October 12, 2015
So you want to start a home based business? It sounds easy doesn’t it? Many of us start out making items as gifts, then someone says…can I buy one of those from you? Next thing we know they have told a few people, and suddenly you are getting orders. That is all great and wonderful until the reality of it all hits you. Many people (myself included) started out with this same thought process, I will just sell stuff here and there and continue on as I am.
Then one day, you sign up for a local show and you are asked to present a tax ID. What? Right, a tax ID. Time to get serious. I had no idea that that even meant - so the research began. A full year later, I think I have all the right documents in place. Not only do you need to get yourself a resale license within your state, to give you tax free purchases, as well as to require you to pay quarterly taxes. You also need an EIN and to register with the state as an official DBA. Don’t forget to determine if you are an LLC or a Sole Proprietorship and complete those papers as well.
Did I mention you need a dedicated bank account, a website, a Facebook page, business cards, inventory control…
Feeling overwhelmed yet? I know I have my days that I am. Often. It is a huge commitment both in time and energy to run a home based business, even with a hobbyist approach. Once you decide to make it an official business the workload increases as well. This is where I find the biggest struggle - balancing creative time with all the not so creative paperwork and accounting! There aren’t great tools out there for the small business owner in as far as inventory tracking, invoices, etc. (If you have one, feel free to share.) What I am finding is good old trial and error working for me. I expanded my business a few months back and have tried numerous approaches to keeping track of all this and I have ultimately returned to a spread sheet in numbers. It isn’t just any spreadsheet - it is a multi-page with way too many details I am sure - but at the moment it is working.
I have not yet back tracked all my inventory and entered it, but I do work on it, little by little, with confidence it will get done. I make myself enter an order into my tracking upon receipt of the order. I can then do a quick check to be sure I received everything, and enter it in. I don’t carry a lot of stock, so I also note when an item has been purchase for stock or if it is for an order. If you are at this stage, and finding yourself lost and overwhelmed, know you aren’t alone! It is a common feeling, most of us didn’t go to school to learn to run a home based business, so how on earth would we know all the ins and outs without a little trial and error?
Have faith, you can make it work - and I will too.
Enjoy life! Always be sure to stop and spend time with those you love - your business can wait, your family and friends shouldn’t have to.
January 03, 2016
Brava, friend! I love seeing you succeed!
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