New Business And Over Helpful Friend

Business By luckylibra Updated 30 Mar 2011 , 5:02pm by indydebi

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luckylibra Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 2:56pm
post #1 of 11

I have been making cakes for family and friends for a while at no charge and have checked with the local health department and been given approval to begin a business from home under the new home based vendor law. I have a close friend who has been making scrapbooks for me of the various cakes I have made and they are really great but not what I want to show clients, they are fun but not professional if that makes any sense. She means really well and has been super excited about me making this a part time business, she even wants to design a web site for me. My concern is that the web site might also be a bit too informal and scrapbook like and I don't want to hurt her feelings. We work together in our day job as well and our families hang out so I really need to be careful about approaching things, she does tend to be a little sensitive and I can see her getting upset if I bring it up in the wrong way.. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
oh and I am excited and nervous to commit to doing this anyway lolol

10 replies
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Paperfishies Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 3:12pm
post #2 of 11

I would go ahead and hire someone to do your website without telling your friend...When she finds out, just say..."You already do so much for me, building a website is so time consuming and such a pain in the butt, I didn't want to bog you down with so much work, especially when you have your own things going on." Tell her how much you appreciate her support (maybe get her a gift or send her flowers for being so helpful)...

Also, go ahead and make your own "professional" cake book and keep hers...When you have consultations, show brides your professional book but also have the cutesy scrapbooks out...

To be totally honest, I think the scrapbooks are a really, cute and fun idea, especially for spunky clients who are looking for something more update and spunky. As long as the pictures themselves are of professional quality, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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sillywabbitz Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 3:25pm
post #3 of 11

I agree, go ahead and hire someone to do the site. Your website is your face to the world so you want it professional. Also people seriously battle their web designers over everything from design to when changes get made etc. It would be terrible if that came between you two so just tell her that you've been seriously thinking about what it means to start a business and how much you love the work she has done for you but that you know it's a bad idea to mix business and friendship. Tell her that the friendship means more to you than the cost of hiring a web designer and you would hate for a misunderstanding over the business to impact your friendship. Therefore you felt it was better to have an outside person do your website. This way it would not put pressure on your friendship. Just play up how much you care about her and don't want to risk that. She will argue but you can say it's just not worth the risk to you. I would honestly keep the scrapbooks as well. Several people bring family and friends to tastings and having a more formal book and a fun book I think is a great idea. Especially if their are kids at the tastings.

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luckylibra Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 3:32pm
post #4 of 11

perfect response!! Thanks so much. I had not even thought about presenting it that way but she does have many other commitments and has done so much already.. I feel better already.

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indydebi Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:31pm
post #5 of 11

Just curious .... .Indiana doesn't have a Home Based Business Law but they have a Farmers Market Law. You can make things in your home that are sold in a farmers market. Is that your plan?

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jenmat Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:35pm
post #6 of 11

The answers you already received are spot on, but thought I'd put in my 2 cents.

I had a cousin who did my first site, and while she did a fantastic job, to get her to make changes to it was beyond pulling teeth. I even paid her and she got annoyed when I wanted to make changes. Eventually, I bought an Imac and designed my own. Now I can make changes whenever I want and on my own timetable. I'd never hire out again, but I also had the Imac, so it made it super easy to do. I would recommend getting your own web design software and going at it yourself, but that's the control freak in me. I literally update mine daily.

Translate it to your friend: "So, i was doing research on this great website (CC) and sharing with fellow cake business owners, and from what I've read, a website is an ongoing project that constantly needs attention. I just can't do that to you, you're my number one cheerleader, and it sounds like the website could really make anyone go crazy. Thanks so much for the thought!"

As far as the scrapbooks, they will definitely come in handy when you go to a wedding show and need more than one book for all those brides!

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luckylibra Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:36pm
post #7 of 11

Actually I posted about this a while back. Under the Home based vendor law I contacted my local health department and was told by them, and saved the message, that I could in fact bake cakes from home and sell them from home. I can not deliver and have to have the 10pt font warning about not being licensed or inspected as well as ingreditents list. During the previous discussion it was pointed out that the local health department is the agency who will be interpreting and enforcing the law so they would be the ones to contact, which is what I did. I plan to keep tabs on this director and if he should leave I will find out how the new person interpretes it but for now he said it was legal.

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indydebi Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:40pm
post #8 of 11

Ok, cool! Good that you kept all the documentation. What I'm finding is that each county HD is interpreting the law in 97 different ways, whatever suites their fancy at the moment. you sound like you've got it organized.

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indydebi Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:42pm
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by jentreu

I literally update mine daily.

I agree ..... I was constantly changing mine. If I had to pay someone or even just call someone to make a change, it would have driven me insane.

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luckylibra Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:55pm
post #10 of 11

That is kind of how that discussion went is that everyone is interpreting the law differently so I guess I got lucky in that my guy sees it in a way that works for me.. since I have a full time job I am not placing all my eggs in that basket so when the director retires or leaves if someone else interprets it different I dont lose my house or something.. It sounds like getting a web design software might be best.. I have control issues as well so any suggestions for which one?

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indydebi Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 5:02pm
post #11 of 11

I didn't buy any special software, but used I started out with the $5/month (5 page) website, but then expanded to the 20 page version for $15/month. It was easy to work with and I really liked working in it.

There are lots of free websites out there and many low-cost ones. You might try searching CC for "website" as the topic to see what experiences others have had with the many other site suppliers, also. On something like this, there's no such thing as too many opinions!

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