I had intended to start this off as only one question, but after reading some of the other posts on the board, I've got roughly a million more and am completely frazzled.
Here's the breakdown: I'm running a small shop on Etsy as of right now. I've had a whopping four sales(Woohoo!) since the opening of it. I want to do my best to turn it into a real business, owned by me, that is (hopefully) self sufficient. I've broken the questions down into stuff that's beading related, and stuff that's paperwork related. Any help that ya'll can provide will be much appreciated by a very confused college girl.
1) Inventory? I've been doing 'hobby' beading since I was 16, how the heck do you keep an inventory of everything? 2) Where is the best spot online to buy supplies from? I know everyone has preferences, but are there any tips? Buying from JoAnns is killing my checkbook.
1) Business license? Is that needed at this stage? Is there a cost to it when you're only a one person show? 2) Taxes? I already have the shop set up to charge taxes that are accurate for every state (at least as of last year) . Do I need to set aside a portion of the amount I get in my bank account from sales for taxes at the end of the year?3) How in the world does one go about filing taxes for a small business and yourself?
4) Right now I've only saved the paperwork from each of the sales I've made, the transaction sheet? What else should I be holding on to for tax purposes?
5) Business ID#, needed/not needed?
Again, many thanks for any and all help ya'll are willing to provide. I want go about this the right way and all the books I've read have just left me rather confused.
P.S. I would like to point out that none of this is stuff they teach you in high school or college and damn they should.
BeadingMitsu:Buying from JoAnns is killing my checkbook.
03-19-13 (1810 PDT)
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. ~ Oscar Wilde
It is nice for you to want all the information put in front of you, but if you are going to run a business the best way is for you to do the digging. That way you will understand how to think things out and get answers for yourself. Let your fingers do the walking on the internet.
1) Inventory: You need to set up a spread sheet or purchase some software that will work for beading. There are several programs that are beading specific.
2) Purchasing: Go on line and search for wholesale sites for what you need to purchase for what you are making. Some sites will require a business lic. number.
3) Contact SCORE
4)Do a search on taxes in your state and city
This should keep you busy for a while
In addition to shanks' very good advice, I'll add a couple more. 1) look for a Small Business Development Center, sometimes they are affiliated with colleges, but they offer a TON of free (and some charge small fees for classes) advice and can set you up with a business plan outline or software. You NEED a business plan as that will also help you with what you need to do and save and will help you formulate the questions you need answered. There are some rules both local and federal that they should be able to help you with also. If you get down the road two years and turn into a real business and find you haven't kept track of what you should have, well it won't be pretty. I used to do this for a living and every SBDC and every community is different. SCORE can help you also, but usually they are more for existing businesses, but if you find one ask for help and they should direct you.
2) Contact a CPA in your town and ask for the information on what you should save, they will usually grant you some time like half an hour at no charge in trade for your potential future business. that is a CPA.......not some bookkeeper or bookkeeping service there is a VAST difference and you have so much more protection and good advice from the CPA that it is worth it. Donna