I Don't Know What To Do Re: Business Op Long

Business By MikeRowesHunny Updated 25 Mar 2008 , 11:25pm by dinas27

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 8:47am
post #1 of 33

OK, so some of you know that I was going to talk to the guy who owns the shop where I sell packaged cookies etc from about renting out an area of his shop to run my business from.

Well, I talked to him, heard what he wanted, heard about his personal financial situation and now I really don't know if it is worth taking the risk! To do this I would have to give up my part-time work, which I do doing school hours, and therefore be losing that wage which we depend on (450 euros a month).

He wants 650 euros a month for the rent/utilities. He wants me to open the shop at 9 and sell his stuff as well as mine, then I can leave to pick up my daughter at 2.30 when he takes over. I can come back in the evenings to bake for the next day if I need to. The plan is to sell cupcakes daily, plus slices of layer cakes, cookies etc. Hopefully this will also bring in new decorated cake customers for me too, but I would need to be making 350 euros a month doing that to match what I averagely do now (again, I'm dependant on it!).

Add food tax and income tax on top of that and I will have to be turning over 2000 euros a month minimum just to be in the same situation as I'm in now financially, but working 3 times as many hours (at least!). Plus, I'd have to finance childcare for the school holidays - not cheap and extra to the above!!!

I will also have to have the initial outlay of a steel work table, cooled display unit and microwave - another 500 euros minimum.

At the moment we are broke, we had to dip into the savings this month just to pay the bills. I haven't had an order for 3 weeks, and so far this year, business is down by about 25% compared to last year. Most of the orders I've had this year are from returning customers, very few new ones. I haven't had a single wedding enquiry so far - I'm really starting to panic!

My main concern: His personal situation. He owes 100,000 euros in back taxes, loans etc. He had the baliffs at his home door last week. He hasn't paid me for the sale of the goods I've put in his shop for over 5 months!!! Every time I mention it he says he'll do the books soon (he hasn't even completed them for 2007 yet). He has a very laid back attitude to business, he's meant to open at 12, it's usually closer to 1 by the time he does, and he even seems to resent being bothered by customers icon_confused.gif !. He's had sevarl businesses, all of which have folded.

I don't know what to do, it could be a great opportunity for me to increase MY customer base and make a living doing what I love. On the other hand it could be a disaster and I'd end up throwing good money after bad.

All advice on what you would do re all the above issues would be greatly received because I can no longer think straight (OH doesn't know which way to go either!). My Dad says that I should stop putting stock in the shop right now until I get paid what I'm owed. He says I'm supplementing this guy's income when it belongs to me. He said he would be extremely wary of doing this, especially with the personal situation of the guy.

What do you think?

32 replies
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KrisD13 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 9:31am
post #2 of 33

I agree with your Dad. Stop now, before you lose even more money. Do you actually believe that he can owe that much for taxes, not seem to care, and think that you would come after him/get any money for the products he's sold for you??? No! He's using your good kind patient heart against you.

Run....as far and as fast as you can from this sponge!!!!!

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TheButterWench Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 9:47am
post #3 of 33

OMG, no freaking way! Don't get yourself involved with this man.

If you can legally bake from your home, I think you need a marketing infussion.

if they have free online ads there like Craigslist, a throw away paper or some other thing like a little flyer you can put under peoples doors or a card that you can tuck under a windshield wiper like they do in parking lots here.

you have been donating products to this man for 5 months, donate them where they do the most good.

Are there any radio stations you listen to? You bring them a nice basket of baked goods they sometimes will mention your name on air.

are there any bridal shops or florists nearby? Maybe you can ask if you can put a display cake in the window.

Just ideas and suggestions.

oh and if you have a child, don't forget to bring a lil something to school that they can take home for mom and dad to taste too.

Don't let your financial situation tie you up in knots, go out there and bang your drum loudly.

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Tina68 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 9:53am
post #4 of 33

I agree with the PP, RUN, RUN far away and very fast. He is taking advantage of you and I am sure has not intention of paying you what is already owed.

