Hi everyone. I'm getting ready to start and in home/online bakery. I'm getting everything together to apply for my business licence and such but I'm not sure if I should work on building my clientele more first. Right now I am still under the cottage food laws, but I would like to expand. So basically I'll take all advice. Also I'm in Mississippi if that helps. Thanks in advance.
My opinion is that a good business base is necessary - especially since you are under cottage food laws - not totally illegal like I was (some 30 yrs ago l o n g before cottage laws were ever considered!). The more happy customers you have the easier it will be to make a profit once you do open a bakery. Once you do that there are many more expenses to deal with :(
I started building up my clientele base first, just to make sure that I could cover costs and such if I wanted to expand. I had every intention of opening a small store front once I had consistent business, but I decided to stay a cottage food front instead. I have a great customer base now, and I just can't see the pros for opening a front and paying for a space where, honestly, the overhead would not be worth the hassle. I am in Texas though, so it might be different here. It seems like I have seen a lot of places open over the past two or three years, especially cupcake places, and they have almost all shut down. That was enough for me to think twice. :)
In Texas under the Cottage Food Law you can make up to $50K per year profit before you're required to become a commercial business. I've unfortunately never gotten to that point, but I believe I would be happy with that and leave the commercial store front for others.
I'd check out the Mississippi laws thoroughly before posting anything online. It would be no fun to be conducting business and then find you have to shut down for awhile to get your business in order. But you could be developing a clientele list, planning marketing and gauging interest simultaneously. You probably wouldn't be losing any time by checking the laws out first.