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post #61 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuteCakes1234 View Post

Idk if its my PMS or what... but this post has me teary eyed just to know someone from a simi similar situation has over come and is successful! Really brings so much joy to me! Thank you for posting that seriously, that was a very personal matter. There are soo many people putting me down because im 23 and have children.. They do not believe in me but god didn't give me this wonderful gift to just throw away and give up. I guess I will stop doing cakes for awhile as stated (witch will suck I love what I do!!) But clearly I'm unprofessional and need more business education!

You don't even have to stop making cakes, you can donate them to friends and family, charitable causes etc. After I decided to do this as a business I spent a whole year just practicing and researching. More time will only help you improve and you'll be so much better for it.
"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
post #62 of 112
Cutecakes, if you really do want to take a break, it would probably be more useful to get the business part of it down rather than work on decorating more cakes. Most people who start businesses do it because they think it will be easy, but the decorating part of it is miniscule compared to the marketing, bookkeeping, etc. if you're in th US you could find out if there's a SCORE group near you, they help new businesses get organized and kind of act as mentors. Some of them are better than others, but you should be able to learn something from them.

The people in my area who have started businesses and failed all have the lack of a business side in common. They put up a facebook page, sell a few cakes to friends, then wonder why they're not making any money and don't have orders rolling in. I've run a successful home-based wedding cake business for the last 14 years, and I probably spend about 20% of my time actually working on cakes, and 80% doing other things related to the marketing, networking, advertising, blah blah blah parts. So work on your portfolio if you think you need to beef that up, but don't ignore the practical side of running a business.

When people on here give you advice it's from hard-earned personal experience, so don't dismiss it without thinking about whether it could help you in the long run. Having someone tell you to "go for it" feels good, but it won't make a solid business if you don't know what you should be going for or how to go about it.
post #63 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir View Post

Thanks Cutecakes1234...

I don't think any business can truly, truly succeed if the owner is having troubles with workload and stress! Its very hard to run a business from your home AND be a single Mum too, I expect. BUT, many people do it. I congratulate you for taking the Wilton courses, as these are a good start on learning the basics. First of all, you need to ask yourself if cake decorating is your passion, and is this the best way for you to earn an income and support your family. IF it is, then read on...

I am sure many of the US members will chime in with some helpful, but more specific, advice. I think its important to look at several different areas. By NO means should it take you all of 18 months to get started, and if you know the key areas, you can certainly get ahead faster.

The main areas (as I see it):
  1. Food safety, including being certified to be able to make and sell cakes from your home (including any restrictions on types of ingredients, eg cream cheese). Depending on your location you may need to pass a Food Safety course (very simple, and can be done online in some places). The other side of this is your state and town regulations for operating a food business from your home. These two things are the top of anyone's list when starting a cake business.
  2. Small business management. Technically, many cake businesses at home are "micro-businesses", so once you are allowed to trade in cakes from your own home, you will need to think about not only the day to day paperwork, but the financial reports you will need to generate for your tax authority. I recommend a simple software package like Cake Boss, which allows you to keep track of all your purchases, stock levels, clients details, recipes, calendars and so forth. This software is NOT essential - if you are savvy with software you can create your own alternate systems at home. I recommend also backing up daily, and keeping a paper diary as a back up too as you get into the business, just in case. I am sure there are plenty of free resources online for learning basic book-keeping, if you want to try this all on paper.
  3. Skills as a decorator. This is more the fun part of your work, but still related to the financial side of things. You will want to invest in equipment, courses, books, magazines and of course publicity. You need to work on your own recipes and eventually find your niche in cake decorating. This is something you can do once you are up and running, and after you've done some dummies and get a basic website up an running! And from personal experience - you never stop learning!

There are MANY mothers on cake central who work from home and have kids to pick up from school and take to soccer or dance classes etc, and we all learn our own ways of aligning our home life with our work/business. Its not all easy. If you have a separate room or space to work in where you don't need to clean up to make room for the kids to eat at the table, etc, then that is a great bonus.

I will let the US members post more details pertaining to these three main areas I think, because as a newby to the industry I am sure you are craving SPECIFIC information icon_smile.gif

I wish you all the best, and hope you stick around CC and eventually feel comfortable enough to post some photos of your work. We'd love to see it!

