Start the year by turning that idea in your head into a business. Contrary to popular belief, starting a business can be quick and easy. You can even start within 10 minutes. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business for a while now, you’ve probably read this suggestion many times: do your due diligence. However, it’s hard to do your assignment if you don’t know the questions at all. That’s what this episode is all about.
Let’s dive right in and learn our top 5 strategies to start your business!
[00:01 – 02:17] Opening Segment
- We introduce our topic for today
- Strategies to start a business easily
[02:18 – 12:05] Start with an MVP
- Start your business in 10 minutes
- Separate your personal accounts from your business account
- Draft a partnership agreement even without a lawyer
- Secure your website addresses and social media pages
- What is MVP?
[12:06 – 22:05] Keep it Simple
- Don’t miss our last strategy to start a business!
- Do business as if it’s worth a million dollars
- Don’t spread yourself too thin
- Find out how
- When should you hire a virtual assistant?
[22:06 – 23:35] Closing Segment
- Share with us your own strategies
- Go to our website. Link below
- Final words
“I think one thing that I have started to deal [with], which is really helpful, is I tried to document everything.” – David Schomer
“Treat your business as if it’s going to grow and scale to 10 million dollars.” – David Schomer
“If you are really early on [your business], just focus on the core aspects of getting your business going.” – Ken Wilson
- Internal Revenue Service
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Dropbox Business
- Google Drive
- Inventory Lab
Email us –> firstname.lastname@example.org
You know, you’re out on a golf course and your high five and your buddy and yeah, we’re gonna start this empire. And then the next thing you know, you know, three, four years down the road, you’ve got this business or and, and it’s doing well and you know your partner just fades away or you know, or something happens to them or you know, or whatever. And there was never contracts or anything and you know what you find yourself in court and litigation and it just goes downhill. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about that. So
you don’t need to have a bookkeeper or an accountant to do your books. I think that should be something that you add very early on, just so you can know your numbers and your profitability. But when you take your bank statements to an accountant, to do your books, if you have everything in one spot, it’s so much easier,
do not get hung up on the name, like I’ve seen so many people just not move forward because they cannot pick a name or they you know it like they get into analysis paralysis. Do not do that, you know,
Welcome, everyone, to the Firing The Man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.
Welcome everyone to the Firing The Man podcast podcast on today’s episode, we discuss the top five things to do on the front end of your business that will make your life easier. Now can we could have easily named this episode five things that David screwed up when he started his business. And he really hopes our listeners don’t make the same mistakes. I’m sure you’ve got a couple in your own business. That that you do a lot differently.
Yeah, I was just thinking, we could probably name every one of our podcasts that but yeah, so the same in the same boat. As you, David. It’s like when you start a business, you put your best foot forward, and you just try to make it happen. And then you learn as you go, I did the same thing. I’m sure a lot of people starting businesses do that. So the list that we’re gonna kind of go over today is lessons learned from us. And to get back and say, Hey, if you’re if you’re at the beginning of your journey, here are some things that you want to take care of before. So you can improve and you know, have an easier road than what we did.
Absolutely, absolutely. Now the first one that comes to mind is registering your business with the IRS. Now, a lot of people find this very intimidating in there are services like LegalZoom that can do this for you. But I would tell you, and I’m a CPA, but really don’t have any specialized knowledge. If you want to say start an LLC, if you go to the IRS website, they’ve got very detailed instructions on how to do this. Also, if you type into YouTube, how to start an LLC on the IRS website, there’s a bunch of videos that will walk you through step by step. And so if you want to pay the 200 bucks and and just move on and have someone else do this for you go for it. But I would say that it is you know, inside of 10 minutes, you can have your own LLC and what this is going to do is give you an Ei n an employee identification number. And when you’re registering with Amazon, on Shopify, there’s going to be a lot of places that ask you for this Ei n and it’s an important way to you know, identify your business. It’s basically a social security. Number four your business. The other thing that I would say is when you’re picking a business name, see if anyone else has that name, or something similar. When I picked my original company’s name, I just picked it because I liked it. And it sounded good. And that led me to getting my trademark challenged and lawsuit that made my trademark delay about seven months. And so do some homework just to make sure that this doesn’t, your business name doesn’t already exist. A good place to do that would be uspto.gov, where you can search for existing trademarks on business names. So the second thing, and boy is this a big mistake. And boy did it take a long time to unwind but set up a business checking account and have a business credit card. And what I did starting off was I commingled my personal expenses and bank accounts with the business. And I think that you know, right out of the gate, you don’t need to have a bookkeeper or an accountant to do your books. I think that should be something that you add very early on, just so you can know your numbers and your profitability. But when you take your bank statements to an accountant to do your books, if you have everything in one spot, it’s so much easier. I commingled my personal bank account and checking account with my personal stuff and I had to go back and you know, six months after the fact and identify this was a business expense. This was a personal expense. And so, you know, Ken, did you make that mistake early on?
