Beatrice Tsang moved to Los Angeles to become an actress, between auditions Tsang started bartending and working in catering. At special events, she noticed an opportunity to make more other than cookie pops and cakes. A coworker suggested Tsang turn her passion for creative, tasty and unique baked goods into a business.
Tsang started out baking in her own kitchen, posting images of her creations on social media and selling them to friends. Word quickly spread and Tsang began receiving orders online for her specialty cupcakes, cakes, cookies and other baked goods. In the summer of 2012, at the recommendation of a friend, she visited the Small Business Development Center hosted by Pacific Coast Regional.
Tsang signed up for the Entrepreneurial Training curriculum, an intensive nine-week series of business management classes offered by the SBDC. The comprehensive curriculum covers writing a business plan, business legal issues, how to find and keep customers, recordkeeping and accounting, an introduction to using QuickBooks and analyzing financial statements, advice on financing your startup, employee development, customer service and social media marketing. In addition, SBDC Business Advisors Tom McCluskey, Harold C. Hart-Nibbrig and Suzanne Lawrence worked one-on-one with Tsang, helping her with legal agreements, marketing, networking opportunities and more.
Tsang’s retail location opened in December 2014 and had an immediate impact on business. Clients have “no hesitation” in placing orders now, says Tsang. She also uses the space to throw parties, which helps build the brand. “Everyone tweets and Instagrams [the events] and writes Yelp reviews.” Tsang’s next goal is to create a standardized menu to streamline ordering, baking and decorating so she can delegate more work. She also wants to make the retail store “a destination location” with a larger menu. To that end, she is working with Business Advisor Sahar Andrade on her marketing strategy.
“The best thing I’ve gotten [from the SBDC] is the support system,” says Tsang. “Even though I have a business background, it was nice to have people holding my hand.”
Named one of L.A.’s best wedding cake bakeries by CBS, Baby Bea’s Bakeshop boasts high-profile celebrity clientele on a great part of Los Angeles – Beverly Hills. Sales for Tsang doubled every year since she first started in her kitchen and now, she expects to double her profits in 2015.
“The people who work at the SBDC are so personally invested. They’re like my second family, always willing to do whatever they can.”-Beatrice Tsang, Founder, Baby Bea’s Bakeshop