+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Calling all entrepreneurs

  1. #1
    MIA, RIP, or Busy...
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,909

    Calling all entrepreneurs

    Okay. I'm facing the fork in the road of life and have a hidden desire to start my own business. I have the general concept in mind and have been playing around with company names and how to take the leap etc. I have a working knowledge of my business and marketing plan, some of the legal steps, etc. But I am curious to see if any other FORTers have their own business and if so, can they offer any advice, tips, things you "must do" and be careful of, realistic expectations etc.

    Come on, I know we have some talent out there. Come Share!


    First on my list. John?
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

  2. #2
    Glad 4 Vlad! :) Tigrazhia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Good ole I.E, Southern California.
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,521
    Well, one big thing that we were (and are) lacking still in our business that you definitely ought to think about now is someone to take care of billing & the money issues that comes along with running a business. That way YOU can focus on doing the job & someone else can focus on doing the money. You don't have to hire someone if you're not ready for it, just get a friend or something to be the "accounting division" of your firm. We found that it's way too easy for people to extend their payment etc if they're dealing with the same person who did the work when they pay & it's very easy for the one who did the work to say "okay, they can pay once I'm done" etc, but if you have one person that's in charge of the accounting, it's easier to keep it all straight, stick to deadlines etc, since the accounting person has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual job being done... Short & simple, keep accounting & jobs separate

    Hmm...did that make sense? lol. Probably not...anyhow...that's something that we NEED still in our business, but haven't quite gotten around to....

    I'm sure there's more but my brain has gone on vacation for the weekend so...but I'm sure other people have great tips & advice...

    Good luck with your business, I'm sure you'll do great!

    Tig
    "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."

  3. #3
    FORT Fanatic gaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    665
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigrazhia
    Well, one big thing that we were (and are) lacking still in our business that you definitely ought to think about now is someone to take care of billing & the money issues that comes along with running a business.
    This is a very important point... having a solid accounting of your cash. It is a must that it is handle daily. Most business go bankrupt from bad accounting. You have to stay on top of your A/P and A/R daily. Not just look at it when someone calls harping about lack of payment. Or when you are making a deposit.

    My husband and I have been in business for over 10 years and I bet 90% of the people we deal with have no idea that we are married. Why you wonder. I am the bad guy who handles the accounting and cash management. So anytime someone harps about me... its better for them to think I am just some female in the office. Not the owner or the owners wife. I even use my maiden name on everything.

    Depending on what type of business you are going into, ADVERTISING is the most important thing. You could have the cure for cancer and if you don't advertise it correctly your business will fail. The worst thing about owning a business... you never go asleep again without it on your mind. Its 24/7 all year round.

  4. #4
    The race is back! John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the mat
    Age
    43
    Posts
    40,432
    I'm not sure I'm the best person to give advice, because although I'm self-employed, my "business" is consulting, and I primarily do my work as a subcontractor through other consulting companies (I'm the expert they bring in when the n00bs can't figure it out). So I don't have to worry about getting paid on time, or marketing, or any of the normal self-employed problems.

    If you'll be running the business from the home, I can tell you that one of the trouble-spots is likely to be focus. It took me a full year and then some to get in the mindset that I was *at work* even though I was home. It was too easy to sit on the couch and watch TPIR, and then the news, and then before you know it, it's 3pm and you haven't done a damn thing.

    Make sure you budget for taxes, and calculate them correctly. I screwed up last year, and ended up with a huge tax problem that I'm only just now getting resolved. It was all my fault.

