $13 cake (most likely there will never be one that cheap! LOL) make sure you have lots of $1s, $5 and $10s on hand.   When I did it from home (like 20-25 yrs ago) I had people try to pay for a $20 cake w/a $100 bill :(  Of course I didn't have change on hand for that and sent them to a local store to change the bill and pay me.  Be prepared.  Keep lots of boxes, boards and such supplies on hand.

That's about all I can think of right now - hope it helps.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jan 2015 , 7:53pm
post #3 of 6

Get the legal stuff in place before you start.

 

Always get payment in full ahead of time or  don't turn the oven on. No payment in advance=no order is placed.

 

Get a bookkeeping system in place before you start. if you don't know what that is you're not ready to have a business, go get some advice about it.

 

Have a contract that's legal for your area that you're willing to enforce.

 

Know what you WON'T do (copyrighted characters, specific styles, etc.)

 

Realize that an inquiry doesn't mean that an order has been placed. Don't go out and buy materials and equipment for a cake just because someone calls to ask if you know how to make it.

 

Make more money on each cake than it costs you to make. Make sure you're charging enough that you're not earning $3 an hour.

MimiFix Posted 3 Jan 2015 , 8:17pm
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Get the legal stuff in place before you start.

 

Always get payment in full ahead of time or  don't turn the oven on. No payment in advance=no order is placed.

 

Get a bookkeeping system in place before you start. if you don't know what that is you're not ready to have a business, go get some advice about it.

 

Have a contract that's legal for your area that you're willing to enforce.

 

Know what you WON'T do (copyrighted characters, specific styles, etc.)

 

Realize that an inquiry doesn't mean that an order has been placed. Don't go out and buy materials and equipment for a cake just because someone calls to ask if you know how to make it.

 

Make more money on each cake than it costs you to make. Make sure you're charging enough that you're not earning $3 an hour.

 

And check out the competition. In some areas the cake business is already saturated with too many people selling cheap cake. You'll need to really target your market. 

costumeczar Posted 3 Jan 2015 , 10:39pm
post #5 of 6

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix 
 

 

And check out the competition. In some areas the cake business is already saturated with too many people selling cheap cake. You'll need to really target your market. 


Absolutely, if there's enough of a market to target!

rr2sweet Posted 4 Jan 2015 , 12:37am
post #6 of 6

Thanks everyone! I've really started looking into the competition in my area, I've actually changed my focus because of it. I also started making a pricing guide, definitely want to have reasonable prices with the competition but not to low

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