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    22 Replies Latest reply on Sep 27, 2010 10:04 AM by SBC Team


    chinahdoll Wayfarer
      I am doing the research to starting my own dessert catering business. I have NO business knowledge whatsoever. I am a stay home mom and have been for years. While doing my research and reading up on the different aspects of starting and running a business...I've become a little discouraged. I would just love for someone to give me a little advice on how they overcame the hurdles of all the business lingo. If there is anyone else out there that has gone from non-productive to business owner can you help me out by telling me how you overcame the feeling that maybe you've bitten off more than you can chew.

      I do believe I'm capable of doing this but I just get a little discouraged because of all the unfamiliar language...I've been living in a Rated G land for years raising my kids so the whole aspect of being my own boss is almost foreign.

      Any positive words or advice would really help me out...thank you so much!!
          nMoncrief Adventurer

          I can tell a lot about you, believe it or not, just by reading your post. You come across as very intellegent. Don't sell yourself short just because you don't know the meaning of an acronymn or two. Any person who is smart and has a willingness to work hard can be a successful business person. You can learn the basic business concepts by talking to others. Or better yet, pick up a copy of "An Idiot's Guide to Starting Your Own Business." Then, you won't feel intimidated when talking with bankers, suppliers, friends, etc. If the Idiot's Guide can teach me to coach basketball, I'm sure they can help you through your crisis.

          As least you're not foolishly believing it's going to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would be self-employed. Just set your goals high and don't let anything stop you.

          Neil Moncrief

            • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
              chinahdoll Wayfarer
              Wow, there's "An Idiots Guide to Starting Your Own Business"? I'm rushing out to my nearest Borders right now...thanks sooooooooo much. Reading the responses to my post have literally brought me to tears. Yeah, I have the support of my husband and my kids but that's like me telling my 10 year old she sings beautifully...but the truth is she sounds like a lonely cat...LOL...I'd never say that to her though. It feels great knowing that other people think you can achieve something...even if they are strangers! Thanks so much.
            • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all there is to learn is absolutely normal when we begin anything new as an adult.

              When you were a kid and wanted to try something (swimming, riding a bike, owning a pet, driving a car, or whatever), you seldom worried about how much there was to learn or how hard it might be. You just wanted to DO it. As soon as someone would let you, you tried. If it didn't go so well, so what? You weren't supposed to be that good instantly, plus you knew you'd be more capable the next time.

              Starting a business (or anything new) at a later stage in life requires us to reconnect with that kid who just wanted to do it. If you struggle today, so what? You're not supposed to understand all this business stuff instantly -- but as long as you learn something, you'll be more capable tomorrow.

              The hurdles you encounter are not there to keep you away from your goal. They're there to keep other people away who don't want it as bad as you do. Fortunately, you're not trying to start a business with huge technological hurdles like building a transporter device a la Star Trek. In your case, there are actually lots of people out there who can help you past the hurdles. With a dessert catering business, there's practically a guarantee that you will never encounter one single problem or obstacle that someone else has not already encountered and found a way to overcome.

              The question is not, "Can a stay-at-home mom start a successful dessert catering business?" We already know the answer is yes, because many have. The only question is, "Can you?" (By the way, no matter what your answer is, you'll be right.) So what does the kid in you believe?

                • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                  chinahdoll Wayfarer
                  You are absolutely right. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me a little boost. I certainly needed it. I can't contain the excitement...I come up with new ideas every single day since the original thought crossed my mind. I do have the support of my husband and kids but odd as it may isnt quite enough.

                  And Lighthouse...I want this so bad I can taste it...and it tastes kinda sweet. Thanks so much for taking the time to REALLY dont know how much it means to me.
                • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                  LUCKIEST Guide
                  NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER, Sounds like you are off to a good start and have
                  received two good SPIRIT BOOSTERS so far.
                  It is the American dream to go into one own business.
                  Kids grow up and stay at home moms want to break out.
                  How soon do you plan on starting?? Do you have a business name??
                  Do you have a Business and Marketing Plan??
                  Do you want to share where you are, (City and State)??
                  Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and helps people going in business.
                  Good luck, LUCKIEST
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                      chinahdoll Wayfarer
                      Those were some serious spirit boosters. I'm very excited and what to get started as soon as possible but first I'm going to conduct some research. I want to start by giving my favorite dessert to some friends, family and some strangers with surveys attached. In the survery will be questions pertaining to my dessert ex: how could it be better? What did you most like/dislike about this product?...things of that nature. I want to see how well the treat would really do. I am also currently taking the steps to making my business seems to be as painfully difficult as childbirth LOL...but I'm taking baby steps now.

                      You all have been extremely helpful for me because sometimes I think this is all just some dream in my head that I'll never be able to fulfill, and I think I'm crazy for even dreaming it up. But, after reading these last posts I am confident that I can do this. Slow and steady wins the race...especially for me, the tortoise.

                      Oh, btw, I'm in Las Vegas Nevada and have already set up an appointment to meet face to face with a SCORE counselor.

                        • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                          DomainDiva Ranger
                          When I first told everyone about my product in 2002, I WAS LAUGHED AT. Literally. I was told NO ONE would ever want to keep aircraft records and documents on the internet and NO ONE would by my product and I would NEVER get funded and on and on.

                          I am funded, we are in the process of testing the sofware as I write this. I spent all afternoon at Starbucks on the laptop and on the phone with my CTO and code guy. People are calling me screaming for a launch date.

                          Do not pay any attention to anyone that says you can't do it. They are small minded and jealous.

