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    7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2010 6:22 AM by alvinm

    WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

    glorious Newbie
      A FEW YEARS AGO, BECAUSE I HAD NO JOB, TO ASSIST ME IN FINDING SOMETHING TO DO,SOMEONE DONATED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO ME; 1 BAG OF 50 LB FLOUR, 1 BAG OF 25LB OF SUGAR AND 5LB MARARINE, I STARTED MAKING ONE TYPE OF HOME-MADE PASTRIES FOR FEW FRIENDS AND MY CHURCH MEMBERS. AFTERWARDS, PEOPLE WHO LOVED THE PRODUCT, STARTED TELLING OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THESE PASTRIES AND SO ON...LATER ON, I ADDED SOME OTHER VARIETY. AT THE MOMENT, I HAVE ABOUT 6 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS THAT I MAKE OFTEN NOW. BY DEMAND I NOW SUPPLY ABOUT A DOZEN STORES WITH THIS PRODUCTS AND MANY MORE PEOPLE ARE DESIRING THESE PASTRIES.THE INCOME IS FAIR AS IT HAS BEEN ABLE TO SUSTAIN MY FAMILY OF 4.
      THE PROBLEM HOWEVER, IS THAT THINGS HAVE BECOME SO OVERWHELMING FOR ME BECAUSE I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY A REAL EMPLOYEE, ( I GET A FEW FRIENDS TO WORK WITH ME EVERY NOW AND THEN) SO I HAVE TO ALMOST DO EVERTHING FORM PURCHASING TO PRODUCTION TO DISTRIBUTION. THE PRODUCTION PROCESS IS VERY SLOW FOR ME BECAUSE I DO EVERYTHING THE CRUDE WAY (WITHOUT MACHINERY). THE ORDERS KEEP COMING IN EVEN THOUGH I HAVE REFUSED TO DO A FORMAL ADVERTISEMENT AS I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MEET UP WITH ALL THE PRODUCTION ESPECIALLY IF MY HELPERS DON'T SHOW UP.
      IAM REALLY WORKING HARD TO BUILD WEALTH. I WORK DAY AND NIGHT BUT IT HASN'T BEEN EASY AND I'M AFRAID I MIGHT BREAK DOWN SOON IF SOMETHING DOES NOT HAPPEN.
      I HAVE A FAIR IDEA OF WHAT I NEED TO IMPROVE THINGS- GET A SHOP AND HIRE PEOPLE TO WORK (RUN AS A FOOD CHAIN), AND PROBABLY GET A MACHINE TO INCREASE PRODUCTION. I DREAM OF DOING THIS SOME DAY IF IONLY I CAN SURVIVE THIS SEASON. BUT THESE ARE VERY EXPENSIVE AND GETTING A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN AT THIS TIME IS AN UPHILL TASK. I HAVE TRIED TO STOP A FEW TIMES BUT SOME OF MY CUSTOMERS WHO ARE ADDICTED TO MY PRODUCT HAVE ENCOURAGED ME TO MOVE ON. I AM GETTING TO A POINT WHERE I MIGHT SNAP IF A MIRACLE DOESN'T HAPPEN SOON. I REALLY NEED ADVICE OR SUGGESTION FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT CAN BE DONE.....
      THANKS
      -----------GA
        • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
          Stan_The_Man Newbie
          You have only one challenge.
          You are working IN your business instead of ON your business.
          Until you change your mindset, no investor will come forward
          to assist you for you are a high risk for him.

          Buy or borrow the book by Michael Gerber' called "E-myth"
          to learn the difference from wearing all the hats in your shop
          or truly running a business.

          Your problem is NOT cash, it's the knowledge.
            • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
              Navigator
              Stan,

              Couldn't have been better put! I was going to recommend the E-Myth, too! I'd also recommend that most users not type in all caps unless they are intentionally YELLING, since that's what all caps typically means. But to Stan's point-- yes, need to run the business as opposed to being an employee only.

              Dennis
                • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
                  aduttonater Wayfarer
                  I would say that you just need to work very hard for a few months. Maybe having more product then you have customers and always some to spare. Meaning you might have to stop selling for a good week or two so that you can get some extra orders made up.

                  I would also suggest offering an overall sales percentage to anybody who helps you with business. Maybe of 30% overall sales, and a small base pay of $100 per week, or what ever you can afford.

                  Hire only a few people, and be sure they are knowledgeable in this food industry. Your family and relatives that might want to see you succeed, and can volunteer for free to offer their assistance. This might be less wages you have to pay out also.

                  A machine would be helpful, but only if you are truly overwhelmed with orders from customers.

                  Maybe one of these days you can sit down and write up a 5 year business plan proposal that will display what your goals are, and a very detailed timeline as to when you'll accomplish these goals. Present it to a bank and try to get small business loan. Even if you only have 20% of the money, with a great plan, you will get the rest of the funds with no problem.

                  I am a very involved person in the home and public business community. I try to help as many business owners that I can. I am a marketing specialist and am skilled with Internet advertisement. I have written a personal eBook that I'm giving out for free. If you email me at executiveleads@gmail.com with the subject line "Free Wealth Guide" Then I will be more than happy to provide you with a copy.

                  Good luck, and I hope this really helped.
                • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
                  alramirez13 Newbie
                  Thats what I told myself one day till I decided to start my own business an opportunity that allows me to make an extreme income and freedom and I would like to share it with you and the greatest thing is that no experience is required.
                    • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
                      alvinm Wayfarer
                      Its all in your head. Be relax and take things step by step. Only focus on what you can do right now. Only accept the amount of orders that you can complete. Try to set up things in your own kitchen in an organized manner so that you don't need to think about the shop at the moment. Do financial calculation. Check out cost and benefit analysis. If even by getting so many orders, you are not getting your desired results then it means you are not earning any profit. Increae your price a bit to have some savings.
                  • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
                    demejoe Wayfarer
                    Well I think you have quite a few options in front of you. You have a lot going on through your head right now and you are overwhelmed. Having a home business is a good thing but then one has to start thinking about what happens when the business expands and you dont have the manpower to back it up. I honestly believe that you have some options to keep your business up and running. Without a lot of details about your current baking area, its hard to pinpoint what your best move will be.

                    I am a small business consultant and home businesses are at the top my list in regards to target markets. Contact me at dkeeltyson@comcast.net and hopefully I can help you sort this out.
                    • Re: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
                      UncleLeon Scout
                      Your origional post is 8 months old, and I doubt if you still follow it. But for the sake of others following it, I have an observation to make.

                      You are currently at a crossroads where many people fail. That is, you have been succesful at being a baker. But now, in order to expand, you must al;so learn to be successful at BEING IN THE BUSINESS OF being a baker. The two skills aren't the same.

                      The addition of a commercial location and the addition of adding an employee will put new financial burdens on your business that you have not experienced.

                      The location question requires a decision of whether you want to sell your product strictly wholesale (in which case a cheaper industrail location will suffice); or whether you wish to sell retail, also (in which case a commercial "store front" location will be required.) If the latter, it would be desireable to be next to a location where there is considerable foot traffic into a neighboring store.

                      The employee question is easier. Just add part time employees as needed. I suggest avoiding full time employees, even if you must hire multiple part time employees working 35 hrs/week, each. Full time employees are (normally) entitled to "benefits".

                      Contact your local SCORE office for free counseling. Find your local SCORE office at the national web site; SCORE.org.