A Business Update

Hello everyone. πŸ™‚ I haven’t been on Pinterest much in the past week, so I’ve decided to update you guys on how my business plans are going.

Surprisingly I’ve come quite a long way since I last posted something business related (see:Β The Frustrations of Living in a Small Town). I’ve found what my business will focus on, and what my mission will be. I now have a name I plan on using, and a logo to go with it. And what’s more, I’m currently working on my product line. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve even been working on the labels for all of my products? Yes ma’am, I’ve been a very busy little geek lately. πŸ™‚

For those that don’t know, I have a four-year-old Boxer named Harli. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t make me laugh with her crazy antics (Boxer parents will understand lol). I also have a strong passion for helping animals, specifically those that are abused and in animal shelters. I knew from the start that I wanted my business to have something to do with Harli, and helping animals. But for the longest time I didn’t know how to combine that passion with my candles.

Then, sometime last month, I was slapped in the face with the answer:

Donate a portion of the money to the ASPCA

Talk about a “Eureka” moment. So, I’ve decided that $1 USD of every candle bought will be donated to the ASPCA to help animals in need. The more a person buys, the more they help. I’m very pleased with myself for coming to this conclusion. πŸ™‚ Because the next step would be to finally be able to work on a name and logo. For now I won’t disclose these things, just because I want to keep it a secret until I’m ready to open up shop.

Speaking of which, I’ve also been researching different online marketplaces to sell my candles. Obviously there’s Etsy, but it never hurts to look around some more before committing. I found one place called StorEnvy, and it looks quite interesting (what’s more, it’s 100% free, and unlimited listings available). Payments are processed through PayPal, so I’ve got to do some more research into how the fees and stuff works for PayPal. When I find out more on this, I’ll be sure to share it with you guys. πŸ™‚

Right now, I’m in the process of testing out my very first batch of candles! So far I’ve gotten a few good ones, a couple of not-so-great ones…but it’s all part of the testing process in order to get the absolute best product possible. Because I’ve got high expectations for myself, I also have the same expectations of my products. I will keep on testing until I am 100% happy with my product. Thus far, I’ve come to the conclusion that wooden wicks are better, even though they’re a bit more expensive than the cotton ones I was thinking of using. They create a more even burn pool, and I’ve found that they do indeed release the fragrance faster than cotton wicking because they get hotter faster. So, my candles will be using wooden wicks.Β Then there’s the curing times…candles need to cure for a few days to let the wax and fragrance oil (FO) bond properly. I’m finding that some fragrances take longer to cure than others. Which is always good to know. πŸ™‚

I am very excited and pleased with how far I’ve gotten in the past month or so, because it means that I’m just that much closer to making my dream a reality. ^_^

till next post, Katie

The Frustrations of Living in a Small Town

As my quest to start my own business continues, I’ve realized that there is quite a lot of fiddling with tax forms and legal documents to be done. And, when trying (trying being the key word here) to do some research on said documents, there is very little online that is quite as strait forward as I need. I know I need a Business License, and a Seller’s Permit, and I need to file for a Fictitious Name or “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. And I also know that I will more than likely have to pay income taxes, self-employment taxes, etc etc etc. -_- And with every single article I come to, I read the same exact lines:

“What you’ll need to start your business will vary from state to state, and even county-wise. The best thing to do is visit your city’s, county’s and state’s websites and find the forms.”

And off I went, starting with my state. Ah good old Florida. Where they say is a perfect place to start up a business. And they are quite right, assuming you live in any other county and state than the one I happen to live in. Every time I found a form for a “Home Occupational License” or something that looked to be exactly what I needed, I’d find that it was for Orange County, or Orlando. I looked up my county’s website and what you see is something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

Exactly. A Big. Fat. Nothing.

Sure, there’s some info for visitors, and some building and zoning permits, but when the “Businesses” tab is clicked on, the associated page wields nothing but emptiness. It might as well be a brick wall for all the information it held for me. And even then a brick wall might have given me at least a perspective of what I’d like to build my brick and mortar shop with one day. Oh the agony. Of all the counties we could have moved to, it was this one. And now on to my “city’s” site…well, needless to say this was just about as useful as the afore mentioned brick wall. Perhaps a bit more helpful though, as I did manage to find a Business Tax Certificate (or Occupational License) form. So I was appeased by this a bit, knowing that I had at least one scrap of useful something from the two sites. And, lucky me, the state’s Sunbiz website held a Fictitious Name Registration Form. So now I have in my possession two of the forms I need. And yet I still need to find this thing called a Business License, and a Seller’s Permit. Though I’m quite annoyed because apparently all of these licenses and permits and registrations can fall under different names according to your state or county. A Seller’s Permit can be called a State Tax ID, or Reseller Permit, along with a few other names. I feel like these websites have gone and pulled some Jedi mind trick on me, saying “These aren’t the forms you’re looking for, move along.” So perhaps, when I go back to the Florida website looking for permits, I can find the ones I’m looking for.

If anyone has any experience starting a business of their own, I would gladly take any advice you can offer. I hope those of you on your own journey to starting a business have more luck than I, and that your county isn’t so technologically inept that it can’t have a proper informative website.

Recent Discoveries For Small Business Builders

So I just recently came across a couple of websites that I’m sure will help me, and anyone else, that are down the path to building a small business. Hopefully these sites will help anyone else out there who’s looking for information and resources on small businesses. I know that it’s a frustrating road, and reliable information is not easy to be found(not to mention information that is easy to comprehend).Β  Continue reading