Yeah, so I did and I kind of kept everything and spreadsheets and and all that but what I would say is that, you know if you’re listening to this and don’t get you know Just Just move forward a bit opening a business checking account and a business credit card. It’s not hard. It’s literally almost the same as a personal checking account and a personal credit card, right? You You do need your your your business identity and stuff like that. But it doesn’t cost anything extra. It’s nothing special. But doing it on the front side of your business is going to save you a massive headache, like David and I went through trying to go back through and, and get everything separated out. So it’s definitely it’s, it’s something easy to do.
Absolutely, absolutely. Moving forward. And this isn’t a mistake that I’ve made. But I do think it’s just best practice. If you’re entering a new business with a partner, it is good to draft a partnership agreement and put things in writing. And I think a lot of people skip this step because they assume they need to hire an attorney. And you know, pay $15,000 for a partnership agreement. And what I’ll tell you is a contract is a written agreement signed by two people that can be written literally handwritten, but I think it is very good to spell out what each partner is going to do. And the roles and responsibilities moving forward. Can you and I are right in the middle of this right now. We’re we have a joint venture that we’re working on. And we’re putting things in writing. And I think that’s been really helpful, as we you know, carve our path forward, is we know what we’re going to be doing. And we know the ownership roles and responsibilities. And so, any thoughts on this one?
Yeah, so I’ve heard some horror stories. I haven’t personally done this and made this mistake, but I’ve got friends that have you know, it’s like that thing where, you know, you’re out on a golf course, and your high five and your buddy and yeah, we’re gonna start this empire. And then the next thing you know, you know, three, four years down the road, you’ve got this business or and, and it’s doing well, and, you know, your partner just fades away, or you know, or something happens to them or you know, or whatever. And there was never contracts or anything. And you know, what you find yourself in court and litigation and it just goes downhill? I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about that. So yeah, if you’re, if you’re thinking about a partnership, or if you’re doing anything in that, yeah, just look into it. And like David said, it’s, you know, it’s quick and easy. And well, it’s probably not quick and easy, but it but it’s worth doing ahead of time. And it’s not too hard.
Absolutely. And I would say if contacting an attorney gives you some comfort in your partnership agreement, then go for it. But what I will say is, there’s a lot of, you know, if you just Google partnership agreements, there’s a lot of work Doc’s out there that really spell out your typical partnership agreement. And what you can do is use that as your starting spot, and add in things that that are very important to you, and delete things that are not relevant to you. And that to me, seems like you know, for people that are trying to be very cost efficient going through this process, I think that that is something definitely worth doing the juice is worth the squeeze. And one pro tip on this. If you’re you know, Ken and I are This week, we’re going through this. And we’ve talked to a bunch of people that have been in partnerships before and one thing that stood out to me was somebody said, include a mediation clause, because going to court is very expensive. And mediation is much less expensive. And oftentimes you can reach, you know, the same conclusion that you’re going to reach if you were to hire an attorney and go to court. So that’ll definitely be something in our partnership agreement. Anything else on this as before we move forward?
No, I think we’ve covered most everything.
Okay, the fourth thing to do on the front end of your business that’s going to make your life easier is go in and lock down all the social media handles in the URL. And even if you have no intention of using that particular profile. Now I’ll give you an example. When we started firing the man, we registered on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and then we bought the url Firing theman.com. Now we also were not on tik tok. But we have a tic Tock login just because we want if someone were to search firing demand, we want in we decided to get on tik tok, we want them to be led to our page. And I find that you know, Pinterest is another really, I think it’s kind of a sleeper that a lot of people don’t use enough of, but I would go through it in all popular social media handles at the, you know, lock those in. And same thing with your URL. Oftentimes, before I pick a business name, I’ll go out and see how much that URL is going to cost. You know, typically on GoDaddy, your typical URL is going to cost you like nine bucks. However, there are certain keywords that are very expensive, and you can come up with an awesome company name, you can go in and lock in all your social media handles. And then when it’s time to, you know, buy the website or the URL for that website. It may cost $5,000 which is a huge bummer. And so this is something as you’re going through the you know the business planning process, get on GoDaddy type in what you’re thinking your business name is going to be and that is a positive ROI. tivity for sure.
