You may be wondering, just how did I get started? I have to admit, although I loved the thought of baking for people and getting paid for it, the actual process of running a business was beyond my expertise.
Initially, although I had secretly dreamed about taking my skills at baking and starting a business, I had not seriously given it a lot of thought until a friend that I worked with part time in a catering company asked if I had ever considered starting a business featuring my baked goods.
For years people had asked that question, and I just did not think a lot about it. This person was different. She brought up the subject every chance she had. Finally she asked if I would consider going into business with her.
She knew of a class for would be entrepreneurs offered by the Kauffman foundation called Fast Tracs. It started here in Kansas City, but I believe it is now offered across the country. It was an intense course that tried to depict accurate possibilities you might run into when starting a business.
We all created a business plan that was ready to take to the bank. At the time, I thought that was great. Their premise for starting a business was that most businesses small and large are run using OPM (other peoples money).Unfortunately, I bought into that way of thinking, now more than ten years and over $100,000 of debt later, I have a vastly different opinion. You guessed it, never in a million years would I make that mistake again, nor would I recommend that anyone else go that route either.
The would be partner changed her mind, (thank goodness), and I decided to give it a go anyway. Later I will tell you about all the advice I have gotten from people I trust, about the many dangers of partnerships.
You may be wondering how we got into so much debt. Well, after a couple of years the business was growing nicely, and I took some more classes. It was at that time that I was encouraged to let the business grow.
We moved from the commercial kitchen we had added to our home to a small coffee shop with a large commercial kitchen. The build out and lease for put us into about $100,000 of debt. We had more problems than you can imagine, and the whole experience was a disaster, financially as well as business wise.
We moved back to our own little commercial kitchen as soon as the lease was up, and then spent the next few years paying off the debt.
That about covers the first chapter. The recommended to do for you is to go get Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover”. It may be the best advice you ever get. Most of us remorsefully say “gee, wish I had known that twenty years ago.
My point is, it will give you a great perspective on how to handle your money, both in your personal finances, and in how you run your business. Believe me, it can save you a lot of stress and grief.