I've decided that I'm going to quit my "real job" and only bake...my passion!
I have NO idea where to start! Do I go to the bank and ask for a business loan? Do I really have to have a perfectly written business plan? Do I contact the realtor who is leasing the space I want? I have no clue?
OR...would it be better to just quit my job and try it full time from home without trying a retail store front location? I live in Florida and they recently have the cottage food law, so that is a possibility too.
A little background:
Luckily, I'm a teacher and still getting paid to be off on summer, so I have a paycheck while I also have the time to figure this all out.
My husband has always told me that I should do this, but of course we recently bought a new house and have two little ones to worry about, so I can't be financially without.
My sister, sister-in-law, and cousin are all willing to help (SIL and cousin don't work, so love the idea!)
A completed Business plan is generally a requirement of lenders/investors. A business plan allows for a review of your business idea, strategies and looking at what your objectives are to see if it is feasible. It also helps to answer questions potential lenders will have, such as Why you need the amount requested, how you will use the money, what other sources of finance you have, how you will pay back the money, what is your collateral. It is also a valuable piece of info for you to continue to use to help you grow your business.
The county that I live in has a Small Business Enterprise Centre that is a wealth of information and hands on support for people wanting to start up a small business or support for an existing small business, they will help with writing a business plan, market research, government regulations, licensing information and sourcing finances. I suggest that this be your first step in pursuing your dream, look for one in your area and set up a consultation/fact finding session, they can help you look at the pros and cons of working at home under you cottage food law vs. openning a storefront.
HTH and Good luck with your dream!!
ARegardless of a retail location or utilizing the cottage food law, you need a business plan. It really helps focus your thoughts. Just the act of writing one will get you thinking of important aspects you may not yet have considered.
There are many free websites to help with writing one.
I recommend starting out of your home first, so that you will learn what you like to do and what you find difficult. Starting out of your home you will have overhead but can deduct rental costs from that list. On the flip side, though, a shop would enable you to have employees and potentially more exposure and if you do a solid business plan there's a lot of money to be made. Since I am only in my home and it's just me, I'm limited in how many cakes I can do each week and therefore my income is limited too. My business is on referrals only.
I am in my home doing this and am glad, because I think I would be in my cake shop all the time and would burn out and miss my family.
Good luck and have fun, whatever you decide to do.
Do you really jump all in with-out knowing what your jumping into?
AI wrote an article on my blog that discusses 12 aspects of starting a new business, click the Starting a Business link in my signature below to read it.
ACraftsy has a course that you can purchase. It iscalled starting a business. It is full of lots good informatin and also has a lot of good resources for you to check out.
Start by gathering information before you decide to do anything. Write a simple biz plan, identify your market and then see if your locale supports it. talk to your licensing agency about health code requirements. << this right here can be major. even if you rent a location with a kitchen, it might not be up to code.
gather your recipes, source your vendors, price your equipment, price your lease, your build out and set up costs, your salary, the costs of child care, and then double it because the major failure of businesses in the first few years is underfunding. plan for every contingency you can think of: employees, taxes, the sales tax board, what happens when you get sick or can't come to work?
take your time and do it right, otherwise you'll be in over your head before you know it and life will be very hard.
Thanks everyone. I will look into writing a business plan and check with my local requirements.
I do know that there is a market for it. There are only a few bakeries nearby and they do well financially, but my quality is WAY higher.
And no to Stitches...I don't just jump in. I know what I'm capable of and I know that I will do well...I've just come to a point in my life where I am finally ready to make it happen.