I am in the midst of getting a cake decorating business started. I have never run a business before so I am kinda lost. Should I sign up for some business classes at the collage? Any of you out there that do NOT have a college education but are successfull in running a business? I got married and had children at a very young age so I never had the time to attend college. I am getting a divorce right now and am gonna have to support myself and my children and decorating cakes is pretty much the only thing I am really really good at. How about the health department regulations? Can I decorate the cakes in my own kitchen, if so will the health department come and do an inspection every few months? The only job I have ever had was working as a waitress so I really don't have any experience as far as preparing food and such. What kind of working backgrounds did some of you guys have before you became successfull in your cake decorating businesses?
you should first contact the health department for your area, and they can tell you regs for this type of business at home..if its even aloud... I know lots of people who have started a business without doing any business classes... perhaps you can find ideas on the internet of where to start.....sorry I cant help you. .
Do you have experience in doing wedding cakes??? I think your best money maker will be in the wedding cakes. I am also a single mom of two young children. I have a small home decorating business. You might check with the health department and see what the laws are in your state. I would also try to advertise in your area or take business cards to some of your local bridal shops. You could even take cake samples if you wanted to. If you have photos...you could build a small website. If that does not work...you might look into working at a bakery...I would look more into specialty cakes...it might open doors for you later. It sounds like you are going through a rough time...hang in there...things DO have a way of working themselves out. It just takes time and believe me...I have been there.
I have been a single mom since '85 and was divorced in '89. I raised two sons by myself.
Thank God that I have always been a strong person and was able to stand on my own two feet without him...the big ***hole.lol
Just give yourself time to adjust to the situation and you will be fine...just remember to keep repeating to yourself how strong you are.
Good luck and as traci said, pick out a specialty cake that you can build around.
Remember, we are here for you
Stephanie you sound alot like my sister Vicky.. She raised 5 kids by herself.. She had 4 with her one and only husband.. He was in and out of her life all the time.. It was her first love and she wanted it to work.. He was then sent to prison when her last child was born. Who is now 11.. She met someone else a few years later had another child and he too left her.. Not that she was a hard person to live with, she just expected them to be MEN!!! They ended up being losers and up until 3 years ago she was a single mom of 5!.. She finally found someone that was a real man and has made a family.. OMG he has 2 children of his own.. They are now the new generation of The Brady Bunch.. Watching her struggle has been a big eye opening.. You can do anything you want!! Just set your mind on it and go forward never looking back!!!!!! to all of you single moms!
If you look here in the forums topics you will find some on the business of cake decorating. Also, you can look on http://www.earlenescakes.com/index1.htm
That site has business related articles too.
I was a single mom for many years and always say I raised my 3 kids by myself even when I was married. Sometimes things are easier when there is not another personality in the mix. I am now re-married and have a toddler to go along with my three almost adult children.
First you need to contact the Department of Agriculture for your state (BEFORE handing out business cards of any kind!!) They will tell you if your state allows public food services out of your home. Most states require a commercial kitchen seperate from your home kitchen. If you get the go ahead with them...you then need to contact the Health Dept. There are two kinds of Health Depts..one is the Health Department you go to to get vaccines, you don't want to contact that one. The second type is the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). You need to contact your state's DHEC and have a health inspector come to your home. If they ok you with that you will then need come up with a name and apply for a business license. Depending on your state you may also have to fill out a home occupation application. You can find that out from the people you contact about a business license.
If you find that your state does not allow you to do this out of your home, you can get around it in these ways (as I have found out from my Dept of Agriculture since my state does not allow home based food businesses)
1.) you can run a business by word of mouth- meaning absolutely no flyers, cards, advertising of any kind. It would be like say for instance you made a cake for a family function and a family friend loved your cake and wanted to pay you to make one for them and that person told a friend of theirs about you and gave them your number. And that friend told another friend etc. You cannot give them your number on a card that has a business name of any kind. You can give a person a card with just your name and number on it and tell them to call you when they need a cake but you can't tell them " I'm Bonnie's Cakes and I do cakes, here's my card".
People do it illegally all of the time but the fines in my state are soooo outrageous that you do not want to risk it. You never know who may want to turn you in. Even your unsuspecting neighbors may not be so friendly so be careful with doing it that way.
2.) My state said I can convert my garage into a commercial kitchen used solely for the purpose of making cakes. You'd have to have commercial grade equipment and be up to code on everything. DHEC and the dept of Agriculture can help you by giving you a list of requirements.
The government sure does have a way of sucking the fun out of everything, even decorating cakes.
I hope this helped you some. I wish you luck in everything you do.
briansbaker an cybourg,
After seeing my oldest sister constantly leaving her husband and going back time and time again, I made up in my mind that if I ever got married that I would not do that stupid stuff.
I stayed with him until I made up my mind that I was leaving and never went back. My oldest son was five and I was three months pregnant and didn't know it at the time when I left...thank God that I had a good job at the Health Dept.
He was there financially but not physically all the time...which boys seems to need more than girls. So I had to be both mother and father all the time.
Sure, sometimes I have worked four jobs at one time to make ends meet, but it was worth it to be able to give my 2 sons what they needed.
So all you single moms with young children, stand tall and strong and you will make it.
I am a firm believer that we women can stand on our own if need to be.
Definitely contact your health department and your state's department of agriculture before you do anything. I live in Pennsylvania, and I need to have a certificate saying I passed a food safety course (I did!), a license from the state, and a home inspection. Right now, I have everything but the inspection. There's one guy that does them for a five county area, so I guess he's pretty busy! There are always fees involved for all of this stuff, too, so make sure you know up front what you'll need to pay out. I'll have to re-apply every five years for the certificate ($50) and the license ($20) - not bad, but it may be different where you live.
Being a single mom myself, I know what you're going through. I have the added stress of having absolutely no family to help me. We've been estranged for many years for reasons to numerous to count. I'm fortunate to have a good job and my home, but it takes a lot of strength to stand on your own when you know that there's no one there to fall back on. Just keep looking forward and hang in there and I'm sure everything will work out for you.
You Know that they say that every thing happens for a reason . I am a firm beliver of that and your situation should be seen as a test of strength Never stop beliving in your self and remember after everydown pour the sun shines.