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Well folks - after several months hiatus, I'm back. The original plan was to work for another nine months - get one more bonus and vest the profit sharing. Then start up the financial planning practice.

Except that on Monday my boss invited me into personnel to present my severance package. So I'm going into business now! (My previous moonlighting plans were halted by my becoming aware of conflict of interest restrictions from the job.) I'm off to the courthouse to register my DBA and making arraingements to register with the state. Yikes! Websites, logos, literature, marketing, oh my!

Wish me luck folks!

Womanontheverge

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I'm off to the courthouse to register my DBA and making arraingements to register with the state. Yikes! Websites, logos, literature, marketing, oh my!

Check out http://www.sba.gov/. The SBA used to send out a "welcome packet" that contained most of the usual forms for starting up a business - registering a dba, getting a sales tax license, etc. I imagine they now have this stuff available online (I started my biz in 1994), but you might still be able to get a welcome packet from your local SBA office. It will advise you about a lot about things you might not think of, like checking to see if your tradename is in use before you get your business cards printed (my very first costly mistake).

I'm sorry to hear about the way you were "motivated" to get moving on this, but it sounds like you're using your lemons to make lemonade. Good luck in your new endeavor. What are you going to be doing?

SoftSimp
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'm sorry to hear about the way you were "motivated" to get moving on this, but it sounds like you're using your lemons to make lemonade. Good luck in your new endeavor. What are you going to be doing?

My partner says that getting fired probably saved my life. The stress was starting to affect my health. I really hated that job. But it didn't make sense to leave the bonus and profit sharing, it was only nine months away from vesting! Now it's been taken out of my hands.

I think everyone at my old job is amazed at how calmly I'm taking this. But it's really freed me to do what I want with my life. Scary at the prospect seems!

I will be running two lines of business. First, and easiest to start-up, is daily money management. See this website for a definition of what that is.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/services/apact/apact02.htm

There is a large population of well-off elderly in my neighborhood. I'm in touch with a social worker/eldercare manager who has clients who need this service & she's very interested in being able to refer to me. She's sure that her clients will love me. I'll need some business insurance and some more contacts for referals. I'm planning on contacting estate planning lawyers and assisted living communities, etc. once I get some literature together, so I look like a serious and going concern.

The other line of business, that I hope to eventually have as my core business, is financial planning. I have joined this network and will follow their model:

http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com/index.asp?tohome=yes

This will require that I pass a 'series' exam and that I register with the state, among other things. So it will take longer to get off the ground. Although I already have one client that I got just by telling a neighbor that I was planning on doing this (permissible without registration if I'm not actively soliciting for business, limit 5 clients.)

Womanontheverge
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My partner says that getting fired probably saved my life. The stress was starting to affect my health. I really hated that job...<snip>...I think everyone at my old job is amazed at how calmly I am taking this. But its really freed me to do what I really want with my life.

My layoff 6-7 months ago was a very similar situation. Although before it happened it seemed impossible to give up the nice salary and the company benefits, the fact is I was unhappy, and now, without a regular salary or company benefits, I am very happy running my own business. Not such a bad tradeoff, eh?

A few pieces of advice:

1) HAVE A PLAN for what you are doing, with timeframes for completion of each step. Its very easy to drift along and let weeks go by without getting much of substance accomplished. It can be as simple as this:
Monday: get dba
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: investigate competitive services and pricing and find study guide or group for licensing exam
Friday: create a spreadsheet for anticipated expenses and break-even analysis; schedule licensing exam
etc. etc. etc.

2) Everyone in the world has advice for you when you are starting your own business. 90% of it is useless, or stuff that you already thought of like, five years ago. Listen to all of it though and thank them....they're just trying to help. The 10% that's helpful is like gold. I would also suggest that in addition to the SBA, look for a Small Business Development Center in your area. Mine was affiliated with a local college and the local Chamber of Commerce. The Development Officer there can help you in analyzing your business plan and making concrete suggestions. This is a free service.

3) This is the most important advice of all:

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! There will be many times when doubts creep in and even people like your own parents will have that skeptical tone in their voice when you talk to them about what you're doing. Sigh. At these times, remember your plan and your own analysis of the risks and rewards of the venture you have chosen, and go forward with confidence. You wouldn't be doing what you're doing if you didn't think it could be successful. Remember that!

Best of luck to you, womanontheverge, and keep us posted on how it is going!


Sassy









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I will be running two lines of business. First, and easiest to start-up, is daily money management. ... The other line of business, that I hope to eventually have as my core business, is financial planning.

I commend you on your reseach and your choice of fields. They both appear to have low start-up costs, may have some client overlap (something I've always found profitable is cross-selling), and the fields are similar enough that building a solid reputation in one should benefit the other.

I've seen so many women who become self-employed without really examining what they want, why they're doing it, and where to begin that I am very impressed with how much you have already discovered and decided upon. Good for you! It sounds like you've already developed one strong networking relationship and have a reasonable plan for developing more. And you've already got your first client lined up, to boot!

If my radar (i.e. "gut") is any indication, you will do well. Good luck!

SoftSimp
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I second sassygirl6's first piece of advice to have a plan. I wouldn't get anything done if I didn't have a list of objectives for each day, which is part of a greater list of objectives for each week. These absolutely help keep me on track.

PrrpleGrrl
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<<There is a large population of well-off elderly in my neighborhood. I'm in touch with a social worker/eldercare manager who has clients who need this service & she's very interested in being able to refer to me. She's sure that her clients will love me.>>

Just to sound a note of warning......be aware that there may be ethical and professional constraints on this sort of referral network.

While your friend may be totally altruistic in her motives, her clients may well have relatives who would view this sort of arrangement very skeptically.

That's not to say that there isn't some way to make it work, but I've been burned a number of times when my efforts at promoting my business have been viewed suspiciously......and for perfectly valid reasons when you look at the other person's point of view.

Vivienne

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While your friend may be totally altruistic in her motives, her clients may well have relatives who would view this sort of arrangement very skeptically.

Viv,

I appreciate the word of caution, but I don't think it applies here.

Typically the family is totally behind the choice to use a daily money manager, as the (typically) adult child is not able to do it for their parent, due to job pressures and living at some distance. In fact, I expect that in many cases, the adult child will be paying for my services, to ensure that their parent's bills are paid, and health insurance claims are processed, etc. At least, that is my expectation. Let's see how it turns out in fact.

Womanontheverge
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