Thinking about starting business

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Thinking about starting business

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You just won the lottery and in order to receive your check, you must have a full time job. What would you be doing? Would it be what you are doing now? If not, ask yourself why. Do you just need to add a little fun to your career or business, or is it that you are not happy with your current position and feel ready to go for what you REALLY want to do? Following are some ideas on how you can make the most of where you are, or take the steps to get to where you want to be.

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  1. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Thinking About Starting A Business ? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Creating a business that brings you joy The top 10 essentials for making a hobby into a business Why incorporate your business Choosing the right business structure for you Your business success check list Free resources for new business owners Recommended book list By Maria Marsala.. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 1
  2. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Creating A Business That Brings You Joy Building a strong business foundation is one of the keys to owning a successful busi- ness. Best of all, you can start to create your business while you're working at another job. Create a business your heart desires and have fun, too! You just won the lottery and in order to receive your check, you must have a full time job. What would you be doing? Would it be what you are doing now? If not, ask yourself why. Do you just need to add a little fun to your career or business, or is it that you are not happy with your current position and feel ready to go for what you REALLY want to do? Following are some ideas on how you can make the most of where you are, or take the steps to get to where you want to be. • Choose a career that "makes your heart smile." It's your desire level and commitment that will keep you going during any rough times. Use this guide "Finding Your Ideal Career (or Business)" to assist you as you create a business around what you enjoy. Make sure that your end product (your business) has a market, too. www. coachmaria.com/article/idealcareer.html • Know what helps you maintain your integrity -- your top 5 values, needs and wants. Base your decisions on what's important to you. Read Tony Robins book, Awaken The Giant Within for more information. www.coachmaria.com/personalbooks.html • Be prepared financially when transitioning into your business by making sure that you have a reserve of money in the bank or another income. Even with the best plan- ning strategies, "things do occur" that end up costing us more money than we had planned to spend. • Build a strong support system - business and volunteer network, and friends. Join a success group www.coachmaria.com/events.html for support or hire a coach to assist you in your business evolution. • Recognize your strengths and work from them:. Acknowledge your weaknesses and failures (life's way of providing feedback) and grow from them. Read The E-Myth Re- visited by Michael Gerber... it's a "must have" business book. • Create a strong business foundation: a business plan, marketing plan, and operations manual. Follow them. Create forms and processes to keep you on track, etc. Choose to be organized and consistent. Your clients and employees will appreciate it! • Develop your boundaries and standards. They affect your business too! There are some wonderful Top Ten Lists on both topics at www.topten.org. • When business is no longer fun, it is time to reassess what you are doing. Even bet- ter - step back and assess your "fun" quotient every six months. Hey! Maybe its time © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 2
  3. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… to take your vacation!! • If you do not have enough time in your life, work with your coach to pinpoint tasks that you may be able to delegate or eliminate. In general, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone who performs administrative tasks away from the office of their clients. A VA is the modern day version of the executive assistant or personal assistant. Are you interested in learning more about VA's? Or are you a VA looking for resources? Enjoy this list of resources www.coachmaria.com/coaching.html#Virtual. Listen to others and consider outside advice. Incorporate what you like into your plan. However, do not feel pressured to adopt another's practices as your own. Ultimately, you are best equipped to implement how and why you run your business. The Top 10 Essentials for Making a Hobby into a Business The essential thing here is that the IRS is going to look at your intent. Did you intend to make money? You must intend to make a profit or it's just a hobby. Here are some of the tangible indications that you have really embarked on a business enterprise. 1. Register your business name by filing a "doing business as" (DBA) statement with your local county clerk. 2. Use business cards and stationery. 3. Take out a company listing in the Yellow Pages. 4. Keep a log of the business contacts you've seen during the year. 5. Advertise in local papers. 6. Send promotional mailings to prospective customers. 7. Set up a business bank account. 8. Get a business telephone. 9. Buy a postage meter and a copy machine. 10. Hire at least some part-time help. Copyright 1998-2002 by Charles Powell, Personal and Business Coach who can be reached http://www.coach-charles.com. The original source is: Randy B. Blaustein, a former IRS agent. Used with permission. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 3
