Newbie wanting to open a business

by muffinhun7. Posted on Sep 13, 2020    8    26

Hi all!

I currently sell real estate and work another full time job but for a while now I’ve been wanting to open my own Mexican dessert shop.

I literally have no clue where to even start but the vision is so real in my head I want to go for it! I don’t even know how much cash I’ll need either so that’s another hold up in itself.

I’m currently flipping a home so a lot of my extra cash is tied up into that but once we have it on the market and sold I hope to use some of the profit for my vision. Any advice as to where to even start?


five-finger-discount 1

Find other Mexican dessert shops in other areas and see what their menu and location look like. Read reviews. See how you could copy that model but with your own twist. Test recipes. You're also going to have to make things in bulk which could change times like proofing, baking in a commercial oven instead of your house oven, etc. Where are you going to source your ingredients? How much does it cost to produce a (insert dessert here)? Have you included the price of time, electricity, overhead? How much will you have to charge per (insert product here) to make a profit? How many desserts will you have to sell each day to pay rent; employees; yourself?


You'll have to write your recipes out for employees to be able to make the same items. Also, most likely an employee handbook for training basic things like sanitation, food handling, safety, etc. Then you have things like FDA compliance.


That's where you start. You can have a vision. Everyone has a vision. But acting on it is what separates most. You know what you have to do to open a dessert shop. It's not rocket science. If dessert $ > bills = business. You came here for validation and encouragement, which is fine, but now if you're serious, you need to do the legwork that will get you to your goal.


Also, don't expect to be able to finance this with a loan. Unless you have a SOLID business plan with everything in place; from the recipes to where you're going to buy your lightbulbs from and how much they cost, no bank is going to give you the time to ask for a business loan. Have collateral to be able to finance this yourself. GL if and when you do decide to jump into the ring.

onedough 1

I like your spirit. Go for it. There will be a lot of learning along the way but I think you have the right attitude.

  muffinhun7 1

Thank you! Definitely going to give it a shot!

totetheline 1

So what town, city, state are you planning on opening this concept? Does it have seating or only a walk-up window to start? like a soup/bread kitchen in NYC....lots of thoughts run through my head, from money needed to the run the business and family home to college money for the kids to vacation play....

I started with one and built a chain back in the early 80's, sold out, did very well...lots of full 24 hour days...well worth it...Good luck, plan it out, business plan, Quick Books, free for 30 days suggest you do your financials and run factors of down to 50% of projections on sales....find you various profit centers, catering, food truck, desert cart in the park, special events, Good luck ATS-Denver

TheCricket22 1

There are also spaces in areas I've lived where you can rent space and it's a modern take on a mall but with more of a startup vibe and much smaller of a space. I believe there are also large food court type spaces for delicious and unusual fair. Another way to test the market is make your stuff and then send it fresh to all of the food critics in your area. Work with local restaurants.

I completely understand that you have a larger vision and you see it. All of this is great and very important however, with the current climate it's the perfect time to test things. And who knows where the journey might take you.

The corner will always be there.

Pardon any grammatical issues I AM tired.

bkdlays 1

If you really want to do this, get a book and start from scratch.

Step 1. You will need a business plan, this will validate if the business could even be successful IF everything falls into place.

  1. Test the concept. Before opening a storefront do samplings everywhere you can and gauge people's opinions of the product, pricing, taste etc. Go to public events, outside of busy places etc. People might love your idea, or hate it. Just because it sounds good to you doesn't mean anyone else will agree.

  2. Make up a schedule. You will probably be open 40+ hours a week plus other work that needs to be done. You will need to hire employees or quit your other job since this is a full time business in itself.

    If this all still sounds fun then good luck! But listen to others giving words of wisdom.
marky543 1

My business is in a totally different industry, so I can’t give any specific helpful advice unfortunately. But aren’t the restaurant/retail sectors getting hit the hardest by COVID-19 fears and regulations?

