I composed a list of greenandchic.com related tasks I have accomplished over the past few months (not necessarily in order). These are items I felt that I had to get out of the way before moving on to the next steps. Whether or not I took the best approach to some of these tasks is still up in the air. ūüôā¬† But remember, starting a business is a learning experience and mistakes will be made! (Talking to myself).

The Legal Stuff
Business License – Which is obtained though the county in which you’re business resides/conducted
DBA or Fictitious Business Name for Green and Chic and http://www.greenandchic.com- Which is obtained though the county in which you’re business resides/conducted.
Business Entity – Obtained through the Secretary of State. I chose LLC. I’m not sure if that was the approach, but its done!
Tax ID or Employer Identification Number – That was the easiest to obtain. Just one phone call to the IRS and you will get it right over the phone.
Resale License– Obtained though the State Board of Equalization.

Website
Domain Name – It took me several weeks to come up with a name that I know I would love and one that’s not already taken. It was harder than I thought it would be.
Hosting – I use Hostway for now
Start-up website www.greenandchic.com– I’m currently updating it using Joomla! 1.5¬†on the backend. The updated site is not live yet.

Later, I will go into other aspects of starting the business, vendors/products, marketing, research, etc.

Advertisements


Here are some web based resources (publications and forums) that I find useful:

Start-up Nation – Contains a listing of articles, blogs, and forums to assist you with the start-up process for your business.

LinkedIn РMore specifically, the Answers section of LinkedIn has Q & A on subjects ranging from blogging to business operations with tons of knowledgeable individuals to learn from.  You can do an search on their extensive Q & A archives or ask a new question.

Particle eCommerce – Bi-monthly print magazine and website complete with articles, forums, blogs and podcasts on…eCommerce – with an emphasis on start-ups and small to mid size business.

Internet Retailer – Free monthly (print and online) trade magazine and website about the online retail industry as a whole.

I will post more as time go on and I find more resources.


Sometimes its the little things that drives me nuts!

I have been trying to install a mailing list or mass mailing manager to my Joomla site, and I just cant “get it”.¬† I’ve tried iContact (supposedto be one of the best) and I get stuck after the registration process.¬† I’m going to try one more time and give it to my web designer to do it for me.¬† I though it should be easy enough for me to complete the task, but I’ve already wasted too much time on it already.

I should practice what I preach: If you cant do it yourself or if it takes too much time, hire someone.

Hopefully, I will get my mailing list manager up in the next few days. 

 


Time management – what is that??

Working a full-time job, trying to start a business, family life, taking care of a home and yourself can be a challenge.  I do have the advantage of (almost) never having to work overtime, living six miles from work, no children (yet!), and being in good health.  Though I have some advantages, it can still take its toll.  I am in the the process of learning time management skills Рsomething I never bothered to learn before with sometimes disastrous results in the past.  

Popular time management books¬†such as The Time Trap and Getting Things Done might be useful to me.¬†¬† Over the coming weeks, I will post updates on how I’m learning to better manage my time around starting a business.¬†


How to Market to a New Word of Connected Customers

While conducting a search for books about internet marketing, I came across this book by Larry Bailin.  I was drawn in by this catchy title and the fact that it seems like an easy read (just 151 pages with large font).

This book, in my opinion is written for the novice and semi-experts in the wold of internet sales and marketing. Chapters¬†such as “Mommy, What Was That Noise?” (that gives us a brief history on how the internet has changed the way we communicate, work, shop and conduct day-to-day business) is enough to spark curiosity.

Published in the later half of 2007, it has up to date information and advice on how to maket to our new breed of customers, web designs and formats that work and what pitfalls and passing fads to avoid when designing your website and marketing your business.

The relatively small number of pages and large font are not the only characteristics that makes this a quick read.  It is written in a comedic format so that even those of us who dislike reading technical and how-to books can be entertained as well as educated.  At times, I have read sections of this book right before bed and it didnt put me to sleep!

 

 


One of the ways I am promoting my business is by blogging.  I currently have a blog that I recently started for greenandchic.com which will keep customers and potential customers in the loop about the business itself, products I am offering and general information about ingredients. 

I am very new to blogging so I am no expert at it – yet.¬† My question is, how long ideally should blog posts be, especially blogs related to your business?¬† I do a fair amount of blog reading and sometimes get turned off by super long posts.¬† Maybe I am just a bit impatient. ūüôā

If you blog daily, should post be shorter? (<300 words)

If you blog weekly, should you beef it up a bit? (>1000)

I don’t have a lot of readers right now so this question is more rhetorical. Ha!

 


Getting it done

05Jun08

I had been searching for a new web designer so that I can add my website and WordPress blog to a  Content Management System (CMS) that would allow me to make my own changes and updates, contact form, email list manager, an extra page and maybe one or two other features. I initially used Elance and Guru for this search, but ultimately found someone on oDesk.

These websites are great because you can hire professionals from web designers to writers located anywhere around the world. All you do is register, create a profile, and post a project or assignment you need assistance with. Once you post a project, professionals can bid on your project with an overview of what they can do, links to their portfolio and approximate price range. You can contact those who are bidding on your project and ask whatever questions you have for them. Upon completing an assignment, professionals are rated on competence, level of expertise, communication and so on so that you automatically have their raiting and references.  This service is free.

One of the best things I learned about starting a business is that I don’t have to and shouldn’t do everything. There will be certain tasks that it’s best to outsource so that you won’t burn yourself out, (4-Hour Workweek anyone?) and most of us are not experts in everything!


Update

02Jun08

I am in the process of updating my website using the content management system (CMS) Joomla. When I initially had website built, I didn’t have a CMS installed so I had no way of making my own changes and updates. I found a web developer on oDesk to download Joomla and add the contents of my website to the application including my custom template.

Never having done web development before, it does take a little time to get used to the software and the terminology that Joomla (and probably other CMS) use, but overall, its pretty simple to use.  Joomla is also free!

My updated website is not live yet, but I anticipate having it up in the next few weeks.  

 


Where to start?

30May08

I found a couple of books that have been extremely helpful for me in terms of the ABCs of starting a business ‚Äď particularly a web based business.

How to Start a Home-Based Online Retail Business by Jeremy Shepherd

This is not for those who are already familiar with the process of stating your own web based business. This book is great for learning the basic requirements of owning your own business such as business licenses and other legal requirements. You will still need to do research such as what is required in your own city, county and state, but it will tell you what you need to look for at the very least.

In terms of eCommerce, again, this is for those of us who are almost totally unfamiliar with being an online entrepreneur. It does give you a base so that you can do more extensive research when it comes to tasks such as choosing a market, making a budget, writing a business plan, starting a website, how to sell online and so on.

I use the sections of this book as a checklist so that I can lay down my foundation for Green + Chic.

As time goes on, I will list more recommendations that have been helpful to me


Webeneur

29May08

A couple weeks ago, I attended this workshop in San Francisco http://entrepreneur.meetup.com/1042/calendar/7843670/. Its a Meetup group that meets once a month at the Sandbox Suites where you can meet fellow entrepreneurs and learn more about starting and running your own business.

Details (quoted from the website):

There will be 1-2 hours of business education and discussion followed by you receiving at least 45 minutes of other business owners brainstorming on YOUR business and what you want next.

I have learned more from this group than from months of researching on my own. The networking, social interaction and shared information is invaluable. You can read more about what this group is all about at the link above.