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DeKoekjesfee Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 10:05am
post #5 of 33

I definnetly wouls not do that ! I also would not give him things to sell anymore.

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Granpam Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 10:32am
post #6 of 33

Immediately stop supplying him with stock at your expense. Run as fast away as you can this is no opportunity but a way for him to leave you running his business. and probably paying his rent. Cut your losses now. I agree with TheButterWench advertise yourself and network any way you can.

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diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 11:06am
post #7 of 33

This guy sounds wonkers! I vote drop all business with him. I have to agree with the advertising. I have my "name" painted on the side and rear windows of my Tahoe. I checked with local laws regarding that and they said as long as it doesn't interfer with your view it's fine. I can't begin to tell you how much business I've gotten from that.
It sounds like your long term vision is to have your own shop. I don't blame you. I'd like to get there also! Sounds like the time may not be right at this juncture of your life. You'll know when it is the right opportunity and then you can jump!

Good luck and keep your head up!

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elizw Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 11:12am
post #8 of 33

i would definitely not do it! the right opportunity will come along.

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springlakecake Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 11:44am
post #9 of 33

I think if you wait, something better will come along.

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 11:50am
post #10 of 33

As far as I know, you can't (at least here in the city I live in), bake from home legally. That's what I was told when I tried to register myself as a business and for business taxes. I am very much flying under the radar. They make it very difficult to start a business here, even more so if you are a foreigner.

I have flyers in the expat schools and in Shell and other places where the expats work. I also have an ad in the classifieds of an Expat site. Apart from that, I rely on word of mouth from my existing customers. Every order leaves here with several business cards for distribution to interested party guests.

I'm at the point now of just going and finding more part-time housekeeping work (which I hate but at least it's cash in hand and reliable), and giving this up because it seems to be going nowhere but downhill fast.

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LetThereBeCake07 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:21pm
post #11 of 33

run, run away fast and dont look back. Listen to the small still voice inside of you (I call Him God...) You have already answered your question because you are doubting. If you knew it was a good thing you wouldnt be so hesitant about moving forward with the idea. Sometimes we want something so bad we are willing to overlook this or that...DONT do it....its a marrage of a different sorts, but this one could hurt your family. Pray for direction and a new opertunity. You never know what God has instore for you, I know when i run ahead of God its always disaster, but when I wait on Him (waiting is the hard part...) its always in His perfect timing and the end results are far better than I could have ever imagined. Its hard to put dreams on hold or "pay stupid tax" (having to pay with money, time, effort, etc for a dumb thing you did or didn't do) but if you learn from it and move on with more knowledge and wisdom then its may just be the stepping stone you needed for that great thing laying and waiting for you in your future.

hang in there, your time will come and it will be PERFECT!

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Mac Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:23pm
post #12 of 33

Another thing that bothers me about this is that he wants you to pay rent, supply his store AND work at the store until 2:00??? No way in h*** would I pay rent for doing all that. He should have offered to let you use the kitchen in exchange for working there.

I did that when I worked for a local upper-end restaurant. I exchanged stocking his sweet case for using the kitchen for my personal baking business. Granted he was a horrible businessman like your guy and the short-term business that I got was OK. But when he closed I realized I didn't need to be in business with someone with a laid-back work ethic. Oh and my clientele didn't suffer when he closed.

Now I am on my way to renting a kitchen...YAY!

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thin4life Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:25pm
post #13 of 33

I would NOT get any more involved with this guy. Do not supply him with any more items until he pays you then take your money and run. I agree with the other posts here, run, don't walk!

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mgdqueen Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:26pm
post #14 of 33

You do such beautiful work! This guy hasn't paid you in over 5 months and you want to do business with him?! PLEASE don't do it!! I would hate to read a thread in 3 months that says you are in over your head, filing backruptcy and this guy has taken every last cent you have.

