The sweet life

Imagine being an undergrad, and being really happy with your part time job. Now imagine being an undergrad and owning a store and loving what you do. That is exactly what Wilfrid Laurier University student Bisma Bhatti has done.

Bhatti is a fourth year communication major with the management option and owns a cupcake store that she is currently operating from her home in Mississauga. She serves a customer base mostly in the Greater Toronto Area.

Growing up, she always had a passion for baking cupcakes and after receiving quite a number of positive comments about her baking skills she recently decided to transform her passion into a business.

After going to Australia for the summer, Bhatti returned motivated about started her own store, now called B’s Truly Couture Cupcakes. For her starting up her own business was an exciting and a fast paced process.

“Within two days I designed my logo myself, I designed my business cards, I set up samples with my private school as well as BCBG and a couple of other restaurants. It pretty much started from there, and in another two weeks I was fully operational.”

After baking for all her school bakes sales, and realizing the huge potential for the cupcake business, that has taken off recently, transforming her passion to a fully fledged business by combining her business intuition came as the perfect next step.

Bhatti prides herself on her on amazing cupcakes — the French Vanilla being her personal favourite. But she also treasures her talent being having a very well equipped business mind.

As part of the business program at Laurier she is learning to fine tune her skills; the multiple pricing strategies that she is using for her products right now is the same method that her courses taught her.

Although she comes with a background in advertising and marketing, simple things like doing a cash flow statement, doing basic accounting, designing a business capable of longevity were some things that she learned in her classrooms that have helped her set up her business.

Bhatti used her own savings to start up her business and realizes how important financing a business is. She points out that there is always a ton of resources that people aspiring to open their own business can look to, like setting up a line of credit and using available government resources and looking for investors. She herself is starting up another store in England that is being funded by her extended family as an investment.

For Bhatti, proper organizing and taking care of things like her own PR and accounting have gone a long way. “When you are opening up a business things get very expensive, things that you don’t even consider. Like easily spending a $1,000 on boxes and still having to pay for supplies. I was able to do my accounting and all my business plans myself, and that saves on cost.”

Being a full time student and having a business simultaneously, Bhatti’s priority is time management. For future entrepreneurs, she advises that they keep that in mind when trying to balance running a business, studying and everything else.

“Sometimes you don’t have time to eat or sleep or shower or workout, or any of the things you could take for granted when you were only a student. Your business will become your child, and every waking hour will devoted to it. So manage your time well, and make sure through all of it, you have time for yourself,” she said.

The most important advice from Bhatti is to “dream big.” And for someone who is soon to open her own stores in England and Australia, that’s an advice that should be taken quite seriously.

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