New Bakery Owner!!

Business By erinsue726 Updated 16 Nov 2015 , 8:58pm by Pastrybaglady

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erinsue726 Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 6:03am
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Hey everyone! It's been a LONG few months but I am getting ready to close on the sale of my bakery! Actually, the bakery I am purchasing is an already existing business, and the owner is selling due to personal reasons, anyways, I am TERRIFIED all while being more excited than I think I've ever been! So I'm hoping someone out there may have some words of wisdom and advice for a young business owner?! I have been in the cake business for about 15 years (I am 31 now), so I am confident in my skills, but now that my dreams are coming true, I am feeling a little unnerved and don't want to let anyone down! Send me your wise words and encouragement!! Id appreciate it : ) 

19 replies
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NatStan Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 6:25am
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I don't have any advice for you but I wish you the best of luck!

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810whitechoc Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 7:38am
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Congratulations Erinsue. I remember the fear well.  The first few months are overwhelming,exciting, terrifying and exhausting, so be kind to yourself.

I've no doubt your skills  are up to the task, my advice is make learning how to  run a small business as much a priority as making cakes.  Too many talented people start businesses and fail because they don't know business basics like break even point, benchmark figures, pricing and understanding why these kinds of issues are crucial to running a succesful small business.

Good luck, I wish you well.

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costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 12:34pm
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If you're buying an existing business get ready for the customers to complain if you don't do things exactly the same way as the old owner. I assume you'll change some things, so don't advertise them as "improved" because people might have liked the old one. 

I second @810whitechoc  and the business advice. You might have amazing cake skills, but that's not going to keep you in business. You'll now need amazing staff-hiring skills, paperwork skills and management skills.

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lyrismom12 Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 1:28pm
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Thats fabulous that your dreams are coming true! So happy for you and im sure you will do great! Congratulations!smile.png

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Webake2gether Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 2:13pm
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Congrats!! We just opened our own small baking company so I know the excited nervousness you are experiencing. I echo @810whitechoc  and @costumeczar  know the inside and outs of the business aspect. That actually has become our top priority. Making sure we are on top of all things business related. Funny though I feel as though our skills in the cake decorating part have also grown and it's probably bc we can't and don't stress like we used to bc we have to focus on other things. I'm like obsessive to the penny on costs and overhead. do I make mistakes sure I do but bc I stay on top of it all closely the mistakes are caught soon and easily rectified. Please keep us posted on how your doing!! And big congrats again!!

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-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 7:28pm
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without knowing what kind of bakery birthday.png and your circumstances i can't seem to conjure up any advice and i usually have tons of "here take my advice i'm not using it" and it's free too hahaha

but i wish you the best-- very happy for you -- multiplied congratulations --

wait i finally got one --

take care of yourself because no one can do that for you

sleeping.png don't skimp on your sleep or meals fork_and_knife.png

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littlejewel Posted 11 Nov 2015 , 9:20pm
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I have no advice. Good luck, I hope you exceed your expectations. 

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TheItalianBaker Posted 12 Nov 2015 , 4:59am
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Congrats! Exactly November 15th of last year I was buying my bakery!!! 

So, yep I can give you some advices.

these are the craziest and busiest months of the year, be ready to work 10/12hrs per day. Remember to make new product for the holidays in advance so you have the time to advertise for them. 

Get good employees

ask the ex owner about sales in this period last year so you can be prepared with supplies. 

Start calling all the big food distributions: Sysco, Dawn food, shamrock.. And see who has the best prices. They will undercut each other. 

Best of luck! 

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kakeladi Posted 12 Nov 2015 , 6:20am
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I'll share a bit about my buying an existing bakery.  Hopefully you will NOT run into any of these problems. 

The seller was a young gal - probably about your age.  I was suppose to be buying 'all existing supplies and equipment' but of course there was very little there.  Just a good supply of pans.  She showed me the business books of her ownership -- turned out all phony :(   (She had left a computer on which we were able to find some proof of that .)   Signed a "non compete" then totally ignored it.  Since I was new in town I had no one who would try to place an order with her to verify it.  I had no one to turn to for help.   People were actually calling me for her phone # so they could order from her!   Made for a very slow start to my ownership.

As I said, I sure hope you don't run into any of these problems but do be on the lookout for it.

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erinsue726 Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 2:08am
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@kakeladi - Are you still involved in your business? Of course, day after i started this forum, we ran into problems. The landlord is raising my rent before I even move in and will not cut me a deal. The amount he is asking is way more than I am comfortable with being my first business. I don't know what to do! & of course the current owner is saying if I choose to back out, she will be forced to close the doors because she cannot carry the business on with her personal issues she is faced with. So that's hanging over my head. Can we say stuck between a rock and a hard place?

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craftybanana2 Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 3:15am
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Do you have a signed contract with the land lord? if not he can do that. If you don't want to pay that much, then don't feel bad backing out. She was going to close anyways. As mean as that sounds, don't let someone else's issues dictate your business or you may go belly up before you get off the ground. It does sound like the landlord is being a complete PITA.  On the other side it's easier to raise the rent than to go through the process of evicting someone.

(source: my parents are landlords for both commercial and residential and when they've had to evict someone it was a long drawn out process).

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TheItalianBaker Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 3:56pm
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It sucks your landlord is doing it but you should had talk to him about the rent at the start! 

My landlord didn't do it but my contract says I'm responsable for everything in my bakery, from rooftops to the bottom, heat.. He can even relocate me in a different location at my own expense if he feels like! 

So no protection at all.. 

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Pastrybaglady Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 4:10pm
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Wow, can't wait to hear what you're going to do!  I do not own a bakery so I have no business advice for you but I do have life experience enough to say don't volunteer to make other people's problems your problems!  

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kakeladi Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 5:07pm
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No I'm not.  After about 2 1/2 yrs my DH needed care 24/7 so I had to shut it down.  That was about 8-9 yrs ago.

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-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 6:55pm
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if the landlord raised the rent above your comfort level that's called a deal breaker -- he can figure out how to pay his mortgage without a tenant for a while anyway -- it's not your call what the others have to do based on your decisions -- you have to be good to you like i said earlier -- the chips fall where they may

why buy into something that is out of reach before you bake the first cookie -- 

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teenaluiz Posted 13 Nov 2015 , 6:58pm
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I too will be opening a new bakery very soon. A good friend of mine who owns several successful businesses told me if you are nervous that is a good sign. He said it those people who think they know everything and have it all figured out that usually fail. Stay nervous and stay on top of things. I managed a bakery for 18 years ( someone else's), the hardest thing was always finding good help and keeping them. Teach them well then treat them as if they matter and they will work well for you. Best of luck to you!!!

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erinsue726 Posted 15 Nov 2015 , 7:45pm
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Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend full of sugary goodness! I have chosen to walk away from my business excursion, the dishonesty wasn't worth it. I was scared to discover what else she may have hid. Anyways, I am meeting with a realtor this week to look at other locations and see if I couldn't branch out on my own (as opposed to purchasing an existing store). Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! Hoping soon I will have better news. Until then, keeping my head up!!

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-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2015 , 7:57pm
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i am so happy for you! good decision and perfect timing too -- i found out i was in business with two lousy lying crooks AFTER i launched (not that your situation exactly mirrors mine, just saying) -- gah it was pure misery -- closing was most humbling but necessary -- whadayah gonna do --

you did good though -- maybe you can scoop up her clientelle --

best to you

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 15 Nov 2015 , 8:12pm
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Pastrybaglady Posted 16 Nov 2015 , 8:58pm
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That's great, you dodged a bullet!  Now you're better armed for your next attempt.

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