Do you have a knack for baking or enjoy watching people eat your sweet treats? Then you might have what it takes to get into the competitive cupcake-selling business.
- Step 1: Make a list of local coffee shops and cafes that sell baked goods. Speak to their managers or owners to set up appointments and market your cupcakes to them.
- Step 2: Determine how much you want for your product. Researching competitors' prices will give you an idea as to what you should ask in return for your goods and services.
- TIP: Bring samples, business cards, and menus to each appointment for the managers and employees to try.
- Step 3: Keep in contact with the managers, thank them for their time, and welcome any questions.
- FACT: In 2009, a market research firm projected that nationwide cupcake sales would rise 20 percent by 2014.
- Step 4: Market yourself constantly, wherever you go. Be prepared to pass out marketing materials at any time and be willing to work long hours. Get the word out and you will be in sweet cupcake heaven.
- TIP: Check your state's health department to learn about requirements and restrictions for working with food products from home.
- Step 5: Determine whether you plan to run your business from home or from a commercial space. Starting from home may bring in extra cash to get the business off the ground, but it is limiting because of space, and possibly legal, constraints.
- TIP: Have your friends write comments about each cupcake they try. Then review the feedback and evaluate your flavors accordingly.
- Step 6: Host a tasting party with a group of friends to test out your recipes. Make a note of the most popular cupcakes.
- Step 7: Decide what to call your new business. Then register it with the county clerk's office and pay for a sales tax and user ID. County clerk contact information can be found online.
- TIP: If you plan to have employees -- regular or part-time -- you will need a federal employer identification number, or EIN, from the IRS. The forms can be found at irs.gov/business/small.
- TIP: Building a website can increase business and can save on menu costs.
- Step 8: Create a logo, a menu, flyers, business cards, and labels for boxes on your computer. You can print any of these yourself or order them from a printing company.
- Step 9: Equip yourself with muffin tins, a stand mixer, and cake boxes. You'll need these supplies to make and package your product.