Setting up a new company, even a tiny one like Cupcake Buddy is exhilarating and so much work. You dream of its potential, making people happy, getting recognition for your work and skills, but to get there is something else. Together with my wife we set up Cupcake Buddy: for her a venue to express herself creatively and work her passion and for me a technical challenge as well as a way for me to be a (minor) entrepreneur of sorts.
There’s still quite a checklist to work through before you can be operational, here a few of them:
- Register KvK to legally be able to earn money
- Register business bank account to do business with
- Arrange a business logo (banners for social media, post/story templates)
- Arrange payment provider and options such as iDeal, Tikkie, credit card PayPal (you need to create accounts everywhere)
- Arrange sales channels: webshop obviously, but what about Facebook Shop and Instagram shop? Google Products? POS? Sales outside of the webshop? There are a lot of ways to sell baked products.
- Arrange social and search engine integration with Facebook business, Instagram, Google Business
- Arrange flyers and distribute, business cards and ship them within the cupcake boxes
- Find suppliers for stickets and dry flowers, ribbons, cups and the various cupcake boxes themselves
- Arrange custom baked products for product foto’s
- Keep doing product photoshoots
- Decide on your target audience and tailor your content for it
- Calculate product costs, research competing prices and set your own pricing
- Analyse the market, people’s search behavior, keyword analyses, competitor analyses
- Tailor content both for your visitors as well as potential visitors (keyword optimized landing pages)
- Keep updating Social media, managing followers, including activities like free giveaways, polls, show your work (includes a lot of editing), telling about your self, special events etc.
- Manage your webshop orders, bank transactions and connecting these two worlds in a bookkeeping software
- Maintaining your backlinks and collaborate with blogs, partners and find opportunities to work together with other people just so they can write about you and refer to your webshop for more search engine volume and promoting yourself through positive reviews
- Managing taxes obviously, which includes researching and deciding on the KOR rule
- Register and write content for a webshop certification (WebwinkelKeur, in our case, which also offers a robust review system)
This does not include actually building the webshop! Still being a freelancer myself and a seasoned software engineer, we still managed to work through the above checklist and have the webshop online within two months, even though we both have a full time day job. Personally I think this is amazing and I’m very proud of it and the result is a great looking and functioning webshop and business with lots of growth potential.
Granted, our online presence is nearly zero (nobody knows about us yet), but to me that’s an awesome challenge: how to position yourself in a sphere of competitors and use your technical know-how (I’m somewhat of a SEO hobbyist) and leave the competition in the dust, wondering what zoomed past them.
Regarding the webshop technology stack, it’s simple. I opted not to reinvent the wheel too much so I chose Shopify as a platform to configure my products. Still, this was quite a challenge to do it in a multilingual way, supporting both Dutch and English. I had to add and modify a myriad of add-ons to work properly and integrate as a whole. so if Shopify is the base and the add-ons and photo’s from the photoshoots are built on top of it, you can consider me as the glue that keeps everything together and the chisel to make it look and feel like a smoothly integrated system.