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How to switch from a home bakery to a real store? Richmond Virginia

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone 

 

I am not sure how to start and where to go, but I did not find help in any other sites than here in cake central.

 

I've been making cake as a part time from home for the past 6 years and I really enjoyed working with customers and design and create custom cakes. 

 

my business registered and license as an LLC by the state and the county, I also have EIN for the tax.

I user to teach as a Wilton Instructor for a numbers of years. and I have a positive feedback from all of my customers.

 

All these facts encouraged me to go out and start looking for a shop and start my business as a bakery.

 

I found a small place it is about 1200 sq ft and I liked the location "very close to where I live"

I will be leasing from a real estate broker.

The shop in Chesterfield, Virginia 

 

Now I am not sure how to start? 

 

what do I need to do first?

 

how to negotiate the rent if I am taking the place as is? and I will do all the remodeling, how to get estimate of the cost?

 

do I need to hire a lawyer? can you recommend a good lawyer in Richmond VA?

 

what kind of equipment do I need?

 

can you recommend a good brand for oven, mixer, refrigerator?

 

where to buy a whole sale supply and materials? like the cake mix, eggs, milk, etc...

 

what software do you use to track your supply and sales also for the register and cashier?

 

Would love to hear your ideas for my future store and thanks in advance for all of your valuable feedback and advice.

 

Regards 

post #2 of 7

You sure do have a lot of very basic questions. I can understand your excitement but I hope you slow down and DO NOT rent a store front right now until you are better prepared. Statistics tell us that the failure rate is extraordinarily high.You must have a business plan; it will help you understand the process of moving from home to a retail store. And it will let you know if this will be a profitable move. 

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VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

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post #3 of 7

if you are ready to sign your lease, this suggestion may not apply.  but if you are willing to take a couple of steps back & you said you did not know where to start, I'd suggest the small business administration www.sba.gov.  Look at the starting & managing menu option & go from there.

post #4 of 7
You might want to start in the library. Get some books out about starting a bakery. Also look up the small business development center (SBDC) in your area. I took a class with my local chapter. I think it was $40? I forget. But it had region-specific business information and presentations by insurance agent, a lawyer, and an accountant. They were all very helpful and willing to answer a lot of questions.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

You sure do have a lot of very basic questions. I can understand your excitement but I hope you slow down and DO NOT rent a store front right now until you are better prepared. Statistics tell us that the failure rate is extraordinarily high.You must have a business plan; it will help you understand the process of moving from home to a retail store. And it will let you know if this will be a profitable move. 


I agree 100%. How are you financing this?

post #6 of 7

I'm in RIchmond and I'd advise you to slow down. There are a lot of storefronts here that have opened and closed within the last few years because the market is really saturated. If all you're going to be doing is custom cakes, I'd try to work full time from home for a while to see what happens to your business, and take a few classes on the business side of it. Unless you have a decent amount of savings to live on while you're setting up a new business you shouldn't open a storefront in a location that needs that much renovation.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

I'm in RIchmond and I'd advise you to slow down. There are a lot of storefronts here that have opened and closed within the last few years because the market is really saturated. If all you're going to be doing is custom cakes, I'd try to work full time from home for a while to see what happens to your business, and take a few classes on the business side of it. Unless you have a decent amount of savings to live on while you're setting up a new business you shouldn't open a storefront in a location that needs that much renovation.

This. You need A LOT, and I do mean A LOT of start up capital to open a storefront. As costumeczar said, you need money to live on for at least a year (usually more) while the business gets established (it's not going to start paying you for a while, and it is likely that it won't even cover it's own costs completely at first). Not to mention that building out a space with a commercial kitchen can be extremely expensive. You need a lot more info before you take this step. Doing custom cakes from home and owning a retail storefront are very different animals (We have had a shop for a little over a year and a half now, so I have hands-on experience with this). 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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