I believe I can FLYYYYYYY
An aimless yet still bakey sort of day. Also: happy bacon.

In which an English major attempts financial projections (and panics)

We worked a little more on the bakery today. This is how it went. 

MAGGIE: We need to put all these chicken scratchy legal notepad loose paper thingies of yours into a spreadsheet. Do you know what a spreadsheet is? You do it on the COMPUTER. 

KATIE: I can't THINK on a computer. 

MAGGIE: What are you, 89 years old?

KATIE: I need to SEE it. I need a WHITEBOARD. I need to WRITE IT OUT. 

MAGGIE: I need you to join the 21st century. 

And then we 1) made cookie dough and watched TV because the whole thing was stressing us out and 2) took a tiny nap because SERIOUSLY, have you tried to figure out how much it costs to open a bakery? Yeesh. 

Later, after we picked up the big kids at school and everyone was tracking graham cracker crumbs around the house and otherwise occupied, Katie sat down with her dollar store posterboard and I sat down with my Excel spreadsheets and we got stuff done. Like, for real. Six months ago we went to the Cash and Carry and wrote down what all the ingredients cost. Katie came up with how much we would need per week and I sat down to calculate it all out. Answer: we hope the bank loves our idea! 

The business plan thing is totally nervewracking to me because it's NOT ACCURATE. It's impossible to MAKE it accurate. You basically just have to do your best with estimating costs and revenue and hope it all works out. This makes me... nervous. I think I've said this before - the only reason I can think of for a future failure in this endeavor is because the business lady (ME) did some really stupid planning. I mean, I'm sure there are lots of other reasons, but this one seems the most LIKELY. 

Today we talked about cutting down on menu items (because dude, my sister only has two hands) and other ways to generate income, ie: hosting birthday parties. We weren't particularly excited about doing stuff like that, but there's a reason people do it. You can charge a lot more for a birthday party than you can for one cardamom scone. So. 

I'm also learning how to look up retail space for lease and I'm particularly interested in a spot right between Katie and me, in a (we think) promising area. I spent gobs of time on the Small Business Administration website and finally found the women's business center page and all the resources they offer. FREE resources. If I can swing a babysitter I'll be taking a How To Launch Your Business class towards the end of the month, and if I take a certain orientation class I can sign up for free mentoring and counseling. How cool is that?!

Katie is most worried about coming up with the capital. I am most worried about paying the capital BACK. I honestly feel like scraping the money together to make this thing happen is TOTALLY UTTERLY COMPLETELY POSSIBLE. It's the running a smart business that can pay its debts part that makes me anxious. I can sit here and dream about what it will look like and how I'll pimp it online and how the word will spread and what kind of atmosphere we'll have and how exciting it will be to add this sort of value to my city, but if our financial projections are naive and ridonkulous, it's all for naught. I talked about it with my business savvy FIL before I left for the Blathering and while he is nothing but supportive, I came out of that conversation seriously doubting my business acumen and wondering what made me think I had any entrepreneurial talent at all. 

And then this morning I wake up PUMPED, confident in my ability to figure things out, confident in my ability to find the people to fill in the holes, super confident in the vision itself. And why not drive an hour away to buy a $325 dry bakery case off craigslist with the perfect Look for our space? WE WILL NEED IT!

I also feel like I should tell you that this space might be Bakery 24/7. In Charleston I talked about losing some blogging mojo... sometimes it feels like a phase, or something I no longer need? Except I LIKE having a blog and there's no better way for me to process whatever's in my head. Sometimes people get all miffed about bloggers diving into one topic or turning into a [fill in the blank] blog, myself included! But that might be what happens here. There's your heads up. 

Oh wait, here's some content: Jack slammed the garage door this morning when we were leaving for school and a mirror fell off the wall and a candle holder fell off a cabinet and everything shattered into a million frillion pieces on the tile entry way floor and OMG we're about to start a new blog category called MILITARY SCHOOL.







I am so very, very excited about this all for you. And I'm sure someone has offered these services, but here is stuff that I could help with:

1. Forecasting- both because I used to work in business loans and because I forecast practically all day long at work (hyperbole, but not by much).
2. Ideas for further business-y resources. Man friend works with really, really big companies but meets several different types of organizations that help small businesses too. I'm sure they exist in Seattle. If you need more places for help, let me know.
3. Looking over things, providing feedback, etc. (Business major! MBA!) Have you thought of starting to generate interest locally and trying to crowdsource SOME funds? Like Kickstarter-y, Go Fund Me type things? And/or beginning the baking part before the bakery part and getting that stuff out there? People/institutions with money love when there is already something in place (expansion vs. creation).

OH MY GOSH. EMAIL ME. (if I can help)



Maggie, I can see exactly where this is going. One year from now you're going to have this adorable, successful bakery and everyone who goes to The Blathering: Seattle will get to SEE it and maybe even have a PARTY in it, while I sit at home and cry on the couch because I'm not there and why don't *I* get to visit Maggie's bakery. Wah.


Love, love, love hearing all about these plans. I think birthday parties are the way to go to help fund the day to day. Have taken my kids to some at bakeries. Either cupcake decorating or cookie baking. One lady even read the cutest poem each time before the cookies went in the oven. Kids and moms went crazy for it. Also, think about groupon, living social or certifikid as future places to advertise and get word out.


I LOVE hearing this bakery stuff. You get to blog about whatever you want, and I personally love reading about The Next Adventure, whatever that means for you.


I love reading your blog! I hope it isn't a passing phase. If it becomes the bakery blog, I will still look forward to reading.


I have total faith in you. In fact, my sister and I have always daydreamed about opening our own bakery and coffee shop, so when you're ready to franchise here in the Bay Area let me know. ;)

Jen (SaitoAbroad)

Have you guys thought about starting a bit smaller, like catering for small parties or company events, maybe a pop up shop or a cart, selling the baked items to other bakeries to test the waters, etc... Just some opportunities to build demand?

It's exciting!! Don't panic, you have time to plan and save!

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