                          GO GET 'EM!!!!!

                      • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                        intechspecial Ranger
                        I really am of the belief that for any business owner to succeed, they must fail several times before doing so.

                        Even successful businesses deal with ongoing and continuing failures.



                        When all else fails.........................


                        try again.
                          • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                            MYOB08 Adventurer
                            I have been doing this for 7 years and still feel overwhelmed ~ everyday I learn something new, or have to deal with something the moment I am have uncovered a corrupt bookkeeper and wondering the legalities of dealing with it ...

                            As a working mum, if I knew you were trying to set-up a business, I would definately try you out.

                            Here in Australia, we have a thing called www.biggest*morning**tea* happens in May, and if you have a look at it you can kind of see the concept. Maybe you have something like that in the US and you could do a mini-launch of your business.

                            When I started out I borrowed every business book from the library and read them cover to cover.

                            You might also like this site ~ ~ lots of real expereince. I wrote the article on Practical tips for a paperless office ~ why not leave a comment.
                            • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                              DomainDiva Ranger
                              How many times should a business owner fail?
                                • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                  intechspecial Ranger


                                  That is a touch question, I had to think about it and come back to respond.


                                  Any business fails on a day to day basis.


                                  I am sure you have had days where your sales were down? This is an example of a failure.

                                  I am sure you have had at least 1 or 2 dissatisfied clients? Another failure.


                                  I do not believe, DomainDiva, that a business has to fail a certain amount of times before it is successful.

                                  I think that a business must evolve to reflect its market as well as the times.

                                  So, to answer your question, DomainDiva, for you to own a successful business, you do not need to fail X number of times to succeed, but you should learn from each failure.

                                  I hope this helps to answer your question, and I wish you the best in your new business endeavor.
                                    • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                      DomainDiva Ranger
                                      Failure means you are out of business.

                                      Making mistakes means that you have opportunities to make something right, learn something or both. Slow sales? Maybe some new energy, marketing or whatever...but failure?

                                      GE missed its 1st qtr 2008 numbers. Is GE FAILING??????Hardly. See my point?

                                      I see the problem as you define everything as failure that does not meet some pie in the sky expectation of super greatness. It does not happen like that. A lot of small businesses are crawling right now...but just because we/they may crawl does not mean they fail.

                                      I hate the word seems to me that you really like the word and would rather look at things in terms of failure 1-2-3-4, and then total up the score at the end of every day and carry the balance forward.
                                      • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                        DomainDiva Ranger
                                        BTW I have looked at your could be one the great ones...if you make the choice.
                                  • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                    MyrtleBchMama Newbie

                                    As I am sure you know most small business people start with a knowledge and passion about their "product" and their ability to improve on the way its being done by someone else or filling a void. Most of us DO NOT have a strong business background. However, I would encourage you to learn everything you can on running a small business. Many SCORE offices offer small business classes through local community colleges in their continuing education dept.. I found these classes to be more helpful than simply reading a book. I got face to face interaction, a chance to ask questions and a chance to network with other people in the class. The classes can be on topics from developing a business plan to employment compliance issues. Also you will want to check with DHEC and/or the Dept. of Agriculture regarding regulations in your state about where your desserts are made. Many will not allow you to use a home kitchen. You may want to find a local caterer who will try your products as well. Good Luck! Learn all you can, learn from mistakes and don't let others discourage you. If there's a will, there's a way and a woman behind it!

                                    Myrtle Beach Mama
                                    • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                      Ranger6r Wayfarer
                                      My Dear Chinahdoll,

                                      Two phrases you wrote jump out at me - "I do believe I'm capable" and "I just get a little discouraged".

                                      Your "I do believe" statement shows me strength, conviction, determination and a fire the burns deep inside you.

                                      Your "I just get a little" statement comes off to me as weak, indecisive and something you just wrote down; but don't have any strong belief in.

                                      In my opinion you are exactly were you should be as an entrepreneur. You don't really need us to motivate you. You simply had a split second of self doubt which you would have overcome on your own. Sure it's nice to receive encouragement from others - and I'm grateful the REAL members of this forum step up (ever notice it's the same REAL people).

                                      My advice is simple. I think you have done enough research. Time to dip your toe in the water. Start slow and small to get over the jitters. Technically you can just put out a flyer or business card and do a dessert or two for people, collect some money, and guess what? - your in business. You can take care of the formalities of business as you go along.

                                      I did not wake up one morning and suddenly become an Airborne Ranger for our country. I was a Private scrubbing toilets like every other soldier. I just felt something inside myself that others recognized, which slowly evolved into what I became.

                                      I had the honor of cross training with British SAS commandos. I loved their unit motto. "Who Dares - Wins".

                                      Chinahdoll, to not even try or not even recognize you do have that something inside of you will ensure failure. This is not you. Now is the time to dare to try.

                                      Good luck and remember the new triple bottom line. People - Planet - Profits

                                      Matt (aka Ranger6r)
                                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: I NEED A SPIRIT BOOSTER
                                        intechspecial Ranger
                                        chinahdoll - Opinions, advice, and criticism aside, if you have the will to succeed, you are already successful.

                                        Everyone has the advice and the expertiese to help you, including me.

                                        For you to be truly successful, the passion and will to succeed must come from within.


                                        WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO MORE THEN ANYTHING ELSE?

                                        Take your passion, and make it your business.

                                        "SUCCESS IS NOT A MEAURE OF ONES VICTORIES, BUT THE ABILITY TO SHAKE OF DEFEAT". - Author Unknown