online business start up steps

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Cupcake, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Cupcake

    Cupcake
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    Hello,

    I would like to start an online cupcake business in California. I will be purchasing cupcakes and selling them online with local pick up.

    In what order do I need to do the following:
    1. Business license
    2. Seller's Permit
    3. Open bank account
    4. Create website

    Thank you
     
  2. 50Cent

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    Business license will always be the 1st one because you need one in order to start your business. Followed by seller's Permit, while you are waiting for the seller's Permit you can go open one bank account rather than waiting for the Permit to arrived then you go open a bank account. The most important is to make use of time and not wasting time. Once you have received the license and the Permit you can start to plan to create your website like what you want to have in the website to attract customers.
     
  3. GekiDan

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    I think you should do those tasks in the order you have written it.
    Don't you have a plan on opening a store in your place so that walk-in customers can buy those cupcakes?
    And just create a web site as another option in taking up orders?
     
  4. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Cupcake, thanks for joining and posting your business questions. Do you plan on writing a business plan for your business?

    I'm not familiar with the business licensing and registration requirements in California, but you should be able to get helpful info from your local IRS office.
     
  5. Cupcake

    Cupcake
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    Thanks everyone!

    50Cent: Thank you! Will apply for the license/permit first.

    GekiDan: Thank you for confirming the step order. These are custom cupcakes that require advanced decorating on my part so 'in store' doesn't work for me. Specialty cupcakes will be made to order, so no excess or wasted cupcakes.

    Fergal: Thank you for your welcome. Actually, I do not plan on a formal plan. I think I've got it informally mapped out, although, stumped at projected monthly gross sales and projected monthly taxable sales on the application. What is the difference between the two? Do I start low with 0-5 sales/week? I am reviewing some of the business plans for small bakeries.
     
  6. Fergal

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    Even if you don't wish to write a formal plan, you could benefit from spending an hour or two with a pen and paper and planning out your business. It will give you a lot of clarity as to where you want to take the business and the issues you need to deal with. The business plan templates listed in our Useful Business Resources / Links thread would give you a good starting guide.
     
  7. GekiDan

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  8. Cupcake

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    Fergal: Thank you for the template link. I have a couple in use already. This site/advisors has been most helpful.

    GekiDan: Nice find!

    Copyright question:
    If I purchase software, I am clear to place the image the software produces on a cupcake/cake?
     
  9. 50Cent

    50Cent
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    Yeah you have the right to put the copyright. But you can't claim the credits because the software is not made by you. Just need to get it clear.
     
  10. Fergal

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    Yes, assuming of course that you have designed the image yourself.
     
  11. Cupcake

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    Thanks and another question

    Thank you 50Cent and Fergal!

    I'm off to apply for the license & seller's permit tomorrow....then open bank account.

    Can I start making inventory purchases right away or do I have to wait until I have the license in hand?
     
  12. Tech-chic

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    Hi,

    The first think i think you should do is a Business Plan, with out it everything could be a completely mess....
     
  13. johnathan6418

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    The most important is to make use of time and not wasting time. Once you have received the license and the Permit you can start to plan to create your website like what you want to have in the website to attract customers.
     
  14. bookkeepercham

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    I have just signed up with businessadviceforum.com and wanted to see if i could expand my network through here.

    One thing I am sure one needs to startup a good businesss is to ensure their bookkeeping records are well monitored.

    Also prior to even starting up, a simple feasibility study on the area to which you want to do business with should be helpful.
     
  15. OnlineBusinessZen

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    You can start building your website and traffic even before you offer any products. If you are not selling anything (yet) you don't have a business (yet).

    I've used this strategy a few times to build out a site and blog up front to see if I can generate traffic. Once I have a solid following with good traffic its easy to add products later. If I can't build enough traffic, then I can abandon the site and move on to something else.

    Brad
     
  16. Cupcake

    Cupcake
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    Thanks All!

    Ran into a little snag. BOE says that because I am not selling until Jan 2011, I am not to apply until Nov 2010. I wanted to purchase some of the inventory so that I could photograph them for the website.

    Question:
    1.There are frames I would like to purchase from Staples to sell framed images that will be on the cupcakes as a momento. Once I receive my seller's permit, will Staples sell to me wholesale? Or do I have to go to a wholesaler? Regardless, for the shoot I will have to pay retail price.

    Still no formal business plan, but terms are in place with the cupcake supplier. Inventory to launch is very low. I know how/where/whom I will market, but will research more once the website is ready. Nothing will be produced until an order is received.
     
  17. Fergal

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    Why could you not still go ahead and purchase the inventory? You could even explain the situation to your suppliers and ask if they could provide you with some free samples, that you will use for the website photos. Another possibility, is that your suppliers could supply you with the photos you need for your website.

    It would be worth contacting Staples directly and asking them that. Whether they will or won't, you should also try contacting some wholesalers to see if they can supply you at a lower cost. It's better to get a few quotes, in an effort to get the best deal possible, before making any significant purchase.

    I'm glad to hear that you are progressing forward with the business. It's normal to run into some obstacles - those obstacles are what makes it challenging, worthwhile and they are what stops everyone from doing it.
     
  18. VVhite_Angel

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    Hi

    Interesting thread, waiting to look at your website :) A friend opens a cupcake store in Paris next month, i will compare the twice stores.
     
  19. Cupcake

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    Thanks Fergal:

    I shopped around for the frames and found one I liked. The retail store will honor my permit once I obtain it. I even got 50% and they will honor any coupons/sales etc w/the permit. I got a better deal than wholesale...no shipping costs, further discounts and best design.

    I am enjoying the process of starting a business...the research, comparing and being in charge albeit a tiny operation. The online business structure suits me perfectly! Thank goodness for the internet for the information and such forums as this...and a special thanks to you Fergal for being so responsive and encouraging.

    I found a business expense excel report...wondering if there is a better one here? I searched here but found business plan templates.

    Questions:
    1. Can I include meals if I'm out shopping for inventory or after meeting with suppliers?
    2. Is .5 the standard for mileage reimbursement?
    3. Should one have separate spreadsheets or combined for mileage/parking and meals/tips?
    4. If I give complementary cupcakes to market/promote, is that a deductible item?
    5. Is it advisable to scan all receipts so you can dispose of the originals...or best to have the original? I wish to be paperless.
     
  20. Cupcake

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    Hi White Angel

    Felicitation! to your friend. I would love to see his/her site too. Interesting...has the cupcake craze infected France?
     

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