View Full Version : Business questions
02-11-2008, 06:59 PM
I've been lurking in the S4O forum and haven't seen this discussed at all... and I am actually kind of surprised. I've been intimidated to actually start my business because of all the "business" stuff we need to do. I've been researching for a number of years and still haven't crossed that hurdle of actually applying for the business license, applying for the name of my business and trademarking it, setting up the business account, etc... I think it's this business stuff that is holding me back - not to mention keeping track of all my expenses, paying taxes on it, keeping records, billing, etc. Does this stuff scare anyone else? It just seems so overwhelming!
Great questions! I am still finializing all that stuff and what exactly I need. So other's input into that would be very welcome!
02-13-2008, 05:52 AM
Interesting... 45 views and only one other person can relate!
02-13-2008, 07:27 AM
It IS overwhelming. And when I first started, I got caught in the trap of researching to the extent that I was forever stalling actually implementing what I had researched - I kept saying "I need to do this first, I need to figure this out first ... until one day my husband basically told me to "p*ss or get off the pot" (not in so many eloquent words but that was the gist of it). But he was absolutely right. I could have gone on forever in the planning stage.
But I did eventually do it. I got all my licenses, did all the necessary web stuff, set up my bank accounts, blah blah blah.
You can never be TOO prepared but at some point, you actually have to conduct business in order to get business. And you really have to be good at multi-tasking, because ... at least with me ... I am the sole proprietor of my business so I am in charge of every single aspect of my business: product development and testing, marketing, advertising, website development and maintenance, vendor research, taxes, accounting, bookkeeping, client liason, and actual creative work ... the list goes on and on.
I would say that the majority of my day is spent on the tedious, "non sexy" aspect of my business - because it's during business hours that I can contact whoever I need, do banking, talk to vendors, etc. My creative work is done typically at night.
I can only speak for myself but I run my business as an actual business, not just an extension of my hobby. Which means that all that monotonous business stuff HAS to get done, whether I like it or not, whether it intimidates me or not ... it just HAS to because otherwise my business will fail. :eek
You've been researching for years? Give yourself a deadline and get to it. Say, by March 15, 2008 you will have done all you need to do in your particular state/country whether that be applying for relevant licences, registering business names and domain names, setting up a PO box, bank account, business cards etc.
Figure out the logical order, for instance you might need a tax id before you get your PO box and there is no point in getting a business card until you have your PO box.
But nothing is going to get done if you sit there thinking about it and feeling overwhelmed! Baby steps :)
Oh and the reason *I* don't generally post much business stuff here is because I prefer to keep it private. Don't forget, anyone can read this.
02-13-2008, 05:32 PM
It's a lot more overwhelming in THOUGHT than it actually is to do it. I've been there, done that. When I started my business, I lived in Nebraska and there was very LITTLE required to own and operate a business there - especially a web-based one. (I actually talked to someone at the city offices in the little town I lived in, and he was looking through a great big book trying to find what category I'd fit under, and he said, "umm...web design? graphic design? Yea, you can do that from home. No you don't need a license. Have fun!") I basically just had to worry about paying taxes every year, which was pretty easy with turbo tax - and I use quickbooks to keep track of invoices and income.
Then I moved to Nevada, and had to actually GET a license, a tax ID number, file sales tax, etc. I was pregnant right after I got here, so it took me several months to get out and do what I needed to do. In my case, I had a deadline for a bridal show and HAD to get things set up or couldn't participate. One LONG day later, I had been to the sales tax office, business license office, sales tax office again and business license office again, and it was all done!
You can do it! You'll be so glad and proud when it's all done!
And as for keeping up with the paperwork, invoicing - yea, sometimes it's not all that fun, but what helps me is that I don't get paid unless I send a bill! :-)
02-14-2008, 05:51 AM
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your input! I'm glad I'm not alone. And you're right, I just need to make a list and stick to it. :)
And Row, yes years. Started back when I was still doing paper scrapping and everyone was telling me I should go into business. So I started the research probably 5 years ago now and it's been put off here and there for one thing or another. And of course I wouldn't ask anyone to post their actual business details... I wasn't looking for that... more of a general how to go about tackling what I feel is pretty overwhelming. :) Perhaps it's a little of being afraid to actually take that leap too and the responsibilities that follow.
02-14-2008, 08:19 PM
I've been watching this thread and I'm in the same situation as you, Jenn! Learning, gathering information, but not "taking the jump" yet! Thanks for starting this.
I can totally relate to this I am a huge very thorough researcher :lol luckily for me in AZ I really didnt have to do anything being Sole proprieter you dont have to register your business name, you dont have to have a tax id etc. The only thing that I really havent given serious thought to is the trademark because it's the most expensive thing I just dont have that kind of cash hanging around and I find it kind of silly actually but I wont get into that. Get the easy stuff out of the way first you will be suprised how easy it really is, just remember theres new people doing it every day! My mother is the biggest scatter brain on earth I think seriously you would not believe how many times this woman has locked her keys in her vehicles and or lost, forgotten them somewhere if she can open her own brick & mortar place anyone can do this!!:happyhug
02-15-2008, 04:00 PM
I saw this thread and offer some information and resources which I have used. As a woman, you are considered a "minority" in the business world. There are free services that will help you, all for free. For instance, look up to see if you have a local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) who will walk you through almost every process for free. You are assigned an "agent" who will go over your business plan, and walk you through all the steps. Sometimes using services like these can make the "to do" list far less intimidating, especially when you have some "working for you" like the SCORE reps. In case you live in central Ohio, your local score phone number is (614) 469-2357 and their site is www.scorecolumbus.org.
Also, google to see if you have a Minority Business Association in your area. Another awesome, free resource who might offer free business counseling. In case you live in central Ohio, the name is COMBA (Central Ohio Minority Business Association) and they can be reached at 614.252.8005 or comba.com. If you happen to live in central ohio, your COMBA does offer free business counseling.
Ladies, these are AWESOME resources, everything from free bookkeeping classes, tax classes, how to set up an LLC...all for free. The value is enormous. Just an FYI nugget that I hope someone can use.
02-16-2008, 06:21 PM
Wow, thank you! Great information :yahoo
02-17-2008, 09:02 AM
Check out the local universities too if you're near any. We have one here that has Women in Business lectures, info sesions, help gettign started, etc. I need to get off my butt and get to some.
02-23-2008, 07:15 PM
Does anyone have a checklist of the must-dos of getting started?
02-25-2008, 04:07 PM
One option would be to join ScrapBiz (http://www.scrapbiz.com). You'll get all the business start-up support you're seeking as our primary function is to help scrappers start businesses.
We are just starting to explore digital scrapping as a business model and I have been talking to companies about how a business owner can profit from digital. Right now we have been talking about how to make money making digital books for customers.
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