It seems like a really risky time to jump into an already high-risk industry. Maybe consider taking this next year to get everything figured out, and wait until a vaccine is out and widely taken before opening something?

Hypo_Mix 1

Step one, open a spreadsheet, list all costs you can think of, then work out how much you will have to sell to cover that.

Pipoquinh4 1

I understood from your post and comments that you have your vision, you just don't know how to start right? In this case my advice is very simple: make lists - tons of lists. So start from the big picture that you see and narrow it down to small steps. Ie. if you see your self selling 5 deserts - start breaking this into steps - what do you need to sell those? Ingredients, packaging, someone to buy it from you... Then from that you break into smaller steps - where are you going to buy the ingredients? Perhaps start small or do you need to buy wholesale? You need to sell - where are you going to sell? Instagram? open a store? food truck? Lets say you decide to start on Instagram - then your first step is to start your IG account - maybe make a batch of what you will sell and take photos.
Whatever step you can't take right now means you have to keep breaking it into a step that you can take right now, and by doing those VERY small steps (like taking the first photos, opening an instagram account or going out to see a store that you might be renting) you get momentum!
I hope it helps and good luck!

Introv3rt_world 1

I started a small accounting business and got one client. Took like a month.

I say go for it and learn as much as you can!!!! Layer the information from your errors to improve next time.

Make an instagram to promote it first.

TheCricket22 1

Food Truck is where I'd look first.

Evening_Flow_8396 1

I second this! Best way is to cash flow it yourself and start very small. Or you can look into starting under the cottage law.

  muffinhun7 1

I actually considered that but I literally already have the location picked out. I’m telling you the vision is so real in my head I know what I want and where I want it but don’t know how to even start.

bkdlays 2

You're doing this all wrong. Following your "vision" will make your business fail before it even opens. Perhaps you just need to find a desert place for yourself to visit not a whole new business that is completely unfounded.

GearsNimports 4

Don’t put the cart before the horse. I respect having a vision, but you should have a plan before you lock in a location. Need to consider how much will go into expenses before you break into profit each month. Then consider how many sales would be required to meet that cost.

HaroldKid 4

Piggybacking off this, having a solid business plan written down as well as a thorough budget/runway is very important, especially for a brick and mortar business.

Ellusive1 2

First write your business plan! You need to make sure that the time/effort will be in the positive.
Make some small batches at home and try/sample your product/menu so you can break down the cost.
What equipment will you need? How much is rent? Are you going to do retail or wholesale?
Talk to your local health authority about what steps you need to take to be in compliance.
All the things I’ve listed are something you can do for free and will lay a foundation for you to be successful, invest your time and don’t spend a bunch of money until your numbers make sense

garlicroastedpotato 2

You will have to take out a loan to cover your first three months of expenses (or longer depending on how long it is before you expect to be profitable).

To get a business loan you need to make a business plan.

A business plan is going to be your first year of expected revenues and expenses. You will need to figure out if there is a demand for you service through surveys in the region that you intend to set up shop.

You also need to figure out what you will need for space based on your demand. If you intend to bake the desserts yourself you'll need a large space in the back for baking. If you intend to have a coffee shop that serves tea/coffee you will need enough space for 4-5 tables. Is your market parties and corporate events? Well... then you probably don't need places to sit down and can just open up in an industrial area.

Cheaperthantherapy13 2

There’s a pair of sisters in DC who run a fairly successful home-based Brazilian sweets business BonBonBrasil; I think 80% of their customers come from Instagram. One of my aunts has a fairly serious side hustle making Peruvian alfajores; her business is entirely word of mouth but she’s very connected to the local expat community and they keep her very busy so she’s never needed to advertise outside her network.

Never underestimate the ‘saudade’ the diaspora has for the treats of their homeland; if they taste and look good, you just need to make sure the right people see your work and have an easy way to order them.

I suggest setting up a simple e-commerce website to take orders, and start photographing your treats and putting them on Instagram. Take the time to take GOOD pics of your food, make the viewer want to reach through the screen to eat it, and failing that, want to click through to your website and order a box at a 300% markup.

