Any Advice?? Ideas On How To Work Out My Job!

Business By LISSI15 Updated 19 Jul 2010 , 5:02pm by Shorty123

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LISSI15 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 2:50am
post #1 of 13

How could you girls help me distribute time..., icon_eek.gif . I own a Cupcake, Cookie and Cake Store inside a Mall. People loves the idea, and loves cupcakes. On the other side it's me and only me working almost 24/7 inside the kitchen, and one person selling them.

I hired two girls to help me work out all the baking but it become a total mess, so it didn´t worked and I end up alone once more. It becomes even harder when I have a husband, I am the merchandising one, the one who do the shopping for the store, I can say I´m like an octopus trying to do many things at the same time. Believe me, this is driving me crazy, I now these is not easy.... NOT AT ALL icon_sad.gif But I really don´t wanna give up to this dream.

Now I really need from your help to give me some ideas on how to distribute my time, or to help me work this out, without stressing out.
Maybe on diferent and eassier ideas to bake and for sure to sell.

Every coment will be apreciate it, no matter what!!!

Thanks a lot, I know many of you have already passed through this and can advice me very well.

PS. Sorry for all the mistakes you might find on my spelling (not a native speaker icon_razz.gif

Looking forward,

12 replies
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sherrycanary62 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:11am
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Lissi...I really don't see how someone can run a one woman show with a storefront in the mall

I say you need to try hiring again...what about a hobby baker who is looking for an ad, ask them to bring pictures of their cakes/baked goods etc. Ask then questions in the interview to make sure they know what they are talking about...make them to a little demonstration in the interview.

You really need some help girl and fast. You can't do it all.

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mamawrobin Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:20am
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Rather than hiring "girls" to help with baking, what about an older "retired" lady? We have an older lady that comes in a couple of days a week to bake and her help is worth way more than the cost of having her. Just a suggestion but someone that is more mature makes a world of difference.

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Aeropanda Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:26am
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I agree! You can't do everything yourself. You seem very passionate about this business, so you just need to direct your energy where it is best served. Try hiring again. Then, while you have a few extra minutes (cause it sounds like you're so over-extended as it is) take some time to re-evaluate your business plan so that you can adapt it to your growing business. This may take some time, but will probably be worth it in the long run. Just a thought. Best of luck!

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cheriej Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 3:48am
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I agree with mamawarobin, don't hire "girls" from high school. hire someone that maybe already works or has worked at a bakery that is more mature, more responsible, has more experience and is more reliable. That is what you need now.

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CoutureCake Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 5:34am
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I was also going to say your hiring strategy needs MAJOR overhaul level help but the PP have pointed that out very well! I agree, hire the person that wants to be in a licensed kitchen and even better if they're willing to become food manager certified that way for sure you don't need to be there as much. DO NOT hire someone with less experience because they're cheaper, hire someone who will GET THE JOB DONE and will show up! If you are going to hire someone who is younger, farm kids are awesome if you can find one wanting some spending cash! They know how to work and most of all, know how to work under stress and with food... But I wholeheartedly agree with the PP in that you should be looking for someone with a little more maturity and make sure they're bringing you a portfolio of cake work they've done in the past. The more variety in design and techniques they've done the better off you are.

Next, you've got to be willing to supervise your bakers not necessarily be one... Remember that making the cake is the easiest part of the business and you need to remember that your time is also needed elsewhere in the business. Get some better distributors who will work around your schedule and deliver. You don't need to be making flour and sugar runs, that stuff can be delivered for you.. Talk with some of the restaurant owners in the building for where they get their food products from and if they can give you a recommendation of their rep. It'll make your life SO much easier to be able to have someone on speed dial to say "Hi Tom, need 4 tubs of fondant before Monday, THANKS!" click...

Like others have said, you need to redo your business plan to accomodate the new business model you've found yourself with because what you're doing now isn't sustainable for the long haul. It's the life balance of being in business, if it's not balanced there'll be heck to pay somehwere!!Nip it in the bud as they say...

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johnson6ofus Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 1:16pm
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It may aslso help to have an outline of tasks/ people like (organization is VERY important):

1. Supplies. I will shop every Wednesday morning, hubby will shop for me on Saturday mornings , and I have a service that delivers on Mondays. Keep a notepad tacked up, and list items as you become aware that you need them.
2. Staff. I am open from 10AM- 9PM, so I will work the front _________, I have staff ______________.
3. Baking. I bake 20 dozen cookies on Monday morning before I open, I bake 20 dozen cupcakes on Tuesday morning, etc. You can't plan eveything, but starting with some estimates and teh small stuff for the front sales shoule be easier to plan.
4. Cleaning. Again, make a plan for tasks to get this done, and may be an area where someone can come in and help.
5. Business time. This is the hardest- marketing, bookkeeping, reorganizing, etc.

Honestly, I don't see how you can do it alone! icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif

I have lots of business experience, but hobby baker. I would LOVE to work for you (but have a job already). Someone else, I am sure, is out there for you like PP said!

