How does one make the transition from a career in radio to running a successful cupcakery and managing 20+ employees? For Melissa Johnson of Oh My Cupcakes! it took years of research, some solid business guidance and many dozen batches of practice. She traveled far and wide to see how the growing cupcake trend was taking shape and compile information on how she could do it better. After many, many trials resulted in her perfecting the recipes of over 30 flavors, she knew the sweet taste of success was well within her reach.
Attending the Sioux Falls chapter of SCORE’s How to Really Start Your Own Business workshop got the ball rolling by teaching Melissa how to assemble a business plan and demystifying the intimidating worlds of permits, licenses and tax laws. The workshop also introduced Melissa to a business banker who understood her needs as a small business and helped her get a plan in place to achieve her goals.
Melissa measures success in human terms; her goals for the business are to care for her employees, her family and her community and she’s taken unique approaches to accomplishing all three. Her store’s hours are designed to allow employees time with their own families and her leftover cupcakes are donated to the Good Shepherd Center on a daily basis.
In addition to operating a retail store and distributing her products in several retail outlets in her area, Oh My Cupcakes! has established a vibrant online store (www.ohmycupcakes.com) that allows customers all across the country to place an order and receive treats the very next day. Utilizing their retail space to its maximum potential, OMC also hosts private events, from birthday parties to holiday gatherings and more, where guests can belly up and create their ultimate cupcake at the “cupcake bar.”
“Truman asked me some tough questions and wasn’t afraid to lay it out there in black and white terms. He helped me see what the realities would be.” Melissa keeps in close contact with Truman and other advisors at SCORE. “It’s all about relationships and with a SCORE mentor they keep the conversation going, over months, and over the course of your business’s growth.”