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What's the first step to starting a business?

Im 15 years old; I have been baking for a couple of years, and have a pretty good amount of experience. The first step I am taking to achieve this goal is creating my own website. Is this the right thing to do? entrepreneur business

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Rob’s Answer

I would also suggest getting set up on areas of social media including FB, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. These are all areas where you can promote your brand and capabilities.
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Douglas’s Answer

Hi. I think it is wonderful that you are thinking about starting an online business but before you “put the cart before the horse” I think you need to get your business set up

First off I would highly recommend you incorporate. It is not expensive and it protects you from personal liability which is something you need to be keenly aware of with food products

Legal requirements about selling food products can be extreme. First off, if you sell to the public, your municipality or state may want to inspect your kitchen and they can be quite stringent so be prepared. Moreover you need to be careful about your labeling of ingredients. If there is a risk of allergens cross contaminating your baked goods (ie nuts may be present) you need to label that prominently to avoid risk to a potential customer.

Packaging prior to shipping also needs to be thought out. You can’t wrap a cookie in plastic wrap and then just ship it. Aside from the risk it may spoil, it could get contaminated

But once you have everything set up, start locally. Go to nearby cafes, diner and delis and ask them to sell your products. That will give you a good idea of customer tastes and it will also get you some positive review on social media like Yelp.

Then, while you are building a following for your products, a website would definitely help. In the beginning however, it is unlikely anyone will be “searching” for your brand and hence the time and effort building and maintaining a website will divert you from more important things

Good luck

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Rebecca’s Answer

I am not sure I understand your question correct. Do you mean you would like to run your baking business online?
I think there are 2 parts of these : 1. Your baking products 2. Sell your Baking products online
Firstly, regarding your baking products, though understand you have been doing it for a long time, there are strong competition on the baking products. There are many people offering the similar online. You may need to think about how do you differentiate your products from others. There must be some uniqueness of your product. Also, you may need to think about how to advance your baking skills.
Regarding your website, you may think about the design of the website. On one hand, it has to be attractive your customers on your products. On the other hand, it should be easy for your potential customers to surf around and an user friendly catalogue. You may need to seek assistance from professional web designer assistance.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Tinamarie’s Answer

Hello Ava,

A website is excellence way to display to potential customers what services you can provide(cupcakes, cookies, etc.) along with a portfolio of you work, but if website building and marketing is new to you, I would start off with an Esty store that you can have you Instagram and tik tok feed into so your creating traffic to the store front to sell, but if you have some experience with website building or conformable using sites like Wix.com then start with a website. It always helps before building the website to plan the layout of the website and how you like people to interact with it. Wix.com has a lot of resources on this so check them out!

Thankyou so much for the feedback! I'll definitely check out that website. Ava W.

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