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LISSI15 Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 6:17pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks a lot! sometimes we need to listen things in order to advance, definitely I'm becoming insane on doing all by myself!!! It's the most craziest thing I've ever done.
I love the idea about hiring an older woman with experience to do the baking, I'd also thought on looking for a decorator with experience to complement both tasks.
On the other side you're right on looking for a supplier to deliver things next to my door.

By the other side on the front I had these guy who was great!! but sudenly he started to decreasse in his sales, it looks as if he is more focused on selling our daily goal, than more than that as he was doing on the beginning.
As my husband say every new broom do well it's job on the beginning.
I thought it was because this situation of not having any more baking with me that I don't have many things to sell, but on the other side, there`s a girl who does his shift on his free day, and she didn´t had enough to sell and she did great!!! even more than what I expected.
Yesterday night for some reason there were missing 248.00, but the mistake was that he wasn´t there when I close the day, before he went away he showed me his close but we didn´t take the time to count money. So I left everything down there as it was so that he can check once more if there was any mistake, but he noticed the same and become upset as I told him I am going to take off that money from his salary. But what else can I do???
It´s so frustrating, it´s like one thing is bringing into another, and having to face a new dilema daily is becoming crazy.
Besides facing the dilema of constantly fights with my husband:S

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Babs1964 Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 6:34pm
post #9 of 13

Also if you post an ad in your local paper be very specific about what hours you are offering and what your expectations are, this way you may be able to avoid setting up interviews with people with different expectations. The extra money spent on wording the ad may be beneficial.

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tesso Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 6:44pm
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Originally Posted by cheriej

I agree with mamawarobin, don't hire "girls" from high school. hire someone that maybe already works or has worked at a bakery that is more mature, more responsible, has more experience and is more reliable. That is what you need now.

Exactly ! YOu want someone who is mature, and able to handle strees, and take direction. Not some flightly girls who are not concentrated on the job or your techniques, but are too busy thinking about texting their boyfriends. That may sound harsh, but I have been a manager, and know first hand. Mature is ALWAYS better, when you are teaching some one how to bake/cook in a standard method.

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cakesdivine Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 3:13pm
post #11 of 13

You can also see if there is a culinary school in your area. Many times the students must do an internship at a bakery for school credit. You do not pay interns! You grade them based on the quality of work and their work ethic. This will help in the baking and decorating areas as well as the cleaning of the kitchen as that is part of what they must do. Many of them also already have their food safety course manager's certificate so if you had to you could leave them in charge. My interns that I used before did all aspects of my business from production to front end, I even taught those that were really wanting to open their own place after graduation how to do inventory and product purchasing. They usually are only there for a few months, but if you set up a good working relationship with the school they will keep you "supplied" with interns. It really can be a "win/win" situation. You will still need to have 1 or 2 other bakery clerks that do nothing but sell on the front end for you, and hiring someone who is motivated to earn and trustworthy (which you usually can't determine right away) is best so hire an older person, not some kid. Give your front end people incentives to want to work hard for a sales goal bonus, or a small commission on sales. Money does tend to motovate, especially if they have benefitted from them in the past. They begin to put those bonuses in their budgets, so they do the work necessary to attain that level to get that monetary gain.

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btrsktch Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 4:47pm
post #12 of 13

I started out with just me and another person as well with my shop. It was crazy, but somewhat doable.
I *totally* agree that getting products delivered to you is the way to go. It's more expensive, but worth every penny in time saved. You may want to consider more than one vendor to get all of your products that you need. Look into Sysco as a start. I know they are a national chain.

Next, you have to set a serious production schedule to get a grasp on everything. Bake only according to your schedule and use your freezer as much as possible! I.e., bake chocolate cake on Monday, freeze enough for Tues & Wed. Bake Yellow on Tues, freeze enough for Wed & Thurs & so on. Not having to bake every single thing every day will free up ALOT of your time.

Also, do you make your own cookie dough? If so, seriously consider switching to a pre-made dough that you just pop in the freezer. I swear, they are "better" than the made from scratch ones I used to do and take much, much less time. 12 minutes to be exact. Always fresh when I need them and I make a new batch of one or two flavors daily and I have 8 flavors of cookies total. I get mine from Rest. Depot and a local wholesaler who provides frozen dough.

If you get help, I agree to get a culinary intern to help with the more mundane tasks. I.e. make buttercream (if you don't already buy your own), make the cookie dough, color the cookie icing. All those little tasks that eat up your time could be more easily passed off and allow you to focus on the big ones.

Also, since you are at a mall and you have lots of access to public transportation, call up your local mental assistance facility ~ you know anyplace that volunteers or helps people with down's syndrome, etc. You can get one of them to come in and clean up. They are *super* reliable and live for opportunities like this. You can also get state funded assistance for hiring them.

Good luck!

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Shorty123 Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 5:02pm
post #13 of 13

I really feel for u. are in the hoston area. if u are i can come and help if you woul like. send a text.

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