Author Topic: Anyone starting their own business?  (Read 2156 times)

Imma

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Anyone starting their own business?
« on: August 09, 2018, 01:38:15 AM »
I'm starting my own business, is anyone else starting their own business and interested in giving each other moral support and tips and tricks?

Background: I've worked in finance since college, got a law degree (in my country that's a bachelor's degree). Because of a medical issue I can't work fulltime, and finding a job in the law field has been hard. I work for a small business right now and in my current role, I've also become the one-woman legal department, but I'd like to do even more legal work. I am going to offer both financial and legal services, because my future customers probably need both and I don't want to waste my experience in finance. I've done this type of work as a side hustle for a couple of years, but I'm formally starting my business next week. I had my first meeting with real customers yesterday :) I am also starting a master's degree in law next month, to gain more knowledge.

Hirondelle

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 02:42:57 AM »
I started 2 months ago so following along. Still need to figure out all the tax-related stuff about it.

Congrats on the meeting with your first customers!

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 04:07:44 AM »
Well, that's what I do, so if you have any questions, let me know!

What's difficult for me right now is that I have done a lot of different things over the years. People have told me to narrow it down to one or two things, but right now I don't feel ready for that. I'm struggling to find a way to describe all my services on my website. I wasn't planning on seriously starting with this until the new year, but then my first customers rang me, so I figured 'why not start right now?' .

I'm also working on a scientific article that I want to get published and want to finish this month. I'm not counting on that generating any business, but it might - at least, my professor was impressed with my theory and encouraged me to try to get it published. It will get my name out there, look good on my resume and who knows, maybe sometime in the future someone dealing with this specific problem might call me for my advice on a case.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 07:18:27 AM »
I reached the first milestone! Today I'm sending out my first official invoice and I'm also working on the next assignment.

I also have a basic website now, a logo and a business card. I really love the designs. Due to these first investments and some office supplies I'm looking at a small (three figure) loss for 2018 but that's not unexpected. Now the major costs are behind me I'm hoping for a profit in 2019.

Hirondelle

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2018, 07:28:04 AM »
Congrats on the first steps Imma! Sounds like you're off for a good start.

SwordGuy

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2018, 10:49:43 AM »
I journaled my experience starting a number of businesses over my lifetime at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/swordguy's-entrepreneurial-odyssey/.  I hope you find it useful and entertaining.


I would also suggest you check out the Pop Up Business School at https://www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk/ or various youtube videos.   They teach (for free) how to start a business for little to no money down up front.   Smart folks, great ideas.

Best of luck!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2018, 05:23:08 AM »
I always tell people get a good Lawyer and a good accountant but you seem to have that built in! haha..

Good Luck to you.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 06:43:37 AM »
Thanks! I've started reading your journal SwordGuy, you have really set up a wide variety of businesses! We're at the beginning of a similar path: we started out being quite poor and doing any work we could get to make money. I'm now in a comfortable white collar job with good benefits. My coworkers all seem to want to stay here for decades and invest all of their time and energy into this job. Many of those hours are unpaid. I like my current role and I really like all my coworkers, and I'm definitely interested in staying on for the foreseeable future. I'm really learning a lot. But I'm not going to invest an unlimited amount of time in bringing value to someone else's business.

I'm also going to look into the website you linked. For me it was impossible to start with 0 costs up front, but I am certainly trying to keep the initial investment as low as possible. I try to meet my clients at their place of business, which is easier for them and I don't have to show them I work from the spare room on a desk that's just about big enough for my desktop and my printer :) .

I absolutely agree with getting a good lawyer and accountant. I know people want to save money so they try to DIY complex things that they hardly know anything about, but getting a good lawyer/accountant will make you a lot of money in the long run.

WellBehavedWallet

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 09:53:48 PM »
Way to go, Imma!!! I know there are probably tons of other posts on this topic, but I wanted to respond to this one specifically.
 
I have a side hustle going on eBay and I'm working to get my website/blog up and running by 11/30! 

Goals for 2019 include monetizing youtube and creating and selling other products (physical and digital).


Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 01:18:59 AM »
I have a new, steady customer! All in all I spend 1 day/month actually working (billable hours) and that brings in an extra monthly income. That's not bad after 6 months in business. So far it's a nice mix between specialised tax / legal work and regular bookkeeping. The bookkeeping clients provide regular work and it's a lot of fun to get to know different businesses.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 01:36:12 AM »
I have a new, steady customer! All in all I spend 1 day/month actually working (billable hours) and that brings in an extra monthly income. That's not bad after 6 months in business. So far it's a nice mix between specialised tax / legal work and regular bookkeeping. The bookkeeping clients provide regular work and it's a lot of fun to get to know different businesses.

Congrats. Good to have several activities to divide your hours on.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2019, 03:37:52 AM »
Just sent a my first invoice to the new customer, now I guess I'm about to find out whether they pay their bills :) I'm assuming yes because they've already made an appointment for next month. They said they were impressed by the quality of my work and they were the first person they hired for this job who actually could start working without any kind of introduction and knew more about it than they did. I guess they hired some very cheap people at first. I'm a bit more expensive but I know I'm worth that money.

