Building a Business in Buffalo
Starting a Business During Quarantine
There are many people who want to start a business but aren't sure where to start. Our goal is to use the Buffalo2U blog to share our journey as a local business, as well as the stories of the vendors and partners that we worth with. Of course, there will also be posts about the great city of Buffalo, especially when the Bills and Sabres win.
The idea for an e-commerce website that specializes in local products is certainly not new. But in September of 2018, we first stumbled upon the idea of allowing customers to build their own gift boxes. We shared the idea with family and friends but the idea never got off the ground.
Cut to April of 2020. Everyone is working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic and we have more time on our hands than ever before. There's no restaurants to go to, friends to meet up with, sports to watch etc. It was at this point that we came back to the idea of an e-commerce website that would let customers build custom gift boxes with their favorite Buffalo items.
We thought this could be the perfect gift for anyone who moved away from Buffalo and/or for people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and more. This time around we didn't put the idea on the backburner.
From April 2020 to July 2020 we spent our mornings, weekends and evenings starting the business. This included building our own website, coming up with a name for the business, researching and purchasing products, discussing who our target market would be and much more. Along the way, we stopped at certain points and surveyed friends and family members about the website design, the products we were purchasing, our logo and more. This was important to us, as we want to ensure our business has an appeal to all Buffalonians and not only those that we share common interests with.
Opening Our Business to the Public
On July 16 (716 Day) Buffalo2U officially went live with our "soft opening." We again shared our website with friends and family and asked them to share with their networks. Our thought process was let's perfect our processes on people that we know before we start advertising.
We have now been in business just over 1 month and have had our ups and downs. We've sold a lot of boxes and have been able to place second and third orders with some of our vendors, and we still love to receive the Shopify notification on our phones every time there's a new sale. We've also had to learn how to ship glass products, how to purchase a tape gun that actually worked, how to take beautiful product images (pro tip: the answer to that is hire a photographer) and much more.
We Want to Connect With You
We can't wait for the upcoming months as we share Buffalo2U with more and more people, and we look forward to sharing our journey on this blog.
Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to discuss partnering with our company, if we can provide any advice on starting a business in BUffalo or if you have any tips you'd like to share with us. We're always ready to listen and learn.