Thanks for the wonderful advice, I don't know if I ever mentioned that Ido not work out of my home? The kitchen that I rent is threw a church half a block from my home. 50.00 for the day.. icon_smile.gif Now Ihave a million other questions lol! But let me start by saying I LOVE cake decorating before the wilton courses I re searched my butt off for many months on how to decorate myself thanks to youtube icon_smile.gif. Then Iwas like well I mite as well take a class, even though I knew almost everything they taught I still learned a few tricks witch over all help.. I am still learning tons of new tricks from CC. Also Ijust invested a ton of money in business cards,flyers,labels, other cards,T-Shirt, chef coat, and tons and TONS of cake decorating products. Now I feel dumb for purchasing all of that oh well I guess.. I found a score last week and am going to attend there class this month, Sense I'm jumping all over the place with questions ill post it a little clearer.

1.) I now would like to change my business name, because of my lack of business knowledge I'm sure I have drove many customers away. How do Igo about doing this when I start up fresh? My name is on all my previous work. (Photo's)

2.) I would like a new FB page as the one I have now is all over the place I'm guessing lol.

3.) I have a vendor event in 4 days that is paid for I made cake dummys and clearly bought all supplies needed for the event. Now what do I do??! It will be my very first vendor event.. Should I not attend now? Or go for it.

I'm going to just stop there I have soo many questions now!!
post #64 of 112
We need to know where you live before we can give you advice about the vendor event. If you live in Kentucky, no, don't go because it is illegal if you don't have all your permits and licenses. If you are in Ohio, I *think* you are fine, but it is best to have an Ohioan who goes to vendor events chime in, then contact your health department tomorrow when the open again, to be sure.

And contact the show right away if you aren't going, they don't want an empty spot, and may be able to fill it, but not if they don't know about it!

And speaking of advice, the way you're using the word witch indicates it should be spelled which.... And maybe you should look up their, there and they're to check the proper ways to use each spelling. Though there are many people who don't know the proper way, there are many who do and it gets on their nerves when they're misused. icon_smile.gif (see what I did there?)

And I was young too, 18 when I married, 20 when I had twins, 23 when I divorced, 24 when I had my daughter. It was Terrible at times, and I cried the moment I put my kids to bed until I fell asleep, and times that were great! (Like when I put my boys in thrift store suits, and my daughter and myself in a red dress and we "double dated" at Cracker Barrel for valentines day when my boys were 4 and my daughter was 1 icon_smile.gif and when crotchety old men gave me compliments on how well behaved they all were!!!)
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
post #65 of 112
I'm curious why you want to change your name, if it's just because you've made a few mistakes in the past I wouldn't worry about it. If you do want to go ahead and change your name you will probably need to file a new fictitious business name application with your county recorder.

Instead of creating a new FB page, I recommend working with a professional web designer on a real web site. FB is great for interacting with customers, but not so great for taking orders and highlighting your product offerings.

If you've already paid for the vendor event I would attend anyway, the top priority before you attend the event would be making sure your pricing is where you want it to be. This is assuming your rented kitchen is fully licensed and inspected.

A business plan is a living document so it's never "done", but depending on the complexity of your business, how much time you have to work on it, and your own business acumen it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a year to get your plan to the point where you are ready to open your business.

I also agree with the poster above that it would be helpful to further develop your written communication skills, this is a must for presenting yourself and your business in a professional manner.
post #66 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

I'm curious why you want to change your name, if it's just because you've made a few mistakes in the past I wouldn't worry about it. If you do want to go ahead and change your name you will probably need to file a new fictitious business name application with your county recorder.
Instead of creating a new FB page, I recommend working with a professional web designer on a real web site. FB is great for interacting with customers, but not so great for taking orders and highlighting your product offerings.
If you've already paid for the vendor event I would attend anyway, the top priority before you attend the event would be making sure your pricing is where you want it to be. This is assuming your rented kitchen is fully licensed and inspected.
A business plan is a living document so it's never "done", but depending on the complexity of your business, how much time you have to work on it, and your own business acumen it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a year to get your plan to the point where you are ready to open your business.
I also agree with the poster above that it would be helpful to further develop your written communication skills, this is a must for presenting yourself and your business in a professional manner.

