PDA

View Full Version : So I started my own business...


Rock Chalk
06-11-2009, 05:37 PM
As many of you know I am a web developer and after working with many folks over the past 4 years and watching them collect all the money I decided I was going to do it on my own.

Well, today I just landed a monstrous client that will be sending literally dozens of companies to my company every year.

Now I know I need to do some more stuff but I was wondering if any of you had your own businesses and what all else I need to do before Im really ready to go. So far I have my LLC and my business bank account set up, but Im pretty sure there is more to it than that. What else will I need to do to get things going as far as taxes and such.

I am the sole proprietor but I have 2 other associates, while not legally entitled to anything, are essentially partners in this endeavor.

IF you are interested in taking a look we can be found here: www.novanetonline.com, but really Im just looking for some free advice on what else needs to happen for my business to be 100% ready to go.

Northman
06-11-2009, 05:48 PM
Tech Support?

bronco610
06-11-2009, 05:52 PM
Insurance, an agreement between you and the 2 associates. The smart thing to do since you already are an LLC is to pay yourself a salary and have taxes taken out . Use one of the payroll companies. Thats just the first couple of things. I have owned several businesses and would need more info about yours before giving you further advice but one thing if you can afford it is a CPA familiar with your type business. It will save you a lot of headaches and let you concentrate on doing the work instead of the books.

Rock Chalk
06-11-2009, 05:53 PM
Tech Support?

Sometimes. Tech support related to websites, but thats not really what we do.

We develop websites, from design to restructuring. Overhaul static sites to Database driven sites, manage marketing campaigns, hosting, e-commerce, troubleshooting existing systems, etc.

Meck77
06-11-2009, 05:54 PM
Good for you Raenos. Great time to start a business. While people are complaining about how tough things are and closing up shop you are plowing ahead! Congrats.

You are going to need a Tax ID. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99336,00.html

I'd recommend calling your local SBA (Small Business Administration). They are there to give you free advice.

Also I did a quick glance of your site. Looks great but I'd reword the section under portfolio. I'd take the part out about having a small portfolio. Just say here are some samples and call it good.

Best of luck. I'll certainly consider your offer you sent via pm as well.

Rock Chalk
06-11-2009, 05:56 PM
Good for you Raenos. Great time to start a business. While people are complaining about how tough things are and closing up shop you are plowing ahead! Congrats.

You are going to need a Tax ID. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99336,00.html

I'd recommend calling your local SBA (Small Business Administration). They are there to give you free advice.

Also I did a quick glance of your site. Looks great but I'd reword the section under portfolio. I'd take the part out about having a small portfolio. Just say here are some samples and call it good.

Best of luck. I'll certainly consider your offer you sent via pm as well.

Wording on the site is more or less temporary. Portfolio is actually about ten times larger than that but we just havent had time to add to it yet.

All great advice though!

Meck77
06-11-2009, 05:57 PM
Here you go dude. All your local government BS and tax links you'll need and more.

http://www.parkercolorado.org/pdfFiles/PARKERSMALLBUSINESSRESOURCEGUIDE.pdf

You might consider joining your chamber of commerce and registering with the better business bureau eventually. Good networking and it will confuse people into thinking you are a legit business and not the ahole that we all know you are. ;D

frerottenextelway
06-11-2009, 06:28 PM
Sometimes. Tech support related to websites, but thats not really what we do.

We develop websites, from design to restructuring. Overhaul static sites to Database driven sites, manage marketing campaigns, hosting, e-commerce, troubleshooting existing systems, etc.

Web development, SEO, and the like is one of the hardest niches to get into without a lot of word of mouth already working for you. It' seems you got that, which is great (and necessary).

If you're looking for organic traffic and business, I'd recommend creating entry level pages almost soley designed for ''long tailed keywords" (secondary search terms since you're not going to rank on the front page for ''seo'') This is a great tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)for using to find those kind of keywords.

Don't have those pages be part of your basic navigation on the page, but do have it so that a search engine spider can find them. Also, create and submit sitemaps to google (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools)and yahoo (https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/)webmaster sections.

Sign up for Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/) and track and replicate what does work well. And of course, put links with good anchor text to your site and inner pages anywhere and everywhere you get a chance.

I don't know how much of the above you didn't already know, but hope it helps if you didn't. I know jacksh_t on the design side of things, but if you have any questions on the seo side of things, feel free to ask here or in PM.

broncogary
06-11-2009, 06:33 PM
Congrats, Adam. You'll be glad that you did. Forget the SBA. PM me and I'll refer you to a good CPA I know up there.

Meck77
06-11-2009, 06:37 PM
I hear ya Gary. A CPA is certainly worth their weight in gold but some of them think they can bill at attorney rates.

Might consider a payroll company like this to handle your payroll. www.paychex.com

Ratboy
06-11-2009, 06:40 PM
Cool.

Congrats and good luck.

broncosteven
06-11-2009, 07:19 PM
May I be the 1st to say your site is ****ing Gay?

In a good way that is.

