Archive for » April, 2015 «

Owning your own Business Series: Keeping records & Accepting money

Nope you are not ready to open yet because you need to serious think about HOW you will keep track of our inventory. I have not mentioned the IRS yet but will do so now, you do not want to make mistakes in this area EVER and how you will avoid that is by keeping meticulous records on every single thing that goes on in your business. You do not need to buy an expensive POS (point of sale) system, if you can afford it then go with it but if you can’t there are several other inexpensive bookkeeping software that also doubles as inventory trackers. Keep every single receipt if it has to do with your business, if your business happens to be a one person operation like mine is, FORCE yourself to do your record keeping at least once a week. You will thank me later for repeating this “RECORD KEEPING AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK”, no excuses DO IT. Do a little research on a software that will work best for the type of business you are doing. I use microsoft excel but I was an accountant for most of my life and if you do not have the experience, no worries get yourself some easy to learn software and I have heard that Quick books is easy to learn and use but I have no clue so check it out. Use properly labeled file folders to keep all of your receipts in, again this will make things so much easier if you have to go hunt for a certain invoice, your last months power bill OR a receipt for office supplies. Make these things HABITS and they will come naturally to you. Let’s just say that IRS did come to audit your business, I hope they never do but the reality is they could. If you have everything organized, neat, and easily assessable the agents can quickly look for whatever it is they want and the time spent is short on both of your parts….see there is a crazy reason for being organized.

How will you accept your customers money ? Things change at a quick rate on how people can spend their money and think to the future with this. Since I have opened, I only accept Master Card/Visa and cash. I have my merchant account thru my bank and that works great for me but that might not work for you. Again think very carefully because yes certain credit card companies and merchants have requirements. Merchants may require that you do say at least $5000 in sales per month to get a certain rate and if you don’t then that rate is doubled, BE CAREFUL what you set up. Lower is always better and if you make more YAY. Also make sure if you are going to accept ALL credit cards that they too do not have a certain amount that they require you to reach in sales each month. If you read very carefully all of the do’s and don’ts or you could do what I did, went into the bank and said I want this, this and this can you do that, and they could. You are almost ready to move forward to open your business. Hopefully I am not sounding like a negative, unhappy business owner because I am not, I LOVE my business but really just want to give all the real information so that no one get’s stuck with a bill you can’t afford. Yes it did happen to me which is really why I decided to pass on what I know so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

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Owning your own Business Series: Finding Vendors

At this point you should have done your homework, the business you have decided to open is needed and etc. etc. Now where will you buy your goods from ? Wholesale vendors can be both easy and hard to find AND again I promised no lying, some can me a nightmare to work with. You want to read every little thing on “their” requirements. Be very careful about any wholesale vendor that requires you to purchase a certain amount of product from them every single month OR if they want to automatically charge your account every month. The reason I caution against that is let’s say you find what you feel is a great product and of course you want to think positive, you can move $500.00 wholesale price of that every month. You get your great product at a great price AND your customers won’t even look at it. YIKES yes this does happen and first let me say do not panic, you won’t get it right every single time and it isn’t a big deal but the really big deal is here UH OH you signed up for automatic payment and a promise to move so much of whatever this product is……be careful, again read their requirements before making a huge commitment. Finding good vendors to fit your needs takes some time, don’t just use the first one you find. Do your research and find several, in this case variety is going to be your best bet.

Next is price, it is a very good idea to make sure that you will be able to mark up no less than 50% if you can mark up more than 50% that is great but yes there is going to be times that 50% is all you are going to get BUT if you will be selling quite a bit of that product at 50% mark up that will be much better than only selling a few at a 70% mark up. The bottom line is the key here. Another key factor in selecting vendors are what is the minimum order ? Yes almost all wholesale vendors have a minimum order again you want to be selective here because sadly yes there will be times when you really want to make that sale but just don’t have $500 on hand to buy with. Depending on the product, that may be worth it and it may not be, planning is so important with keeping your inventory full, saying it again CHOOSE CAREFULLY. Now last but not least to import or not import. I say maybe and it depends on what you are importing. If you happen to find this fantastic product that you feel will really fly off your shelves AND again you have done your homework, no one for miles around are selling this fantastic product and if it is selling online, you can sell it at the same price and people will come buy from you because taa daaa no shipping. In this case I say IMPORT. Remember when you import you usually will have to import a large amount of something to make it worth while. Make charts and notes so that you can see EXACTLY how, if people did buy the product, will play out.