What I Did To Make Sure My New Business Didn’t Affect Personal Finances
eBay and garage sales and an LLC.
Starting a new business is a lot like going uphill on a roller coaster. The car is clicking away, the excitement is there, but I know there are going to be loops and curves before I get to the finish line. The ride is an adrenaline rush, but there are sound mechanics behind the scene that allowed that ride to be fun. One of the biggest issues with new startups is capital. Where could I get the money to finance my dream?
I walked into my new adventure with a moderately sound business plan. I provide business solutions for small businesses and individuals expanding their platform. I named it Reverie Business Solutions because for me it all started as a daydream. Currently, my ongoing projects so far are website design, content management for two websites, editing a book, and some photography work for an emerging band in my area. I also provide services in project management, payroll and invoicing, and product research and implementation. My background is finance, with nine years of revenue cycle management, so I knew the first thing I needed to do was protect my family and our personal finances.
After watching a really nice guy lose his business and home due to not protecting his personal finances, I made sure to take the needed legal steps for my venture. I registered my business with my state and filled out the paperwork for an LLC. This combined with my business insurance, will protect my family should I fail. I have done my best to make sure our home and investments cannot be taken if I get sued.
Entrepreneurs are known for being creative in raising capital to get their ideas up and running. Other sources of financing for new businesses are loans, venture capitalists, using credit cards, and accessing money in 401(k)s. There are pros and cons to each, and I researched them all before deciding on my financing course of action. I set my startup costs at $1,000, which allowed me to get started. Using my family’s personal credit card to pay for things wasn’t an option. I needed a viable solution.
The budget I drew up included legal fees, business cards, website hosting, domain names, advertising, and basic operations for a period of three months. To finance these necessities, I got creative with my capital, figuring out clever ways to net some money to take care of business expenses and cover my budget. I sold a bunch of college textbooks for $600 — a huge chunk of my needed budget monies right there. I also looked through places like my own wardrobe for clothes in great shape that I could sell on eBay. I made my overstuffed closet work for my business and netted about three hundred dollars. My whole focus was finding ways to raise the money I needed on my own using personal items I really didn’t need anymore. I also had a garage sale. That netted me around two hundred dollars that my husband was willing to apply to my startup business budget. When I was done, I had raised the money needed for my startup capital, without relying on my credit card.
Creative financing has allowed me to feel really good about my new adventure. I took some of the money and paid back the personal accounts I had used and started a checking account. I got a business credit card that I can pay off every month, but use to actually net a return on my purchases, and went out and started working on getting business through networking.
So far, I haven’t netted my first income yet, but I am really close. I have four project bids in the works, and one successfully realized contract. I am finalizing a fee for services sheet across several industries to be competitive, as well as establishing an average rate per hour for my time. I am excited at the possibilities. When the day comes that my first payment for services rolls in, maybe I’ll frame it, but only after I collect the payment.