Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The One Month Whirlwind

What a whirlwind it has been, but Women Work Smart, Inc. is up and running at half speed putting me closer to my goal of having a better balance between paycheck and family. While I am still building the business alongside my full-time job, all of the pieces are beginning to fall into place. Spending a minimum of one hour per day has really enabled me to take one step at a time and lay the foundation of Women Work Smart. It’s been like building a pyramid. You cannot go to the next level without the level below being complete. And still, there are details that need restructuring down on some of the lower levels, but nothing remaining that will hinder furhter build out. Since I have decided to stop talking and start doing, I have completed the following tasks – tasks that may help some of you who are looking to leave your office cubicle (or as I refer to it, your cell block) behind to start your own thing. I will try to re-cap what was done in the order it was done, so it can be utilized as a checklist for others looking to do the same.

  • Created a business name, idea, purpose and target-market segment
  • Received some free advice from a lawyer about registering a business name and logo

  • Searched (and so did my lawyer friend) to see if the business name was already trademarked.

  • Bought a domain name/url complete with web hosting services

  • Drafted copy for the website

  • Created a website and logo design

  • Uploaded my website

  • Registered the business name and logo for trademark with lawyer assistance

  • Set up a PO Box in my town of business

  • Discussed with my accountant the best way to set up my business, i.e., d/b/a, LLC, S Corp, etc.

  • Took the advice of my accountant and met with a lawyer who helped me set up my corporation on both a state and federal level

  • Applied for and received a small start up loan --- you can do this through the Small Business Association (http://www.sba.gov/) or you can use your own line of credit. My credit is strong, so I chose the second option as I received a good rate and a quick turn-around for receiving the cash

  • Received my business ID Number and loan allotment and set up a free business checking account at Washington Mutual – making note with then that I will be using Quick Books Deluxe

  • Purchased Quick Books Deluxe as recommended by my accountant - the Deluxe edition allows you to not only mind your accounting, but also offers tools for invoicing and check writing. But in order to use the check writing feature, you must notify your bank that you plan to do so.

  • Applied for an in-home business license through the city council office.

  • Acquired a separate phone line. I found the best solution to be a basic cell phone plan. Limited minutes, no texting, no email. Once the business ramps up, the phone plan can be extended to include whatever is needed to conduct business from a mobile device.

  • Created business cards. This step had to wait until all of my contact information was in place, i.e., business phone, address, url, trademark, etc.

All of this was done in one-month’s time. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The day will come that I can support myself by my own mompreneurial means leaving me more time for family and me. It’s a great feeling and way to get you through the daily office grind to know that something is brewing – something healthy, something all yours and something you want to share and implement with and for others like you to help them achieve what they want.

The next step toward my goal of working full-time from as my own home business owner is to build up my bank account or nest egg so that it contains enough cash for me to survive through an entire six-week billing cycle. Once that goal is achieved, I can cut all ties to my current full-time job and fly solo. This crucial step I hope to achieve by (no later than) August of 2009 – the month that my daughter starts kindergarten through the public school system. This will be the same month that I cease paying 12K per year for daycare, and the month that she returns home from school after only a half-day (around 2PM) rather than 5PM.

August 2009 will be when the real test comes into play… Will I sink or swim? It’s a risk, but it’s one that I am willing and ready to take.

1 comment:

k-rosenberg said...

Merideth

It’s good to hear that you’re maintaining a strong stay at home business and maintaining your lifestyle without getting too overwhelmed. It sounds like you’ve got your head in the right place, and you’re destined for great success. Now you seem to be a woman with a great amount of balance in her life, a steady path and a strong hold on her business. Have you by any chance heard of Microsoft’s new Office Live Small Business? I just thought I’d let a fellow WAHM know about it, it’s a fabulous product! It’s a free service from Microsoft, a one-stop shop that has every tool a starting WAHM could ever need in her arsenal. Not only does it keep you updated on your daily/weekly hits, it has a highly organized e-mail platform for all your important invoices, and a great newsletter blast option to keep your customers up to date on all the happenings. It also includes an easy-to-use web page designer, perfect for a less web-savvy mom. I wouldn’t tell you about OLSB if I didn’t have complete confidence in it. Please, check it out!

There’s more information at http://smallbusiness.officelive.com

One of the best aspects of OLSB is that Microsoft even hosts everything on your site for free! And to top it off, you get a free customized “.com” domain name! Now, I work with Microsoft, so if you or any readers have any questions, I’m always around and would be more than happy to answer them for you! My personal e-mail address is k-rosenberg@live.com. Sherrie, again, thanks so much for posting the great blog! I’ll be checking in. I truly admire all the WAHMs out there finding their way, and finding happiness both in work and family life. Keep it up, and I hope to be in touch!

Best,
Kimberly