  4. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Why Incorporate your Business ? Anyone who operates a business, alone or with others, may incorporate. Under the right circumstances, the owner of any size business can benefit! Reduces Personal Liability Incorporating helps separate your personal identity from that of your business. Sole proprietors and partners are subject to unlimited personal liability for business debt or law suits against their company. Creditors of the sole proprietorship or partnership can bring suit against the owners of the business and can move to seize the owners’ homes, cars, savings or other personal assets. Once incorporated, the shareholders of a corporation have only the money they put into the company to lose, and usually no more. Tax Advantages – Deductible Employee Benefits Incorporating usually provides tax-deductible benefits for you and your employees. Even if you are the only shareholder and employee of your business, benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, travel and entertainment expenses may now be de- ductible. Best of all, corporations usually provide an increased tax shelter for qualified pensions plans or retirement plans (e.g. 401K’s). Anonymity Corporations can offer anonymity to its owners. For example, if you want to open an in- dependent small business of any kind and do not want your involvement to be public knowledge, your best choice may be to incorporate. If you open as a sole proprietorship, it is hard to hide the fact that you are the owner. And as a partnership, you will most likely be required to register your name and the names of your partners with the state and/or county officials in which you are doing business. Easier Access to Capital Funding Capital can be more easily raised with a corporation through the sale of stock. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 4
  5. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… With sole proprietorships and partnerships, investors are much harder to attract be- cause of the personal liability. Investors are more likely to purchase shares in a corporation where there usually is a separation between personal and business assets. Also, some banks prefer to lend money to corporations. An Enduring Structure A corporation is the most enduring legal business structure. Corporations may continue on regardless of what happens to its individual directors, officers, managers or share- holders. If a sole proprietor or partner dies, the business may automatically end or it may be- come involved in various legal entanglements. Corporations can have unlimited life, ex- tending beyond the illness or death of the owners. Easier Transfer of Ownership Ownership of a corporation may be transferred, without substantially disrupting opera- tions or the need for complex legal documentation, through the sale of stock. Centralized Management With a corporation’s centralized management, all decisions are made by your board of directors. Your shareholders cannot unilaterally bind your company by their acts sim- ply because of their investment. With partnerships, each individual general partner may make binding agreements on behalf of the business that may result in serious financial difficulty to you or the part- nership as a whole. Adds Credibility ! A corporate structure communicates permanence, credibility and stature. Even if you are the only stockholder or employee, your incorporated business may be perceived as a much larger and more credible company. Seeing “,inc.” or “corp.” at the end of your business name can send a powerful message to your customers, suppliers, and other business associates about your commitment to the ongoing success of your venture. Provided by Active Filings LLC. Incorporation Services in all 50 States http://www. activefilings.com Sponsored by ACTIVE FILINGS LLC © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 5
  6. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Choosing the Right Business Structure For You. Businesses may choose from a variety of corporate entities, based on their needs. Below are useful descriptions. General Corporation A general corporation, also known as a “C” corporation, is the most common corporate structure. A general corporation may have an unlimited number of stockholders. Con- sequently, it is usually chosen by those companies planning to have more than 30 stockholders or large public stock offerings. Since a corporation is a separate legal entity, a stockholder's personal liability is usually limited to the amount of investment in the corporation and no more. Close Corporation A close corporation is most appropriate for the individual starting a company alone or with a small number of people. There are a few significant differences between a general corporation and a close corpo- ration. A close corporation limits stockholders to a maximum of 30. In addition, many close corporation statutes require that the directors of a close corpo- ration must first offer the shares to existing stockholders before selling to new stock- holders. Not all states recognize close corporations. Subchapter S Corporation A Subchapter S Corporation is a general corporation that has elected a special tax status with the IRS after the corporation has been formed. Subchapter S corporations are most appropriate for small business owners and entre- preneurs who prefer to be taxed as if they were still sole proprietors or partners. When a general corporation makes a profit, it pays a federal corporate income tax on the profit. If the company also declares a dividend, the stockholders must report the dividend as personal income and pay more taxes. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 6
  7. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… S Corporations avoid this "double taxation" (once at the corporate level and again at the personal level) because all income or loss is reported only once on the personal tax re- turns of the stockholders. For many small businesses, the S Corporation offers the best of both worlds, combining the tax advantages of a sole proprietorship or partnership with the limited liability and enduring life of a corporate structure. Limited Liability Company (LLC) The LLC is not a corporation, but it offers many of the same advantages. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs prefer LLC’s because they combine the limited li- ability protection of a corporation with the "pass through"" taxation of a sole proprie- torship or partnership. • LLC’s have additional advantages over corporations: • LLC’s allow greater flexibility in management and business organization. • LLC’s do not have the ownership restrictions of S Corporations, making them ideal business structures for foreign investors. • LLC’s accomplish these aims without the IRS' restrictions of an S Corpo- ration. • LLC’s are now available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. If you have other questions regarding LLC’s, be sure to speak with a qualified legal and/ or financial advisor. For an Entity Comparison Table, please visit http://www. activefilings.com/en/information/entity_comparison.htm Provided by Active Filings LLC. Incorporation Services in all 50 States http://www. activefilings.com Sponsored by ACTIVE FILINGS LLC © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 7