I understand trying to better your situation, but please do it in a lucrative way. If you have to clean houses, think of the potential customer base you could get from that...the more wealthy hire housekeepers and maids and frequently throw dinner parties with lavish desserts. Keep your options open, but away from this man! Find another place to sell your wares-one that pays you on time.

Good luck to you-things will work out!

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OhMyGoodies Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:27pm
post #15 of 33

I would listen to dear ol' Dad on this one hun. Remove any remaining stock from his store immediately and put it in writting, giving him a deadline in which to give you what is owed or you will file suit in court (whatever can be done in your area). You are entitled to what is owed to you and anyone can see that.

As far as the oppertunity he's trying to give you, I would pass it up even though it is what you really want to do.

Maybe look into finding another place to do what you do there and maybe it'll turn into the same situation only better.

Someone that owes that much money isn't someone you want to go into business with, he's going to be stealing from you left and right behind your back taking your profits and over head and putting you in the hole big time!

I know how hard it is hun I have maybe 3 paid orders a year... currently am working on my first real wedding cake which is a freebie for a family member.... I can't get any new clients to save my life lol. I've paid for a new website, had a friend from CC design it, paid for new business cards, put a new vehicle on the road to help with transporting larger cakes etc., am about to invest in two magnetic signs for the vehicle and I'm not even sure if it's worth it......

But ya have to have faith in yourself and have someone (ie: Daddy, Hubby, Kiddies, friends, us CC'ers) who has faith in you making it big and sooner or later it will happen icon_wink.gif There are days I want to toss in the towel too and my husband and my best friends all three yell at me and talk me out of it telling me that I have the talent and skill and need to stick to it..... So I do lol. I pass out business cards in the grocery store check out line, at my daughter's school, to her friends parents, to hubby's co-workers and boss, etc.... ya just gotta keep on people and sooner or later you'll get somewhere icon_wink.gif Good luck!

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tracycakes Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:31pm
post #16 of 33

Listen to dad, he's a smart man!

This guy is looking to use you to run his business AND pay him to do it. He owes you money, sweetie, don't do it. You don't want to have to work 3 times as hard with more initial outlay, to get what you are getting now.

Just wait, continue what you're doing and something will work out. I just don't think this is it.

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KeltoKel Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:42pm
post #17 of 33

No way! This is not the only place you can have a store to help your business. You are acting desperate - like this is the only place where you can sell your cakes and cookies.

I recommend looking into other places. This guy won't be around much longer and then you will be really stuck. You don't want to do business with someone this shady.

Hang in there and explore all your options. You will know it when the right ones comes along. vjklsx

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authress Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:50pm
post #18 of 33

Nothing much to add, but I do think it's awfully generous of your to call his proposition a "business opportunity!" Don't let your frustration allow you to be tempted by crap!

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Alligande Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 12:54pm
post #19 of 33

As others have said run don't walk. The red flags are he hasn't paid you for your product. If you are paying that much in rent you should not be working for him, he wants his cake and eat it to, you would be paying rent and be free reliable labour. If he wants you to run the store then you should have free use of the kitchen.
It all sounds very dodgy

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jenbashore Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:00pm
post #20 of 33

I agree with everyone else on this site. Advertise, advertise, advertise. One thing I did in addition to all of the other suggestions is giving cakes to a church food bizzar. I don't know if they have anything like that in the UK. Good luck to you and don't let anyone take advantage of you. That sounds like a terrible offer that guy gave you. You never know when the tax man is going to take that guy's assets...and yours along with it. I have a saying that I have told myself from my teenage years...be patient, every dog has his day.

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deanwithana Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:11pm
post #21 of 33

I am going with Dad on this one.....he seems to be a very smart man!!! I know that you don't want to not think about every opportunity....but think about it very carefully as every opportunity is not a good one either!!! Also, I would not want to be associated with a business that has poor customer service....they are the reason for our business and each and everyone must be appreciated and treated very special. Hang in there, the right opportunity will come along!!!

