as you did it with 100% passion...what would you do?
This was basically what my husband was asked the other day. Very long story short, my husband and I were teachers who both lost our jobs two years ago. (different districts) It's been very rough and with two kids, we were forced to find a new path....and cakes sort of fell in our laps.
We've been doing cakes for over a year now and had often thought of opening our own cucpake/cake shop. Started the research etc and then decided we just didn't have the money and it was too risky since we didn't have steady income at the time.
SO yesterday an "angel investor" approached my husband and basically said "You're stuck and I don't see you getting out of this slump to do something you're passionate about so I'll get you whatever kind of money you need for WHATEVER you want to do as long as you throw yourself in and do it with 100% passion because i know that you and your wife are great people, real go-getters and can make a change in this community."
I know.....jaw dropping.........so now I'm filled with fear that we could go after this cake business and fail or maybe I'm afraid of success.....? It's been 2 years since I was a successful teacher...I'm forgetting what it feels like.
Those of you who own storefronts: What made you make that decision? Are you making stable money to be able to do it full time? Advice? Thoughts?
This is so overwhelming!
Here's what you have to learn: how to do the activity that you are so passionate about, over and over and over and over...and then go home and start over the next day.
Wow, what an awesome opportunity! I can understand it being overwhelming and scary too, though!
We opened our storefront about 6 months ago, so we are still pretty new to it. We made the decision after doing custom cakes for a few years. It was definitely scary but exciting too! We did have the capital to build out and get the store open, so we didn't have to take out any loans or anything. We really just felt like it was what we were supposed to do, the next step in owning our own business.
As it stands now, the business is covering all of its expenses (rent, licensing, utilities, a small amount of advertising, etc.) but we are not taking home any pay yet. It's just my husband and I running everything until we can afford to hire someone, and that won't happen until we can afford to pay ourselves at least somewhat of a salary. It's certainly exhausting, and at times I wonder "why are we doing this again??" but then I remember why-because we love it and because we are laying the groundwork for our future.
I guess my best advice would be to really think about it and count the cost- and by counting the cost, I don't mean just money. I mean the cost of opening and running a business. You will pretty much have no life for a while, the business will take up every spare minute. It's HARD work, so you have to really want it. Take your time and think about it, there should be no rush to make a decision this big.
Some things to think about:
how old are your kids? Can they behave if/when left alone for hours on end......especially each and every weekend?
How old are *you*? Will long hours on your feet be hard on you? Are you both in excellent health?
Do you live in a big city or very rural area? This can limit who much you can make (selling at less per cake) Can you find a really good location in which to open a storefront? How much will it cost and how much work will it take to get that shop up & running?
Have either of you take any business classes? Learn *everything* you can......this is usually THE thing that brings down a business. I saw something on TV this a.m. that 40% of businesses fail; 40% just bearly make it and something lik 2% thrive. (Not sure of tthe last %).
kakeladi posed some very good questions which are generally incorporated into a business plan. Opening (and keeping open) a retail shop entails a lot of work and a lot of business savvy. The failure rate is high because most folks are not realistic about the realities of owning a food business. Only the two of you know what you are capable of doing.
It also puts a huge strain on a marriage. I owned a bakery and cafe for several years and worked my little butt off. I sold my shop and moved with my new husband to a new state and we opened a shop together. I loved my husband dearly, but after five years I realized that if we didn't stop working together we would either divorce or I would kill him. (I decided to sell our shop and we were lucky enough to find a buyer.) So in addition to all the usual business issues, you need to think about this relationship angle, also.
I would like to go back to a point brought up by lovemesomecake.
You mentioned that the person is an angel "investor", implying that this will be a loan??
An investor is great as long as the business can substantiate it. Look again at what lovemesomecake shared. They are growing their business, but they are also debt free. Can a bakery business support a loan in this economy? They are a food business, subject to failure in great numbers in the first year for two main reasons... undercapitalization and lack of experience.
Passion is great, but it will not take the place of true business experience and opening debt free.
I am opening my shop in 8 weeks. I have owned three successful startup businesses and I still have a huge notebook filled with my business plan and my vision of the shop. I am opening debt free with experience and I still worry. I am only pointing this out because careful planning, experience, and the business plan that Mimi mentioned are paramount. Don't jump too quickly and lose your dream.
Good luck with your project. I'm sure you are excited.