Being Self-Employed – 5 Final Pre-Launch Steps
Get Ready, Set, GO!
Now that you've assessed your readiness and acquired your business 'space' you are ready for the final countdown towards being in business for yourself! Now, for the most part this series of steps is for preparation for a successful ONLINE/INTERNET business or enterprise. However, mastery of ALL the Pre-Launch steps will firmly position anyone in a winning position for a successful entry into self-employment.
The Final 5 Pre-Launch Steps addresses 'technical' as well as 'book keeping' matters and actually are designed to bring some mental relief to those that are ready to get started.
Make sure that your PC or Laptop can handle daily use of up to 16 hours per day. Now, you may be thinking 'WHAT does THAT mean?' Because it does sound a bit strange, even to me. . . Ok, your pc or laptop needs to be able to access the internet; upload graphics [pictures], videos, sounds/tunes and, of course, text; and there needs to be a 'secure' area on your pc or laptop to store customers' or clients' personal information [Privacy Act]. Your 'processor' and internet connection needs to be fast enough to upload the great website that you're going to build or have someone build for you. If your processor has a 1+ ghz speed or is duo-core you have enough 'power' to get started. If you know how to password protect files and have a large amount of space on your hard drive then your pc or laptop can handle all that's mentioned here.
If you are SHARING a pc or laptop be prepared to purchase a separate hard drive for your business and all of your business information. I recommend buying a 500 GB [gigabyte] external drive [generally marketed as a 'back up' drive ] that is USB compatible. You can easily get by with 250 or 350 gigs of storage space to begin with but less than that will only cause you to have to 'upgrade' within a year [because YOUR business will grow so swiftly it'll demand more space!]. Being in a position of having the skill to build desktop systems puts me at an advantage to the average entry level entrepreneur because, I can throw an internal hard drive into my system at any time. . . Or simply build another box [I LOVE putting desktop pc systems together! :) ] However, if you're starting out with a laptop and/or limited financial resources you can purchase a 500 GB external hard drive for $99 and less, if you shop carefully and watch the electronics' sales. The privacy aspect of a separate hard drive cannot be overstressed and may well be the topic of a future article. . . .
Purchase some accounting software that has invoicing capabilities. I have no recommendations on the 'best' of these softwares – I've worked with most of them, don't like accounting at all, so they all are more or less the same to me! You can also download for FREE a copy of QuickBooks Simple Start which has a great set of the most important features needed to manage your business in the beginning.
While it is wise to already have decided what form your business will take, i.e., sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, etc. that isn't a necessity for tax purposes. You can start your business, make tons of money and file your taxes as a 'person/individual' utilizing a 'Schedule C' reporting form that reports your business earnings and losses. See your tax advisor/attorney OR visit the IRS website for additional information. Also, it is a good idea to have an independent tax preparer handle your tax paperwork as opposed to a 'chain' tax prep agent because an independent can and usually will give your small business more personal AND detailed attention. JMHO
When choosing a host for your internet business website make sure you choose one that offers an 'eCommerce' package as one of the perks. If you plan on using your current internet provider and they offer a free home page OR if you already have a home page & domain name then you can utilize a FREE e-commerce software package called OS Commerce. There are many free e-commerce marketplaces and websites that you can use which may be simpler than learning how to install and utilize a new software along with starting a new business. [Please Note: I have not used OS Commerce – yet.]
Once you have 'checked off' all of these 5 and the previous 10 Pre-Launch steps from your 'to do' list you are ready to start your business. Now, you may or may not have your own domain name, website, hosting company, etc. and those are topics for an entirely different article(s) to come! However, if you can get online – which is probably how you are able to read this article – then you ARE in position to launch your business and expect success based upon the firm foundation which YOU have built, 'brick by brick' via these '15 Pre-Launch Steps' and tips.
YE is Here!
YE is an author; electronics, computer & gadget geek; certified holistic health consultant; grandmother and devoted traveler that currently resides in Georgia. She can be contacted for interviews, consultations and general comments at either of her websites.
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