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When did you know you were ready to just GO FOR IT?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello. I've been doing cakes for friends and family the last 5 years while I've been at my full time job. My employer has made some life altering decisions to change the company which in turn affects employees. I feel like this is a sign that I need to just go full force into my Caking. I've already been in the talks with health department to sell at farmers markets ect. and be able to promote business. But this is a huge decision. I'm only 25 but have put 7 years into this company, earned my way up in ranks, and make good money. My friends and family tell me it's not about money, it's about being happy... but with a husband and 3yr old, I can't just quit. Can you give me any advice on what to do, and where do I start with a business plan? I have name, flavors, prices, but I know I need insurance. my goal is eventually to start a dessert truck. I have no idea where to start there!
Thank you for any feed back. I get lots of advice from everyone around me, but thought here would be the best place since you guys have done it!
post #2 of 13

It's not about money but being happy, yes.  However, once you turn caking into a business, it may not be as much fun because of the pressure you will have to make money and survive.  Do you plan on having additional children?  If so, put that into the equation!  Once starting, will you have enough savings and healthcare to make it through tough times?   All of these factors should go into your business plan.  Insurance is not very expensive, I pay $300 annually.

 

I would say you are young so you have your whole life ahead of you, so go for it!  Good luck~

post #3 of 13

I "went for it" three weeks out of culinary school.  I had to do something with that new degree, right?  I closed the wedding cake business two years ago and haven't looked back.  Best decision to get my life back.  I also own a dessert truck.  You will NOT make money doing a desserts only food truck.  It's a fun pastime only.  But I enjoy it and it gives me spending money.  But I couldn't even begin to live of the $ I make.

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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #4 of 13
A thorough business plan will help you get a better idea of how much money you can expect to make once you determine pricing, target markets, product assortment, marketing strategies, etc. If you don't have personal health insurance from your husband's job, factor in the cost of buying it on your own (Obamacare should help you here, check out your state's or the federal insurance exchange).

Check out the "Starting a Business" link in my signature below for an overview of the steps needed to start a new business. For specific business plan help bplans.com has some good info and templates.
post #5 of 13

I never wrote a business plan, but I had experience managing a business, so that's more essential IMO than knowing how to bake. What do you do in your job now? Is there a way that you can go part time or start cakes part time while you're transitioning?

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your replies and well wishes. Both my husband and I work for a printing company. I'll still have his insurance thankfully. I was definitely planning on a part time job to supplement. I've been doing cakes part time for quite a while now. Leah_s do you enjoy your food truck? I know there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get it going..
post #7 of 13
I do enjoy the food truck, but I need a break right now. Seriously, its not much of a money maker.
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post #8 of 13
I agree that you have to do what makes you happy, but having a roof over my head and food in my kids mouths is what makes me happy.

There are some frightening statistics out there about the number of startup businesses that fail, I think they're even higher for food businesses. A food truck requires a lot of upfront investment, if I was you (and I kind of am because I'm planning to start my business in the new year), I'd start out as a home based business (assuming your local laws allow for this) and go from there.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

I agree that you have to do what makes you happy, but having a roof over my head and food in my kids mouths is what makes me happy.

There are some frightening statistics out there about the number of startup businesses that fail, I think they're even higher for food businesses. A food truck requires a lot of upfront investment, if I was you (and I kind of am because I'm planning to start my business in the new year), I'd start out as a home based business (assuming your local laws allow for this) and go from there.

yessssss.....

post #10 of 13

I recently took a course and something that struck me was that most of the instructors said they did not make cakes as a business any more but just worked for the college!!

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by VANILLAPLAZA View Post
 

I recently took a course and something that struck me was that most of the instructors said they did not make cakes as a business any more but just worked for the college!!

That's either because they 1. suck at marketing and couldn't get customers or 2. realized that if you suck at marketing and can't get customers you can't make a living at cakes or 3. they realized that even if you can get customers and make a living you're not going to be rich from it or 4. they got tired of marketing and chasing customers so they went for a steady income.

post #12 of 13

I agree with kikiandkyle...

 

I've been designing cakes for family & friends for several years, but just recently made the jump to make it official.  Last October I became licensed, started renting a commercial kitchen and was officially open for business.  While renting, my husband and I renovated our home to accommodate an IN HOME licensed kitchen.  It was finished by June 1st and was THE best decision we have ever made!  I live in a rural area, but market to a larger city about 25 miles from my home.  I was able to take the risk and start this business because of a few reasons:

 

1. I have always been a stay at home and my husband's job has always been our primary income source, so there was no second income to give up.

 

2. My children are older (15,13,11) and I deliberately waited for them to be this age before starting on this venture.  Had I started this when they were still very young, my heart would have been with them and not the business...I would have constantly been torn.

 

Another great way to increase your "caking" income is to acquire wholesale accounts.  I've built relationships with coffee shops/cafes and it has helped bring in revenue even when the custom cake orders aren't pouring in.  Plus, this is a way to get my business cards/name to the masses.  I utilize their storefront (with their permission of course) and it sure beats having my own storefront and all of the overhead that comes with it ;)

 

Good luck, ScrumdidlyCakes!

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post
 

That's either because they 1. suck at marketing and couldn't get customers or 2. realized that if you suck at marketing and can't get customers you can't make a living at cakes or 3. they realized that even if you can get customers and make a living you're not going to be rich from it or 4. they got tired of marketing and chasing customers so they went for a steady income.

 

My hands no longer allow me to spend hours baking commercially so I teach. As an adjunct the hourly pay is great but it's not full time work. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by debbiecakes75 View Post
 

Another great way to increase your "caking" income is to acquire wholesale accounts.  I've built relationships with coffee shops/cafes and it has helped bring in revenue even when the custom cake orders aren't pouring in.  Plus, this is a way to get my business cards/name to the masses.  I utilize their storefront (with their permission of course) and it sure beats having my own storefront and all of the overhead that comes with it ;)

 

Good luck, ScrumdidlyCakes!

 

Agree with this. My first two years I had a CFL permit and sold a variety of baked goods to area stores and on college campuses.

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