to ask "permission" from friend to start up similar business?

(41 Posts)
RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:10:12

A close friend of mine has recently, with my help, set up a cake making business. We came up with the name together, I gave her loads of business advice, hosted (and paid for ingredients for) a big baking day and took photographs for her website. She seems to be doing well (it's alongside her FT job) and I'm really pleased for her.

I love baking and business, and live about 150 miles away from her now. I've recently got back into making heavily decorated cupcakes and had a few offers to buy them from friends of friends.
I know all of the business stuff (from a previous catering business effort) and its something that I basically do anyway, so I could slot it into my life easily. I live in a very affulent area so could make some healthy sales.

But the business would basically be the same as close friend's. We are completely seperate areas (London vs Midlands) so I wouldn't be intruding on her territory, but I feel honour bound to ask if she's okay with me setting up, particularly so soon after she has.

We have a few mutual friends who would probably "like" both social media pages but other than that there wouldn't be any crossover.

I know that she has no grounds to stop me from setting up, nor would it affect her but I feel a bit weird about it. I feel like the polite thing to do would be to discuss it, but also worry that I'd be making a "thing" out of it by making a point of talking about it too.

AIBU to "ask" her?
WIBU to just set up without discussing it first, or is she likely to be a bit hmm about it?
I don't want her to think I'm stealing her thunder.

LadyCallandraDaviot Thu 27-Oct-16 13:13:15

Cab you tell her rather than ask - (how would you feel if you asked and she said no?), but in a low key kind of way rather than a big announcement? Presumably she knows you have experience in this area, as that is why you helped her, so just let her know that the time is now right for you to resume your previous business, or something similar.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 27-Oct-16 13:16:51

Keep it breezy; 'guess what, I'm going to set up my own business cake making, I'm so excited'.

Maraschinocherry Thu 27-Oct-16 13:17:12

Why would that be a problem? If your friend is really a friend, she will be pleased for you. Being in completely different areas make all the difference.

I think you should tell her you are setting it up, the secrecy would make the whole thing weird and unfriendly. Then I would keep quiet about how well you are doing or not, you don't want to enter into a competition. Some people can get weirdly jealous when their friends do well.

RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:18:04

Maybe I could broach it as an idea, rather than a plan?

I'm seeing her in a few weeks and could perhaps say "Oh, I'm thinking about reinventing the old catering business as a part time cupcake business local to me, what do you think? How are you finding yours?"

I honestly value the friendship more than the new business idea so that would have priority for me. Though I'd be put out if she outright said no!

RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:19:04

the secrecy would make the whole thing weird and unfriendly Yes, this has occurred to me!

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 27-Oct-16 13:19:23

Why would she say no to you outright when you tell her your plans?

RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:21:41

StillStayingClassySanDiego I highly doubt she would, I was just thinking about what a PP had said about how I'd feel.
My logical concern is that she'd be secretly/silently put out by it

HereIAm20 Thu 27-Oct-16 13:21:54

I think tell her that you are going to do it too and that as you are so far away and won't be in direct competition ask whether she has any tips for you as she is so clearly successful.

That way she will feel needed and flattered at the same time.

MrsHathaway Thu 27-Oct-16 13:22:36

Why on earth would she say no?

Genuinely, what possible grounds could she have for saying no? It's such a geographical business.

In fact it helps because if one of you gets an enquiry that's a bit far away you can refer to the other.

You say you value the friendship more than the business, but any "friend" who would not permit you to go ahead really isn't worthy of your consideration.

Is she often inclined to selfish, prideful behaviour? Do you often have to tiptoe round her feelings?

ceeveebee Thu 27-Oct-16 13:22:50

Really, I think the fact you live 150 miles apart makes this a non issue - just let her know you are setting up, make it sound positive - you can swap design ideas and recipes and won't be stealing her customers as no one will travel 150 miles to buy cakes!

MrsHathaway Thu 27-Oct-16 13:23:13

Would you feel put out in the reverse situation? If so, can you express why?

MeDented Thu 27-Oct-16 13:24:16

Just be honest - say you enjoyed helping her set up her business so much you're thinking of setting up something similar for yourself, you've had a few people asking you for cupcakes already so you're hoping it will go well. We'll be able to share tips and horror stories

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 27-Oct-16 13:25:10

There's miles between you, you won't be treading on her toes business wise.

I think you should go ahead with your plans even if she pulls a face, you have to stop feeling 'weird', you have every right to do this.

Good luck!

RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:26:20

Is she often inclined to selfish, prideful behaviour?

Not at all. I, however, am inclined to worry excessively about what other people think...

If it were reversed, I think I tiny tiny horrible part of me would be a bit jealous, but it wouldn't be rational and I would be pleased overall.

myownprivateidaho Thu 27-Oct-16 13:26:38

I think you'd be in difficulty if you lived round the corner, but given that you live so far off I can't imagine why this would be a problem. You have worked in the industry before, and she came to your for help because you have industry expertise. It would be very strange if she were floored by the idea that you wanted to work in the area again.

Lollipopgirls Thu 27-Oct-16 13:27:55

Your business doesn't impact hers in any way shape or form so there's no reason she wouldn't be happy for you. Just drop it in casually next time you speak, same as if you were going into (say) dog walking, or childminding. What would you say if you were telling her you were opening up in one of those areas? Then substitute dog walking for cake baking.

Good luck! flowers

Welshrainbow Thu 27-Oct-16 13:29:59

I would just tell her what you'd like to do, say helping her get set up has got you all fired up about the baking/catetinf business again and does she have any advice for managing the baking workload on top of her normal job if you were to go for it.

MothersGrim Thu 27-Oct-16 13:33:17

I'd find it really weird if you asked me for permission, but a little heads up and a chit chat would be nice, as would just saying "I've got really good plans but any advice would be really appreciated!" This will be lovely as long as you don't follow it up asking for her complete business plan obviously! She might appreciate you admiring her and asking her even if she doesn't want to help.

RentANDBills Thu 27-Oct-16 13:34:08

asking for her complete business plan obviously

I actually wrote her business plan blush

EweAreHere Thu 27-Oct-16 13:43:49

The country is full of home cake making businesses. No one owns the rights to the idea or the baking. Just get on with it and bake if that's what you want to do.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 27-Oct-16 13:45:24

I think you could maybe get around any potential injury to her feelings by saying something along the lines of "hey, I wondered how your business was going, I'm thinking of starting up similar up here, have you got any hints or tips you can offer me?" Might seem a bit transparent, given that you seemed to have given her all the help business-wise before, but it would make her feel as though she could "give back" to help you out, and might get over any weird competitive feelings?

Definitely don't ask permission - you don't need it! - but let her know you're thinking of it, definitely.

OurBlanche Thu 27-Oct-16 13:46:17

Then tell her that you had so much fun helping her set up that it reminded you how much you too loved baking.

Ask her if she can give you any tips on the first few weeks/months.

Have a longer chat on whether you can help each other with economy of scale, sharing recipes, planning marketing, going to Expos together, etc.

Don't go at it like you feel apologetic, be excited smile

Lynnm63 Thu 27-Oct-16 13:46:29

If you were going to be in direct competition opening up in the same town then YABU as she s 150 miles away YANBU. If she objects when you helped her to set her business up she is unreasonable and I'd be reconsidering my friendship with her.

EverySongbirdSays Thu 27-Oct-16 13:47:48

Hang on, wasn't there a thread, literally about 2 days ago from a woman with a cake business who's friend who she trained had set up in direct competition with her?

Are you the friend?!

I'll see if I can find the thread

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