Thoughts on starting and running a small business


Lately I have been reminded of the year before I opened the business when planning, opening and having a business was 100% “all new” and every decision was bewildering and mine to make. Would I use orange and yellow as the theme colours – sort of “Prairie” like, yes? – or something more “modern”? More modern – lime, purple, deep pink. Would I go with brown bakery boxes or pink ones? Brown – there’s a limit to how much pink should be associated with cupcakes. Should the store  be downtown or in a neighbourhood? Downtown  – oh, and THANK GOD for that decision. And so on and so forth.

The reason why I am reminded now of 2010 is that after a few years of kind of knowing what I am doing, this franchising thing is a new cat altogether and I am feeling my way with quite a bit of uncertainty. I’ve had several conversations with people in the business of finding franchisees which quite frankly left me dejected. I shared with them my plan to find franchisees who love home baking as much as I do and have been told that this perspective is at best sweet and naive and at worst a colossal error, since apparently people who know the difference between using butter and Crisco can’t possibly have much capital. Hmm.

Since I am not in a hurry to find franchisees I decided to  do what I did when I was looking for a Head Baker (and almost four years in with the one and only HB Andrea that worked out pretty well!), and ask George Brown College if they would distribute a “flyer” about franchising …and they agreed (great people at GBC!). I have received several inquiries from the “flyer” and a couple of other random inquiries which seem interesting and the main thing  is that I have calmed down and realized that if I don’t force a deadline on myself as to when I “must have” one or more franchisees, this can just be another learning opportunity.  I am better with “learning opportunities” when I am on the other side of them, but then again, who isn’t?


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