How to Start a Catering Supplies Store Online
Welcome to the Business Ideas section. Watch this video, I’m going to give you a quick start guide on How to Start a Catering Supplies Store Online. Over the last decade, the catering industry has experienced phenomenal growth. If you’re looking to make some money and make a difference in someones life, you should consider starting a catering supplies business.
The Catering Supply Stores industry has seen an increase in revenue of about 6.8% in 2022 alone. Industry revenue is estimated to rise at an annualized rate of 1.3% to $13.2 billion over the five years to 2024. Your company would be responsible for catering equipment to owners of catering services, hotels, restaurants and bars.
Market Size: $13bn
Number of Businesses: 1,839
This industry employs: 20,939 people
So, here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Step 1 - Get a Business Plan
If you have no idea how an online business is supposed to operate or maybe you are a first time online business owner, I'd recommend downloading an eCommerce business plan from Fiverr. Their plans outline exactly how online businesses work and what you should expect.
Step 2 - Find a Supplier
There are two methods to start this kind of business. You can find drop ship suppliers or buy and warehouse your own inventory. Either way, the supplier research process is still the same.
If you want to get started right away and you don't have a lot of money to buy inventory, you'll want to head over to google and type in these words, "drop ship catering supplies" or "catering drop ship program" or "catering products to dropship "
This will give you access to thousands of products to sell in your online store right away, without actually needing to buy any of them. If you do have some money and you want to manage your own inventory and keep products in your own warehouse to ship, just google the words "wholesale catering supplies" or "wholesale catering equipment". These search results will display companies where you can buy in bulk from.
Once you find and choose your suppliers, proceed to step 3.
Step 3 - Choose a Name & Register Your Business
Now, when you've got that sorted, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to buy wholesale products or work with a drop ship supplier until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation.
Depending on what state you are in, you will likely also need a reseller or retail merchant certificate as well. This allows you to buy products, tax free. I recommend using MyCorporation.com, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.
Legally Incorporate Your Business Today
Step 4 - Open a Business Bank Account
Now, since you're going to be getting all this money, you'll need somewhere to put it. It's pretty easy to open a business bank account, but they won't get you setup without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you already use or you can just choose a new one.
Step 5 - Buy Website Hosting
The next step is to buy web hosting. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for e-commerce stores. You also get a free domain name, a free ssl certificate and access to 24/7 tech support. So, you really can't beat it.
Buy eCommerce Web Hosting with Bluehost
Step 6 - Work with an E-Commerce Web Designer
Once you pay for a website hosting plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials.
You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step. If
you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick.
You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the Bluehost login details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Find a Website Designer on Fiverr
Step 7 - Setup a Merchant Account to Get Paid
While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website or over the phone. The account with Square is free, so once you signup, give these login details to the web designer to complete the payment integration process.
Signup for a Free Square Payments Account
Step 8 - Get Logo & Online Marketing Materials Designed
Finally, you'll need to start spreading the word about your business. A good place to start is getting a logo, social media graphics and online marketing materials created. For eCommerce branding, I recommend 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want and for marketing materials, I like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand.
Get a Catering Business Logo and Graphics
Get Catering Business Marketing Templates
Step 9 - Create a Money Game Plan
Since you now own a business, you can choose from a variety of items to sell. The most popular and profitable products are:
Flatware and Serveware
Food Bar & Buffer Equipment
Food Carriers and Carts
Trays and Accessories
Tea and Coffee Brewer Equipment
Chafers and Chafing Dishes
Steam Table Pans
Buffer Stands and Risers
You’ll want to diversify your product offerings because this will help expand your customer reach. To maximize your profits, you’ll want to add a healthy mix of products. You can also sell carving stations, and ice sculpture molds.
You can find the suppliers for these items from the $5 Catering Supply Vendor List
Step 10 - Be Prepared for Startup Cost
Now, I know you're probably wondering...What's the price tag on this baby? Startup costs for this kind of business, using the drop ship method usually starts at $500-$1500 on average, but if you're planning to fund and warehouse your own inventory, be prepared to drop the big bucks!!! If you liked this video or you know someone who needs to see this today, tag a friend, hit like or give it a share. Until next time guys, take care!
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Starting a business? Here's what I recommend 👇
Logos, Online Banners, Email Templates
Website Hosting for eCommerce
Email Marketing Tool for Beginners
Get Paid from Anywhere with Square
Freelance Web Designers on Demand
Design Your Own Graphics with Canva
Payroll Management Tool for Small Businesses
SEO software for Competitor Research
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
She hosts the What's Your Game Plan TV show features: Free Expert Advice, and Growth strategies for Business Owners Across the Globe. Access thousands of FREE Tips, Trends & Tools to Move Your Business Forward!
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