Great tips, yes I had the kitchen re inspected before I started working out of it. Also I do have a website it is currently being worked on. Yes I did want to re name my business because of all the mistakes I have made, but I wont do so. Another thing I did not want to get into, but hell who's to judge? I have a learning disability which also makes this harder for me. Its no excuse and I know I am capable of running a business I just have to study a little harder then the "normal" people lol! Gosh I did not want to write that oh well maybe it may help you all understand me a little more. I've had fbf correct my spelling sometimes omg is that embarrassing!!!! Like saying are business as in OUR business! Nothing more then that..
post #67 of 112
You may have to work harder than others but I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to attain the same level of success as anyone else. Another option would be to go into business with someone else with a business background if you wanted to focus on baking and decorating. This is how I handled the bakery I co-founded with my wife: she was mostly interested in baking and decorating, so I ran the business side and handled customer service, procurement, marketing, accounting, legal compliance, web development, etc.
post #68 of 112

I agree with jason, if you partner with somebody that is interested in covering the areas where you are most concerned than that would take so much off your shoulders and set the stage a little bit more for you.Public relations is a big part besides the beautiful cakes you can create, this would allow you to create the beautiful creations and someone can promote you.The contracts I find are the hardest for me because you have to cover so much and watch what you do and do not put in one.Somebody to come up with proper prices the load is looking lighter already lol... Goodluck it is just the beginning.

post #69 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuteCakes1234 View Post

Great tips, yes I had the kitchen re inspected before I started working out of it. Also I do have a website it is currently being worked on. Yes I did want to re name my business because of all the mistakes I have made, but I wont do so. Another thing I did not want to get into, but hell who's to judge? I have a learning disability which also makes this harder for me. Its no excuse and I know I am capable of running a business I just have to study a little harder then the "normal" people lol! Gosh I did not want to write that oh well maybe it may help you all understand me a little more. I've had fbf correct my spelling sometimes omg is that embarrassing!!!! Like saying are business as in OUR business! Nothing more then that..

Don't change your business name just because you've made mistakes. That tends to backfire, because people will know that you changed it and it doesn't stop them from talking about you. Just work on doing a good job from here out. I know a woman who had a bunch of bad reviews online so she changed her business name,but the brides still go on there and tell people who she is if someone asks a question.
post #70 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy Sweet View Post

I agree with jason, if you partner with somebody that is interested in covering the areas where you are most concerned than that would take so much off your shoulders and set the stage a little bit more for you.Public relations is a big part besides the beautiful cakes you can create, this would allow you to create the beautiful creations and someone can promote you.The contracts I find are the hardest for me because you have to cover so much and watch what you do and do not put in one.Somebody to come up with proper prices the load is looking lighter already lol... Goodluck it is just the beginning.

I'm glad you mentioned this, I met a lady who does tons of on the side business job like Rendi,lindt ect ect. She has been a complete joy
nd hinted about partnership she's kind of like me not much income but boy does she have business brains!! She's gotten me a square card which I had no idea about previously. She's got the hook up on vendor events,giving out my samples and updating me daily on this and that. Only issue is she's still a stranger! So the trust is not there yet on both sides. (Long story) anyways we met via phone, she is having a fundraiser for her daughter we've been talking via txt messages almost a month now. I gave her 4 dozen of cupcakes so far for her to bring to events and to try my product. She's very blunt on taste and quality which is a good thing! She does not like my walnut almond vanilla bean cupcake but LOVES my chocolate excellence cupcake. Also to add she and her husband owned a flooring company for 10 years. So would you guys agree she would be wonderful for my business? We have been talking like friends as well is that a bad thing? I know they say don't mix friends and business. But she's not technically a friend yet we just have a ton in common and I enjoy chatting with her everyday. Plus she is older then me not old old she's 39 (older) so she has more wisdom!
post #71 of 112

When her and her husband had the business what did she do, was she the book keeper, payroll, advertisment, sales..? I only ask because you are wanting a relationship like Jason_Kraft and his wife have (which i think is perfect) the balance of the brains i will call it.She has the kitchen brains and talent and he has the legal/office covered.If she has the office side than that is a start.Have you thought about inviting her to the vendors show with you, so you can see how she works and how you mesh?