  8. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Your Business Success Checklist How do you start to plan your business? What is required? What should you re- search? Where do you start? Use the checklist below to guide you as you build a strong, solid business foundation. Check your Personal Foundation. Make sure you are ready mentally, emotionally and financially to begin your new venture. • Make the time. • Budget your income. • Create balance in your life. • Know your strengths, weaknesses, top 5 values and needs. • Order a copy of your credit report. • Choose your ideal business. Get organized. Any new business venture will go more smoothly if you know right from the start what you have to offer, who you want to offer it to, and how you want your business to be organized. • Read a few books on business start-ups and marketing. • Check the need for your services. • Prepare a business plan and ideal client profile. • Price your service or product. • Develop a customer service policy. • Create an Operations Manual. • Plan for your office - location, supplies, utilities, and set-up fees. Develop a strong network and referral base. From support to legal advice, star- ting your own business is never something you do all by yourself. • Look for assistance: employee, independent contractor. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 8
  9. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… • Legal: licensing, business type, contracts, trademarks, copyrights, patent, service marks. • Build support: family, friends, business coach, consultant, advisors, business and so- cial networking. • Insurance: health, home, car, income, liability, risk, disability, loss of pay. • Money: taxes, accounting, banking, billing, cash flow, loans. • Marketing: copywriter, proofreaders, website designer, graphic designer, an assis- tant, Toastmasters, etc. Create a Marketing Plan. A new business often doesn't have a huge budget for mar- keting and a plan can help you save money. • Design your marketing plan with your integrity in mind. • Develop print media (business cards, stationary, forms, advertisements, newsletter, etc.). • Decide if online marketing will be part of your plan (website, newsletter, ad's, etc.). • Practice describing the benefits of what you do in 30 seconds and 2 minutes (called verbal logo, USP, elevator speech). • Re-evaluate your plan every 3 months. Start your research with the business, marketing and personal development articles at www.coachmaria.com/articles.html. “Helping You and Your Business Grow" is a weekly HTML online newsletter containing business, marketing, internet, computer and life tips and resources. To subscribe email: mariasplace-subscribe@topica.com © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 9
  10. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Free Resources for New Business Owners Below is a list of time saving resources to help you start formalizing your new business. OK. So you're ready to start your own business...be your own boss...or are you? If you still have questions, below is a list of places offering free information that can assist you. Consult phone books and web sites for local information. Remember to ask about any mailing lists, classes they offer, or additional contacts that would be helpful for you to add to this list. Enjoy this list as a guide as you "plant the seeds" for your new venture and enjoy the networking opportunities. 1. Federal Agencies • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) • Web site www.sba.gov • Toll Free: (800)U-ASK-SBA. • Request any free information and an order form for other publications. • Web site also has templates and sample Business Plans. • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) • Web site www.irs.treas.gov/prod/bus_info/sm_bus • Toll Free: (800) 829 - 3676. • Business Kit Publication # 454 includes an Employee Tax ID Form. • STEP (Small Business Tax Education Program) Publication # 1057, contains information on Business Tax Classes given in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. • Tell them what type of corporation you are thinking of becoming, how many employees, etc., so that they can send you other free, helpful publications. • Contact your local office to find out where you can attend a free business owners tax class. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 10
  11. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… • Request a free copy of IRS Publication 3207, "The Small Business Resource Guide" at http://www.agora-business-center.com/sbacd.htm • Census Department Consumer • Web site www.census.gov • Call Customer Service at (301) 457 - 4100. • Your source for social, demographic and economic information. • Consumer Information Center • Web site: www.pueblo.gsa.gov • Toll free (888) 878 - 3256. • Order a Consumer's Resource Handbook. • View their Small Business brochures on line. 2. State Agencies • Attorney General's Office US, National Organization site: www.naag.org/ about/ag1.cfm • Secretary of State and State Department of Revenue. Find the links to all State Departments at http://www.activefilings.com/en/resources/ state_departments.htm • Small Business Technology Development Center: www.businessfinance. com/business-information.asp • Rural Business Development Center. • Service Corps of Retired Executives SCORE http://www.score.org/, 800/634-0245 • Cooperative Extension Service Offices. 3. County • Business Development Offices. • Small Business Incubators National site: www.nbia.org • Colleges for Small Business Centers, Continuing Education Classes, Business Seminars, Meetings. 4. City/Town • Chamber of Commerce (search using your city and county name). © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 11
