What Should I Do?

Business By stephaniescakenj Updated 1 Nov 2008 , 5:37am by DragonFly2333

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stephaniescakenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 3:59am
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Hi Everyone, I am in a tough spot right now and I'm hoping some of you would be willing to offer some advice. so here goes...

I am a sahm of 3 little girls. I've been working from home for the past five years and 6 weeks ago decided enough is enough, finance is too hard to concentrate on while 3 kids are running around so I'm done at the end of this week. Money will be tight without the second income and I just don't feel right bringing in no money to the household so I really feel like I need to do something, but what? so I applied at this bakery/cafe that my sister works at, they liked my portfolio and were willing to start me at $8 but I would have to train in all areas and then they would move me over to cakes, if they like my work, they say they will give me a raise... My mom has generously offered to babysit my kids part time while I start this new chapter in my life so at least I don't need to worry about babysitting for the time being but it will be hard to be away from my kids considering I've been home with them since the day my first child was born. so my other option is to look into doing this cake thing on my own but I have no real bakery experience. I've got my recipes perfected, but I have no clue how to run a business or work efficiently most importantly. I'm in NJ, there are very strict rules so I would need to rent space and I am terrified that I will incur the costs to start up a business and then not have any customers. Right now I do ok, my friends keep me busy almost every weekend and just recently I've had alot of people at these parties ask me if I would make cakes for them, but that's stepping outside my comfort zone so now I ask all of you out there... what are your thoughts? Should I go work at the bakery for a little while, see how they do it and then maybe consider doing something on my own or just take the plunge now? The only advantage to doing things on my own right now is that I have all the pans, a good mixer all kinds of fun toys so as long as I can rent a kitchen with an oven, i don't really need much in the way of equipment so I was thinking like a church kitchen or fire house, I just don't know how to approach them I guess. Whatever you guys can throw at me would be more than appreciated. Thanks for sticking by me though my novel here! icon_biggrin.gif

12 replies
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mommyle Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:24am
post #2 of 13

Well, it depends. do you want to spend the time away from your kids? Can you get by on family and friends cakes until the kids are in school full-time? Are you able to build what it takes in your home to get bigger and more? Many churches and fire-halls, community kitchens, etc can't be licensed for you to bake for sale in. If baking for friends and friends of friends is outside your comfort zone, how do you propose you'll do selling for profit to complete strangers? If you are considering only money because things are tight, what about taking in a child to baby-sit while mom and dad are at work? That's easily an extra $500 a month right there. and then you don't have to GO to work and have someone babysit YOUR kids, and you can still just bake on the side for F & F. sorry, I know I'm not much help.

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Curtsmin24 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:29am
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It depends on how bad you want it. I honestlythink you should try working in the bakery and that way while you are there you can gain some more experience by possibly watching others. It also helps to see what a bakery entails if you plan on expanding once you own your own business and you never know what business tips you might learn also. Good luck on your decision, I wish you the best. thumbs_up.gif

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tonia3604 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:29am
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I am also a SAHM of 4, ages 3-14. Never worked outside of home other than part time. If being away from your children is the biggest issue you might want to consider the bakery position. You would probably spend far more time away from them trying to start your own business and it may take awhile to make any money. Not to mention the added stress. Unless you could do the church kitchen thing, and only do it part time with little overhead. Just a few points to consider. You are very fortunate to have your Mom to help you out with the kids. Also, if you already have the opportunity to work at a bakery to see the day to day operation, why pass that up? It may be an invaluable experience. You can try it on your own when you are ready. Sorry if I am rambling!

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stephaniescakenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:37am
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Oh I so appreciate you taking the time to respond! It's not that its out of my comfort zone for me to make the cakes for friends of friends, I can do it, it's the legality of it that makes me uneasy. I know my friends appreciate my cakes and sometimes they do pay me to make a cake but they're not going to turn me into the state, however a total stranger makes me very uncomfortable. And it's not just money either, we can get by with one income but we definitely need to be on a budget so i would like to have some sort of income just to have something to fall back on especially with the ways things are going right now. Babysitting brings up a good point though... I'm going to look into that...how much you want to bet it's going to cost me an arm and an leg to get insurance, god forbid the kid falls and hurt his head in my house. thanks!

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stephaniescakenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:41am
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so two for taking the bakery job... I'm kind of leaning that way too plus I get to work with my sister. How nice is that! thanks everyone!

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jab Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:54am
post #7 of 13

FIrst of all, Your photo gallery looks to me like you know quite a bit about
making beautiful cakes. They are awesome. I live in Indiana and I make
cakes at home. I can't advertise that I bake them but I can make them if
someone calls me and asks for one. I know alot of people bake cakes at home and sell them. I haven't had any bakery experience either. I did take all the classes that Wilton had to offer last year. I had a lot of fun. I don't know about NJ rules and regulations. I don't know if you can rent space from a church or fire station since they are considered a non-profit organization. You would have to check into that. You might like the idea of working away from home too. Whatever you decide it will work out. All I can say is good luck with whatever you decide to do. Keep making those awesome looking cakes.

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all4cake Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 5:28am
post #8 of 13

I would work at the bakery/cafe for a while until I was more comfortable without being around the kids....at least this way, you wouldn't have the added stress/aggrevation of finances(there will be down times....then the rental of the kitchen, the this the that) coupled with the other necessary SHTUFF of business amplifying the anxiety of being without your kids. Once you are able to maintain without the kids(and hopefully put back some moolah for down times), head into your business. I wish you the best with whatever you choose!

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Mike1394 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 9:10am
post #9 of 13

Go work at the bakery. You'll learn a lot of stuff you never knew. It will also help you when, and if you decide to go on your own.


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Curtsmin24 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 9:06pm
post #10 of 13

You might also learn new techniques at the bakery and it might also help with your speed. Someone already mentioned the stress involved with a business and if you are not accustomed to not being around your kids it might help as well. The networking is also an added plus. I don't have any children but I know what you mean about the finances, they do start taking there toll especially during these times.

I have a story for you about my mom. She had surgery 3 months ago. ( gallbladder removed) and she stopped working. She just recently started an at home daycare through social services (state) My brother came down here with his two kids and my cousin has two kids, and my nephew and they all are living at her house. So she applied for the program and now she gets paid to take care of all of them (which she was going to do anyway). If you need any more info pm me and maybe it can help your situation. My brothers girlfriend and my cousin are on welfare but they still work and the state helps them pay for daycare.

Either way I wish you luck in your situation and decision making.

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stephaniescakenj Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:37am
post #11 of 13

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond! I think I'm going to take that bakery job, the pay sucks but with any luck I'll learn a few things that make it worthwhile! Thanks Again!

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melodyscakes Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 2:34am
post #12 of 13

as a business owner of a bakery....I'd totally work in one first. you get paid while you get on the job training.
wish I would have done that, at least I'd be faster.

good luck

oh, plus if you work for a bakery....you get a PAYCHECK I haven't seen one of those yet!!!


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DragonFly2333 Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 5:37am
post #13 of 13

Before you take the job at the bakery I would first check if you have to sign a release/waiver that states you waive your right to open a bakery within X amount of time from quitting their bakery. Usually 1 year.

If the bakery is ran by a smart person this contract would exist. Obviously itâs a safety guard for the owners of the bakery that you wonât steal all their knowledge/ideas, run away with it and start your own business...essentially stealing their business. Make sense?

So if your dream is to open you own bakery and this bakery makes you sign this type of contact---your hands will be tied for the agreed time frame.

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