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I'm thinking about starting a business ...

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

So I'm new to cake decorating, but I absolutely love it. I'm a hobbyist and had no intention of going pro, but my husband suggested it as it would allow me the flexibility to stay home with our young children and  still work part time and bring in some money.

 

My first step is to check with the regulatory boards to make sure that I can in fact bake from home. Aside from that, I've been doing a lot of the Craftsy classes on cake decorating and I've been practicing a lot. I'm also going to go to Planet Cake for a course or two (I requested this as my birthday present before I ever thought of turning pro).

 

You guys have been there and done that. What would you have done differently? What are your favourite brands? What tools could you not live without?

 

This week I'm doing a colour study in fondant (I have a visual arts background). I'll share my results as soon as they're done.

 

Thanks in advance for your help :)

post #2 of 39
My biggest mistake was to under estimate the cost of starting up a business. I knew the cost of licenses &insurance (I'm a home based bakery also) but besides the cost of those "major" things, I under estimated the TIME and expense that all the "business" stuff takes. Business cards & logo, website design, domain names, cost & hosting fees, contract, advertising, fb business page...all the not fun stuff. If I could go back, I would put more $$ aside for those things. Work on those things a little bit at a time, in addition to honing decorating skills & perfecting recipes. Also - learn how to photograph your cakes (natural light, no flash, background &floor to compliment the cake) before you launch so it doesn't seem overwhelming. It'll be worth the time you put into it, first impressions are really important! Good luck & congratulations for doing your research before you start --you will be glad you did! (And so will your clients!)
Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #3 of 39
Yep, those little expenses can add up fast. I too was so focused on the big stuff (mostly money related) but totally underestimated how much time it takes to do the work of owning a business. Staying on top of the paperwork is a big one too so I'm not overwhelmed come tax time.

I would set aside more time than you think you would need to set up the business. For the first month or so I barely baked. I was on the phone mailing forms, calling, verifying, faxing the bank, secretary of state's office, county office, insurance broker. Setting up a website alone took almost 2 months with numerous calls and multiple edits (silly me, I thought hiring a pro to do the job would mean one less thing to worry about. Wrong).
post #4 of 39
Check out the Starting a Business link in my signature.
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

Check out the Starting a Business link in my signature.

Isn't this kind of like spam?
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

Isn't this kind of like spam?

Nope. According to Heath we are allowed to mention signature links if the link is to on-topic content, but we are not allowed to actually post the link itself in the body of the post.
post #7 of 39
Still seems kind of spammy and too much like self-promotion than actually helping someone.

Oh well...icon_rolleyes.gif
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #8 of 39
To expand on my earlier post, the "Starting a Business" article I wrote outlines twelve aspects involved in starting a new food service business. The article discusses general points at a high level and can be applied to businesses in any country.

As mentioned above by the two on-topic posters there is a lot more involved here in terms of time and money than many people think...once you factor in the overhead of running the business you will probably end up doubling the time commitment over just baking and decorating.
post #9 of 39

How much business are you planning to do?  A lot depends on that factor alone.  

post #10 of 39
What I would have done differently: Not purchased to many impulse items that I will only use once - or in some cases, not at all.

Make sure you are really going to use an expensive item before buying, and find out what the return policy is before ordering in case it doesn't work as you thought or as it was advertised.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone! Your responses have been so helpful!!!

To start with I'll only take in 2 cakes a week and if that fits well ill think about gradually increasing. I'm planning to purchase a kitchen aid mixer this week. I just body a pasta machine but I'll see if I can return it and buy the kitchen aid attachment instead. I'd also like to get a sheeter but when dies rid become necessary? Cakes over 10"? Ill also get shine more cake pans (um really interested to hear which brands are your favorite), cake stands, and some block out curtains to use as photographic backdrops. I already have a goldish campaign one so I'm thinking I'll get black; white, & maybe silver. Is also like to get new counter tops ... maybe granite. I'll get quotes in that this week. Right now I just have regular counter tops and they're looking like they could do with replacing in the next 6 months or so.
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Omg so sorry about all the typos. Auto correct is doing my head in.
post #13 of 39
Why do you need new countertops?
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well I don't NEED me counter tops but they could do with replacing in the next 6 months or so. I think they're as old as the house (20 years) and the previous owners did slight damage in some areas. They are starting to look worn and the paint is wearing off around the edges, especially near the sink. I figure if they need replacing anyway I'd rather go with some type of songs as it will be easier to roll out fondant and pastry dough. I already have a bit of a following for pies and cheesecakes icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 39
I don't know how old your kids are but if they're still home with you all day don't count on being able to do too much during the day!
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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