 

This is only me speaking here and I do not think my way is right but because I have been in the culinary world for 20 years now (from dishwashing to management) I tend to go with someone that has that background.That is just me though, She sounds to be the type you are looking for.You need to know if you will mesh well first of all.That is the hard part, knowing hjow to handle different situations without the hole operation falling apart.

 

Jason could probably answer these so much better than myself.I am a one man show right now and have never had to enjoyment of splitting the business up to make it work better.He has the knowledge from what I have read and could give you pointers on what you should look for in a partner for that end of your business.I would private message him and ask some questions , be open to what he has to say and his knowledge will go far.

 

There are probably so many people on here that could give you tips on how to look foe someone that will mesh well with you. I am so new here on this forum.

 

You got this, you are headed down the right path and you have the passion.Nobody can replace your passion and that is #1 in this business.

post #72 of 112
A partnership can be the best decision or worst mistake you've ever made, they are like a marriage. Since you don't have a lot of money and you are lacking the business side, at least she can fill a gap, and won't start stealing from you right away, lol. If you do decide to do it, you should bite the bullet, and PAY a bucket load to a reputable attorney with experience in partnerships that will write a partnership contract stating ow and when each person gets paid, how much and what happens to all the stuff if the partnership is dissolved. At the bare minimum.

And your relationship should be where it is, you do NOT want to be friends, just on friendly terms. She shouldn't be a confidant and someone to hang out with or booze with, lol. If you have a problem with her it is easier to address it without worrying that not only will you lose your partner, you'll lose your best friend. And if you have dirty secrets she knows, and the partnership dissolves, and she is hateful and spreads lies and half-truths, and all your dirty secrets, you will be a laughing stock. Keep it at a professional level.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
post #73 of 112
You'll definitely want a partnership agreement drawn up by an independent attorney, this will probably take the form of a multi-member LLC with each of you having 50% share ownership. The operating agreement of the LLC will dictate how much profit (or loss) accrues to each member, what each member is responsible for, and what happens if one partner leaves.

To cover your bases I would talk to some of her business associates as well as employees of her company (her direct reports if possible) to gauge both her management style and her expertise and see if it fits with what you're trying to do.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad idea to become friends with your business partner as long as you have your operating agreement in place.
post #74 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

A partnership can be the best decision or worst mistake you've ever made, they are like a marriage. Since you don't have a lot of money and you are lacking the business side, at least she can fill a gap, and won't start stealing from you right away, lol. If you do decide to do it, you should bite the bullet, and PAY a bucket load to a reputable attorney with experience in partnerships that will write a partnership contract stating ow and when each person gets paid, how much and what happens to all the stuff if the partnership is dissolved. At the bare minimum.
And your relationship should be where it is, you do NOT want to be friends, just on friendly terms. She shouldn't be a confidant and someone to hang out with or booze with, lol. If you have a problem with her it is easier to address it without worrying that not only will you lose your partner, you'll lose your best friend. And if you have dirty secrets she knows, and the partnership dissolves, and she is hateful and spreads lies and half-truths, and all your dirty secrets, you will be a laughing stock. Keep it at a professional level.


Your last statement that is what I am afraid of, someone I do not know "turning" on me. She already knows more then she should, nothing horrible. When she ran her business she said she did all of the office work and her husband the handy man. I don't know if I can trust her yet but I am giving it a try. She has already gave me so much knowledge I'm sure she can take on the task.
post #75 of 112

i mean what is she bringing to the table that an employee could not do (if you even needed an employee at this point.)

 

you can buy accounting software and cake stuff software like cake boss.-go through your learning curve with that stuff and all you basically gotta do is plug in numbers etc.

 

even just an accounting service would work for you if you wanted. i had a quickbooks pro help me set up the books for one of my businesses and then she was there when I had questions.

 

just a thought.

 

since she seems to be being considered as a partner--why? put her on the short list for part time help when the need arises

 

i don't thin k you need a liquid plot twist at this time but that's just my observation.

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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