Clawing & Climbing But Hole Gets Deeper

Business By kimbordeaux Updated 6 Aug 2010 , 4:48am by littlecake

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kimbordeaux Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:33pm
post #1 of 14

The hole Im in seems to get bigger. The more I claw and climb the deeper I get. In 2006 I started college @ 32, married with 2 children, and graduated in 2008. I took all my classes online because I have no one to help me with children (husband does but he has to work). After all my hard work I cannot find a job because of the failing economy. So, Im artistic and find I have a talent for caking. I start making money with the cakes until I find its illegal in SC. Yes, I did not think I was doing anything wrong because I know of others in my area that have made and sold cakes forever from their homes, even advertising.
So, Ive spent the last few months trying to renovate a rental building, buy equipment, get licenses so that I can make and sell cakes, cupcakes, cookies. Im doing this with no business experience; my college degree is computer science. My husband has a business but its totally different, construction, and theres not much involved in that (business license, taxes, insurance and payroll). Also doing this without many funds. We had a small savings but last year husbands work started drying up and we have been living a good bit on savings and building cake business at the same time. I am so close with business. All that really has to be done according to health dept. are the walls in bathroom and storage, fixing front door, adding my shelves and I would like a new stove and some more things to make it nicer. Tried calling around today to see what loans I could get. Kept getting run around because biz is not generating money yet (duh, its not open) I cant get biz loans and since Im renting I cant use building as collateral. I need business license to open up biz bank account but I cant get biz license until health dept okays everything and they cant okay everything until I get funds to finish place. My head is spinning! Even broke down and called my father. That is another story (my family doesnt really approve of me). No luck there. This needs to work. Invested money we couldnt really spare and we need the money that biz will hopefully generate. I need some luck (good luck)! So close icon_sad.gif

13 replies
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catlharper Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:37pm
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All I can do is say a prayer and wish you all the luck in the world! Keep pluggin!

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leah_s Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:43pm
post #3 of 14

Have you looked at

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Doug Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:43pm
post #4 of 14

chin up -- spatula at the ready! Good for you for doing it the right way! good blessings will come.


hopefully hubby is doing all the renovations and will be able to use that as advertising for his side. Can he score a contractor's loan through his business to cover the rest of the renovations? He'd then treat your business as a client and you'd pay him back.

all hubby's work with licenses, taxes, payroll should be tapped for your business too -- every business has that basic stuff. Let/Make him help you get all that in order.

while new might be nice -- consider USED. Great bargains to be found as so many food businesses are struggling. Start by checking Craigslist (for sale: business). I see lots of stuff there all the time for pennies on the dollar. Also look for auctions. Several on here have made the rest of us terribly day-glow green with envy over the outright steals of deals they've scored that way.

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kimbordeaux Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:45pm
post #5 of 14

My post was in frustration. I will make it on my own like always. Only the strong survive and lucky for me I have a wonderful, hardworking, loving husband who is behind me. Just had to vent, feel better now icon_smile.gif

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jason_kraft Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:48pm
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Good for you, it's a huge PITA to renovate an existing space up to code. The owner of the kitchen we currently rent had the same issue, and she ended up spending a lot more than she anticipated. However, she was able to find several renters (including us!) before the kitchen was ready, and she gave us a break on rent if we prepaid for the year.

That prepaid rent may be enough to sustain you until you get up and running...if not you might be in a bind since it is very difficult to get small biz loans these days. However, if you have renters lined up you may have an easier time getting a loan, especially if they prepay.

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cakesbycathy Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:52pm
post #7 of 14

One suggestion:
Look on Craigslist (yes, you do have to be careful!). There are lots of people willing to barter services for renovation work. Check references and get a signed contract.

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Doug Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 5:54pm
post #8 of 14

you mentioned you have a CS degree.

any free-lance / contract work you could do from home to supplement income?

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LindaF144a Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 8:03pm
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You said you "called" around for bank loans.

I'm wondering if instead you called to make an appointment, and then came dressed professionally and with a very good business plan if you would get the same story. I think you would get a different outcome. If every banker said yes to someone who calls they would sure lose out on a whole bunch of money. You have to play their game by their rules. I have friends in the banking industry and this is not how it's done.

Have you crunched any numbers? Have you written a business plan? Do you have one to show these people that you call for loans? Unless you go for an unsecured loan with some kind of very high interest rate, which I highly recommend you don't, you will need something to show someone about how you intend to run your business and how much profit you do or do not intend to make and when you do intend to make that profit. And all this should be backed by solid research and number showing just how you think that will happen.

Not getting the loan just may be the blessing in disguise.

I would seriously consider the advice from the OP and see what you can do with that CS degree. You could probably do more with that with little investment than trying to set up a cake making venture IMO. But that's just because we are a CS family here and the opportunities never seem to dry up.

Good luck.

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kansaslaura Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 8:40pm
post #10 of 14

Get in touch with the SBDC in your area (Small Business Development Center) the ones I've known of and worked with are through a university or college in the area. They are a WEALTH of infomation--and it's free. Run, don't walk to your nearest one!!

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SweetPatsy Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 1:23am
post #11 of 14


Where are you in SC?

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Loucinda Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 2:14am
post #12 of 14

I agree on the used equipment, check the auctions for restaurants that are closing. I am not much help, but sending you good luck wishes.

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kimbordeaux Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 3:02am
post #13 of 14

Leah_s, thanks Ive looked at page and followed several links. Looks interesting, thanks!

Thank you all for your help. This business venture has been tough because I am clueless and without mentors. Caking is a passion and hopefully it will become a good source of income when shop is up and running. Unfortunately its kind of a do or die situation and Im hoping for do icon_smile.gif

I wish my computer skills would bring in some income. That was my first choice of careers plus I will soon have to pay back $30,000 in school loans without a job. The job market is horrible in SC. I looked for over a year without any success. Yeah I could get a job at Wal-mart or McDonalds but I live 30mins from any of those and my pay would not even cover daycare (2 children) much less gas. I really cant turn back now because we have been promised building and have invested money and time. The landlord has luckily been working with us. We have been doing a lot of the work in trade for reduced rent.

Have you heard of Pelion?

Thanks yall!

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littlecake Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 4:48am
post #14 of 14

sounds like you're almost there....we got a lot of used items on ebay on the super a 20 qt mixer for 200 bucks.

i been open for almost 9 years...we ran into some snags when we were opening.....some stuff i ended up doing can find out how to do almost anything on you tube,....

theres a person on here that outfitted a whole bakery for like 5K from going to an auction.

you said you'd "like" a new oven...and a few other things to make it you already have one?

i got a new door off craigslist for 30 advice is get what they said you'd need to get legal, get open make some $$$$ and just keep upgrading....we are still getting better stuff all the time.

i know it's easy to say, but try to enjoy your adventure and try not to stress too much, it will come together....having a little shop is a pretty nice life, if it's your passion.

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