Yeah, absolutely, I would definitely echo that, David. It’s kind of early on. So as you’re thinking of names and and, and whether you even do an LLC and do a, you know, a DBA, or however you want to structure it, one of the first things to do would be check your domain, you know, whatever name it is your domain, make sure that’s available and make sure that it’s not, you know, for sale, if somebody’s not squatting on it right, and trying to go and try to sell it to you for 10 grand or 100, grand, you know, make sure it’s like what David said, a reasonable price, and all the social handles, it kind of goes hand in hand with the filing, you know, you kind of want to do all that around the same time. So it’s kind of like, just a quick brainstorming session, make sure it’s all there locked in, and then take action immediately on all of it. You know, I would say that, for anybody listening to this, that’s getting ready to start a business or in the process, do not get hung up on the name, like I’ve seen so many people just not move forward, because they cannot pick a name or they you know, it’s like, they get into analysis paralysis. Do not do that, you know, if you’re down to five names, and you can’t decide, ask your friend, ask your partner, ask someone on the internet, I don’t know, figure it out and just just make a decision to move forward. Don’t get hung up at that process.
Definitely. I’m thinking of one of your brains in and you actually didn’t you hire somebody to name your company?
Yeah, actually, I did. Right. I, I hired somebody on Fiverr. And I said, Here this is, these are the things that I am going to sell. And I want to source out a name. And I and they they did a whole sheet right up and they gave me a bunch of options. And boom.
Yeah, I think that’s, you know, people definitely get hung up on that. I think they also get hung up on the logo. And in my opinion, the logo does not matter until you have sales, until you have profits, you can have the world’s best logo. But unless you’ve got traffic to your website, and you’ve got people buying your products, it doesn’t matter because no one’s gonna see it.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s what we call the MVP Minimum Viable products make it happen, for sure, for sure.
Now, the number five thing on my list, and this is something that I’ve royally messed up in, if probably it’s been in the last year that I’ve got everything ironed out is have a systematized way of saving your records. When I first started my business, I had things saved on my desktop, I had things saved in Google Drive, I had things saved on an external hard drive. And nothing was in one spot. And I have recently migrated to Dropbox business. And we’re not endorsed by Dropbox business, but I’ll tell you why I chose them. One, it’s really easy to share files. So when I hire a VA, I will give them access to you know, certain folders, and they can go in and you know, do whatever they need to do. And you know, when things are saved on an external hard drive, or, you know, on my desktop, I need to email all of that. So, Ken, how do you organize your business?
Yeah, absolutely. So I would say this is definitely a crucial aspect and something to get out in front of early on. Because you know, I did not for the first year like David, I, you know, I had stuff on my laptop, I had some stuff on my PC, and just all around. So right now I’ve got, you know, 99% of it, I use Google Drive. So that’s kind of my, you know, I got an upgraded connection or storage. And I have everything there. And it’s super easy to send links and share files and folders and kind of add VA to certain spots on there that I want them into and have private stuff that it don’t, I think it’s really crucial to have everything secured and everything in a cloud based solution. So if you you know if your PII if your house catches on fire, or if you’re, you know, if your dog chews on your laptop or whatever, right, like you need a cloud based solution with with all of your business document, you’re running a business, you need it all in one spot, and you need it secure.
Definitely. And I think one thing that I have started to do, which is really helpful, is I try to document everything. So I’ll give you an example. There’s one supplier that I ordered from every two weeks. And if you looked at the last 50 emails that I sent them, they all follow like the same pattern. And it’s usually like three sentences. I’ll tell them about how many units I want. And I’ll tell them about what’s attached. And what I did recently was I just took a Word doc, I saved in the standard language that I use for every email. And now when it’s time to email them, I can just have my VA copy and paste and send it for me. And now did it take you know, one minute to type up that email every time Yeah, but it’s a manual process that I have removed myself from. And so for people that are starting their business and I’m this is going to go full nerd right now on how I have my records set up in terms of my file storage And how I think this is what fits a lot of businesses. And it’s taken me a long time to get to this file structure. So when you click on my company name, it takes you to seven sub folders. So I have zero underscore operations, which is where I keep like a list of all of my products. UPC is information like that. The next folder is one underscore products. And this is where I have all my product photography, this is where I have my copy for all my listings. This is where I keep my video, and each product is identified by the parent asen. You don’t need to go to that level of detail if you don’t want, but it’s really nice. When you tell a VA Hey, can you work on this listing, that they just all they have to do is look up the asen. And the next folder is inventory management. So I use inventory lab. And this is where I keep all of those reports. Also, when I’m ordering, each order is denoted by the date that I’m placing that order. And so it’s helpful when I need to come back and take a look at an order that’s you know, maybe two or three months old, I can just go to that inventory management folder. The next one is three underscore admin. This is where I have kind of miscellaneous things. So the Ei n letter that I get from the IRS, I put that in there, I have a centralized document for usernames and passwords, which is really helpful when you’re communicating with the VA. And anytime I add a new login, I always add it to that sheet. The next folder is for underscore projects. And you’re going to have a lot of miscellaneous projects. So like product research is one where