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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Plan- Phase 1

In the next several installments I plan on describing how we might reach our goal through a series of steps. I'll also go in to detail about how to start a business and the different things to consider in doing so. These are all things that are very important to know going in to an endeavor like this, but it can be hard to find the right information you are looking for. So feel free to follow along and ask questions in the comments, I'll see what I can do about answering them. Now, be warned, I am not an expert nor do I have my MBA. This is more for the average Jane who wants to start a business doing something she loves. So, here goes......

Our first task is to raise some capital so we can begin saving for our initial start up costs. Now, you may say "Why don't you get a Small Business Loan?". Yes, this is a possibility. I'll post more about the SBA and getting a loan later. But right now, we would rather have some capital to start with so our initial loan doesn't have to be so big. This is especially important when opening a new business and things are a bit slow as you build clientele. Keeping our overhead low will enable us to have less of a chance of running too thin.

We've decided to raise some money selling our wares on Etsy.com, at local craft fairs, through word of mouth etc...Each of us has decided to make 1-3 items enemas to sell. You can check up on our project progress in later posts. By keeping the product line simple it will allow us to produce a good number of pieces to sell with profits going to the store. You can visit our Etsy.com store by using the link on the right hand navigation bar.

Speaking of sales, marketing is a huge part of the business of sales. Branding your business should not be underestimated and needs to be considered when you begin launching your business. We have developed our name and a logo w/ a look and feel we want to achieve. Now we need to remain consistent w/ the look of the logo as we progress forward into the marketplace. With this in mind, one of our first steps is we will need to get some fabric labels to place on all the items to help w/ branding and getting the word out about us.

Keeping our business in line with the law is also important, so in the near future we will also need to apply for a business license here in town. Some counties do not require one for this type of business. But it is best to check it out at your local court house, just in case. Unfortunately, in Greene Co "A merchant is any person, corporation, partnership or association of persons who engages in the sale of goods, wares and merchandise at wholesale or retail. The sales may be made for profit or they may be accommodation sales (not for profit); they may be made from a stock of goods on hand or by ordering goods from another source." Thus, in order to sell at craft fairs etc... we'll need to apply for a license. Don't worry, this is a simple process. You can go to your county courthouse to apply for one. There are a few forms to fill out, and generally you can download them off the government site and bring them to the office with you. The license is usually only $25-30 or so annually.

Phase 1 will obviously take us a while to accomplish. But that’s ok- it’s part of the journey. I’ll talk about the numbers it will take to achieve our goal for Phase 1 and move to Phase 2 next week.