LOL

Good luck, let me know if you need some help on the side I have lots of free time when my back/shoulder/neck are not spasming.

Broncoman13
06-11-2009, 09:29 PM
BRAVO... Congrats buddy. Here's hoping your business takes off and you end up with a bunch of box seats at Inve$co and have to invite your buddy Alex to all the games. ;D

i4jelway7
06-12-2009, 04:04 AM
hey rock once you are established if you are looking for an employee I'd be interested in relocating to denver from virginia. I'm A+ and net + certified. I don't have much experience in building websites and such but I can learn.

Endy
06-12-2009, 06:12 AM
As many of you know I am a web developer and after working with many folks over the past 4 years and watching them collect all the money I decided I was going to do it on my own.

Well, today I just landed a monstrous client that will be sending literally dozens of companies to my company every year.

Now I know I need to do some more stuff but I was wondering if any of you had your own businesses and what all else I need to do before Im really ready to go. So far I have my LLC and my business bank account set up, but Im pretty sure there is more to it than that. What else will I need to do to get things going as far as taxes and such.

I am the sole proprietor but I have 2 other associates, while not legally entitled to anything, are essentially partners in this endeavor.

IF you are interested in taking a look we can be found here: www.novanetonline.com, but really Im just looking for some free advice on what else needs to happen for my business to be 100% ready to go.

You said that the copy on the website is temporary and that is a good thing.

From this college professor's perspective, it is in need of some serious copy editing. Misplaced apostrophes, incorrect word usage, these things will undermine your credibility. This is where I'd insert an insult about a KU education since I went to KSU, but I can't.

Your message is good though. Good luck!

Peoples Champ
06-12-2009, 07:15 AM
Good luck with your business, I hope it takes off.

GSRelyea
06-12-2009, 07:35 AM
I use paychex as well with my company, they are great- pretty much handle everything for you. And when tax time comes you will have all necessary paperwork to make filing very easy. Also I might suggest getting a corporate kit, costs about $70 but is quite handy with keeping all corporate documents (Minutes, Articles, Operating Agreement, Certificates, Membership Listing) organized. Corpkit.com is a great company good price, and quality product.
.

worm
06-12-2009, 07:41 AM
Hire a smokin' personal assistant.

Worth their weight in gold more than a CPA.

vancejohnson82
06-12-2009, 08:39 AM
you hiring?

Tombstone RJ
06-12-2009, 09:38 AM
Hey, can I be part of your staff Alec??:

Our staff has a diverse group of individuals with talents that range across the board.

Granted, I may bring nothing to the table for your new business but that does not mean I don't have talent!

TailgateNut
06-12-2009, 09:38 AM
Here you go dude. All your local government BS and tax links you'll need and more.

http://www.parkercolorado.org/pdfFiles/PARKERSMALLBUSINESSRESOURCEGUIDE.pdf

You might consider joining your chamber of commerce and registering with the better business bureau eventually. Good networking and it will confuse people into thinking you are a legit business and not the ahole that we all know you are. ;D


The BBB is a frigging joke. (Buying Better Business Label).

Tombstone RJ
06-12-2009, 09:43 AM
Hire a smokin' personal assistant.

Worth their weight in gold more than a CPA.

word

whatsgolden
06-12-2009, 09:50 AM
I would join a BNI group (Business Networking International). There's a bunch of chapters in pretty much any metro area. They're industry exclusive & usually filled with a bunch of other small business owners. It's a referral group filled with other like-minded people who are looking to network & pass business to one another.

I didn't own my own business, but it was instrumental in my success in sales. It worked great for me. And, the web developer in our group seemed to get a referral every week, he did very well.

www.bni.com

Rock Chalk
06-12-2009, 12:00 PM
You said that the copy on the website is temporary and that is a good thing.

From this college professor's perspective, it is in need of some serious copy editing. Misplaced apostrophes, incorrect word usage, these things will undermine your credibility. This is where I'd insert an insult about a KU education since I went to KSU, but I can't.

Your message is good though. Good luck!

I didnt write the copy so the knock on my education would be misplaced :)

Re: The SEO comments. Organic traffic is not even an option for us. This is the second most competitive field for internet traffic in the world (behind car sales) so trying to get the traffic would be an excersize in futulity. I know all the stuff you mentioned though, this isn't my first rodeo but thanks for the thoughts anyway.

Gary, PM me with the CPA person's info, I'll contact him/her as soon as possible.

I appreciate everyone's advice, when I get my luxury seats at Invesco, I may invite some of you plebians to enjoy the game in comfort.

Rock Chalk
06-12-2009, 12:23 PM
So I started my own... 06-12-2009 09:42 AM bpc
Just posting to be an ass but I hope your business goes under and you end up fishing out of a dumpster for food. b****. ha ha.

You stay classy Chris.

TheReverend
06-12-2009, 12:39 PM
Congrats and best wishes. This sounds right up your alley.

gunns
06-12-2009, 01:10 PM
I appreciate everyone's advice, when I get my luxury seats at Invesco, I may invite some of you plebians to enjoy the game in comfort.

