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burned out....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone....some of you may remember me from a while ago....I have harldy been on since I openend my shop becasue it has consumed my life.

My problem is that I have a little gem of a store...I have the clientele, location, ...everything you might think one would need to succeed....the orders are coming in but I am so tired that I cant take it for much longer. If I hire someone....(not that it's easy to find someone qualified), the salary, taxes , payroll, insurance, etc...eats up all my profits...
The hours are killing me...a lot of late nights...sometimes all-nighters. I am not afraid of hard work, but I have two kids at home and I cant keep this up. It doesnt end at the store, either....at home, I need to spend a few hours on the computer daily....answering emails, sending invoices, shopping for materials, paying bills, etc....
I'd love to hire someone to do that but I cant afford it.

My husband suggested taking on a partner....I find the idea of giving up control of my shop daunting, but maybe one of you can give me advice on doing that or anything else that might help? I am totally burned out and I have to drag myself to the store at this point.

I've decided that for the next two months I will only give classes....just to give myself a predictable schedule that will stll pay the rent for a little while.

Any suggestions???

thanks!
post #2 of 23
Work smarter, not harder. Learn assembly-line techniques to use when possible. This might not help your business much, if you do 100% custom orders. What do you specialize in?
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
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HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
post #3 of 23
I'm not surprised you're burning out, you are one person trying to cover three full-time jobs (business admin, retail, and baking). I recommend either severely cutting back on the hours you are open or just open by appointment only until you can find a partner.

You may also need to look at your pricing, if going it alone is the only way you can stay profitable you really don't have a viable long-term business model. Generally this would be apparent in your business plan, as you need to set a budget of both money and time so you can see how many FTEs are required for the business to run.
post #4 of 23
I just visited your website and Facebook pages. You do that all by yourself? Hon, you need to hire help or sell your shop. Partnerships are real iffy.

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post #5 of 23
Depending where you are getting someone to help you as an independent contrator may solve the problem. Some places do not allow this, others do.

I had a girl that was an idependent contrator and it worked out very well. I only felt I needed an extra person to help, so to me not worth the hassel of all the extra tax stuff. We typed up a simple"contract" stating she was being brought on as an independent contrator, not an employee, she would not be entitled to workmans comp or have taxes held out, she would get a 1099 at the end of the year and would be fully reponsible for any tax liability.

Sure, you will have to accept whatever schedule they are available, but most people that want to work are going to be reliable whether they are an IC or employee. You will need a workman's comp opt out form, you can get from any department of workforce (usually online) they fill it out and mail it in, most places it is a $50 fee and it is good for several years, it protects you from being liable for injuries or anything else that would be filed as workman's comp.
HTH
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by louanne

Depending where you are getting someone to help you as an independent contrator may solve the problem. Some places do not allow this, others do.


In the US you have to be very careful about this, since if you don't follow the IRS's strict rules about how to treat contractors they may end up being classified as an employee anyway, which means you would be liable for back employment taxes.

https://www.google.com/search?num=20&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=employee+vs+independent+contractor

Quote:
Quote:

You will need a workman's comp opt out form, you can get from any department of workforce (usually online) they fill it out and mail it in, most places it is a $50 fee and it is good for several years, it protects you from being liable for injuries or anything else that would be filed as workman's comp.


This can also potentially be dangerous, since if the IC does not have their own WC policy you can still be on the hook for any on-the-job injuries.
post #7 of 23
Teaching sound good to me.
post #8 of 23
yes, you do have to be careful on how you treat them, but it is still very possible for the arrangement to work, I am in the US, my brother is an attorney that specializes in employment and workman's comp clains. So yes it should be clear you do have to follwo regulations to a T, but it is possible to do so. The Worman's comp opt out form is fille dout by the IC not by the business and submitted. If done properly they cannot hold you liable, you just have to amke sure it stays current. I work in a health related offcie that deals with CNAs, all our aides ar IC's, we have had some try to hold us liable for injuries, but because they have a current opt out form in our files, and have signed a contract stating they understand they are not eligible, so far any claims made have not resulted in having to pay out anything.

