View Full Version : ?'s for business owners
07-10-2003, 07:30 AM
So, BF & I have decided to take the plunge and open our own business. I just have a couple questions for those who already own their own business:
1. what accounting system/computer program do you use (or do you just hire an accountant).
I'm thinking of getting Quickbooks Basic but, didn't know if it included information on doing your taxes (we're forming a partnership; very limited number of sales & expenses.. should be pretty easy).
2. I'm looking into getting a book on budget PR, marketing, advertising, etc.
I was thinking of getting Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World -- Shel Horowitz. Anyone read this.. have any insight?
3. Also looking into getting a book about customer service/loyalth.
I was thinking of getting What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business -- Harry Beckwith.. Any opinions?
4. We're creating a (mostly)web & graphic design company. Does anyone know of what the good professional organizations are for this industry?
07-10-2003, 07:39 AM
I use an accountant who specializes in small businesses. He knows so much more about this than I do, and how to minimize my taxes.
07-10-2003, 07:50 AM
I can't help you directly with advice on starting a business, but I would recommend that when you purchase your books on advertising/marketing etc you find some on both print and interactive design. These are two entirely different mediums and should be treated as such - try telling that to the copywriter who was new to the web and insisted on writing a bloody book everytime I needed copy for the web.
07-10-2003, 08:04 AM
I use Quickbooks for my day-to-day accounting and payroll, but I have an accountant do my taxes. I just give him my Quickbooks file and he handles everything for accounting/end-of-year.
I can't help much on the advertising/PR because most of my work comes from word-of-mouth or repeat business. I keep thinking that sooner or later I'll need to start advertising, but just when I start to think that, several new projects will come rolling in.
That said, for a web & graphic design business, I think the first thing is figuring out how to build up your portfoliio (if you don't already have one.) Graphic design is a fairly crowded field (it seems like anyone with Adobe Illustrator or PhotoShop calls themselves a graphic designer :rolleyes: ) and you will need to have a way to stand out from the crowd. I think the LisaNumbers is a web/graphic designer, so maybe she'll pop in and have some better advice.
07-10-2003, 08:11 AM
Dewey is absolutely right. Make sure you have a solid portfolio to showcase to potential clients. The web industry has really hit the wall a few times over the past few years so it's going to be a tough market to truly crack. Plus, companies haven't been spending the mullah on it either, or are bringing it in-house.
Figure out who your target market is, research them thoroughly. This is essential. It will structure your whole marketing strategy. Don't try to spread yourself everyway either. Find a niche, nail it, and expand from there!
Good luck again!
07-10-2003, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the responses so far!
YP-I hear you about writing copy for the web vs writing copy for print - it's definately different. Also, thanks for the tip about finding my niche - I've pretty much got it figured out so far.
Dewey-If you don't mind me asking what does getting your taxes done cost.. when you have exceptional records (or a Quickbooks file)?
07-11-2003, 11:28 AM
just a shameless bump :) anybody else?
07-11-2003, 12:41 PM
Carrie, I use QB for our small office and love it, it is so simple. as for taxes I do both the quarterly and part of the year end taxes, but leave the financial statements to the our accountant.
Good luck Laurie
07-11-2003, 12:44 PM
I am the business manager for a small company (it's a side thing for my boss).
We use Quickbooks but have an accountant do our taxes. He charges about $900 to prepare the annual corporate taxes.
Are you going to form a corporation? Although this takes a bit of paperwork, it will protect your personal assets in the long run.
07-11-2003, 11:10 PM
Sorry newsomz, I just noticed you had asked about what it cost for the taxes. I pay $550 for the corp taxes (S corp) which doesn't include any of the quarterly payroll forms (Quickbooks does those for me.) And then I pay $150 for my personal taxes also. I'm not certain I have "exceptional" records though. Despite being a business major and having been the general accounting manager for a corporation at one point, I tend to have very bad bookkeeping skills!
07-12-2003, 07:56 AM
Hey everybody. thanks for the responses about QB & taxes.
Beth- right now we're just forming a partnership. I figure if the business does get up and running we can incorporate later. besides we have essentially no assets.
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