I just like to have everything in one spot. So that’s what I keep in that folder. The next one is five underscore social media, it’s where I keep all my pictures that I post on social, oftentimes, especially in the beginning, I’d create this awesome image, it’d be on my cell phone, I’d upload it to Canva, you know, I put my brand name on it, and then I post it, but then I didn’t like have a repository for those really good images. And when we started using Amazon, what’s that tool on amis posts posts, when we started using posts, I realized, you know, I have all of these pictures that I’ve made that would be perfect for this, or I never took the time to save them. So that’s what I put in that folder. And then the last folder is six underscore vendors. And each vendor that I deal with has their own folder. And this is a really nice way, you know, if they email you pricing, or you know, there’s any issues with your order, I like to put everything in one spot here. Now, you may wonder why I have zero underscore, one, underscore, to underscore so on and so forth. And the reason for that is in my sub folders, I will have folder 2.1. folder 2.2. And I follow the same system throughout. And what I found is, it’s a lot easier to communicate with your VA s when you say, hey, I want you to do this go to, you know, folder, 4.1 point four. And then that way, I don’t have to like list out, you know, the folder name, and it’s just, it’s a much easier way to communicate. And so I’m sorry, for those of you this may have been like incredibly boring this last point. But what I can tell you is, you know, treat your business as if it’s going to grow and scale to $10 million dollars. And most $10 million businesses have a very organized and systematized way of saving records. And so if you do this on the front end of your business, it’s gonna save you the headache of pulling files off your desktop, Google Drive at, you know, everywhere, put them in one central location. And you know, one thing that held me back from this, for the longest time was think Dropbox businesses like 999 a month. And for whatever reason I had this mental hurdle on like, I don’t like I can use this other free stuff, or I already have an external hard drive. But in hindsight, it’s, you know, the best nine bucks I spend every month. And it’s just a great way to communicate with, especially as you start to add people to your business.
Yeah, I like that that numbering scheme, as you were going through there, I was confused as to why you had numbers on them, because I don’t use that. But now that you mentioned it, like sending someone directly to a folder, and you could say, hey, this sub folder to the sub folder, so sub folder where you have to list out, you know, all of these folder names, if you just say four dot two dot one, that’s I think that’s brilliant, that that’s I’m apt to look into that.
Yeah, it’s especially, you know, at some point, you get so deep in your folder naming conventions that it’s hard to, like go back and redo this, but it’s you know, after it’s just saved me a ton of time, you know, the number of folder reference, I make folder references every day to my VA s. And so you know, saving those 10 seconds of typing it out. That adds up over time. So, so can this. These are my top five top five things that I kind of messed up on the front end of my business. Is there anything that stands out to you that you wish you would have done when you were starting your business?
Yeah, so I would echo all of these and you know, want one or the other ones. that I would say is that I, I ramped up too fast with, with products and, and hiring people. And that really got me a little bit of trouble early on. So trying to, you know, do too much early on, or, you know, bring people in when you don’t need them yet. So if you’re really early on, just focus on the core aspects of getting your business going. And as minimal amounts of processes as you can, right. Like, don’t spread yourself too thin across, hey, I’m gonna make this massive Empire as entrepreneurs, we want to just all the time, like, take everything on, we want to say yes to everything. So I would just say like, some of the specific things that I that I wish I could redo would be not taking on too many projects and not trying, you know, then I had to try to hire people. And it just got really super complicated. So stick to the basics, one thing at a time, keep it simple.
That would be my recommendation, for sure. You know, this is an entirely nother episode in and of itself. But you know, that ramping up I’ve had a lot of people ask me, like, when is the right time to use a VA and one decision rule that I’ve used in my business, which I think, you know, applies to like hiring a VA, or, you know, adding another skew or a new product, is I like to take half my net income. So say I have $2,000 of net income per month, I like to take half of that and keep it for just investment in inventory. And I like to take the other half and allocate to new projects. So say a part time VA was going to cost you 15 $100 per month, and you had net income of $2,000, I would say you’re not quite ready, I would only allocate half of net income to hiring in launching new products. And that has been obviously there have been times where I’ve really put my foot on the gas, and I’ve blown all 2000 bucks in my net income and put some money on credit cards or lines of credit. But I would say if you’re to follow that rule, you’re not going to get underwater, or at least you’re not going to like accelerate the process of getting underwater. So yeah, I like that. Anything else before we wrap up the show?
No, I think it was huge. I wish you know, I would have had this show three years ago when I was starting my company. So if you’re listening out there, you know take these and use what you can and best of luck to you,
for sure. And to you the listener go to firing demand. com click on the microphone, and let us know what is one thing that you wish that you would have done on the front end of your business that would make your life easier today. These were our five or six but I’m sure there’s others out there that would be helpful to the audience and we’ll share those on a future episode. Thanks, everyone for tuning in.
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s Firing The Man Podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing demand discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at Firing The Man on YouTube at Firing The Man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out
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