Having had my little baby accessories business for about a year, I somehow managed to elude what I perceived as the trappings of a “proper business”, scraping by quite happily, but admittedly inefficiently.
I sold my adorably useful goods at village fairs or simply by word of mouth through friends and family. Things were good, easy, manageable, and my modest home double-dutied as office, warehouse, call centre, shop front and so on – that is until I accepted an unprecedented massive order, and at the same time, received the happy, but stunning news that our cosy family of three would soon be a family of four.
At this point, my imminently sensible husband put his foot down and demanded that my little cottage industry had to move on, and I had to get my act together quickly. So, together, we went through the rigorous list of things to do, which were all terribly serious and had ominous names like “business plan” and “company formations”. In truth, I didn’t know the difference between a “limited” vs an “offshore” company (did that mean glamorously embezzled funds in the Cayman Islands?).
But one thing was obvious- I needed professional help fast. Setting up a proper company was obviously the first step, and we found help in the form of a few online companies. One of them was offering by far the most reasonable rates for setting up a company fairly quickly.
For the financials, as well as help in preparing a good business plan, we found another extremely useful site. For basic steps, tips and advice in starting a business on your own, I found the site www.sba.gov very constructive as well.
So welcome aboard fellow Mums!!!