Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So Happy to See The SCORE Crew!

I finally got to a SCORE meeting last week. Ever since the deluge of orders that happened in Necklace Town, I haven't been able to see the gang over in the Carmel, NY chapter. And I was in desperate need for advice, a business pick me up. I'm not a business person. I am an artist, a day dreamer, an inventor, a tinkerer, a renovator. I make jewelry all day. I do not like to add numbers, keep records, fill out forms, or do that Quickbooks. I last entered Quickbooks on November 9, 2010 and became so frustrated that I never went back to it. I'm back to pencil and ledger. It works better for me.

To see my retired business titans again today after nearly two months gave me such a relief. Down to business. Ben said I need an accountant right away. Jim the retired accountant, got on the phone and called one to get me going on getting my books in order. When I came home from the meeting, I had a phone message from a CPA. Ben said that my jewelry contractors meet the criteria of a 1099 and gave me a printout from the IRS outlining this. I mentioned this in "Who is a SubContractor or an Employee?" I met a new guy today, Ken. Ben filled him in on what I was about and what was going on and asked me what I want by the end of the month:

  • Get the books together, get my numbers straightened out. NOW. I have 1099s to get out
  • Get the big order at Necklace Town finished and put to bed.
  • Find a space to move this operation. It's too much for my kitchen. I need more room for more people and room to store this material. I want to be able to go there, work, and lock up. We talked about a temporary spot, like a church or a synagogue to rent a space for short term but I can't drag these rolls of chain back and forth. Jim also called another associate on this one, who has offices to rent.
  • Handle new inquiries to new business. How was it to be handled, what were the needs?
  • Establish a strong core team that will be there for important clients at a notice to fill an order, establish other teams to handle other clients as their needs arise. Train them to my specific needs and expertise to be able to attend each client specifications.
Ken asked how I got all this business. I told him it was all the internet. That's how I started. The website, the blog, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter. Google jewelry assembly, jewelry outsource and I'm number one, two, three. Ben thought I paid for the spots! It's Search Engine Optimization. SEO has finally worked for me. And tending to social media has worked too, spreading the word of what I do. No paid advertising, no knocking on doors. It's like a garden, you do have upkeep and maintain the website.
I don't blog enough, I'm still kind of new to it and there's so much more I should be doing but right now, focus is on jewelry assembly.

On the way home, I pulled over at every sign I saw "Office For Rent" and left messages. I saw my first office yesterday. It had a listing price of $650 per month BUT it didn't include electricity, did include heat, ac and water (I didn't know you had to pay for water!). I learned what CAM was: Common Area Maintenance. I spoke to another realtor about another space that was $1780. That didn't include HVAC (air conditioning!) or heating (gas!) there's business taxes and proportional fees for the building. So why don't you just say it's $2,500 then?? This is going to be a picnic, finding a space that's going to fill my needs. Ben said don't take the first one I see. I didn't, it was too small. And did I need a sink vanity in one of those rooms? Strange....

I really needed a shot in the arm from SCORE today. Sometimes I come in there so bewildered (what am I doing??) and they take everything step by step, solve, find solutions and I leave more confident and relieved. I have help close at hand, expert advice that's free! and I'm so grateful to those SCORE guys! If you are just starting out in a small business or already in the thick of it and things are getting crazy, find your local chapter. It's like a business partner but you have many business partners all advising you from their vast wealth of experience. Do it!


Richie said...

Wow. I can't help but smile here. I can totally relate! I started my own business as soon as I retired from my job in a big company. But, I am not into numbers, the thought of numbers makes me dizzy. So my wife contacted an Indianapolis accountant to get all my financial statements on track. It's going well so far, I'm glad. We're not yet ready with SEO, however. Maybe we'll take another 6months before we try that. Anyway, how's your business going by now? Jewelries are my wife's obsession I'll inform her about your business.

Jewelry Assembly Chicks said...

Hi Richie! SO nice of you to stop by! We're almost finished the big order in Necklace Town. Business is going very well. Does your wife design or buy jewelry :)