Start-ups: Exhaustion (2)In the second part of a regular series, Melissa Morgan of the newly-opened Ms Cupcake shop in London reflects on exhaustion
Everyone keeps asking me, "How's it all going? How are you feeling?" All I can say is, "Amazing, but I'm exhausted!" It's hard to believe that it has only been a few short weeks since we opened the doors to Ms Cupcake London's first vegan bakery. Unbelievably, it was only a year ago that I started my little home-baking business, and now we have our own shop and six members of staff. The kind of exhaustion I feel right now is the kind you don't mind, because with every waking hour you are doing something you love, something you feel passionate about something that you created with your own hands. I have been approached by a lot of people who want to know the 'secret'. They want to start their own cake business and want any tips I'm willing to give. My first tip is don't do it unless you are willing to give up a lot of your life for it.
To give you an idea, I...
l work 16 hours a day every day of the week.
l am always thinking and talking about my business.
l can count on one hand the amount of times I've done something 'social' in the last six months that didn't pertain to my business.
l am forever scouting the internet for new trends in baking to anticipate.
l send Twitter and Facebook updates at all hours of the night.
l answer around 100 emails every single day.
l am forever looking for new products to bring in and new directions to take the business in.
l manage the finances, the menu, the recipes, the stock, the payroll, the sales, the events etc.
l spend hours each week checking in with my staff for ways I can continue to make Ms Cupcake the best place on earth to work.
This is just the tip of the iceberg I haven't even mentioned the hours and hours my team spends actually baking. Still want to open a cake business? Okay then, here are my top tips for running it successfully:
1. Listen to your customers always.
2. Take on board criticism and trust yourself enough to know when to disregard it.
3. Accept that you personally cannot do everything and learn to delegate.
4. Go out of your way to find people who are as passionate about your cakes as you are and then convince them that they need to work for you. Don't wait for the best staff to come and find you.
5. Don't sell bad cake. This might seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring that your customers always get top-quality means that they'll keep coming back.
So yes, I am exhausted but I'm also living my dream. For me, that's worth it. >> Read more ...