Cupcake Empire on Fire


dc-cupcakesLines around the block! A new tell-all TV series! Is Snooki dumping her poof? Did Lindsay make parole?

No, but Georgetown Cupcakes—the hot bake shop started by two sisters in Washington—just hit the big time with "DC Cupcakes", a six-part series on TLC this month.

DailyWorth asked entrepreneurs Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis to share their thoughts on making sure your business has the right ingredients.

Flex your plans.
"Don't start with some 30-page business plan—it'll be extinct in the first year," says Sophie. "Map out the critical stuff, like your financial model. But let accidents happen. We opened on Valentine's Day 2008, with pink boxes. When we tried to switch to white boxes—which were a lot cheaper—our customers wanted the pink boxes back. So it became part of our signature."

Start small, think big.
"We had a dream of opening a bake shop, but we started out with what we could afford, not this huge space," says Katherine. "But we were also prepared to grow quickly, if we had to. I think you have to be conservative in your forecasting, but be able to scale up quickly and take advantage of momentum."

Prepare to fail.
"We knew that half of all restaurants and food businesses fail in the first year. You have to ask yourself, Would you be OK starting over? You have to feel emotionally and financially secure with the level of risk you're taking."

Work it.
"Running your own business is 24-7, it's nothing like the amount the work you do in a job. It's always on your mind. Be prepared to work hard."

Bottom line
"It's worth it," both sisters say. "If you have a dream of starting your own business, we say, Do it! You don't want to spend your life wondering, What if…?"

Check out "DC Cupcakes" on TLC this Friday, July 30.