  5. #5
    The new me! Feifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Dallas
    Age
    43
    Posts
    4,532
    I remember Oprah giving some business advice. She said no matter how big your business gets or how much money you make, make sure that you always sign your own checks. Never let someone else be in charge of your money. It is waaay to easy for someone to give away your money. If someone has to explain where the money is going and why before you sign the check then you are less likely to be ripped off.
    It occurred to me that no matter how bleak things might seem at times, at least I have a head. ----Stargazer

  6. #6
    FORT Fanatic MalibuPam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Malibu, California
    Posts
    600
    Be very wary of who you choose as a partner, if you choose to have one. Have a solid partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer and make all agreements in writing. Just because you are buddy buddy now, doesn't mean you will be 15 months down the line after you disagree on what direction to take the company. Have a plan now, for the dissolution. It's like a prenup.

    Can you tell we've had partner problems? With the first guy (an EX-friend), we almost had to sue him and it got very ugly. With the second set of partners, we actually did end up getting sued by one who dropped out, over an oral agreement and money he felt he was owed. Ugly stuff. Legal bills. Nothing will make you madder than to have to settle out of court--pay up to make it go away--when you know you are right but it will cost five times more to prove it.

    I've told my husband, if he jumps in again, NO more partners. If he starts another business, it will be solo.

  7. #7
    Are these spots becoming? chompstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Woof!
    Posts
    1,532
    First off, I'd say think long and hard before leaving any successful and lucrative career you may already be established in (particularly if it provides you with time to surf FORT ). Second, find a close friend who has run a business or three of her own, and get her advice on how demanding it can be on your time and life and personal finances, and evaluate whether the sacrifices and risk and additional stress are something you and your family will find acceptable.

    Good luck.
    I support the right to arm bears.

  8. #8
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Waiting for Spring
    Posts
    16,924
    I'm not sure that I'm the right person to give you advice about starting a business. I practiced law in a big and medium sized firm before finally figuring out that I didn't need a lot of the overhead that entailed for my practice. I've been in solo practice for almost 2 years now. I can't tell you how much more fun I'm having. Being a solo practitioner means I have to deal with a lot of the same issues as other small businesses. However, I don't deal with other things that many businesses do. For instance, I don't have to worry about inventory or suppliers. I agree with the advice about bookkeeping/accounting. If you don't like that stuff or aren't good at it, hire someone to do it for you so that you can concentrate on other aspects of the business.

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey candor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Portlandia
    Posts
    3,174
    There's a great organization called Score that has retired executives who will give you advice. I saw one when I was considering starting a business. After the first half-hour of his questions (Are you willing to work very long hours? Are you willing to sacrifice vacations and days off?) I knew I was way too lazy to be an entrepreneur.
    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

  10. #10
    FORT Fan
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    185
    Quote Originally Posted by candor
    There's a great organization called Score that has retired executives who will give you advice. I saw one when I was considering starting a business. After the first half-hour of his questions (Are you willing to work very long hours? Are you willing to sacrifice vacations and days off?) I knew I was way too lazy to be an entrepreneur.
    So much good advice already given here. I too was going to recommend that you get in touch with SCORE.

    Other things to keep in mind: don't expect to make money for the first five years. It usually takes that long for a new business to take hold and become successful. Until then, consider whether you have another job, or enough in savings to tide you through.

    Remember that self-employed people pay ALL of their own benefits. YOU will be responsible for paying your Social Security and income taxes. YOU will be responsible for paying for your own health insurance. YOU will be responsible for making contributions to your IRA. Any time you take away from work is time that you are not making money. YOU are responsible for paying for your own two weeks' vacation.

    Being self-employed is a major gamble. Are you a betting person? Can you handle the idea of not knowing for sure how or when or IF you will get paid (see previous posts about bad debts and dishonorable business partners)?

    I'm in my mid-40's and have been self-employed for most of my professional life. I barely make enough money to pay basic living expenses. I stick with it, because my personal freedom is a huge priority for me -- at this point I doubt I could tolerate someone peering over my shoulder, constantly judging my work and whether I'm doing it fast enough/well enough/whatever enough. I just don't have the patience at this point to play office politics.

    My basic point is, being self-employed is a huge trade-off. Only you can decide whether you've got the personality that's built for this kind of lifestyle.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.