Pit Stops - Installment #3
by Christine Crispino and Paula Blair
How to Defeat the Self-Doubt Monster: Getting Through the “How”
Welcome! You are now smack in the middle of our series about defeating what, for most people (and we think especially women), is your worst enemy when attempting a business venture all on your own…YOURSELF. We want you to realize that you are really in the driver’s seat of your own life, and your great ideas deserve some serious consideration before you dismiss them. So far in the series, we’ve given you a brief look at our own backgrounds and about getting to the point where you’ve taken a detailed look at every aspect of your great idea. So buckle up, because now that you’ve decided to move forward with your idea, we’re going to take a deep dive into the “how.” This part is going to get a bit more technical than we’ve discussed so far, so don’t be shy about asking questions right here in the blog comments, messaging us, or consulting your accountant, business attorney, business-owner insurance specialist, or various other consultants depending on your industry. Being certain that you are setting up your new business properly can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
The Inner Set Up:
In order to start a business, you’ll need to take a look at the different corporate formations your state offers. For example, setting up a limited liability company versus a corporation. There are multiple different entity types available. The one that makes the most sense to you will depend on several factors unique to you, including but not limited to: (1) your industry (some industries require specific entity types); (2) how many members will be in your organization; (3) the management structure you’d like to implement;(4) the financial structure you’d like to implement; and (5) the tax consequences related to income from your new business.
Beyond that you’ll need to consider the types of protections you’d like to put in place for your business from the beginning (like protection for intellectual property or confidential information as a few examples), and what other members of your team (like employees, contractors, suppliers) that you are going to need right away…or not. Navigating the answers to the questions above, and others you may encounter, can be frustrating. This is why we strongly recommend you seek the advice of trusted financial and legal professionals to assist you. You and your idea are unique and special, and you should find professionals that can help you achieve your business goal of opening up your new business in a tailored way. Once you’re able to hone in on the business structure that works best for you, your accountant and attorney can assist with the various corporate governance and tax documents required to get you off on the right foot.
The Outside Forces:
Next, you need to be certain that you consider, either on your own or with the help of your trusted professionals discussed above, what outside forces will affect the opening of your new business? A few questions to start you off on this process may be:(1) What statutes or regulations exist in my industry or in how I interact with clients and customers?(2) Are there municipal, county, state and federal rules to consider?(3) Are there specific licenses or permits required for any part of my operation?
Again, the answers to these questions may lead to other questions and every industry is different. There are several laws and regulations intended to protect consumer and employee safety, for example. Before you get to opening day, be certain a business or other specialized attorney, along with any other relevant consultant to your business, has made a detailed assessment of your business’ “outside forces.”
Be Willing to Push Yourself
Ok, so this section has been much more technical than any other we’ve tackled, but it’s important to point you in the right direction of all the initial questions you should ask yourself in this “ramping up to start” phase. As you might have guessed, this phase can be overwhelming and sometime even discouraging. The sheer number of steps involved, and the investment of time and money before ever even opening a door, can cause that ever-present monster of self-doubt to come knocking. This is when having those great friends and family that helped you in the Go/No Go decision come in very handy, and all that time you spent in the Go/No Go decision phase should help you move forward.
For Christine, this phase happened quickly. She spent most of her time in the Go/No Go decision phase, researching different options and attempting to predict outcomes in different scenarios. Because of her profession, she was able to implement a business structure and plan best suited for her type of business. In moments of doubt, she always turned to her biggest motivator and supporter, her husband, to brainstorm different solutions to problems. Consistently talking through any issue helped her stay on track.
For Paula, this phase was like a weird dance…quick, quick, slow – quick, quick, slow. A co-working’s space’s core services are providing a great place to work and fantastic Wi-Fi internet. It was the workspace that took some time.
(1) With each site considered, a new version of the projected budget (see Go/No Go - Installment #2) was prepared. That projected budget not only provided info to help make the Go/No Go decision to start the business, but also make the Go/No Go decision on each site.
(2) Once the location was selected, the negotiating started. Almost everything is negotiable, such as the rent, lease term, HVAC maintenance, etc. Make sure you’re working with a seasoned commercial property manager. You’ll need your own! Don’t rely on the landlord’s realtor to be in your corner watching out for your interests.
(3) After the lease was secured, there was a period of site preparation. It was here Paula felt like she was leaking money! Be sure to select a great General Contractor. The same person who helped you secure the lease can usually help you gather a few quotes on the project.
In our next installment, we’ll talk about the next phase of this awesome journey… the first quarter of your very new business venture! Stay tuned and comment below with any questions.
For more information about Paula Blair's business, SOAR Co-Working Inc. please browse the website www.soarco-working.com.