Thursday, July 8, 2010

"If You Need Help. . . Well, It's Out There

Over the past couple of weeks I've more or less stumbled across some things that might have helped--if I had known the resources were out there! But as so often happens one finds out about stuff after everything is already finished. My journey to get Five and Nineteen Blackbirds legal might have gone even more smoothly had I known about this resource, a book entitled How To Start A Business in Missouri, before this week. But my loss could be your gain.

How To Start A Business In Missouri is a book published in 2004 so some of the material is a little outdated but the basics are there. It can help you decide what form your business will take and a lot of questions that you should ask yourself before you begin the journey of opening a new business. It can help in the startup of your business, the financial part of it, developing a business plan and a lot more. There is also another book, published in 2008,entitled How To Incorporate and Start a Business in Missouri. I know nothing about this book, having not seen it, but it sounds interesting if you were looking into how to incorporate your business (which we aren't). Anyway, an additional resource for you to think about.

Surprisingly enough, one of your biggest sources of help actually comes from the federal government. There exists one, and sometimes more, federal agencies to help you with each of the regulations and legal requirements of beginning a small business. Who'd have known it? But your government wants you to succeed, and it would seem very much so, in your business. The U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the IRS, and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are all there to help you. If you have a computer on line, just type in any of these and help is just a click away. In setting up your business you will have to interact with the IRS and I've got to say that they were extremely helpful and courteous when I talked with them.

Not to be outdone Missouri has some big sources of help for you in beginning your business. The Missouri Department of Revenue and the Small Business Development Centers just to name a couple. The further you go in setting up your business, the more information you will gather. The more complicated your business set-up, the longer it will take you. But the more enjoyment you can get from this process, the better.

I think the best resource is people you know who have started their own businesses. There is nothing quite like experience to help you along the road--even if it is someone else's experience. Most people are happy to help you. Be sure to ask a lot of questions along the way and keep good notes.

However you approach it, there is help out there if you need it. Our business is so small right now that it was comparatively easy for us to get our business started. Getting legal was easier than one might think because each place you visit to fill out the forms more or less direct you to the next place after them. Since we are a two person show wanting to sell on Etsy right now, we are set up in a very simple way. As opportunities come our way, we will I'm pretty sure, become a lot more complex but right now it is nice to be simplicity itself. Just makes our life more fun.

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