Hey everyone I finally just leased a building for my bakery and I have been doing all my cakes from home and got very crowded. If anyone has any suggestions for me about opening the bakery or great ideas about product to sell let me know I have never owned a business so its new to me and could use all the suggestions. thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean you have a business plan & all, right? Usually that's what kinda guides you as to product line & stuff. Your post seems a little unusual that you've already leased the place and now you're getting ideas--but maybe I misunderstood and have that wrong.
Get a lawyer and accountant toot sweet. Call your health department and make plans to meet with them.
That's just off the top of my head. I sincerely hope you have a business plan, or someone with business sense helping you. I am going to give the benefit of the doubt, but it sounds like from your posting that you landed a building and now are feeling like you are in a little over your head.
Signing a lease is just the tip of the iceberg. And you did have a lawyer go over it with a fine tooth come right? So now you are not liable for the insurance, taxes, maintenance, coop fees, electricity for other tenants (don't laugh at this one, my stupid sister signed off on a lease like that. Guy saw her coming a mile away). You would be surprised at what is in some of these leases.
Good luck. You are going to have one journey ahead of you.
Signing the lease should be the last thing you do, not the first. We need more information to help you. Running a retail storefront is completely different from a home kitchen.
I'd suggest removing all of the copyrighted character photos from your website, and using spell check. Good luck with your new business.
bigwheels, congratulations on the expansion! It's always good to hear that business is doing that well for someone! Your photos show you definitely have the talent!
As already mentioned, I'm going to assume you went thru the business plan process and the numbers showed you what your fixed overhead will be and the break-even point you'll need to meet just to keep the lights on.
Having been a home-baker and a shop-baker, I can attest wholeheartedly that running a shop biz is WAY different than running a home biz, which is why the biz plan is really important, especially if, as you say, you've never owned a biz and this is all new to you. Pull the first copy of Cake Central Magazine for my article on "Things I Wish I'd Know When I Opened My Shop"
I took a peek at your website and I like the overall look. If you would like some suggestions, I'm happy to send some ideas via a PM.
Is the shop a bare shell or move in ready or somewhere in between? How much build out will you have to do? One of the first people you need to touch base with is your insurance agent, your lawyer and your accountant. Find a good contractor who is knowledgable in commercial kitchens .... those kind are familiar with health dept guidelines and what the HD needs and requires, which can save you money.
I'll attribute your excitement to how you worded your post, because it does sounds like "I signed a lease, now I need to know how the heck to run a business!"
Ditto to what others have said. Also, the photo of you and your husband should be swapped out for a better photo. There is a big shadow completely covering your face, no one can see you
It does seem that you have put the cart before the horse, so to speak. Unless you guys are independantly wealthy, and you very well may be so, it is a bit premature to sign the lease prior to having any knowledge of how to run the business, or possibly where the funding to do build out, purchase equipment, etc will come from. But I do admire your "jumping in with both feet into the deep end" approach. Hoping you swim like a fish! Good Luck and wish only the best for you guys!
I looked at your website and I didn't see any list of flavors. It basically just said, "use your imagination, the possibilities are endless", but I think some people really don't have an imagination when it comes to cake. They need ideas to sprout their imagination. Maybe list the flavors you have done (or are willing to do) for cakes, fillings and frostings and give suggested combinations. You can add a note that if they have a particular flavor they would like to try that they don't see listed, mention that you're open to new possibilities. Also, this part is personal preference, but I would list the fact that your cakes are covered in fondant after your flavors, and maybe streamline your writing.
i took a look in your gallery and you will probably want to remove the cakes that are of copyrighted items as it's illegal to reproduce them in cake. You can however purchase cake "kits" from decopac or bakery crafts of the copyrighted characters/themes to use on your cakes.
The ones i saw were thomas the train, the two cars from the movie "cars", x-box and the controller.
Otherwise others gave you good advice, but i was also wondering the same thing about the leasing a place before you have a business plan. Also guessing there was excitement when you posted so it may not have come across the way it really is.
Just a little story about my new shop......It has taken me 3 years of studying, writing, practicing, praying and hoping to get my shop started. One of the first things I did was contact my local community college's Small Business Center. They have a wealth of information and people there to help for free. I also took classes they held concerning business plans, taxes, payroll, etc...all for free.
I am also paying for all of my equipment out of pocket so I started collecting equipment 1 year ago. Watching auctions, craigslist, ebay, etc. Now I have all of my equipment (except my oven and I pick that up tonight). My goal was to go into my shop with as little overhead as possible (no loans, equipment leases, etc).
I contacted my state Dept. of Agriculture about 6 months ago and requested the information package for bakeries. I have read the regulations at least 4 times front to back so I am very familiar with the information.
One of the best things I ever did was to join this site!! The vast amount of knowledge here is AMAZING!!! And a HUGE THANK YOU to Indydebi for sharing her knowledge and experience. I am still reading the information she sent me.
And by the way.....I just signed my lease 4 weeks ago.....
If you have any questions, PM me and I'll be glad to share my experiences with you.
Sounds like you've done your homework. Congrats and good luck!