Find the best set of hashtags to attract the demographic you’re aiming for, and start taking orders. If that starts going well, it will attract the event coordinators and catering companies that might be in a position to place larger bulk orders if you choose to expand.

Best of luck!

nickler88 2

I would start asking friends if they know someone that started a food shop/dessert shop in your target area recently. Start talking to that person to understand the challenges in the first one/two years of opening your shop. A lot of people comment that you should make a list of ingredients and cost associated, and yes, you need that to really open your shop. Because you need to know your COGS to run your business at least one business cycle. But you are flipping houses so you must have an understanding of margins etc.

Opening social accounts for your soon to be dessert shop is free. Start making a great logo and some cool posts to create a bit of a buzz around your soon to be opened dessert shop.

After doing steps 1 and two go talk to a few wholesalers for your ingredients. Compare buy-in prices and see if you can make deals buying large quantities. Only then can you make a comprehensive list of all your costs and apply the margin you are looking for.

I prepared to launch a burger delivery pop up a restaurant a while back. Didn't launch it in the end because my other businesses got busier. But the first two steps really helped me prepare for a good launch.

PartopiaTrading 3

You never know until you start! Try with home catering and start up some social media advertising. Tell your friends and family and promote it on facebook and instagram and twitter.

treeD3d 3

Can you make Mexican deserts?

  muffinhun7 1

I actually can minus a few things I have yet to try. 😊

[deleted] 2


uxmalakumal 4

Go work for one first.

AJCEsq 6

Lawyer here. Buying a business is a great way to scale and build an existing, profitable business. But it’s also a great way to start one. Many businesses are suffering and facing permanent closure. Consolidating and aligning business interests creates business opportunities and prospects for growth. Cultivating a synergistic relationship between business owners results in greater scale and growth.

Many businesses have limited cash on hand and operating capital. Because of this limited cash flow, many of these businesses won’t make it through uncertain times like today. By acquiring these businesses, you gain the possibility to save these businesses, along with the people working there, while growing your own businesses foothold in the market.

I’ve put together a list of reasons why you should consider buying a business, rather than starting one from scratch. Here you go:

  1. Considerably less risk involved. Most start-ups fail in the first 5 years. Buying a business comes with an established foundation.

  2. Several financing options are available to purchasers. There are multiple ways to structure a purchase deal. It doesn’t have to be through cash or a loan.

  3. Brand recognition. The business comes with an established brand associated with it. No need to start from the ground up.

  4. Instant customers. A business is nothing without the people it serves. A pool of current and past customers is an invaluable asset.

  5. Instant sales. Remember those customers, above? They stayed around for a reason – for you to sell to them.

  6. Instant profits. Many businesses are profitable. The degree of profitability depends on many factors. Taking your processes and systems and integrating them into the foundation of an established business leads to growth and gain.

  7. Instant contacts. Marketing efforts become exponentially reduced when you have a base of clientele and resources to build from.

  8. Instant systems. Systems work. Not having to start a system from scratch or being able to build from current systems saves you time and money, allowing you to scale and grow faster.

  9. Instant employees. Your growth includes being able to utilize the knowledge and knowhow of people who have contributed to the success of a business. Not having to train new people in the systems and processes of the business, as well building on employee relationships with customers, helps your business flourish.

    This might sound rather overwhelming, but it’s not. You might be thinking “where am i going to find money to buy a business?” The truth is that there are hundreds of ways to buy a business without having to purchase it with “just cash”. For example, if the owner is willing to carry back the financing, that’s a great opportunity for your. A bank, or the SBA (Small Business Administration), might consider loaning you money if it has the assets (equipment, A/R, etc.) to secure a loan so you don’t have to put up your own collateral, is also an option.

    Look for creative ways to get this deal done. I suspect there are ample opportunities available to you out there. Just have to hustle a little bit harder to find them. I put an article together a while ago about the logistics of putting a project like this together. Happy to share it if people are interested.

    Good luck!