Don't forget, we go way back.

Good luck with your business.

Sassy
06-12-2009, 02:15 PM
Good Luck!

Bronx33
06-12-2009, 04:41 PM
I didnt write the copy so the knock on my education would be misplaced :)

Re: The SEO comments. Organic traffic is not even an option for us. This is the second most competitive field for internet traffic in the world (behind car sales) so trying to get the traffic would be an excersize in futulity. I know all the stuff you mentioned though, this isn't my first rodeo but thanks for the thoughts anyway.

Gary, PM me with the CPA person's info, I'll contact him/her as soon as possible.

I appreciate everyone's advice, when I get my luxury seats at Invesco, I may invite some of you plebians to enjoy the game in comfort.


I will take the hard plastic seats down with all the hardcore fans thank you very much but i will come up and drink your booze :clown:

frerottenextelway
06-12-2009, 06:20 PM
Re: The SEO comments. Organic traffic is not even an option for us. This is the second most competitive field for internet traffic in the world (behind car sales) so trying to get the traffic would be an excersize in futulity. I know all the stuff you mentioned though, this isn't my first rodeo but thanks for the thoughts anyway.


Okay. Best of luck. :thumbsup:

smalltowngrll
06-12-2009, 08:52 PM
There's some great advice here!

Actually, start ups and accounting is what I do for a living!

1. Non Compete's for your associates! Make sure you get a buyout option in the non compete that states if your associate wants to work solely for that company (your client) on their own, they have to buy the rights from you. If they are 'kinda" partners, make sure you get something cleared up in writing. Partnerships are EXTEMELY difficult and it's like being married...only you aren't in love with your partner and you don't get any sex! :) And I'm being ALLLLL serious here. It all starts out good, but when push comes to shove, someone is always hurt. Get it straightened out and clear from the beginning. Either a partnership agreement or a non compete if they aren't partners.
2. If they are not partners, then you will need to 1099 them at the end of the year. So, make sure you get a w-9 from them. Don't wait to do this till the end of the year, get it up front.
3. Keep your books clean. Don't pay personal expenses out of your business account. Write yourself a check, put it in your personal account and then pay personal expenses. Just keep it clean!
4. Either hire a bookkeeper or learn how to keep your books yourself. Purchase a copy of Quickbooks. (pm me if you need help on this one) A good bookkeeper will teach you how to do as much of it as you want to do. Heck, if you don't have that many expenses, you could hire one, send them a copy of your checkbook once a month or once a quarter and they can do your books for you. It will cost you MUCH less than having your tax accountant do it all for you at the end of the year. A good bookkeeper isn't cheap, but they are cheaper than an accountant. Expect to pay $35-$55 an hour, but a good bookkeeper will keep your books neat and clean in half the time of a cheap one that doesn't know what they are doing. With Quickbooks you can do your quotes and also invoice your customers from it. Very professional and good at tracking who owes you what.
5. You already have an LLC, right? So, I'll assume you have a Tax ID since you already have a checking account? If not, get one.
6. Marketing. There are TONS of ways to market your business for free. Most newspapers will allow you to submit an article as a guest writer/contributor that has to do with your industry. Also,some independent newspapers have business sections that you can submit what's happening to your business. Take the time to get out and go to the man networking social hours that are around your community. Meck suggested getting involved with your local chamber. That costs money, but a good chamber has lots of networking events to participate in. But, the best way to advertise is word of mouth. Make every single client happy even when they don't deserve it!
7. Advertising. Sometimes you don't need this, sometimes you do. But, if you do print ads, don't skimp on the quality of your logo or ad. It says a lot about you!
8. Going back to the accounting/legal aspect. Put together a Terms of Service agreement for clients. This protects you, but also makes you look professional and helps your customers feel assured that they will get what they pay for.

This is just a short lst, but you sound like you've got tons of great advice here.

Good Luck!!! And, feel free to pm if you've got extended questions. I'd be glad to help out!

Fedaykin
06-13-2009, 12:23 AM
Need # 1:

Web designs that aren't boring, unimaginative and redundant. Seriously, every example in the portfolio is exactly the same site (with the exception of the "Cool Texas Things" site that looks like a 13 year old made it).

Hogan11
06-13-2009, 12:28 AM
I was expecting it to be called something like Azzhole Web Design, Hosting and Development Ha!

Seriously, all the best with your new biz

Hulamau
06-13-2009, 02:46 AM
Sometimes. Tech support related to websites, but that's not really what we do.

We develop websites, from design to restructuring. Overhaul static sites to Database driven sites, manage marketing campaigns, hosting, e-commerce, troubleshooting existing systems, etc.

Kudos and best of luck Alec!

I'm sure you'll do well. And with setting up the LLC you've limited yourself to a single layer of tax treatment and limited your liability. Perhaps look into setting up a revocable living trust with a pour over will attached for yourself as well. It may be a good tool for you or maybe you decide to go another route, but at least check into it.

bpc
06-13-2009, 03:04 AM
You stay classy Chris.

QFT.