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    5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2009 12:08 PM by TheSoloGuide

    Opening a cake studio

    shannonstar Newbie
      Hey guys! I am new to these forums and came looking for some advice. I am a crazy talanted cake artist lookig to open my very own studio. I am lucky enough to live in a super fast growing town in desperate need of a cake studio like mine. There is only one main cake bakery in this town of 150,000 people! And the don't even offer cakes like mine.

      So I was hoping someone out there might be able to answer some questions about financing. I am wondering:

      What are my best options when I want to make money for me?
      How is rent covered until the business is on it's feet?
      Where do I need to be with personal finances?
      Where do I start?
      Who do I talk to first?

      Thanks guys!
      You can check out my cake blog here:
      http://forcakesake.wordpress.com/
        • Re: Opening a cake studio
          eBusiness09 Wayfarer
          First you have to bring on people who complement your skills and fill in the gaps
          Than, do some searching around and on google to find out what your competition is doing.
          You will also need to have a solid business plan. The top-rated Business Plan Pro ($100 for standard; $200 for premier) from Palo Alto Software will walk you through the entire planning process.You will also need to effectively launch a marketing campaign. A Great place to start is with a website. Reach potential customers in ways you can't offline, Online. You can visit www.CreateYoureBusiness.com for a free quote.
          • Re: Opening a cake studio
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Opening a cake studio

            Where do you start. Two suggestions. One Contact SCORE. SCORE is FREE.

            Two Develop a business plan and yes SCORE can help.

            Good luck. Who are you??
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            • Re: Opening a cake studio
              shannonstar Newbie
              Thanks guys for your input, I greatly appreciated it! I have a website already and a blog that has seen over 10,000 hits already. I have a following but need a store front in order to produce my product more effectively and offer the desserts and materials I want to sell so people can shop. I also need to be more available for my consumers. I have reserached my competition and already have all the data I need. Demand is way more then supply in my area and what is availabe is not liked much. EVERY one I talk to says we need this store here. The whole "cupcake boom" looked us over and it is time for a cake shop like mine. I want to be the one to take advatage of this need by opening up my store.

               

              I have a degree in Financial Management and I am a self taught cake artist. I will seek out SCORE who I am quite familiar with.

              I welcome any more advice you can offer!
                • Re: Opening a cake studio
                  AndrewRSA Wayfarer
                  For any company with a brick-and-mortar presence, rent is the major expense. Fortunately, this is a great time to be on the tenant side of any new lease. I see so many restaurant clients here in New York and other parts of the country expanding, provided they can get the capital, because they can do so on such great terms. It's good for landlords (who would rather avoid vacancy) and obviously good for my clients too.

                  If you'd like to talk, let me know. I'd be careful of the "template" approach to business planning, by the way. That's one area where you really get what you pay for.

                  Andrew Levinson
                  Managing Director
                  Riverside Strategic Advisors LLC
                • Re: Opening a cake studio
                  Tracker

                  Shannonstar:

                   


                  Congratulations on your new business opportunity. I checked out some of you blog. Some great looking pictures. Well done!

                   


                  I owned and operated a fine dining restaurant so I have some familiarity to the hurdles and opportunities that lie ahead for you.

                   


                  Unless the health codes are different in Texas than they are in NY, CA and AZ where I have been in the business, you must operate out of a commercial kitchen approved by the health department. You have a couple of options - either getting your own space or sub-letting a space.

                   


                  AndrewRSA is correct in saying that now is a good time to be a tenet negotiating lease options - especially in the restaurant industry. I don't know about your area of McKinney, Texas, but if it is similar to my area, there are a number of landlords willing to negotiate deals to get a tenet in their space. It is harder for landlords to lease restaurants than an office space because unless the landlord or tenet spends a tremendous amount of money to convert the space, a restaurant can only be used as a restaurant while a shop space can be utilized by a wide variety of businesses.

                   


                  As I mentioned above, the other option that you have if you want to take an intermediate step to keep some costs down is to share a space. You can find restaurants, coffee houses or kitchens in hotels that may be willing to lease out space for you. As an example, we were only open for dinner, so we had free up until 1 PM that we discussed with other food service start-ups about leasing out hours in the morning. Some may have enough free space that they can lease to you while you are open.

                   


                  With the number of restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops that are struggling, you have an opportunity for finding a good deal for a low lease, lower costs for equipment purchases, lower utility rates and possibly reduced costs for marketing by combining your efforts.

                   


                  If you need help creating a business plan, I have a free page on my site. Here's the link:

                   


                  http://thesologuide.com/planning/

                   


                  Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.

                   


                  All the Best,

                   


                  Doug Dolan

                   

                  The Solopreneur's Guide

                   

                  http://thesologuide.com/