  12. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… • Professional Groups - check phone books, too. • Develop a relationship with a Banker. • Interview CPA's Use this "Tips for Hiring a CPA" as a guide. www.coachmaria.com/articles/cpa.html • Locate a Lawyer and start to develop a relationship. • Check local newspapers for organizations to join or volunteer to be a speaker. 5. The Internet • Search the WEB using a variety of search engines or directories such as: www.yahoo.com - www.excite.com - www.google.com - www.altavista.com- lycos.com • Use the WEB to search for former colleagues and others to let them know about your business. www.switchboard.com, www.infospace.com, www. four11.com, www.classmates.com, are a few sites with phone and e-mail di- rectories. • Join an e-mail list, newsgroup or business newsletters www.topica.com, ya- hoogroups.com, www.smartgroups.com • Incorporate your business on-line: http://www.activefilings.com 6. Bookstores • Bookstores give you a variety of great ideas. • Search the web for bookstores. www.amazon.com, www.bn.com are just two of many online bookstores. 7. Libraries • Many libraries have at least one free computer for patrons to use. • Ask the Librarians for information or advice. • Tell them about your business. Remember, people ask them for advice, too! • Check bulletin boards for information. They're a great place to put your busi- ness card or brochure. 8. Friends • If you do not tell the people you know you're looking for information or re- ferrals, then they'll never know.... ya know!!! © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 12
  13. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… 9. Family Members • Let everyone in your family know you're starting a business... and watch all the free advice come in! 10. Other Business Owners • Contact other business owners that you know. Do I hear lunch anyone? • Ask for advice, referrals, and their business cards. • Start a referral book of local business owners. • Don't forget to contact owners who do the same work as you, but who work in a different state/region/county. After all, since they aren't the competi- tion , they maybe more willing share their secrets of success with you!! • For encouragement, to keep focused, to bounce ideas off of, etc., hire a coach! Request a free 30-minute interview/consultation session here! Sponsored by ACTIVE FILINGS LLC © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 13
  14. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… Recommended Book List (for more recommended business books, go to www.coachmaria.com/businessbooks. html ) • One Page Business Plan Book By Jim Horan • Emyth Revisited by Michael Gerber • Working From Home by the Edwards. • Power Networking: 55 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success, by Donna Fisher and Sandy Vilas • Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith • The Portable Coach by Thomas Leonard (Attraction Principals) • Guerrilla Marketing Books by Jay Levinson • Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, and Friends into Customers by Seth Godin, Don Peppers “Helping You and Your Business Grow" is a weekly HTML online newsletter containing business, marketing, internet, computer and life tips and resources. To subscribe email: mariasplace-subscribe@topica.com Sponsored by ACTIVE FILINGS LLC © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 14
  15. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… About the Author Maria's Place for Holistic Evolution is an internationally known coaching, consulting, speaking and teaching firm. Founder, Maria Marsala has blended her career as a Wall Street trader and manager with her love of community activism and her experience as a consultant to create Maria's Place. In both her professional and volunteer positions, Maria’s acted as teacher, mentor, sounding board, somebody to be accountable to, a partner in per- sonal or professional growth, and she draws on this wealth of experience to help her cli- ents to grow. Also an avid writer and teacher, Maria uses her love of writing to reach people who need help building their business, getting organized, or adding fun and focus to their life. She has authored many articles and a bimonthly ezine, "Helping You and Your Business Grow". Thinking About Starting A Business? is her 2nd ebook and with it she hopes to help her readers build a strong, solid business foundation. Whether through her writing or coaching, the people who benefit most from Maria’s services are those who know they want to make changes in their life – personally or professionally—and would like a little guidance and accountability. They want more from life—more fun, more time, more energy, more financial security—and they are willing to work hard and try new things to get there. Maria’s personal commitment and belief in the coaching process keep her motivated to help others succeed. She has seen the positive difference that focus and accountability make in her clients lives, as well as in her own life through her relationship with her coach. Her clients describe her as a good listener, skilled at hearing what people are not say- ing, and good at helping them look at things from other angles. Many of her clients complete their business plans and increase their incomes within 90 days of working with Maria. When Maria is not coaching or writing or teaching, she enjoys working with computers and gardening, relaxing in her Washington home or driving across the country, to go "home" to New York City. Publisher Sponsor Thinking About Starting a Edition & E-book Design: This e-book is free for the users thanks to: Business…. Let’s talk Grupo Urbano New Media Corp Active Filings LLC, The Company Makers about What’s Next ? http://www.grupourbano.net http://www.activefilings.com by Maria Marsala. 1st Edition - Feb 2002. © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 15
  16. Thinking About Starting A Business? Let’s Talk About What’s Next… If the Sky is Your Limit… ...Active Filings is Your Starting Point. ACTIVE FILINGS LLC Incorporation Services in all 50 States 10651 N.E. 11th Court, Miami Shores, FL 33138, United States http://www.ActiveFilings.com - sales@activefilings.com Phone 305-893-9870 - Fax 305-402-2248 © Copyright 2002 Maria Marsala — Business & Life Coach - Consultant E-mail: Maria@CoachMaria.com © Web: www.CoachMaria.com © (360) 598-3880 Page 16
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