We are outsourcing some maintenance work this year that requires some hard physical labour that I just don't have the time and energy for to do right now, as it's getting kind of urgent and we don't want to fall behind on maintenance. The income from my side hustle will probably pay for all this work. On one hand, I hate to be spending the money I make, on the other hand, even if I hadn't had this business I'd probably have outsourced it eventually and then I'd be worse off financially. I'm physically not completely healthy, so it makes more sense for me to do a bit more desk work and pay someone else to do the hard labour. It takes them a lot less time and effort. It will also likely result in a lower heating bill so it will pay itself back in the long run.

ItsALongStory

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2019, 09:56:02 PM »
I am toying around with some business ideas but not sure I am ready to take the plunge just yet, need to do some more research. Both of my ideas are super low entry cost (one is online advertising & other is cleaning windows/solar panels).

This may be the gentle push I need to make it happen. :-)

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 12:12:42 AM »
Do it! Sounds like you don't have a lot to lose except a few hours of your time. Even if your business isn't very succesful you gain a lot of skills. I have already learned so much about selling myself over the past 6 months, which is difficult for me as an introvert.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2019, 04:05:23 AM »
The new customer from March is now a regular! And they referred me to someone they work with so I have another new customer now. I'm still not making loads of money, but turnover is now 4 figures, which isn't bad for a small business on the side that I honestly haven't put too much time into so far.

My steady customers are financial customers because that's the type of service that people need frequently, but I've also done some legal advice. I have a very very simple website right now (basically a digital business card that says: "Imma - services. Phone: 123456789 email imma@Imma.com' )   and I think I need to build that out a little bit and add some content and a price list and making sure google finds me. I think I want to add a blog too, possibly linked to my LinkedIn account. My customers have commented that they like it that I take so much time and explain things to them in layman's terms and without charging them extra for it. What I hate about the legal world is that they charge per 10 minutes instead of per service. I always tell my customer up front how much something will cost, with a small disclaimer for unforeseen circumstances that I haven't had to use yet.

I think through the LinkedIn blog I might find some more legal customers as well. I'd like to eventually be a sort of "one stop shop" for small businessowners for accounting, legal and HR (labour law/payroll) services  - all the things small business owners hate and only need a few times a year. I have work experience, professional qualifications and/or degrees in all of those fields and I love working with small business owners who are very passionate about their own work, instead of megacorp grey suit types.

Hirondelle

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2019, 09:56:00 AM »
Congrats on the new and returning customers Imma! Seems like you're doing a great job at the work so far and that your business is slowly growing.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2019, 10:01:33 AM »
Thanks! I'm doing better each month. This week will be a bit busy due to Q2 VAT returns but I hope to be able to take a short break after that. How is your business doing?

Hirondelle

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »
Good to hear that you're still taking time for yourself as well.

It's been on hold as I just had a 3 week vacation. Before that I finished two long running projects and there's one returning customer (first proposal, now final version) who's supposed to send me his latest version this week. I'll get the ad back online this week and hope to get another 2-3 customers over summer. That's about the maximum I can handle at the moment anyway, so the income isn't very scalable right now but it's a nice bonus :).

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2019, 02:48:17 PM »
That's it, I'm doing it. I've had a business idea and now I'm going to take the first step.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2019, 02:53:37 PM »
That's it, I'm doing it. I've had a business idea and now I'm going to take the first step.

That sounds great! Keep us updated please! A year later I still enjoy everything related to my business, even the boring parts. It's much more motivating to work for yourself.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2019, 10:19:52 AM »
That's it, I'm doing it. I've had a business idea and now I'm going to take the first step.

That sounds great! Keep us updated please! A year later I still enjoy everything related to my business, even the boring parts. It's much more motivating to work for yourself.

I made the first emails/phone calls yesterday. Need to file paperwork with the state to establish myself as a veteran business owner, and all that jazz.

Imma

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Re: Anyone starting their own business?
« Reply #21 on: Today at 09:46:27 AM »
That's it, I'm doing it. I've had a business idea and now I'm going to take the first step.

That sounds great! Keep us updated please! A year later I still enjoy everything related to my business, even the boring parts. It's much more motivating to work for yourself.

I made the first emails/phone calls yesterday. Need to file paperwork with the state to establish myself as a veteran business owner, and all that jazz.

Yay, congrats!

I took a short break over the summer, but I just received an inquiry from a new customer (referral) and am waiting for an email from another potential customer (also referral). I spend shamefully little time doing acquisition, but it seems happy customers do the trick as well.

I have noticed that many people in my line of work aren't really interested in exotic cases, but I love doing those. The majority of my customers are internationals who aren't familiar with the Dutch language and tax system. And apparantly I'm not as narrowminded as some of my competitors  - one of my customer is a goth and was refused by several of my competitors because they apparantly didn't trust my customer did honest work (!). My customer is actually pretty succesful in their field and very easy to work with. As long as someone is not a criminal and pays their invoices, I'm open to working with anyone.