While yes you have to follow the regualtions exactly, if you are willing to allow someone to set their own schedule and abide by the rules, it is a solution. It is not for everyone, but I have found not only when I had a bakery but also in the current field I work in as long as you dot you i's and cross your t's and not cross the "employee" line you are fine. Like I said people who want to work will work whether they are employees or IC's, that's the biggest problem with IC's, not being able to say "be here, do this or your fired" but if you have what you expect lined out in the contract ( your duties wil be.....) then you are fine, you cannot say "you are fired" if they do not work out you just say " your services are not needed at this time"

yes it can be a headache, I deal with on average 50 IC's everyday ( I am not running the current business, I am an employee, hired as a supervisor), but for those who want to circumnavigate the extra expense of employees, it can be done, you just should read up on what is and is not acceptable.

I did not make the recomnedation ss something just to jump into, everyone should always look into and do their own research into any idea or solution given.
post #9 of 23
A business can hire an Independent Contractor for things such as making deliveries. Or for a bookkeeping service to work onsite. But if the "contractor" is working onsite doing bakery chores at the direction of the owner, there are very specific rules, as Jason pointed out.

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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

A business can hire an Independent Contractor for things such as making deliveries. Or for a bookkeeping service to work onsite. But if the "contractor" is working onsite doing bakery chores at the direction of the owner, there are very specific rules, as Jason pointed out.


Yes, as the others have said, tread carefully. We were audited in a routine audit by our state unemployment agency, and they were very careful when going over the records of our one 1099 contractor. We were ok because he worked at his own home on his own computer, on his own time. It would not have flown if he had been coming into our office and using our equipment under our direction.

Adven68, it's good to hear from you again, even though I am sorry to hear that you have fallen victim to your own success. Jason's advice was sound, I would second everything he said.
post #11 of 23
You are an amazing talent! My hope is that you find balance so you can continue to develop your artistry. It's quite a feat to take on all by yourself, especially the way you are doing it (beautifully and imaginatively)! Perhaps there is a school, trade school or college/university nearby that you can draw some help from in exchange for experience? Perhaps you'll find the answer among the students you will be teaching. I know I'd love the opportunity to work with someone like you simply for the learning experience, even if I'm just doing the invoicing/bill paying! Best of luck to you and please don't let your star burn out. icon_smile.gif
post #12 of 23
I agree with Jason's first post. You really do not have a viable, gem of a business, if you can't hire. The structure does not work.

My suggestion is to look back at your business plan and see what went wrong. If you didn't have one, it would be best to slow it down and do one asap. It will take quite a bit of time to do it correctly. You have most of your information. Now you need to see if restructuring is possible with a profit. If not, it would be best to close as the hours will not get any better.

You need to look at output needed to stay open, the man hours to do the job, and the correct pricing (but still market price) to make it work.

In a retail operation, there needs to be counter people for the amount of hours open, people to do the baking to make the required amount of goods, and a bookkeeper/secretary/manager. Where you want to be in the mix is up to you and not all of these jobs take 40 hours, but they all need to be done by a specific amount of man hours.
post #13 of 23
Noooooo on taking on a partner. I let my husband talk me into that once about 10 years ago. It ended with her stealing my SSN out of our accounting software and logging into our personal bank accounts, having to hire an attorney to get rid of her, and pay her $5k just to get out of our lives. No no no NO. Never give up ownership like that, no matter how well you think you know the person.

I agree that you need to change your pricing. If you can't afford to hire employees, then you're not charging enough to run a business.
post #14 of 23
Maybe you could reevaluate your business plan to see where your money is going. This way you can focus your attention and efforts in more profitable areas and save enough to hire someone
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post #15 of 23
The bakery I worked for had this same problem and she ended up closing her business. She was NOT a good manager and she hated that side of things. She chose not expand. Which is too bad because she did really nice work.

Personally, if I were you, I'd hire a couple of part time people, (you will avoid a lot of the financial burdens of having a full time employee). Bring them in to do a lot of your busy work including scheduling cakes, dealing with customer pick-ups, coloring fondant, cleaning, doing dishes, etc. Then as you observe them you may find they have the potential and the desire to do more and you can train to bring in more to the baking and decorating side of things.

If you are concerned about hiring them yourself, look at working with an employment agency that can screen applicants first (you still choose) and if they aren't working out, the agency is the one to release them and find new. They are also the ones who deal with the taxes, etc. You will pay for this service, but it might be worth it if you can give yourself a normal life. Might have to raise your prices as well.
Just some thoughts! thumbs_up.gif

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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