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<<The thing I guess I should be proud of is that there is demand for my product/services - I've made custom jewelry for formal events for people (wedding parties etc.) and also custom party favors...the demand is almost higher than what I believe I could support...which is in many ways a good thing and a scary one - in terms of making me decide whether to forge ahead and launch a business as the real deal.

Many of the tools, etc. that I use I have built a supply of over the last few years.
Raw materials I pick-up wholesale, and so profitabilty though relatively small... is probably possible for this year, or next, working it out on paper / excel spreadsheet.

It's unfortunately the creativity I have and the discipline of record keeping I lack - but I am now getting a big wake up call.

The ability to keep good records is an essential skill for any small business person. The tax man requires it, and if you don't you'll never really know if your are making money!

The disciplines can be learned, and I learned them over time, and it wasn't easy. The key for me was to develope a reasonable plan for keeping records, and then to get in the habit of following that plan.

There are two elements to my plan:

1) I use Quicken to record purchases, expenses, sales and payments. That's my basic book keeping system.

2) I use hanging files to keep business reciepts and records organized. That means that all the deposit slips Quicken generates get two whole punched and put in a hanging file for deposits. Bills for insurance get paid and the bill gets two hole punched and filed in the folder for insurance. Every time, and right away! I make sure I always have the proper office supplies on hand so that I'm not tempted to procrastinate.

If you choose expense categories that are identical to those found on the IRS Schedule "C", that can make filing your taxes easier.

Seattle Pioneer
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