Background: I am posting this on behalf of my 17yo son. He has started a natural products business called the Nature Labs. His hope is to build the business slowly while finishing his final year of home schooling and to help pay his way through college. He plans to double major in Biology & Chemistry with a minor in Physical Science. His dream is to invent and sell useful products taking inspiration from nature and to ultimately build his business into a source of employment for himself and others. He has already been accepted into his top choice college with an honors scholarship (substantial but does not cover it all).
As he grows in knowledge he plans to add more sophisticated products to the line-up.
His business is currently organized as a DBA of a corporation that I own and run (dad). This is primarily because of his minor age. After he / the business can stand on its own it will be spun off / reorganized.
The business is being bootstrapped.
He would like to sell also through Amazon but the cost of UPCs are a bit too much right now.
Site: It is built on CMS software that I sell as a service.
Goal of the site: To sell product. He is already getting orders trickling in. He has several local retailers interested in carrying his product... so a side purpose would be to get repeat business from those who purchase in stores.
Site URL: http://www.theNatureLabs.com
What I think I already know: The copy needs considerable work. Perhaps the product pictures should be higher quality. There is not an "About Us" page (see questions below).
1) Should he present upfront that this is a student run business? I think he will get some "kid's lemonade stand effect" sales if he does. I also think it makes an interesting personal story. The possible downside is it may turn some off - people who would rather buy from ACME Big Corp. I don't know. Thoughts?
2) Similar question in regards to revealing his home-schooled status: The home-school community at-large is very supportive of "their own" and I think he could get some attention on home school sites, email lists, etc. But then again, there are some who are vehemently opposed to family run education.
All constructive comments are quite welcome and I will pass them along (and will probably be better received coming from objective 3rd party business people than from dad :-( ).