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When opening your own small business, what should I know?

My sister and I plan to open our own Cafe/catering business in a few years. Between the two of us we know how to cook, and I plan to take food safety classes. But Im not sure what I need to know on the business end. Should I get a business managment degree? Im just not to sure about what sort of degree I will need to help me open this cafe succesfully. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. If you know more classes I should take in the food area, I would appreciate any advice there too. Thanx


Asked by cassie_kellison at 4:50 AM on May. 29, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 34 (64,873 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Keeping your books correctly and completely will seem like the larger part of the new business but it will be more work to re-create the books at tax time. You can get a free cd from the IRS for small businesses in order to help you so that if you are audited you would be covered.

    Keep a small notebook of all your miles related to purchasing, etc for the business. Keep ALL receipts as well in a box or file folder. Keep a record of all purchases, rental fees, your costs for licenses and whatever your county/city require, bookkeeping supplies, etc. Your tax preparer will thank you and you will be more confident at tax time.

    As a financial councelor, I suggest you do NOT borrow capital. If you don't have the money saved to use for the first months/year, then how would you repay these funds if you go under? Going into debt with a new business is not wise. Have the money up front or wait and save. You will begin your.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 8:17 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • You don't need a business management degree; check with your local community college; they probably have (free or inexpensive) classes for people starting new businesses.
    If you have not yet written your business plan, I suggest that you contact SCORE (association of retired business people). The Small Business Association ( can help you identify low cost funding sources, if you don't have enough capital to start your business. SCORE and the SBA can also help you navigate the legal side of starting a business, though I very strongly urge you two to sit with a lawyer and have a written agreement before you go farther; I know that you are sisters, but you are also about to become business partners; business is business and family is family.
    Restaurant management classes would also be helpful.
    I have worked with many startups over the years; feel free to ask me addtional questions.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:23 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • One other thought. You may want to start by renting a commercial kitchen and doing catering for a while. The start up costs will be MUCH lower, and it will be a great test of how well you work together.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:24 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • with wise financial principles and be ahead of the game. It seems petty but the thought process here will be the foundation and be one of the determining factors as to your success.

    I have a friend who has stabbed at this same bus. for several years. She is never able to get ahead but mainly b/c her money spending habits are so poor that she can't even keep working help b/c she won't pay what she promises, she keeps all the tips and all of this b/c in her mind, she always NEEDS the money. She does not keep a savings account (capital), and she runs behind on paying her vendors so they often will not keep her supplied. The customers become annoyed b/c she can't keep help in the kit. and for events, and she runs out of common food items in the restaurant. Simple financial principles would make her successful, but she thinks she is unable to do it. She works her fingers to the bone without a good profit.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 8:22 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • Good advice from the two posters so far

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:28 AM on May. 29, 2009