Starting a business - essentials? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-15-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi

I'm contemplating starting a new business. I have the idea and am starting research for pricing, target audience etc. Would love some thoughts on the start up process and how you went about it.

I'm wondering for those of you with a successful business of any sort (but particularly a WAH one) if you have put together a business plan, a board of advisors etc. Did you show your plan to anyone for feedback? Do you pay your board of advisors in any way? What resources did you use to put your plan together and how do you use it as your launched your business.

I think I can self fund the start up but would probably like to get a cc specifically for business purposes. Did you start up with a dedicated business bank account right from the start? Did you start with a discussion with an accountant? Any suggestions for online/software bookkeeping programs?

Did you come across any good advice or resources for launching a WAH business? for balancing work and family?

Thanks

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#2 of 8 Old 08-17-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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Your post looked lonely! I'm not sure how much I can offer, but wanted to tell you about my experience.

I went through the process of starting a business between DS1 and DS2. It was a nanny-referral business. The absolute best move I made with that was to contact a local agency at the community college in the town I lived in then. The agency's entire purpose was to help small-business owners. It was free. The councillor I worked with guided me through writing the business plan, getting a lawyer to set up a LLC, and the bank stuff, too. He was a super resource.

I never did actually get going with the business...I got pg with #2 and we realized that we'd have to move...a 4-room condo wasn't going to cut it any more.

I didn't have a board of advisors per se, but I had some great connections close to home. Besides the concillor, I had my Dad helping...he has a business background in finance, so that helped with getting the numbers all in order...plus he knew about formulas to project numbers, too. Huge help.

I used Microsoft Money to work numbers and liked it so much that we used if for personal finance, too, for a while. If I'd got to a point that I was needing to pay someone else, I would have looked into a program that did payroll, or hired a company that did payroll for small businesses.

Right now, DH and I are starting a business in France. We're writing the business plan and doing market research right now. Again my Dad is a huge help....he's mentoring us through the process again and he's retired now and wants to help with the business (he lives in France). Whole new set of considerations setting it up internationally (do we finance here or there? Insure here or there?)

We're blogging about our experience in the hopes of getting feedback from our large circle of friends about everything related to the business except the actual business plan. I'll share that with a select few, but because we'll be advertising to our friends some day, I want to keep the numbers private.

Good luck with your business. Can you share what your idea is?

Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
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#3 of 8 Old 08-17-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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This site might help you:

http://kandubiz.com/needtoknow1.html

Also, try http://www.score.org/index.html

Like MammaG mentioned, mentoring will be very important to your process and that's what SCORE offers you.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-17-2010, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies for your help.
I have a business plan drafted which I am going to get a few people to look at. We have a small business centre where I live so I have contacted them and am just waiting for a response. I also have an uncle and cousin who would be good mentors.

I can't share my idea yet but when I get a few things confirmed then I hope I can.

I appreciate your help.
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#5 of 8 Old 08-20-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I think it depends on the type of WAH business and the nature of it. My first one was related to baby carriers (Its been years since I did this but its a good example, lol). I didn't have a board of advisers, but I had friends who gave awesome advice and I did have people I trusted in the babywearing community that I had checking out my carriers and helping with customer service from time to time etc. I paid them in carriers, lol. I didn't have a separate bank account, I had a business paypal account (still have) and just kept that as a business account basically and have a debit card associated with it. But I filed as sole proprietor so it was a bit more straight forward.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#6 of 8 Old 08-21-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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i did take a class at my local small business administration org. and it was very very helpful. we are poor so i never had a separate bank account.
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#7 of 8 Old 08-21-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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You may be able get a business account without minimums or fees through the same bank as your personal accounts. I advise small business owners that open a separate business banking account as soon as they are able. The IRS really likes to see a separation of personal and business accounts if you were ever subject to an audit.

For software I recommend Quickbooks simple start or pro, or Quickbooks online.

KHG Accounting : Tax , Accounting and Quickbooks services.
File your taxes online for FREE - 39.95. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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#8 of 8 Old 08-22-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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coming from the no separate accounts angle- i always wrote a check for everything for the business, never used the debit card. that way i had good records to keep everything separate. if you have a home office, then some of your expenses come from your home acct. anyway like utilities. here they always wanted some minimum i was unable to do- something pathetically small like 50 bucks, but when you're poor, fifty bucks is a lot out of the grocery budget. also, many banks let you open dba accounts- sally brown doing business as sally's suckers, llc. and they are often cheaper to run. another point- if the bank staff is assh*olic with you because its a small account, find another bank and tell them why. some banks shun small potatoes, other banks look at small potatoes as a future mr potato empire.
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