When we asked on our facebook page awhile back if people wanted to see more about how to start a business? How to start a bakery or food related business? The response was YES!
We listened. And now we are answering those questions.
We will try to make these series of business related posts as short and to the point as we can. As there are many sides of running a business especially a food business. We will also share our own experience with owning a bakery. What we have learned and what we are experiencing.
But first, you need to know the basics.
We thought about these questions before we started our bakery. We started as personal chefs because it was a low start-up cost business with not much inventory to keep track of (since the clients paid for the food). Then fell in love with the idea of baking! We changed our business model from a personal chef business to a small local bakery business. We sold for about 2-3 years at local farmers markets before we changed our business model again.
We have learned so much over the years. We have changed our business focus and products a lot! Which is probably not the best thing to do. But we can not help it, we come across one thing and do it then we find something else that we feel is better, so we change it again. Presently, we are making just a few more changes to our bakery. Ever since getting into wholesale and having our products in stores nationwide really has been an eye opening experience. We still do enjoy it but it is a lot MORE work for A LOT less profit. The whole idea of wholesale is volume to make up for the drastic profit cut. We are learning that more and more every day! We do our best to make products that are different than what you already see on the market, products made with new ingredients that we feel are the best for our customers health, and making products that YOU our customers demand each day to us.
Here are our questions to ask yourself before you start a business?
- make sure you pick a business to start that you TRULY love to do day in and day out, and with very little pay (because all the money goes back into the business, and starting up you tend to have a lot of expenses)
- make sure you have support from family and friends, not only financially, but emotionally as well. as owning your own business you will go through a lot of different emotions almost on a daily basis.
- make sure your loved ones are ok with not seeing you that much. running your own business takes a lot of time.
- make sure you pick a name for your business that you can see long term. we have gone back and forth if we wanted to change our bakery’s name from Twin Cakes to something else, but decided to leave it as we like the name. it is cute and simple to remember and that is key!
- make sure you have a good computer and remember to make back-ups of everything. and then make a back-up of your back-up. loosing data that you spent hours on is never a fun thing.—> something we are experiencing right now!
- be ready for many unexpected expenses, because they will happen!
- make sure you are ok with very little pay, especially if you do something in the food business. we have not really paid ourselves in years. everything goes back into the business to help it grow.
Once you have answered these questions and feel you are ready then you can proceed to actually getting the business up and running. Now you really need to think hard about these questions.
Running your own business is not always so glamorous. It is a lot of hard work, dedication, time, and MONEY!
Now we are not saying that there are not very profitable food related businesses out there because there are! And those companies are who we look up to for daily inspiration to keep going. To keep working hard as our BIG break will happen soon.
But to be honest, we are unsure what to think anymore about our future. We are nervous and excited at the same time. We have so many difficult business decisions that have to be made here very soon as our future of our bakery is about to change. You will get to a point in your business that you have to make some really hard decisions. But to be successful in business you need to be profitable. The one good thing about running your own business is that YOU get to make the decisions, but that is also the scary part. As we are always nervous about are we making the BEST decisions for our business and for us personally.
So our final thoughts are:
- be 110% sure you are ready to start a business
- be ready for anything as each day is always different
- know it is alright to change as long as you are still heading towards your ultimate goal of the business, you have to learn what is best for the business as a whole
- remember to reach out to others for help or inspiration
- nothing is as easy as it seems. be ready to make difficult decisions along the way.
to be continued…
we will try to cover more of our story, what wholesale is all about, and issues we faced with our business.
what else would you like us to cover?