I have a question for those of you who own your own bakery. It is my dream to start one, selling cupcakes and cakes. I am currently writing my business plan, but wanted to know if you all had any advice. How did you get started? What were the first steps that you took? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks a bunch.
Just make sure all your ducks are in a row before you begin. It takes a LONG time to get everything together and ready for start-up, way longer than my hubs and I ever thought it would! I remember we kept telling everyone, we are almost ready to go, but it took probably over half of a year to get everything ready before we opened for business. Don't forget taxes, medicare/social security, B&O, all the HD hoops ya gotta jump through, business liability insurance, State and City/County business licenses, advertising (sooo important), plus enough startup funds and supplies to get you going. Also, it is absolutely essential that you have all of your recipes for everything perfected and documented before you get going. No fun not knowing how something will turn out when someone is paying for it!! You'll get there, just have patience and be happy knowing that you are doing everything right to begin with, so things won't come back to haunt you later!
Thanks so much or all of the advice Melissa. This is something that I've been thinking about for a long time and am so looking forward to, and I want to do everything the right way. I really think that it has a good shot at being very successful, and I want to make sure all of my ducks are in a row, so that I have the best possible chance. I feel silly asking this, but what is B&O??
Thank you again!
Business and Operation. It's a tax you have to pay to the city and state here. It is very minimal, but they still want it! hehe I am not sure what requirements other states have for taxes, licensing, etc. All of my advice is based solely on what I had to do here in Washington.
Ahhh, thank you! I'm in Canada, so rules and regulations may be different here. I'm sure most of the same principles still apply though. I'm going to be doing research for quite some time Thanks again for all of your advice.
Oh yes, I am sure things are quite different in Canada, but basic principal still is the same, just make sure that everything you need to do there is taken care of before you begin! If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me!
1- Don't go into business cash poor. Most businesses don't make any significant amount of money in the first 2 to 3 years, and poor cashflow has killed more restaurants than poor quality food.
2- Have a sold marketing plan in place. Know your advertising budget and invest it wisely.
3- Hire good help. I know lots of bakers in Washington, and all of them are in shops or shared kitchens, so I am assuming you aren't planning on working from home. You'll need somebody to help either claen up, cut parchment, make buttercream, or answer phones, keep boks etc. You can't do it all and make a profit that you can live off of.
5- Don't undercharge. If you open with $25 8 inch round, and then have to raise your prices 2 months in because you miscalcualted your overhead, you'll spend countless valuable hours explaining to people why the $25 inch cake is now $35. Those are hours you could be baking, marketing or sleeping.