Starting a business

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steve, 24 Oct 2012.

  1. Steve

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    I am fed up with the daily grind at the moment. Working in different shops is all well and good, but its just a different shop, same old 5h1t. Even on my holiday weeks I am not left in peace. So I'm looking to do something else. It sounds like becoming an electrician is a no-go at my age with commitments, so instead my attention has turned to my girlfriend's 2nd love, cupcakes.

    Clearly cupcakes are in high demand and are very fashionable. The margin can be very profitable - £2 to sell, 40p to produce.

    My thought was to set up a business selling cupcakes and cookies and cakes. She has a friend at work who also likes baking, and would like to participate in such a venture (though not financially contributing).

    The business would be a small store probably in an area near Mexborough, South yorkshire. There are several empty units, but the area has high footfall due to the Co-operative food store opposite ;) and plenty of people with giros burning holes in their shellsuits.

    I also mentioned to my girlfriend that a natural progression from cupcakes would be to open a coffee shop, but I appreciate this is a totally different proposition, and operating one of those barrista machines is a fine art - and they are available on ebay for £1-2k. It'd be nice to be able to sell people a coffee and a cupcake for, say, £3.50. I'm a good salesman, and would heavily leaflet-drop a mile radius of the shop. There is nothing like a cake or coffee shop in the local area I am looking at.



    Has anyone had any experience of this type of thing? In particular, the raising of money, starting/registering a Ltd business (I dont want any repo people at my house if it goes t1t5 up), acquiring commercial property (probably rented), change of use application if necessary.

    My feeling is that once we have opened and made good with the first shop, we would go on to open further outlets, possibly in town centres with better footfall.


    Does this all sound ridiculous? :LOL: The scariest thing (or the most satisfying depending which way you look at it) would be jacking in my job to start all this.
     
  2. peterperfection

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    Do NOT consider jacking your job in until you have got things up and running and then some more time .

    You are gonna have to burn the midnight oil Steve. Lots of hours and lots of effort .

    Think about it- if you are not 100% dedicated dont do it.
    best of luck whatever direction you take .
     
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  3. Steve

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    Thanks for the advice Pete. I know its hard work - I'm used to this with my current employer :rolleyes:

    Worked out I'd need to sell about 300 cupcakes a day to break even (some fag packet calcs)
     
  4. misterdubya

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    Steve,

    Stay with the co-op, unless you can accurately explain why 'cupcakes cost 40p to produce'.

    They will cost A LOT lower than that. Oh and ignore PP, he is actively driving up and down the m60 looking for fights (well maybe cottaging)... I find that a bit odd.
     
  5. Harbourwoodwork

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    THe coffie and cake is the best idea be careful to be in the right area have a look at what sort of people use costa and so on,obviously more rent for better areas
     
  6. Steve

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    OK, you're probably right, I was going down the worst case scenario in terms of minimum margins. Theres a couple of similar companies locally that have a large presence on facebook but no premises, and I might start up a facebook page to that effect before we get a premises etc, to gauge demand. Facebook is free, premises cost money.
     
  7. securespark

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    There used to be a caff in Mexborough near the mini roundabout. Did a great fry-up in a tray...

    Has it gone?
     
  8. securespark

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    Round, surely?
     
  9. securespark

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    Don't jack it in yet.

    Take some classes in running a small business and book keeping. I found some in the SK area that were FOC. Get a business plan together and talk to the bank. They will soon tell you if it won't work.

    Start this thing small, sell cakes to family & friends. Ask them to be brutally honest about the product and its price.

    Lean on family and friends for help running the venture. There are no wages in the first year!

    WOM is the best way to increase sales. IME, flyers have given me a better hit rate than the expected return.

    Don't give up the job until you are certain the new venture will support you.
     
  10. PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Do you deliver? I'll take some free samples from you, purely for market research mind, not for my hunger for cupcakes!
     
  11. calorific

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    Get yourself a wet cleaning vax type machine. Fella came round yesterday to do our two settees. He's got a regular round for some family and friends amongst several others and does an average of 4 customers a day at £50 - £70 per customer. Mostly cash based, and he does very well for himself. He's done a few things in his life but has been doing this current jaunt for 23 years - nice car, couple of holidays a year, 5 kids etc.
     
  12. Steve

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    £20 charge outside of England. :p
     
  13. Whitespirit66

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    Not sure that the shell suited giro brigade will be your target audience for cup cakes at 2 quid a throw.

    Just do your sums very thoroughly. The profit margin on coffee and cake sounds great, but you have to sell lots of them just to cover your overheads. Also, trouble with branching out into town centres - the big boys (Costalot, Starschmucks) are either already there, or soon will be. British consumer mentality means many would rather go to large brand-name mega corporations than an indi.

    For some reason, in my part of Bristol, there's a coffee shop opening up every few months. Perhaps they are the new pub replacememts. Who knows?
     
  14. Steve

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    You're right, they are. And they are always full of people. I think caffeine is the new alcohol. Paninis are the new hot pot. Its a thriving market. There's a new Costa opening in the Frenchgate centre, Doncaster next week! Theres already at least 5 coffee chops in Frenchgate as it is!
     
  15. Whitespirit66

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    Think I'll stick with my local and a pint of best. Coffee shops seem to attract metrosexual blokes with manbags and hordes of mummies with 4X4 pushchairs and their screaming occupants.

    Round here they do anyway. ;) :LOL:
     

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