I'm sitting here thinking about what I should write. What I REALLY want to write about is not REALLY what I should write about because it's too raw and truthful....but in essence, isn't that EXACTLY what I should write about?
I started this blog to tell YOU (the Bakery Wannabes) how it REALLY is runnin' your own place, so that MAYBE you'll kinda understand before you open your doors that it's NOT all sugar and sunshine owning a cupcake shop....SO here it goes:
I am at a place in my life where it really is MONEY vs. EVERYTHING. These are my PRIME, money-earning years. I chose to open my OWN business WITH my husband, so there goes any sort of corporate ladder protection...we're on our OWN. Right NOW is when I should be earning the MOST I can to protect a future of NOT working because I REALLY don't want to STILL be working 13 hour days, six days a week at a bakery when I'm 65. So shouldn't I make our business big enough to capture every dollar that is available NOW?
So here is the ultimate question AGAIN: GROW OR STAY?
"Business that aren't growing are dying." This is a quote I heard SOMEWHERE and it is SO STUCK in my head that it keeps me up at night....because right now I'm NOT technically growing. Sales are good...REALLY good....but up and down depending on the season....However, I'm still turning away sales that should be mine. It's either lack of space or lack of manpower that makes me send an order to another bakery in town because I can't physically handle it in the space that I have now. Which brings me back to: GROW OR STAY?
We have the potential to stay and grow in our current spot, but it LITERALLY means tripling our space (when really all I need is double). That sounds REALLY great. Have three times the space to spread out...maybe have some room to bake new things, maybe a walk-in cooler for cakes, LOTS of table space for decorating....there are LOTS of positives. There are also a LOT of negatives: 1) hiring at least 4-6 new people (this scares me the MOST), 2) training and making SURE they have regular hours, 3) our parking lot SUCKS (if you've been to Retro you KNOW it is the SMALLEST lot in the city of Las Vegas), 4) MONEY for a build-out (gotta get the space up to commercial kitchen standards) and purchasing equipment/supplies...AND 5) maintaining a new TRIPLE-LEVEL of business to let me now pay the triple RENT, utilities, and TAXES that triple the space brings me.
And what happens when people QUIT, call in sick, no call/no show...or worse yet, the PHONE stops ringing? It's ALL ON US.
Is it worth it? Because after ALL this the PROFIT isn't REALLY as great as it could be because of ALL the new expenses...so that MONEY I'm trying to SAVE for retirement??? It just goes to the new vendor/employee/tax bill.
I don't know. I really don't know if I'm telling myself all these things to psych myself out of it...or if I'm being realistic. Would moving be better??? I REALLY don't want to leave my neighborhood. I LOVE it here, and I LOVE my regular customers.
I'm asking for YOUR feedback. Some of you ARE customers of Retro. Some of you own your own businesses. What would YOU like???? What would YOU do?
*FULL DISCLOSURE: We have considered and decided AGAINST two locations or even a satellite store. It's just not for US....so, I need your help with this one....I've carried it alone for too long. Leave me a comment and let me know.
I'll take a rest here while YOU look at the Cakes O' the Week!
Married in Vegas Spade wedding cake:
Roulette Vegas cake:
and the BIG DADDY of the WEEK:
Lollipop Fun cake!
This week was so busy I BARELY got THESE pictures!! Now if I were a BIGGER bakery, do you think I'd have any MORE time to take pics of all our cool cakes??? I don't know...YOU tell me!