First Steps-New Business [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Jeff82
08-05-2007, 12:56
First steps in setting up a web business. Selling a customizable package to each buyer (not straight off the shelf). You fill out what you want, I get the order, fix it the way you want, and send to you.

What to do first (and economically-not alot of start up cash, just a couple grand):

Incorporate ("C", "S", LLC)?
Trademark name?
Hire web/host/ecommerce help?
Start buying product?
Advertising?
Etc.?

I know my idea will work (found my "niche") but I'm stymied on "execution."

Suggestions/guidance?

(Gunners Down! is a different venue than what I'm asking about here.)

SquatPressRow
08-06-2007, 23:37
Hey Jeff82,

Glad I can return the favor for helping me with the shotgun issue a couple of days ago.

First of all congrat! Starting your own business is like have your first child. You're unsure, lost at times, full of doubt every now and then, but when it takes its first baby steps you sit back and say it was all so worth it.

So, without knowing much about what you're doing here is what I suggest:
1. Do the acid test. As in are there other services like it out there? Would you use your own product or service? If so, you're in good shape.

2. Start an S corp - great for the little guy b/c the profits go through to you and you are still protected by the corporate vail. Later on, as you grow you can always to C corp or LLC depending on if you need to.

Don't bother with trademarks and copyright stuff unless your product is so unique in design that it needs a patent, copyright, or trademark. Frankly, itís a total waste of time and money. When your business takes off you will be copied - but thatís OK because you will always be the Coke and have the market share on your side IF you stay on top of your marketing.

3. Donít hire anyone. What I mean by that is do not get employees right now. Get 1099ers (independent contractors) to do all the web, hosting and ecommerce work for you. (I do six figures a month with my three businesses and still only have two employees. The rest are 1099ers.

4. Buying product... bad idea for now. Donít put out money, get products, and then have them sitting on your shelf while you're trying to sell them. Don't tie up your money. Can you presell the product or service and then buy what you need to get the finished product to the customer in a respectable time frame?

5. Market, market, market. Learn to market not advertise. Advertising is shooting a shotgun randomly. Maybe you hit the target with a pellet or maybe you donít. Marketing is like a laser guided missile because you can quantify the results good or bad and go from there.

6. Here is a freebie that will saves you thousands of $$ and lots of headaches. DO NOT GET PARTNERS. Sure they help share the cost and reduce your risk, but they are also a pain in the rear and the partnership will end up bad whether you make money or not. (my dad has a saying... "If partnerships worked then God would have one too."

Here are some resources:

Need to incorporate? www.legalzoom.com
Need ecommerce? www.1shoppingcart.com
Need a site, programmer, or graphic design? www.elance.com and rentacoder.com
Merchant Gateway: www.authorize.net

An expert who knows business and speaks to large crowds on the topic? Me.

Shoot me an email if you have any questions or if you want to share your business model. I can tell you if it will work. Where it may fail and how to short cut to success.

Finally, a topic that I know about!

B

blueridge
08-29-2007, 07:54
I've been self employed running a home based business for 10 years. I don't operate a 'hobby' business, this is my living. I purchased a gun and a box of ammo to keep in my home office portion of the house. Why do I need a gun? We get all kinds of strangers (customers) that show up here, some unannounced, so basically you have opened up your home to total strangers (not good). I would consider a gun purchase for a home business, a valid business expense, just like the fire extingisher on the wall, or the security alarm on the office door. The gun is strictly used in the home office location, just like any other piece of equipment.

Trying to get your NRA or range membership, plus practice ammo included would be stretching things, as that crosses over into personal use.

I'd like to hear from anyone else that runs a small home based business, and see if they have written off a gun purchase as a business expense.

hunter44
09-03-2007, 08:11
After reading SquartPressRow's response, I can only say WOW! As a matter of fact I'd say it backwards - WOW! Its things & people like this that set GLOCKTALK apart from other firearms related discussion sites. I am in a somewhat similar situation as Jeff but wouldn't want to hijack the thread; so a PM is being sent to PressRow

220-9er
09-19-2007, 14:01
Is this something you are doing part time at first or are you jumping in full time? If full time, make sure you have the capital to get through the early part, money to live on, etc.
Not having enough money when you start may cause you to make shortsighted decisions in customer service, standing behind your product, in addition to the other problems it can cause.
Read all you can about starting a business. Get a good accounting program like Quickbooks so you know where you are at all times. Ask other people you know for advice that are successful in business themselves.

220-9er
09-19-2007, 14:14
Originally posted by blueridge
I've been self employed running a home based business for 10 years. I don't operate a 'hobby' business, this is my living. I purchased a gun and a box of ammo to keep in my home office portion of the house. Why do I need a gun? We get all kinds of strangers (customers) that show up here, some unannounced, so basically you have opened up your home to total strangers (not good). I would consider a gun purchase for a home business, a valid business expense, just like the fire extingisher on the wall, or the security alarm on the office door. The gun is strictly used in the home office location, just like any other piece of equipment.

Trying to get your NRA or range membership, plus practice ammo included would be stretching things, as that crosses over into personal use.

I'd like to hear from anyone else that runs a small home based business, and see if they have written off a gun purchase as a business expense.
A little off the original subject, but, I wouldn't try it. I'm not an accountant but here is what I think would be required. Ask an accountant if you want to be sure.
When you write off a home office you only take the percentage of the square footage of the house used strictly for business. Example, you have a 2000 sq/ft house, use a 10x10 (100 sq/ft) room as home office you write off 5% as a home office. You buy a $1000 gun x 5% ($50) x your marginal rate of =/- 30% and you save $15. Temporarily. Then you have to keep records & later record the proceeds of the sale.

Jeff82
09-19-2007, 15:55
Originally posted by 220-9er
Is this something you are doing part time at first or are you jumping in full time? If full time, make sure you have the capital to get through the early part, money to live on, etc.
Not having enough money when you start may cause you to make shortsighted decisions in customer service, standing behind your product, in addition to the other problems it can cause.
Read all you can about starting a business. Get a good accounting program like Quickbooks so you know where you are at all times. Ask other people you know for advice that are successful in business themselves. I've still got a full time job and will (have to) keep it until the startup's profits completely take the place of my current job. This will keep me solvent.

I'm establishing an iron-plated adviser group that should keep me out of trouble!! :)

220-9er
09-19-2007, 19:19
Sounds like a good plan so you can get your feet wet & not have the pressure of starving while you learn. Good luck & hope it works out. There are a lot of positives working for yourself.

Nakkie
10-10-2007, 10:36
Originally posted by blueridge
I'd like to hear from anyone else that runs a small home based business, and see if they have written off a gun purchase as a business expense. Is it an 'ordinary and necessary' business expense?

Having a gun for self defense may be ordinary, but it is probably not 'necessary' to your business.

As such, it would probably be a nondeductible personal expense.

jaysouth
10-19-2007, 19:36
When I was in the restaurant business, I required all general and shift managers to train and carry. I had a written training standards and qualification policy that was observed without exception. Each covered employee was required to get a carry permit and attend training tailored to this application by a local off duty cop/firearms trainer. There was semi-annual qualification and annual refresher training.

the insurance and indemnity plan was expensive but worth it. I wrote off these ordinary and necessary expenses of doing business for at least ten year with nary a yelp from IRS. They found plenty of other issues to bedevil me with, but not this one.

According to my CPA and attorney, the key was to establish the need in writing, establish written standards and have uniform enforcement and observance of the policy.