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Starting Upper Cut Woodworks #2: The Mechanics of Starting a New Business

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Blog entry by Matt (Upper Cut) posted 01-04-2010 01:02 AM 856 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Key Decisions, Goals, and Scoping Part 2 of Starting Upper Cut Woodworks series Part 3: Project Workflow and Documentation »

It’s been very interesting opening this new business. It’s not hard, but there are a lot of steps and pitfalls. Let me summarize what I’ve done so far, and some resources I’ve found valuable.

StartupNation.com
This is site that really got me thinking about starting my own business. Great podcasts, lots of resources, a helpful community, and a radio show.

StartupDaddy.com
Great audio podcast and website. Resources like the Home Business Startup Checklist guide you through the steps. I’ve found the advice clear and useful, and the presentation professional and inspiring.

Before I talk about the steps I went through, you should understand a few key things:

  • This is a home based business
  • This is a part-time venture for now
  • I have no employees
  • I will not be borrowing money
Here are the steps I’ve taken so far:
  1. Make a few key decisions.
  2. Pick a name, and make sure that name wasn’t already in use.
  3. Choose the business type. I chose to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). I used LegalZoom to do that for me. They also handled my IRS paperwork and working with the State of Washington to get my Business License.
  4. Register the domain name so I could setup a website, I used HostGator.
  5. Decide on the technology to build the website, I’ve chosen WordPress.
  6. Create a brand identity (logos, colors, taglines, etc.). I’m working with designers on 99designs. You can check on the logo ideas here please let me know what you think.
  7. Get a physical address (not a PO Box) for they company that is not my home address. All business correspondence goes there. I did this with the UPS Store.
  8. Get a bank account for the LLC and keep all finances separate. I opened mine with Wells Fargo because they are very close to the UPS Store and they integrate with QuickBooks.

Here are the things I need to do next:

  1. Meet with a book-keeper or accountant to get my books setup and understand what I need to do as a business owner to keep the finances separate, pay taxes, and have the business pay me (when it makes money).
  2. Meet with a lawyer to understand who should own the tools I already have (me, or the LLC), how to insure them, licenses, permits, etc.
  3. Decide if I need a separate phone number for Upper Cut, and which 800 Service to use. I would love recommendations!
  4. Get business cards, and brochures.
  5. Potentially get magnetic signage for the truck.
  6. Build a network of customers, advisers, suppliers.
  7. Build more content for the website.
  8. Schedule time in the shop to build!

So far this has been fun, and I look forward to the next steps!

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks, http://uppercutwoodworks.com/



2 comments so far

View WWilson's profile

WWilson

104 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 01-06-2010 07:51 PM

Hi Matt,

Awsome post. Thanks for the details. Hey what about Facebook? Have you leveraged your network there yet? If not you may want to explore what that can do for you. I would say twitter too but the jury is still out on that one for me. You may also want to think about joining your local chamber of commerce. They might be able to put you in touch with other local business who might need your services.

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 2568 days


#2 posted 01-07-2010 01:32 AM

Hey WWilson,

Thanks for the comments. I am leveraging my network there, I over 1000 friends. One way I do this easily is that wordpress will publish a link to my blog posts on facebook and twitter automatically—kinda like lumberjocks (have I mentioned how much I love this site?).

I don’t have enough followers on twitter to really make an impact, but that’ll be just around the corner I hope.

I have also created a facebook page for the business.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks, http://uppercutwoodworks.com/

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