Tag Archive: planning


The Bank Said No! Now What?

Currently banks and financial institutions are not giving out loans as freely as in years past. If you have not saved your own money to start a business you will need help. If the bank turns you down, what is next?

  1. Get a current copy of your credit report. Review the report thoroughly.  Dispute incorrect information. Check www.annualcreditreport.com for a credit report from Experian, Equifax and Transunion. The reports are free from this site. There is a fee if you want your FICO score.
  2. Catch up all past due accounts.
  3. If your debt is overwhelming, get help.  Call your local credit counseling agency or the credit company directly. Creditors want your business and are open to making arrangements to help get your debt reduced.
  4. Stop charging. If you cannot afford to pay cash for an item, then save for it. While starting a business, every penny counts. Make a budget and stick to it.

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This is a personal choice and should be researched in-depth before a decision is made.

Sole Proprietorship -Using your legal name. In some cases you can choose a business name and file a DBA or Doing Business As. You are personally responsible for the liabilities of the business

LLC (Limited Liability Company) -Your personal assets are protected. It is basically a mix of a corporation and sole proprietorship.  Your business income is filed along with your personal. When taxes are filed, include a Schedule C

Corporation– Dictionary.com describes a corporation as an association of individuals, created by law or  under authority  of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

In my opinion, a sole proprietorship or LLC is easiest for a small business. Before making a decision, weigh the pros and cons of each entity. Also consult and advisor, mentor, lawyer and/or accountant to find out which structure may be best for you.

Accounting  http://www.yoursimplebookkeeper.com/

Legal http://www.legalzoom.com/

Mentor http://www.score.org/

Start Up Costs

An entrepreneur should not go broke starting a business. Make sure you buy only the essentials for your business. Look for deals and discounts wherever possible.  This is a list of expenses may apply to your home business

  1. Legal fees -Local business licenses and trademarks.  Do your research and find what licenses are required for your business type. Register your business name. You may also want to trademark your name. Check www.legalzoom.com for online legal services
  2. Website and Logo- If you are not a designer, hire a professional.  Your website and logo attract customers and represent your image. Check out www.diva-designz.net. The company offers a full range of web and graphic designs at reasonable prices.
  3. Advertising – Use social media in the beginning to keep costs down (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace…). Do an internet search for free online ads. Tell family and friends. Make flyers and business cards or use www.vistaprint.com. They sell a range of low-cost advertising and promotional products for business and personal use.
  4. Office supplies- Purchase the basics such as pens, computer paper, paper clips and even file folders to keep records organized.
  5. Accounting- It is imperative you keep accounting and tax information in order.  Accountants make sure your business starts out in a good financial position. Consult a professional before you launch. Check out www.yoursimplebookkeeper.com. The company provides affordable virtual bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses.

Cash is the last key. Make sure you have money in savings for unexpected expenses. A successful business woman will have all of these in place.

What Do I Need In My Office?

Look around your home. Where can you put a home office? If you are not fortunate enough to have extra rooms available for an actual office you only need room enough for a corner desk. The perfect desk will have at least two levels or some sort of storage. Desks are usually inexpensive and can be put together in a matter of minutes. Try Wal-Mart, Target or even Craigslist or yard sales.

Next your computer. Almost everyone has a computer these days, but if you are in the market check out Wal-Mart, Target or even warehouse stores such as Costco.  And again, you can always check Craigslist or even get your old computer upgraded-its cheaper. You need enough speed and memory to handle multimedia and videos. Your system should be able to handle any software you may need.  The most important part of your computer is virus protection. Check our Download.com for software to keep your system safe.

The phone is next. My Blackberry is with me always. I do not know what I would do without it. My Blackberry has every app I need for business – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, WordPress, 5 of my email accounts, a calendar, address book, a memo pad and even The Bible. There is an app for whatever you can imagine. I have an unlimited plan which includes talk, text and email. There are many phone companies and plans. Most companies offer free or minimal fee phones just for signing  a 2 year contract. If you are not ready for that type of technology, a regular home phone will do. Just make sure you have an answering machine or service so no message will be missed.

The next piece of equipment is an all-in-one printer, copier, fax, scanner. They do it all. I bought mine from Amazon.com for less the $60. It’s an Epson and works wonderfully.

A shredder would also be ideal. You do not want any personal or financial information in the wrong hands. Keep financial and personal paperwork in a secure place. Find some time of locked filing box or cabinet for this paperwork.

A few storage bins, pens, folders, envelopes, etc and you are ready. Try shopping at Dollar Stores, Wal-mart, Target, Craigslist, Amazon.com and yard sales. Try asking friends and family for items they are not using.  A home office does not have to be expensive.

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