Business Advice? Anyone run a small business?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by vfem, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Well, I've been growing... and what started as a simple way to help in a bad economy, where things were too hard to go without any longer, has grow into something demanding expansion. I have businesses wanting to pick up and sell my products now, I have local businesses asking me to supply them... I have my online customers, as well as local. I am at the point I can't keep up with everything from such a small kitchen.

    So I have a few options, and I want to think through my options and write a business plan out now. (I am not jumping into this... not something I plan on expanded for a bit of time, I want to save some $$$ toward it, and borrow as little as possible)

    I have the option to just update and expand my kitchen with an add-on to our home. In a bad housing market though, we've only lived here 2 years, though we bought the house with equity in it, and made valuable updates already.... I don't know if sinking $15k-$25k more into it as being a good idea, or that a bank would even loan that so I could get better equipment and more space.

    Second option, build a moveable outdoor building, and run electrical and water to it as a seperate kitchen just for business. This way, its easy to dismantle and sell, or more if needed later on. Again, $15k-$25k for costs... will probably have to get a loan again in a bad market!

    Third, try to get a small business loan, or find a backer (in a bad market) who is willing to help me open a store front. Which the costs are much higher $65k + rent for location since I don't own a building or location. This being a positive because it can expand the market I already have... and give me a chance to buy local food from local farms I have networked with over time. I even found a location, a new shopping center that is opening across from a new hospital that is being built on a major highway only 20 minutes from here... and I like the town demographics for the area following growth charts from 2007-now. BUT I've heard most loans are now being attached to a person's home where LLC won't cover my family's butt anymore. Who wants to put their family in that kind of position?

    Ok... so with all that laid out... I want to hear the positives and negatives... marketing ideas... trade secrets (hehehe... won't be a secret anymore!)... ect.

    Like I said, its a business plan... this is all going on paper currently.

    OH, and I have a meeting at the Small Bsuiness Center Advisory next week. They want to sit down with me and give me more reviews and info... they will even subjectively go over my business plan, and what I have at the time... give me some direction and networking ideas. All this... while I try to run a very busy home business that is going to explode if I don't give it room to grow! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  2. BC_Farms

    BC_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Enfield & Chaplin CT
    I wonder if you could "rent" kitchen space at a restaurant or something when they aren't using it. Or at a banquet hall place during the week when they don't have much going on.
     
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Though that was another option, I had to throw it out for 2 reasons. I have to keep my daughter with me when I can... if not at all times until she's in school. I can NOT afford daycare, and I truly am against daycares. [​IMG] Second, I like to work at night or early in the morning in the summer heat. So sometimes I'm up until after midnight baking and canning. Most kitchens will not let you rent them unless they are not in use so midmorning-afternoon. They also usually won't let you use them after hours. I'm also 20 minutes outside of town... and there is no guarentee that town will have anything available for me... so I'd have to look even further.

    I was once offered the use of a kitchen in smithfield, that was 40 minutes away. Part of the the deal was I supplied their coffee house/ deli with baked goods at my own cost, plus a small rental fee. I had to be in and out of the kitchen between 5am and 7am. Mon-Thurs. I think it was overly demanding and not cost effective at all.

    But thank you for the suggestion.... perhaps if I wait until my daughter goes to school full time I may be able to revisit that plan! So it is appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  4. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    In Indiana I have to use a certified kitchen to make items for resale. I was told I could use a church or school kitchen. Maybe you could use one of those. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
     
  5. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    My first thought is that before you invest in expanding your home kitchen, make sure you are zoned to be a commercial kitchen and not a residence. Many times the state/county sorta-kinda looks the other way when you are a tiny enterprise working from home, but once you start expanding, they start hitting you with all the legalities--like a grease trap, zoning, health inspections, etc. So before you spend a dime anywhere (home or commercial establishment), make sure you understand the law and how it applies to your business.

    JMO

    Rusty
     
  6. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Quote:Ok, I get where you all are going. As for legatilies.... I have all this information... any further info such as Zoning I will get if we decide to expand and build. I have been informed already by other's locally that these are my options within our state. Its just an issue of which choice I make. I've kindly been helped out by a local coffee house my friend owns, and the lady I bought my wedding cake from does it from home and has givin' me a good amount of info on how she made her decisions.

    I was informed I need to take a business class through the local college now to be able to apply for any kind of grant now. So I'm assuming that may help in the loan process, so I'm going to sign up for the class now too!
     
  7. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Minnesota
    Running A bussiness is tough
    You could try to
    Finish a garage and uwe that
    Remodele your kithen for your buisness
     
  8. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    I know it can be tough, probability of failure is always high too! I'd be lucky to see a profit in the first 5 years. But I'm also not starting from scratch. I do have a small customer base already, and that's why the need to grow and not quit has hit me. [​IMG] I'm excited, and frustrated, and moved, and confused, and prepared, and not prepared! LOL

    There is so much information... I'm trying so heard to pick out what is important and what actually has to do with me.

    I'm thinking OVER KILL!

    Anyways.... that aside.

    My husband likes the idea of building a garage and letting me have a room off of it to work! LOL He jumped right on that one!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    I know a few people around me that have a kitchen in a mini barn. It works for them. We are working now to build a barn by my father-in-laws produce stand. It will have a kitchen in back and we are going to sell items in front. I am excited. It has been years in the making. I hope the building will be up in a month and we will have the kitchen done by next Spring. We are building this ourselves so it will take sometime, but be worth it.
     
  10. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    I'll echo the church kitchen suggestion.

    I can tell you that across the board, budgets are down, and that mean that giving at churches is down too. If you offered a small % of your profits back to the church as a thank you, it could turn into a win-win for both of you. As a bonus, churches often have a nursery room, plum full of toys that might keep the little one entertained for hours [​IMG]
     

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