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grama_j Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:16pm
post #22 of 33

Why in the world would you allow this person to walk all over you !? HE owes YOU money, and now he is telling you to RENT his space,run HIS business, and get NOTHING in return..... PLEASE listen to your Dad, AND your heart.... I think you already know what you have to do with this.....

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miss_sweetstory Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:19pm
post #23 of 33

Please don't get anymore involved with this man's business than you already are! He is already taking advantage of you and will only get worse. His past record and current attitude speak for themselves. Give him an inch and he will take a mile, and then some!

It sounds like there is simply too much risk in this particular proposition.

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dandelion56602 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:40pm
post #24 of 33

After I got married & had kids I realized my parents aren't dumb after all. No, parents aren't always right, but in this situation he is. My dh would have given the guy & me a tongue lashing for not getting paid for 5 months. I can't believe he's let it go that long & (not being rude) but you're going to have to get some nerve to stand up to the guy. Not ask him when you're going to get paid. Put it all down on paper & explain to him this is the last time you're going to be nice. I always like taking dh along b/c he's a big & unintimidating guy. I think men still think they can push women around & I personally hate it---going through it w/ my kid's pediatrician right now. And if he says he'll do his books soon, tell him to go get them & you guys can go over them together right now b/c you need money whether he does or not. I would also explain to him that he'll be getting no more baked goods & you'll go elsewhere (which I would do anyway). And have it all in writing to hand to him too!

You know if he hasn't paid you for 5 months that it could easily turn into a year if you "work" for him. I think hell would freeze over before I would work for this guy. I would quit & not look back (but get my money first)! Look for another business opportunity!

(And I'm not mad at you, just detest people who try to take advantage of others)

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chinadoll652003 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:52pm
post #25 of 33

Hun you were a fish to this man, and he reeled you in hook,line and sinker!

Please listen to everyone's advice on here. This man is just using you for free labor and goodies. he's going to take you advantage of you as long as you let him. Tell him you want your money for what's past owed and then RUN!! Please don't even consider staying and trying to make a business with this man.

Be patient and keep looking. Something beter will come along.

Good luck!

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step0nmi Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 1:55pm
post #26 of 33

oh wow! icon_surprised.gif I THOUGHT, at first, that you are going through the same thing as me! icon_lol.gif But, when I got through it I realized that this guy would not be worth it for you!!! He owes HOW much $$$$??? That is just not right! It would be one thing if he was supporting you and letting you do all those things...AND paying you. But to be doing all that on your own! NO! You have a bad gut feeling about this...THEN DON'T DO IT!!!

GET THIS STUFF IN WRITING AND GET YOU MONEY! No, this is not a good business opportunity! so sorry. icon_sad.gif

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Elizabeth19 Posted 13 Mar 2008 , 2:14pm
post #27 of 33

Run..... Fast.

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mkolmar Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 1:08pm
post #28 of 33

I'm with everyone else. Listen to your dad on this one! He's a smart man.
*if this baker is treating his business this way his reputation probably isn't the best and you don't want to be associated with him anymore either, since it will pull your name down also* This is not a business opportunity for you, wait something much better will come along.

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Ursula40 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 3:19pm
post #29 of 33

Hands OFF!!! Big time, run as fast as you can and don NOT supply anything to that guy anymore. You can't afford it and he gets to keep the money? Doesn't make sense. Your stuff will sell,took me 5 yrs in China, alone at home, noone to help but I'm starting to turn down orders.
And tell the truth, I DO NOT want to miss out on my family. If you have to spend so much time working just to see some money, where will your family be? Childhood is over so fast, one day you will regret it. that guy is taking advantage of you, do not let him. 3 orders a year fully paid is better than 100 not paid at all, by anyone else but out of your pocket

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sasporella Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 4:18pm
post #30 of 33

I agree with everyone else. Listen to your gut instinct and of course your dad. Stop supplying him now until he pays you what he owes you. 5 months is a long time with no pay. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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