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    2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 24, 2011 10:47 PM by CorpCons08

    Start Up & Expansion Advise

    KLee20032 Newbie

      My husband and I own a small, licensed residential kitchen. We've been selling our products online for roughly a year and a half we are just closing on our first official season of farmers markets and fairs. We specialize in hand made, dropped style, rustic cookies, as well as filled cookie sandwiches (which we wish to expand on). We also do a variety of chocolate bark and some bread, but these are mostly fillers at the markets & fairs. We are passionate about our cookies and they are always well received.

       

      Our dream is to have a little shop right downtown where the bread & butter is markets & fairs, weddings, events and online sales… and any walk-ins are welcomed bonuses (I envision ice-cream cookie sandwiches, coffee, and other little desserts). I want to be smart, have a bang-up business plan including a smart marketing plan. Our business plan is incomplete as far as projections and cost of equipment.

       

      We have two features coming up in the November issues of a local paper and a local magazine that we hope will boost business at least a little. But I still work full time; my husband was laid off and no longer collects unemployment but runs the business and takes care of the kids. We are just paying our own bills and have no more cash to invest into the business.

       

      How can we complete the projections portion of our business plan without access to a financial advisor? We cannot afford one!

       

      How can we get funding for expansion (at the very least, a few thousand for advertizing so we can get some momentum!) with a poor credit history?

       

      Two local businesses have asked to carry our cookies but we are unable due to our current licensing. If we had the means to expand, the business is waiting for us.

      Many friends & family have said what we really need is an angel investor. Thoughts?

       

      Thanks!

        • Re: Start Up & Expansion Advise
          telsmore Adventurer

          You definitely require some angel capital or at least a seed loan scenario from a private lending source.

          • Re: Start Up & Expansion Advise
            CorpCons08 Ranger

            KLee20032,

             

            First off, congratulations on your business venture. It sounds like something you and your husband have a lot of fun doing.

             

            Angel Investors are an option, but make sure that you really review their terms carefully. Traditional lending through means of commercial banks or credit unions sounds out, based on the limited time in business and the poor personal credit. An option may be to talk to the businesses looking to carry your cookie line and see if they would be willing to finance some of the expansion. Another option is to see if there are any grants available to you, being that this is a woman-owned business. The SBA has a great tool to search for available grants. The website is located at:

             

            http://www.sba.gov/content/search-business-loans-grants-and-financing

             

            Once you answer a series of questions, it will show you the resulting grants that are available. I believe a grant may be a great way to get moving without having to rely on the heavy interest of most angel investors.

             

            If you want to speak more about future expansion, I would be very interested in speaking to you further.

             

            Regards,

             

            Dan